I used to think that the Princeton-Georgetown game in 1989 was the best college basketball game I ever witnessed. The Tigers fought a heavily favored Georgetown team to a draw. That game enhanced the already solid reputation of Princeton coach Pete Carril and introduced Alonzo Mourning to the nation.
Now, after watching Syracuse beat Connecticut in six overtimes -- six freaking overtimes -- the game on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden was better. I don't think I've ever seen anything more dramatic or hard fought in over 20 years of watching the sport.
I'm not sure how these two teams had any energy remaining by the sixth overtime let alone the third or fourth or fifth but they did. Players fouled out, there were sloppy moments at times towards the end but both of those things are expected considering the length of the game.
Is it an overstatement to say this game was one of the better displays of toughness and courage we saw in sports all year? The last time we witnessed something so spectacular was when Michael Phelps won his eight gold medals.
Yes, I'm putting it in that category. Go ahead and fire up the message boards.
We've really seen nothing like this before and I'm not certain what the repercussions will be for either team in the tournament. This is the type of inspirational victory than can push Syracuse far or cause them to be exhausted and falter earlier in the NCAA than expected. My guess: We're going to hear a lot more from this Syracuse team.
Two of the best moments came in the sixth overtime. Connecticut players were still diving on the floor for loose balls and Syracuse made most of its free throws at the end despite being utterly exhausted.
The game was over 3 hours and 40 minutes long and ended well after 1 a.m.
What a game. What an incredible moment in college basketball history.