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Ultimate March Madness: Great Moments 40-21

Posted on March 16, 2010 by A.J. Foss
Danny Ainge made a magical shot to defeat Notre Dame in the 1981 NCAA Tournament.

Danny Ainge made a magical shot to defeat Notre Dame in the 1981 NCAA Tournament.

Welcome to Part 2 of the Ultimate March Madness List. Today, we explore moments 40-21.

40. 2003 Syracuse-Kansas
Syracuse’s Hakim Warrick blocks a potential tying 3-point shot by Kansas’s Michael Lee with 0.7 seconds left to preserve the 81-78 win and securing the first national championship for Syracuse and coach Jim Boeheim.

39. 1998 Washington-Connecticut
On the third shot attempt in the final eight seconds of the game, UConn’s Richard Hamilton hits a short fade away jumper at the buzzer that wins the game for the Huskies 75-74 in their Sweet Sixteen game with Washington and sends UConn to the Elite Eight.

38. 2008 Davidson
Stephen Curry, son of former NBA player Del Curry, becomes the star of the 2008 Tournament as he leads his Davidson Wildcats on a memorable run to the elite eight.

Curry scores 40 points in Davidson’s first round matchup with Gonzaga, followed by a 30-point performance in the second round against Georgetown as he outscored the Hoyas 25-22 in the final 14:24 of the second half to lead the Wildcats back from a 17-point deficit, then scored 33 in a rout of Wisconsin in the Sweet Sixteen, and then 25 in a two-point loss to Kansas in the Midwest Regional Final.

37. 1983 Louisville-Kentucky
Meeting for the first time in 24 years, interstate rivals Louisville and Kentucky meet in the Mideast Regional Final for a berth in the Final Four.

The game lives up to the hype as Louisville defeats Kentucky in overtime by the score of 80-68.
After this game, the two schools agreed to play each other annually in the regular season.

36. 1975 UCLA-Kentucky

Head Coach John Wooden retired after leading UCLA to their 10th NCAA title in 1975.

Head Coach John Wooden retired after leading UCLA to their 10th NCAA title in 1975.

In his press conference after his team defeated Louisville 75-74 in overtime in their national semifinal game, UCLA head coach John Wooden announced that he would retire following the title game.

Two days later, the Bruins send Wooden out a winner as UCLA defeated Kentucky 92-85 for their 10th national championship in 12 years all under the helm of “the Wizard of Westwood”.

35. 1986 LSU
The LSU Tigers, a #11 seed out of the Southeast Regional, become the first double digit seed to advance to the Final Four.

Despite their seeding, the Tigers play their first two games at home in Baton Rouge (this was the last year a team got to play tournament games on its home floor) and used the home-court to their advantage as the Tigers knocked off #6 seed Purdue 94-87 in double overtime of their first round game, then forward Anthony Wilson hit a game-winning jump shot as time expired for a 83-81 upset over #3 seed Memphis in the second round.

LSU moved on the Sweet Sixteen in Atlanta where they defeated #2 seed Georgia Tech 79-64 to advance to the Elite Eight where they would face top-seeded Kentucky, a team that had defeated LSU three times during the 1986 season.

Using their “Freak Defense”, the Tigers knocked off the Wildcats 59-57 for a stunning berth in the Final Four where they would be eliminated by eventual national champion Louisville.

34. 1999 Duke-Connecticut
Duke, 37-1 entering the game and 9 ½ point favorites, is shocked by Connecticut 77-74 in the championship game. Richard Hamilton scores 27 points to give the Huskies their first national championship in their initial Final Four appearance.

33. 2001 Hampton-Iowa State
Travis Williams hits a 4-footer with 6.9 seconds remaining completing a 14-2 run over the final eight minutes to give Hampton a 58-57 win over Iowa State, becoming the fourth #15 seed to win a game in the NCAA tournament and producing one of the greatest images in March Madness history as Hampton head coach Steve Merfield is lifted in the air by one of his players in celebration of the upset.

32. 1997 Arizona-Kentucky
Arizona scores all of 10 its overtime points from the free throw line as they defeat the defending national champion Kentucky Wildcats 84-79 for the school’s first national championship.

The upset of Kentucky completes a run where Arizona, a #4 seed out of the Southeast Regional, knocks off three #1 seeds en route to the national championship (Kansas in the Sweet Sixteen, North Carolina in the Final Four, and Kentucky in the Championship Game).

A three-point basket by Scotty Thurman in the final minute lifted Arkansas past Duke for the 1994 NCAA title.

