75 greatest moments of March Madness: 55-41
The celebration of '75 Years of March Madness' continues as we count down the 75 greatest moments in March Madness history.
|A jubilant Joakim Noah celebrates Florida's 2007 championship win. (Getty Images)|
With all the talk of one-and-done players, and pundits sizing up college players for the NBA draft before the regular season ends, it’s refreshing to see players who love college ball and stick around. That’s why moment No. 41 with the 2007 Florida Gators is my favorite in the 55-41 bunch of the 75 greatest moments in March Madness.
The Gators’ starting five from the previous championship in 2006 -- Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Taurean Green, Corey Brewer and Lee Humphrey -- returned in a show of solidarity and to live up to the challenge of winning back-to-back championships set by coach Billy Donovan . Florida defeated a talented Ohio State team that had Greg Oden in the middle and guard Mike Conley in the backcourt. Donovan’s Fab Five 2.0 South produced a balanced attack with Green leading the way with 16 points in the 75-84 win. That made Florida the first team to win two consecutive championships since Duke Blue Devils in 1992.
Besides the great display of basketball and historic performance, Noah’s celebratory dance during the postgame interview makes me enjoy this win the most. His pure elation after doing something that he had done the season before shows just how grateful he was to win, since a return to the title game is far from a guarantee.
55) 1970. Notre Dame Fighting Irish ’s Austin Carr sets a still-existing tournament record with 61 points in a first-round win over Ohio University.
54) 1986. David “The Admiral” Robinson carries the Navy Midshipmen into the Elite Eight with his 87 points, 37 rebounds and 21 blocks.
53) 1993. Then-freshman Steve Nash and the Santa Clara Broncos put together a 25-0 run to defeat Arizona Wildcats in the first round.
52) 2001. Duke comes back from a 22-point deficit to defeat Maryland Terrapins in the Final Four and set the record for largest Final Four comeback.
51) 1983. A high-flying Houston Cougars team defeats Louisville Cardinals in a fast-paced Final Four matchup.
50) 1989. Michigan Wolverines defeats Seton Hall Pirates 80-79 in an overtime thriller.
49) 1989. No. 16 seed Princeton Tigers narrowly misses defeating No. 1 Georgetown Hoyas in a 50-49 loss.
48) 1961. One year after Oscar Robertson leaves, Cincinnati Bearcats wins the title in overtime against undefeated and defending national champion Ohio State.
47) 1991. Richmond Spiders drops Syracuse Orange and makes history by becoming the first 15 seed to defeat a two seed.
46) 2005. Considered one of the most maddening two days in regional championship games. Two games end in single overtime ( Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Arizona, Louisville vs. West Virginia Mountaineers ), and there's a double-overtime shocker between Michigan State Spartans and Kentucky Wildcats .
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45) 1996. Late-game heroics by Syracuse’s Jason Cipolla and John Wallace help the Orange to a Sweet 16 win over Georgia Bulldogs .
44) 2008. Stephen Curry’s hot hand carries 10th-seeded Davidson past Gonzaga Bulldogs , Georgetown and Wisconsin Badgers to the regional conference finals. He averages 32 points in four games before losing to the eventual champion, Kansas Jayhawks .
43) 1985. Memphis State’s Andre Turner hits two spectacular baskets in the span of 96 hours to pass UAB and Boston and continue on to the Final Four.
42) 1999. Cinderella squad Gonzaga makes a name for itself in a run to the Elite Eight, where it falls to the eventual national champion UConn Huskies.
41) 2007. With all five starters returning, Florida goes on to win a second straight national championship and becomes the second team since Duke to do so.
Tune in to CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. Monday to see moments 40-26 and at 8:30 p.m. for moments 25-11. Use the channel finder to find CBS Sports Network on your television. Also, get all your March Madness kicks throughout the tournament on our NCAA tournament homepage and Facebook page.
CBS Sports researcher John Kollmansperger contributed to this piece.
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