NCAA MARCH MADNESS
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.
Except for the pandemic years that delayed the tournament, March Madness serves as an annual reminder of the most outstanding displays of greatness seen by college basketball players. We’ve compiled a list of March’s top ten most memorable occurrences during the last decade.
What are the most iconic moments of March Madness?
10: Villanova tops UNC on Jenkins’ buzzer-beater
North Carolina University, headed by Roy Williams, and Villanova, led by Jay Wright, battled for the 2016 National Championship.
In one of the craziest endings in NCAA tournament history, Villanova’s Kris Jenkins received a pass from teammate Ryan Arcidiacono and converted a game-winning buzzer-beater to give Pennsylvania its second national championship (77-74).
9: Kyle Guy’s free throws lead Virginia past Auburn into the title game
Virginia’s journey to the national title was one of the craziest in recent memory. After becoming the first 1-seed to lose to a 16-seed in 2018, Virginia returned to the top as a 1-seed in 2019 and advanced to the Final Four behind the stellar play of guards Ty Jerome, DeAndre Hunter, and Kyle Guy.
Three free throws by Kyle Guy with 0.6 seconds remaining gave Virginia a victory against Auburn, who had been leading the whole game.
8: Kentucky Proves Freshmen can Win championships
In 2012, John Calipari, head coach of the University of Kentucky, men’s basketball team, defied critics by leading his team to a national championship while heavily relying on inexperienced players.
With veterans Carmelo Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at the helm, Calipari coached Kentucky to an NCAA championship victory against Kansas.
7: Gordon Hayward’s Half-court Heave costs him a championship
The 2010 NCAA championship game between Duke and Butler was regarded as one of the greatest in the tournament’s history.
With four seconds remaining and a 61-59 score, Duke’s Brian Zoubek missed a free throw, which was then stolen by Butler’s Gordon Hayward, who attempted a half-court shot at the buzzer but missed, denying his team a national title. The Butler Bulldogs lost the championship game to Duke 61-59, and their fans were devastated.
6: Jimmer Fredette Dismantles Gonzaga
Jimmer Fredette ensured that the second-round games were as exciting as can be imagined. Fredette continued his excellent season with BYU by bringing his tremendous expertise to the game against Gonzaga, scoring 34 points on 7-12 shooting and making a barrage of jumpers from beyond the 25-foot line. Even after 11 years, it’s hard to believe the BYU graduate isn’t thriving in the NBA after seeing this throwback video of his college days. China’s Shanghai Sharks have signed the 33-year-old.
5: Stephen Curry against Wisconsin
Stephen Curry has won titles at both the College and NBA levels. In 2008, though, the star really made a name for himself when he scored 33 points on 11 of 22 shooting for Davidson in a game against Wisconsin. Curry carried the Wildcats to the Final 8 with his long-range shooting, becoming only the fourth player in NCAA tournament history to do it, joining Clyde Lovellette of Kansas, Jerry Chambers of Utah, and Glenn Robinson of Purdue.
4: Hakim Warrick builds a legacy for Syracuse
In the 2003 championship game, with three seconds remaining, Syracuse player Hakim Warrick blocked a possible 3-point shot by Kansas’ Michael Lee. At the time, the Orangemen led 81-78. That’s ancient history now.
Assistant Orangemen’s Coach Mike Hopkins had this to say about Warrick: “The odds of someone making that play are very low. Most fans failed to recognize Warrick’s center position. He didn’t start at the forward position and he came all the way from the center of the floor. The score would’ve been different if it hadn’t happened.”
3: Christian Laettner, the shot (Duke-Kentucky)
During the 1992 Final Eight, Duke’s Christian Laettner made one of the most spectacular plays in college basketball history. Duke legend Grant Hill gave a full-court pass to Laettner, who, with 0.3 seconds remaining, faked to the right, dribbled once, pivoted, and shot to the right for a game-winning, record-setting basket. Viewers’ reactions in the arena tell it all.
2: Thompson’s Georgetown defeating Houston
John Thompson was pivotal in basketball history and was so much more than a talented NCAA coach. Just departed, Thompson was the first African-American coach to win an NCAA championship when he guided Georgetown to victory against Houston in the 1984 final game.
1: John Wooden leads UCLA to 7 consecutive national titles
This is a huge leap back in time, yet the coach and squad in question have merit even now.
Coach John Wooden led the UCLA Bruins to basketball greatness from 1948 until 1975. Thompson often referred to as the “Wizard of Westwood,” led his team to seven consecutive NCAA championships over his 12 years as head coach, an accomplishment that will never be forgotten.