With March Madness only two weeks away, basketball fans are getting primed and ready for the excitement. The NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament brings together 68 college basketball teams to compete in one of the most important and beloved basketball tournaments in the United States. The ecstasy caused by March Madness is comparable to professional events organized by the National Basketball Association. In preparation for 2023’s tournament, we will go over some of the most iconic moments in the history of March Madness. So, without further ado, let us look at the best moments in NCAA history.
Cinderella stories are a huge part of sports. Most sports films tell stories of underdogs whose spirit overcomes a stronger opponent. The underdog team/player is also a hugely popular betting choice. Not only does it feel good supporting the team with lower chances, but it also can lead to a pretty hefty monetary payout. And with online betting growing in popularity, there are now a lot of alternatives from Bovada to choose from. Bovada is one of the most popular online bookies, and the linked sites provide similar odds, bonuses, and experiences.
When it comes to NCAA Cinderella stories, there is no event more iconic than Villanova’s 1985 NCAA basketball title victory. Led by Patrick Ewing, Georgetown was the undisputed favorite to win the match and the title. However, Dwayne McClain’s plays caused the Wildcats to rush past Georgetown and upset the balance. Scoring a miracle shot, 79% from the field, Dwayne McClain went down in history as an absolute legend during the match.
Power ranking can be a fun pastime for many fans of basketball. And while power-ranking the NBA teams is certainly a blast, measuring NCAA performances can be just as interesting. Player performances are essential to power ranking, so record-breaking performances are certainly awe-inspiring. And when it comes to the NCAA, no performance is more impressive than Christian Laettner’s 1992 buzzer-beater. The iconic shot won the game for Duke university and cemented Laettner as one of the greatest players of his era.
As much as we want to say sport is about athleticism, drama is undoubtedly a significant component. Soccer fans get much more excited during the Manchester Derby. No games in football are more iconic than The Bears vs. The Packers. Sports fans want to see some competitive rivalry.
In NCAA history, we have seen quite a few iconic rivalry games. One such event came in 1992 when the Michigan Fabulous Five faced off against Duke. For those who may not know, the Fab Five was a team composed of all-freshmen stars; controversial antics garnered attention and criticism, but their talent was indisputable. Still, the game against Duke did not swing their way. The Fab Five lost by 20 points, and Duke moved on in the competition.
However, the Fab Five match is certainly not the most iconic rivalry game in the NCAA. That honor, undoubtedly, goes to the Game of the Century. Played in 1968 between the Houston Cougars and the UCLA Bruins, this iconic game was the first college ball game to be broadcast nationwide. Understandably, the match garnered a lot of attention and set the standard for “March Madness” coverage. In a relatively close call, the Houston Cougars won with a final score of 69 – 71. The importance of the game cannot be understated, as it was not only a fantastic experience but also a crucial game in the development of college football and the NCAA.
March Madness Upsets
Finally, we are looking at significant upsets that college basketball fans remember to this day. For example, U.S. Reed’s incredible buzzer-beater during the 1981 NCAA Tournament led to his team beating the defending champions.
More recently, in 2012, C. J. McCollum stole the show by playing some of the best player stats during a match between Lehigh and Duke. The young player scored 30 awe-inspiring teams and turned the game in his school’s favor. The final score ended in a 75 – 70 in one of the decade’s most spectacular and exciting matches.
And it was only five or so years ago that UMBC’s Retrievers defeated the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in what has been called one of the greatest upsets in college football history. To this day, many remember that iconic upset. It is undoubtedly a highlight of college basketball.
These are only some of the countless iconic moments and games during the NCAA’s long and storied existence. Many of these games are still some of the greatest in March Madness history. We only hope that the 2023 event can reach the same highs as these spectacles.