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Memorable Moments in NCAA Men's Tournament history



With March Madness right around the corner, we thought we would take a look at some of the madness of years gone by.

College basketball fans have it made each March. Come March, scores of college hoops fans anxiously anticipate the tip-off to March Madness, which is a widely used nickname for the wildly popular NCAA Tournament, a single-elimination battle featuring 68 teams competing over seven rounds. Each team aspires to win the championship, but only one can walk away with the elusive trophy. That reality ups the ante with each game, and many a nail-biter and memorable moment has taken center stage during the tournament over the years.

As this year's round of madness prepares to tip off, fans can look back at these memorable moments from tournaments past and ponder the many others that have made March such a fun, if frenzied, month.

· Princeton knocks off UCLA, March 14, 1996: Bruins fans may not find this moment all that memorable, but the thirteenth-seeded Tigers' improbable upset of the defending national champions is among the most notable moments in NCAA Tournament history. Princeton's 43-41 win marked the final victory of legendary coach Pete Carril's career, and perhaps no newspaper better summarized the upset than Princeton's student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, which featured the memorable headline "David 43, Goliath 41" the morning after the game.

· "The Shot," March 13, 1998: March Madness fans who eagerly fill out their brackets each March know the matchups featuring a 13 seed are always unpredictable (see above), and that certainly held true in 1998. Down two points with just 2.5 seconds left, Valparaiso shocked the world and sent the University of Mississippi home when guard Bryce Drew, the son of head coach Homer Drew, sank a 23-foot three-pointer as time expired.

· A 16 finally beats a 1, March 16, 2018: Few likely imagined the sixteenth-seeded University of Maryland, Baltimore County defeating the tournament's top overall seed, the University of Virginia, in the opening round, much less doing so in convincing fashion. But that's precisely what the Retrievers did, outscoring the Cavaliers by 20 points in the second half as they cruised to a 74-54 victory and made history as the first 16 seed to defeat a number one seed.

· A halfcourt heave stuns the defending champs, March 14, 1981: There's something about March Madness that compels hoopsters to save their most memorable moments for a game's final seconds, and that's precisely what happened when Arkansas's U.S. Reed stunned the defending champion Louisville Cardinals in the second round. Down a point with six seconds remaining after leading for most of the game, Arkansas was facing dim prospects for advancement. A swarming Louisville press made it unlikely Arkansas was going to get a good shot, and that played out. Reed was forced to heave a 49-footer from a stride or two behind the half court line. The shot improbably went in and the Razorbacks advanced.

· The Heels' hopes are lifted, and then sank, April 4, 2016: Much like UCLA fans would not fondly recall their upset loss to Princeton in 1996, fans of the storied program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill might find it hard to characterize their 77-74 title game defeat at the hands of the Villanova Wildcats as a night to remember. But few title games have featured closing moments as dramatic as this one. After the Tar Heels' Marcus Paige double-clutched and sank a game-tying three pointer with 4.7 seconds left, the Wildcats' Kris Jenkins answered with a buzzer-beating three-pointer of his own, securing Villanova's first national championship since 1985.

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