A three-point basket by Scotty Thurman in the final minute lifted Arkansas past Duke for the 1994 NCAA title.

31. 1994 Arkansas-Duke
With the shot clock expiring, Arkansas guard Scott Thurman hits a three-pointer that breaks a 70-70 tie with 52.5 seconds left and pave way for the Razorbacks to win their first national championship as they defeat the Duke Blue Devils 76-72 in the championship game.

30. 1990 Duke-Connecticut
Trailing by one point in overtime, Duke center Christian Laettner inbounds the ball with 2.6 seconds left and gets the ball back to make a leaning jumper at the buzzer to give the Blue Devils a 79-78 win in their East Regional Final against UConn and send Duke to their third consecutive Final Four.

29. 1998 Kentucky-Duke
Playing for the first time since their 1992 epic, Kentucky and Duke play in another classic regional final.

This time, it is the Wildcats who come out on top as they come back from a 17-point second half deficit to defeat the Blue Devils 86-84 and advance to their third straight Final Four, where Kentucky would win its second national title in three years.

28. 2005 Elite Eight
Perhaps the greatest weekend in NCAA Tournament history occurs as three of the four regional finals go into overtime.

First, Louisville overcomes a 20-point first half deficit to defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers 93-85 in overtime of their West Regional Final for their first Final Four berth in 19 years.

This is followed by a remarkable comeback by the Illinois Fighting Illini in the Midwest Regional Final as Illinois goes on a 20-5 run in the final four minutes of regulation to erase a 15-point deficit and then hold on to a 90-89 victory over the Arizona Wildcats.

The third and the last regional final that goes into overtime occurs in the South Regional final between the Michigan State Spartans and the Kentucky Wildcats as Kentucky guard Patrick Sparks  makes a desperation three-pointer at the buzzer that is reviewed for seven minutes to see if Sparks’ foot was on the line or not.

The shot stood and the game went into overtime and then a second before the Spartans finally prevailed with a 94-88 victory, concluding a remarkable Elite Eight.

27. 1991 Richmond-Syracuse
The Richmond Spiders, a notorious giant killer in the Tournament, becomes the first #15 seed to win a NCAA Tournament game as they defeat the #2 seed Syracuse Orangemen 73-69.

The 1991 Richmond Spiders became the first number 15 seed to win a game in the NCAA Tournament when they shocked number two Syracuse.

The 1991 Richmond Spiders became the first number 15 seed to win a game in the NCAA Tournament when they shocked number two Syracuse.

26. 1965 Princeton-Wichita State
Princeton guard and future NBA great Bill Bradley overshadows the national championship game as he scores a Final Four record 58 points in a 118-82 win over Wichita State in the third place game.

Note: There was a consolation game for third place played between the two losers of the national semifinals from 1947-1981.

25. 1963 Loyola-Cincinnati
Loyola University of Chicago comes back from a 45-30 deficit and ties the game at 54 at the end of regulation, and then proceed to win the game in overtime when Vic Rouse put back a missed shot at the buzzer for the 60-58 upset win over the two-time defending national champion Cincinnati Bearcats.

24.  1996 Princeton-UCLA
Using one of its back-door plays the school made famous, Princeton pulls off a 43-41 upset of defending champion UCLA in the first round.

Center Steve Goodrich throws a pass to guard Gabe Lewullis who gets behind Charles O’ Bannon to make the go-ahead basket with four seconds left to give head coach Pete Carril a win in his final appearance in the NCAA tournament.

23. 1989 Princeton-Georgetown
Seven years before its upset of UCLA, Princeton almost pulls off an even bigger upset.

The #16 seeded Tigers lead #1 seed Georgetown for nearly 30 minutes and never fall behind by more than two points in their East Regional first round game against the Hoyas, but are denied a huge upset when Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning blocks Kit Mueller’s last shot at the buzzer to preserve a 50-49 victory for the Hoyas.

It is the closest a #16 seed has come to defeating a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

22. 1981 BYU-Notre Dame
With eight seconds to go and his team trailing Notre Dame by one point, BYU  guard Danny Ainge drives the length of the court in the and makes a game-winning layup for a 51-50 win that sends BYU to the Elite Eight.

21. 1995 UCLA –Missouri
Fourteen years later, UCLA guard Tyus Edney does his best Danny Ainge impersonation as drives the length of the court in the last 4.7 seconds of the game and makes a layup at the buzzer to save the top-seeded Bruins from an early exit as they defeat Missouri 75-74 in their second round matchup.

UCLA would go on to win the national championship, their first in 20 years.


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