The Scout examined the top five greatest moments from NCAA tournament history:
5. 2010 Butler Bulldogs
In one of the most improbable runs in tournament history, the Butler Bulldogs out of the Horizon League bested national powers Syracuse, Kansas State and Michigan State to advance all the way to the national title game in their home city of Indianapolis. A Gordon Hayward prayer from half court was almost answered as time expired, but Butler fell to Duke 61-59.
4. 1979 Michigan State-Indiana State
Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores became the first mid-major school to advance to the National Championship game in the modern era of the tournament. Standing in their way was Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans. In the game that put March Madness on the map, Johnson’s Spartans beat Bird’s Sycamores 75-64, foreshadowing future showdowns in the NBA.
3. 1992 Duke-Kentucky
It’s one of the most replayed shots in the history of basketball. With 2.1 seconds remaining and Duke trailing Kentucky 103-102, the Blue Devil’s Grant Hill threw a length-of-the-court pass to teammate Christian Laettner at the top of the key. Laettner dribbled once and hit a turnaround jumper as time expired to send Duke back to the Final Four for the fifth straight season.
2. 1985 Villanova-Georgetown
The 8th-seeded Villanova Wildcats matched up with the defending national champions and heavily favored Georgetown Hoyas in the title game. Georgetown’s big man and future No. 1 overall pick Patrick Ewing had led the Hoyas to a 35-2 record entering the game. Villanova played the perfect game, shooting 78 percent from the field to win 66-64 becoming the lowest seed to ever win a NCAA Tournament.
1. 1983 N.C. State-Houston
N.C. State completed a magical run by defeating Houston and their “Phi Slamma Jamma” team in the National Championship 54-52. N.C. State’s Lorenzo Charles caught Derrick Whitenberg’s 3-point air ball and dunked it home as time expired to give the Wolfpack the win. After the winning basket, coach Jimmy Valvano ran onto the floor looking for someone to hug in one of the most iconic images in tournament history.