The New Year is here! To help you reminisce about the basketball that was during 2013, here is a list of the top ten games of the year.
What did we miss? What shouldn’t be on the list? Why are we smart or dumb or haters or biased? Let us know in the comments:
1. Luke Hancock outshines Spike Albrecht: In the most exciting national title games this side of Mario Chalmers, Spike Albrecht, Michigan’s no-name back-up point guard, did his best Trey Burke impression as he scored 17 first half points to give the Wolverines a double-digit first half lead which was erased in the span of two minutes as Luke Hancock went all Spike Albrecht on Michigan, hitting four threes and turning this back into a ball game.
Louisville would eventually go on to win the national title, but that first half will go down as one of the most exciting, unpredictable 20 minutes of basketball that I have ever seen.
2. Hinkle Magic?: On College Gameday, Butler and Gonzaga -- the nation’s two preeminent mid-major programs -- squared off in a thriller that ended with Roosevelt Jones making one of the most unlikely buzzer-beaters you’ll ever see:
3. Jerian Grant brings Notre Dame all the way back: Notre Dame knocked off Louisville in a five overtime game last February in a game that was less great basketball than it was memorable. But the highlight of the game? Grant went for 12 points in 28 seconds to erase an eight-point lead in the final minute of regulation:
4. No. 1 Indiana falls at Illinois: Playing for their NCAA tournament lives, Illinois knocked off Indiana on this buzzer-beating layup from Tyler Griffey:
5. Indiana wins the Big Ten: Indiana won the 2013 outright Big Ten title in a thrilling, 72-71 win over Michigan in Ann Arbor. Cody Zeller went for 25 points and 10 boards, hitting the game-winner with 13 seconds left on the clock.
6. Kansas doesn’t believe in Hilton’s Magic: Elijah Johnson scored 18 of his 39 points in a game-changing, 21-9 run as the Jayhawks once again avoided getting upset by Iowa State with a 108-96 win in overtime.
7. Ben Brust forces overtime: This entire list could end up being made up of games from the Big Ten regular season, but there may not have been a more impressive shot made all year than this buzzer-beater:
8. Speaking of half-court buzzer-beaters:
9. Wichita State upsets No. 1 Gonzaga: We all knew that Wichita State could play heading into the tournament, but they solidified themselves as one of the strongest mid-major programs in the conutry with a run to the Final Four. That run got started with an upset of Gonzaga that featured a game-changing nine-possession stretch where Gonzaga scored 23 points.
10. Belmont beats Murray State: Belmont’s Kerron Johnson hit two huge shots down the stretch, including a game-winner with 1.2 seconds left, as the Bruins knocked off Murray State and Isaiah Canaan to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.