75 greatest moments of March Madness: 10-1
After counting down the greatest March Madness moments, the time has come to announce the greatest of them all.
In our 75 Greatest Moments of March Madness countdown, Christian Laettner’s shot against Kentucky to help Duke win a regional championship is heralded as the No. 1 moment in March Madness history. However, there’s another moment that stands out to me even more.
When North Carolina State hit the game-winning shot to drop top dog Houston in the national championship, tears of joy swelled in my eyes. There’s something about the underdog defeating the giant that resonates with most. That’s because most people probably see themselves as the underdog in life, especially if they aren’t their own bosses, don’t make the big bucks or aren’t always the most respected voice in the room. Therefore, when the underdog wins a game as big as this, in such dramatic fashion, it provides hope for underdogs everywhere.
Not only did the Wolfpack become an inspiration for many, but 10 years later coach Jim Valvano became the personification of hope when he delivered seven famous words at the 1993 ESPY’s before dying of cancer.
“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”
Spoken like a true champion and the leader of one of the greatest moments in NCAA tournament history.
8) 1982. In the title game, Michael Jordan hits the game-winning shot and then Georgetown’s Fred Brown throws the ball into the hands of Tar Heels star James Worthy. That mistake and Jordan’s shot gives Dean Smith his first national championship as a head coach.
7) 1973. UCLA’s Bill Walton has an almost perfect game from the field, hitting 21 of 22 shots in the championship game in a win over Memphis State.
5) 1966. UTEP makes a social statement by starting five African-American players and defeating all-white Kentucky in the championship game.
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4) 1983. David triumphs over Goliath as the North Carolina State Wolfpack defeats a heavily favored Houston squad with a buzzer beater in the championship game. At the buzzer, a jubilant N.C. State coach Jim Valvano runs aimlessly on the floor looking for someone to celebrate the moment with.
3) 1979. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird do battle in the highest-rated televised college basketball game ever. Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans beat Bird’s previously unbeaten Indiana State Sycamores to win the national championship.
1) 1992. Duke’s Christian Laettner hits one of the most famous game-winning, buzzer-beating shots in college basketball history to deliver a 10-for-10 performance from the field and free-throw line in a 104-103 overtime win over Kentucky in the regional finals. The Blue Devils go on to win the national championship over Michigan.
Did you miss a great moment? Use the channel finder to find CBS Sports Network on your television to see encore presentations. Also, get all your March Madness kicks throughout the tournament on our NCAA tournament home page and Facebook page.
Are there moments on here that we missed? Who would you have picked? Make your voice heard in the comment section below or on Twitter @Hoopsoncbs. You can also follow Adena Andrews on Twitter @adena_andrews.
CBS Sports researcher John Kollmansperger contributed to this piece.
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