After a dizzying start to the Round of 64 on Thursday, a day of buzzer-beaters, Jimmermania and Morehead State staking its claim to a glass slipper, I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more March Madness.
But since I’m going on vacation next week, I couldn’t justify taking a sick day today to sit on my couch, a barstool or maybe even a plane to Las Vegas to watch today’s slate of NCAA tournament games.
Stuck in a cubicle and tasked with hammering out my weekly Five for Friday post, I’m going to make the most of it by highlighting the five most memorable NCAA tournament moments of the past 20 years. Why the past 20 years? It’s a nice, round number, and I didn’t start storing stuff in my sports memory bank until about 1990. But if you can remember March Madness memories from before then, please share them in the comments section.
5. Mario Chalmers saves Kansas: In the 2008 national championship game, Kansas overcame a nine-point deficit in the final three minutes of play and stunned Memphis in overtime, and it was Chalmers’ big shot at the end of regulation that capped off the comeback. The Kansas point guard caught a pass from teammate Sherron Collins and drained a straight-away three-pointer over a pair of Memphis defenders to beat the buzzer and keep hope alive.
4. Tyus Edney’s mad dash: Top-ranked UCLA, which went 26-1 in the regular season, trailed Missouri in their second-round matchup by a point with 4.8 seconds left on the clock. Edney, a five-foot-10 guard, caught an inbounds pass under his own basket and sprinted the length of the floor to bank home the game-winning lay-up before the final horn sounded. Led by Edney, the Bruins went on to win their 11th national championship.
3. George Mason plays Cinderella: Five years ago, 11th-seeded George Mason shocked the sports world with its unlikely run to the Final Four that busted brackets and captivated the country. The mid-major Patriots took down perennial powerhouses Michigan State, North Carolina and top-seeded Connecticut before losing to Florida, the eventual champion, in the Final Four. Not too shabby for a team in Towson’s conference.
2. Chris Webber’s timeout that wasn’t: The subject of one of ESPN’s “30 For 30” documentaries, the Fab Five has been a hot topic this week. Led by Webber, Michigan advanced to the national championship game in 1993 and trailed North Carolina by two points down the stretch. Webber, who scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the final, got trapped on the sideline and requested a timeout he didn’t have. A technical foul was called, North Carolina took advantage of the gift and Webber became one of the biggest goats in sports history.
1. Christian Laettner’s buzzer-beater: In an unforgettable moment that will be on the highlight packages as long as there is an NCAA tournament, the Duke big man ripped out Kentucky’s heart on a miraculous play in the 1992 Elite Eight. With 2.1 seconds left, Laettner caught Grant Hill’s Hail-Mary pass at the foul line, dribbled once, spun to his right and buried a dagger as time expired. Duke went on to win a second straight national title.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun