Has the 8-Seed Ever Won the NBA Championship? (How Many Times Have They Upset the 1-Seed?)

Has the 8-Seed Ever Won the NBA Championship? (How Many Times Have They Upset the 1-Seed?)


Unlike March Madness, Cinderella teams are rare in the NBA Playoffs. Top seeds from the regular season often continue their dominance in the postseason, especially with the benefit of home-court advantage behind them.

However, there's been a couple of special teams to pull off massive upsets; a few have even gone on long playoff runs. With that in mind, here's everything you need to know about the most notable 8-seeds in NBA postseason history.

Has the 8-Seed Ever Made or Won the NBA Finals?

Just one 8-seed in NBA history has made the Finals: the 1998-99 New York Knicks. They accomplished this feat after defeating the 1-seed Miami Heat in the first round, sweeping the 4-seed Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals and beating the Indiana Pacers in the conference finals. Unfortunately, their magical run came to an end in the NBA Finals, as they lost 4-1 to the San Antonio Spurs.

The 1998-99 Knicks remain the only 8-seed to ever advance past the conference finals. The 2022-23 Heat will look to join them after going up 3-1 against the New York Knicks in the conference semifinals.

How Many Times Has the No. 8 Seed Upset the No. 1 Seed in the NBA Playoffs?

The Heat's victory over the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of 2023 NBA Playoffs marked the sixth time ever that an 8-seed upset a 1-seed. The 1993-94 Denver Nuggets were first to accomplish this after they dispatched the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics 3-2.

The most famous 8-over-1 upset took place in 2007, as the "We Believe" Golden State Warriors knocked off the defending champion and top-seeded Dallas Mavericks 4-2.

The 2010-11 Memphis Grizzlies (defeated 1-seed Spurs) and 2011-12 Philadelphia 76ers (beat 1-seed Chicago Bulls) round out the six No. 8 seeds in history to take down the top team in either conference. Check out how far each team went in the playoffs below:


1-Seed Opponent

Series Result

Overall Playoff Finish

1993-94 Denver Nuggets

Seattle SuperSoncis

Nuggets win 3-2

Lost in conference semifinals

1998-99 New York Knicks

Miami Heat

Knicks win 3-2

Lost in NBA Finals

2006-07 Golden State Warriors

Dallas Mavericks

Warriors win 4-2

Lost in conference semifinals

2010-11 Memphis Grizzlies

San Antonio Spurs

Grizzlies win 4-2

Lost in conference semifinals

2011-12 Philadelphia 76ers

Chicago Bulls

76ers win 4-2

Lost in conference semifinals

2022-23 Miami Heat

Milwaukee Bucks

Heat win 4-1


Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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