Top 10 most iconic March Madness moments
‘March Madness’ has brought college basketball fans moments that are hard to forget. Here’s a list of the most memorable March Madness moments in history.
Every year, excluding the last two pandemic-disrupted ones, March Madness reminds us of the great March moments we have seen from historic players. We have accumulated the top 10 most iconic moments in the last decade that make March what it is.
Top 10 most iconic March Madness moments
10: Villanova tops UNC on Jenkins' buzzer-beater
In April 2016, Pennsylvania’s Villanova and North Carolina University fought a hard National Championship battle with the Tar Heels coached by one of the strongest NCAA coaches, Roy Williams, and the WildCats led by one of the university’s best coaches ever, Jay Wright.
The battle was tied 74-74 with 4.7 left on the clock until Villanova's Kris Jenkins received a pass from teammate Ryan Arcidiacono and made his game-winning buzzer-beater to lift Pennsylvania’s team to its second national title in one of the wildest finishes in the NCAA tournament history (77-74).
9: Kyle Guy’s free throws leads Virginia past Auburn into title game
Virginia’s national championship run was by far one of the wildest in recent memory. Virginia was the first 1-seed to get beaten by a 16 seed in 2018, before they found themselves back on top as a 1 seed the year after, making their way to the Final 4 with the fantastic trio of Ty Jerome, DeAndre Hunter, and Kyle Guy.
In the final few 0.6 seconds against Auburn, who were uninterruptedly taking the lead, Kyle Guy made 3 free throws that sent Virginia past Auburn, leading his team to their first national championship.
8: Kentucky Proves Freshmen can Win championships
In 2012, John Calipari, the University of Kentucky men’s team head coach who was criticized for relying on freshmen to win, proved that experience isn’t always the answer.
With Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist leading, Calipari transformed Kentucky to be one of the best defensive teams in the country, winning the NCAA championship over a veteran Kansas team.
7: Gordon Hayward's Half-court Heave costs him a championship
In 2010, Duke and Butler showcased one of the best championship games in college basketball history. With four seconds left and a 61-59 score, Duke’s Brian Zoubek missed a free throw, only to be intercepted by Butler’s Gordon Hayward, who missed a buzzer-beating half-court shot that bounced off the backboard and cost the Butlers a national championship. In a heartfelt loss for the Butler Bulldogs, Duke won the title 61-59.
6: Jimmer Fredette Dismantles Gonzaga
Jimmer Fredette made second round matchups as memorable as one can imagine. Continuing an outstanding season with BYU, Fredette brought his incredible experience to the game vs Gonzaga, finishing with 34 points on 7-12 shooting, including a hail of shots from over 25 feet. Taking this trip down to memory lane and watching his performance after 11 years makes it hard to believe the BYU product isn’t shining in the NBA. The 33-year-old plays for the Shanghai Sharks, in China.
5: Stephen Curry against Wisconsin
4: Hakim Warrick builds legacy for Syracuse
With three seconds left in the 2003 national championship game and Syracuse leading Kansas 81-78, the Orangemen’s forward Hakim Warrick swatted Jayhawks Michael Lee’s potential 3-pointer. The rest is history.
Syracuse assistant coach Mike Hopkins on Warrick: “Not too many people on the planet could have made that play. People didn’t really realize he (Warrick) was playing the center position. He wasn’t playing the forward, and he came all the way from the middle of the court. That was the difference of the game.”
3: Christian Laettner, the shot (Duke-Kentucky)
Duke’s Christian Laettner scored one of the most incredible plays in college basketball’s history against Kentucky in 1992 Elite 8. One of Duke’s greatest, Grant Hill, threw a pass the length of the court to Laettner, who faked right, dribbled no more than once, quickly turned, and fired right as time ended for the 104–103 historical victory. The reaction of the court’s fans just say it all.
2: Thompson’s Georgetown defeating Houston
John Thompson was much more than a talented NCAA coach; he was a vital figure in the history of basketball. Thompson, who passed away recently, led Georgetown to become one of the best teams in history, winning the 1984 national championship game against Houston, and becoming the first African-American coach to win an NCAA title.
1: John Wooden leads UCLA to 7 consecutive national titles
This is really going back in history, but this is also a coach and a team that deserve to be recognized just as much now as in the past.
From 1948–1975, head coach John Wooden coached the UCLA Bruins to be the best team ever out on the court. Known as the “Wizard of Westwood”, Thompson did not only win 10 NCAA titles in his 12 years as head coach, but he also led his team to seven titles in a row, something that will never get old.