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NBA playoff upsets: No. 8 seeds who have upset No. 1 seeds

COMPILED BY JOHN ROHDE Published: April 17, 2010
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No. 1 vs. No. 8
The NBA first used a 16-team playoff format in 1984, which matches the No. 1 seed against the No. 8 seed in each conference.

From 1984-2002, the first round was a best-of-5 series, before changing to best-of-7 in 2003.

Only three times has a No. 8 seed eliminated a No. 1 seed — Denver beat Seattle (3-2) in 1994; New York beat Miami (3-2) in the strike-shortened 1999 season; and Golden State beat Dallas (4-2) in 2007.

In the best-of-5 format, the No. 1 seed went 56-17 (.767) against the No. 8 seed in both conferences.

In the best-of-7 format, No. 1 in the East is 28-7 (.800) against No. 8, while No. 1 in the West is 26-10 (.722).

Here is a breakdown of how No. 1 has fared all-time against No. 8:

BEST-OF-FIVE (1984-2002)
WESTERN CONFERENCE

3-0: 8 times

3-1: 6 times

3-2: 4 times

3-2 loss: Once (Denver over Seattle in 1994)

→Overall: 56-17 (.767)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

3-0: 7 times

3-1: 8 times

3-2: 3 times

3-2 loss: Once (New York over Miami in 1999)

→Overall: 56-17 (.767)

BEST-OF-SEVEN (2003-PRESENT)
WESTERN CONFERENCE

4-0: 2 times

4-1: 2 times

4-2: 2 times

4-3: None

4-2 loss: Once (Golden State over Dallas in 2007)

→Overall: 26-10 (.722)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

4-0: 4 times

4-1: Once

4-2: None

4-3: 2 times

→Overall: 28-7 (.800)


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