The shortest month of the year is now behind us, while the most intense month, at least for basketball fans, is now heating up.
High school or college, the men and the women, offer fans plenty to cheer about throughout the tournament month. The real March Madness kicks into high gear on St. Patrick’s Day, also this year’s NCAA Men’s Selection Sunday, when the 68-team field is announced.
From there, over the course of 19 days and arenas from coast to coast, the games will bring hope—last year’s Michigan game against Houston—and heartbreak—Michigan again, in the championship tilt against Villanova.
This year’s tourney, culminating with the title game in Minneapolis on April 8, is certain to pit the best against the best, though there are typically plenty of amazing moments along the way.
Some of the best March Madness moments include:
- Michigan State. Spartan fans still talk about their team’s run to the 2010 Final Four, including the back and forth affair with the Maryland Terrapins. When the Terps took the lead with under ten seconds to play, Korie Lucious, a sophomore guard from Milwaukee hit a three-point shot to send MSU to the next round.
- Northern Iowa. There were other memorable finishes in 2016, but perhaps none more remarkable than the final second heroics from Panthers’ ace Paul Jesperson. Up against the fourth seed Texas Longhorns, and the prospect of overtime, Jesperson let go with a half-court shot at the buzzer to send his team forward.
- Northwestern State. Some Big Ten teams have been on the wrong end of the heroics. The Iowa Hawkeyes absorbed a heartbreaking loss to the Northwestern State Demons in 2006, when Jermaine Lewis put up a fade away three-point shot, beating the clock and the Hawkeyes in the first round.
- Duke. No list of great moments is complete without a mention of the Blue Devils, and no Blue Devil moment is bigger than the win over North Carolina in 1992. Collecting a long inbounds pass, big man Christian Laettner turned to toss up a prayer. His prayer answered, Laettner led his team to a championship win the following week over Michigan’s vaunted Fab Five.
- Michigan. Jordan Poole was not supposed to take the final shot in the Wolverines game against Houston. Nonetheless, the freshmen somehow snatched victory from what looked like certain defeat, in the process cementing one the team’s most celebrated tournament victories.
There are plenty of great moments to relive from games gone by. But as surely as these memories come to mind, there will be others to add in the march to the national championship of 2019.