Since the NCAA Division I Tournament is upon us, I figured I would post my five favorite games from March Madness to get not only myself excited for the tournament, but for you the readers.
*Note: These will not be in order, it’s just my five favorite
University of North Carolina-University of Kentucky: Elite 8 2017
As a UNC fan, this game went from scary to jubilation in mere seconds. Kentucky had just tied the game at 73 after scoring on a three pointer and I thought to myself “Well, this is going into overtime.” UNC ran down the court getting the ball into Luke Maye’s hands and he scored with 0.3 seconds left in the game. I was in a bar, being the only UNC fan in a bar filled with UK fans, and I saw them jumping and screaming over them tying the score, but I had never seen it go so quiet once Maye scored that basket and my voice was the only one screaming. An incredible wave of emotions. Otherwise it was such a great game to watch as it was so back and forth and the fact that it came down to the last seconds of play.
Gonzaga-UNC: Championship 2017
The year before ended in heartbreak. This one was great as UNC was able to give their fans the championship that alluded them the year before. But don’t get me wrong, it was not an easy game to watch as it was very close. Gonzaga was a very good team and at one point I thought they were going to win it. It was as late as 27 seconds left in the game that UNC was ahead by only one point, but they came away with a win and with the national championship.
University of Alabama-Birmingham-Iowa State: Round of 64 2015
This game was a power struggle and having been in Birmingham two years earlier, this one meant a lot to me as friends had lost the football program and people were still bitter about it. This win in the tournament was absolutely needed for those in the Magic City. Honestly, in terms of fundamentals, it was not a good game. However, in terms of the how exciting the game was, it was incredible. UAB could not shoot a three all game until Robert Brown nailed one with under a minute to go. While it was not the game winner, it was the difference in the game as UAB pulled off the upset.
Maryland-Indiana: Championship 2002
This was back when I was a Maryland fan. This team I loved as it had my all time favorite College Basketball player in Juan Dixon, and it also featured Steve Blake, Chris Wilcox, and Lonny Baxter. That team was deep and very talented. The game seemed closer than the score suggested, but at the time this was the single greatest game I had watched (Yeah, this might be a bit biased).
George Mason-UConn: Elite 8 2006
There will never be a better and incredible game as this one. No other game, no matter who plays, will top this game. George Mason was making a cinderella run, but they had to face the mighty UConn Huskies in the Elite 8 in order to make the Final Four. UConn was clearly more talented, but George Mason wanted it more. The wave of emotions was all over the place. Watching players like Lamar Butler and Jai Lewis who led this team to this moment and the coolest part of this was everyone in the D.C. area was cheering on the team. When the final buzzer went off and George Mason won, it was as if they had just won the National Championship. It was a really special moment and if anyone could understand the magnitude of this and why there could never be a game more incredible than this one.