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Throwback Thursday: Our favorite NCAA tournament moments

Xavier v Kansas State

Xavier v Kansas State

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Raphielle Johnson: This one’s my favorite for multiple reasons. One, there’s the time. Eight tenths of a second remaining, and in that spot one would assume that the ball needs to be thrown towards the basket. Two, there’s the difficulty of the shot. James Forrest catches the ball looking away from the basket and had to catch, turn and shoot quickly. Lastly, there’s the late Al McGuire yelling “holy mackerel.”

Rob Dauster: This was my favorite game in NCAA tournament history where I had no rooting interest. And this was the best moment. I still get chills listening to Gus Johnson lose his mind:


T-Payne: Back in 2000, Butler was just a Cinderella-in-waiting. Florida’s Mike Miller threw up this shot in the lane for the game-winner. This is significant moment to me because this was the first time I ended up being “sick” during Thursday and Friday of the NCAA Tournament. The Gators went on to make Billy Donovan’s first Final Four. Butler assistant Thad Matta took over the next year. Whatever happened to him?

Thankfully this play happened in 2000. Fifteen years later, Miller probably gets called for a charge.


Scott Phillips: The first time I filled out my own bracket was 1995. Eight-year-old Scott entered his Dad’s office pool with UCLA winning the national title. I was somehow in position to win the pool if UCLA beat Arkansas. I lasted until halftime before falling asleep and being carried to bed. Knowing how much the outcome of this game meant to me, my mom wrote a note and left it on my bedroom door for the next morning. My alarm went off at 6:55 a.m. so I could watch SportsCenter like I did every morning before school.

On the yellow paper on my bedroom door, my Mom’s note read,

“UCLA 89
Arkansas 78
Ed O’Bannon 30 points
You picked the winner sweetie!”

I euphorically ran downstairs, watched the highlights and went nuts over Toby Bailey’s reverse dunk. I’d never felt so proud. I’ve been obsessed with March Madness ever since.