By George, The Patriots Did It!
March 26, 2006, Elite Eight
15) Jai Lewis finished with a team-high 20 points and all five George Mason starters scored in double figures as the 11th seeded Patriots became just the second double-digit seeded team in history to reach the Final Four by topping top-rated Connecticut 86-84 in overtime.
(AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
April 4, 1988, Title Game
14) Player-of-the year and All-American Danny Manning (31 points, 18 rebounds, five steals) proved his mettle in leading an underdog Kansas team past top seeded, conference rival Oklahoma 83-79.
(AP Photo/Susan Ragan)
March 27, 1978, Title Game
13) Kentucky All-American Jack Givens connected on 18 of 27 shots, most of them from long distance, to finish with 41in Wildcats’ 94-88 win over Duke. Givens set the stage for UK by scoring their last 16 points to end the half.
(AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine)
It’s Called Survival
March 23, 1957 Title Game
12) With no player standing over 6’5”, North Carolina used zone defense from start to finish, limiting the unstoppable Wilt Chamberlain to 23 points on just 13 shots and surviving Kansas 54-53 in triple overtime.
March 18, 1974, Final Four
11) Almost singlehandedly, David Thompson put an end to UCLA’s 38-game winning streak and run of seven straight NCAA titles by netting 28 points in the Wolfpack’s 80-77 double overtime win. The highlight of the game came when Thompson jumped so high to block a Bill Walton shot he nearly banged his head on the backboard.
Back in the Game
March 30, 1987, Title Game
10) After being benched in the first half, Indiana’s Keith Smart scored 17 of his 21 points in the second, including the game-winning basket with four seconds remaining to lead Bob Knight’s Hoosiers past Syracuse 74-73.
(AP Photo/Ron Heflin)
Take a T.O, baby…or maybe not
April 5, 1993, Title Game
9) For the second straight season, Michigan’s Fab Five came up short in their quest for the chip as Chris Webber was hit with a technical foul in the final seconds of their 77-71 loss to North Carolina after calling a timeout his team didn’t have.
(AP photo/Susan Ragan)
Rock Chalk Jayhawks
April 7, 2008, Title Game
8) Kansas senior Mario Chamlers swished in a three from near midcourt in the final seconds, propelling the Jayhawks to a 75-68 overtime win and ending Memphis’ dreams of the school’s first NCAA title.
(NCAA Photos via AP Images)
David Slays Goliath
April 1, 1985, Title Game
7) Playing as a #8-seed — the lowest seeded team to ever advance to the NCAA finals — Villanova shot nearly 80 percent from the floor to stun Patrick Ewing and top-ranked, defending champ Georgetown 66-64.
(AP Photo/Gary Landers)
To An Athlete Who Died to Young
March 4, 1990, First Round
6) Only days after star forward Hank Gathers (left) collapsed on the court and died, boyhood pal Bo Kimble (right) scored 45 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead Marymount past New Mexico State 111-92 in the opening round. LMU advanced to the Elite Eight, with Kimble shooting free throws left handed to honor Gathers.
(AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
March 28, 1992, Elite Eight
5) With two seconds remaining, Duke’s Grant Hill heaved a length-of-court inbound pass to a crafty Christian Lattenar for the game-winning jumper against Kentucky, capping the All-American’s perfect 10-for-10 night from the field in Blue Devils 104-103 overtime win.
(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
Fallen Frat Boys
April 4, 1983, Title Game
4) It almost seems like poetic justice that it would take a dunk to escape Houston’s vaunted Phi Slamma Jamma led attack. NC State’s Lorenzo Charles slammed in an air-ball at the buzzer to lead the Wolfpack to an improbable 54-52 victory, ending Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler’s 25-game winning streak.
March 26, 1979, Title Game
3) In the most widely watched finals in NCAA history, Michigan State’s Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson bagged 23 points to outduel Indiana State’s Larry Bird, setting the stage for their lifelong NBA rivalry. So anticipated was their matchup it’s credited with sparking the phrase “March Madness.”
Air’s Launching Pad
March 29, 1982, Title Game
2) Before a crowd of nearly 62,000, freshmen guard Michael Jordan drained a jumper from the left wing in North Carolina’s 63-62 win over Georgetown, nailing down Coach Dean Smith’s first NCAA title.
(AP Photo/Raleigh News and Observer, Robert Willett)
The Brown v. Board of College Hoops
March, 19, 1966, Title Game
1) Texas Western (UTEP) was competing against the racist order of the day when they became the first all-black starting lineup to appear in the NCAA’s finals. When the final buzzer had sounded, not only had history being altered, the Miners found themselves the proud holders of a Division 1 championship.
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There’s a method to the madness. Fortitude, gumption and, yes, talent are the characteristics that invariably seem to rise to the forefront among the victors come this time of season.
And so, it should come as little surprise names like Jordan, Chamberlain, Magic and Ewing make the list of The Grio’s top 15 most memorable March Madness moments.
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