1 of 11 Damian Strohmeyer/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
"The Shot" — Duke vs. Kentucky (1992)
Sinking possibly the most famous shot in NCAA tournament history, Duke’s Christian Laettner receives a long inbound pass from Grant Hill and hits a turnaround jumper over a Kentucky defender at the buzzer. The basket propelled the Blue Devils to the Final Four, where they ultimately defeated the Michigan Wolverines to become national champions.
2 of 11 David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Underdogs Have Their Day — Valparaiso vs. Ole Miss (1998)
When you're the head coach of an underdog team, you're probably just happy to have made it to the Big Dance. But in the case of Valparaiso head coach Homer Drew, he also got to see his son hit an incredible game-winning shot that sent the underdogs past Ole Miss in the first round. (They eventually made it to the Sweet 16.) We're surprised the coach didn't wind up at the bottom of the dog pile that formed almost instantly.
3 of 11 Carl Skalak/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
The Upset — Villanova vs. Georgetown (1985)
It was the ultimate David vs. Goliath matchup. The defending champion Georgetown Hoyas, led by Patrick Ewing, took on the lowly eighth seed Villanova Wildcats. The 'Cats played a nearly perfect game, pulling a stunning upset to win the 1985 national championship 66-64. Fun fact! Villanova remains the lowest seed to ever win the title. Bonus fun fact! This was the last college basketball game played without a shot clock.
4 of 11 David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
The Fateful Timeout — UNC vs Michigan (1993)
Michigan's "Fab Five" — Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson — headed into their second straight championship game, this time against North Carolina. Down 73-71 with 11 seconds to play, Michigan's Webber calls a time out. One problem: Michigan didn't have any time outs left. A technical foul was assessed, and North Carolina went on to a 77-71 victory.
5 of 11 Andy Hayt/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
The Tribute — Loyola Marymount's 1990 Run
In 1990, tragedy struck Loyola Marymount University when Hank Gathers, the team's strongest inside player, collapsed on the court and died. The team still earned an 11th seed entry into the NCAA tournament and proceeded to the Elite Eight before being defeated by UNLV. During each game of the tournament, Gathers' friend and teammate, Bo Kimble, shot his first free throw with his left hand, just as Gathers had.
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Jimmy V's Mad Dash — North Carolina State vs. Houston (1983)
Houston's "Phi Slamma Jamma" ran and dunked all over their opponents during the regular season and looked to take home an easy national title. But Jim Valvano and the N.C. State Wolfpack had something to say about it. A desperation heave-turned-alley-oop won the title for the Wolfpack 54-52. But the game's enduring memory is that of Jimmy V running around the court desperately looking for someone to hug.
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Magic vs. Bird — Michigan State vs. Indiana State (1979)
A longtime NBA rivalry was born in the 1979 national title game as Earvin "Magic" Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans took on Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores. It was the title game the country was waiting for, and it perhaps officially turned the NCAA tournament into March Madness. (It's still the highest-rated college basketball game in history.) In the end, Magic and the Spartans won, but the two would continue their rivalry for years in the pros.
8 of 11 James Drake/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Civil Rights History — Texas Western vs. Kentucky (1966)
For the first time, five black men started a national title game, and they were doing it against Adolph Rupp's all-white Kentucky team. The legendary Rupp's program, even back then, was among college basketball's elite. Coached by Don Haskins, Texas Western (now UTEP) cemented its place in history by winning, 72-65. The 2006 film Glory Road dramatized the achievement, with Josh Lucas starring as Haskins.
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Dean Smith Gets His First Title — North Carolina vs. Georgetown (1982)
Tar Heels legend Dean Smith coached at North Carolina for 21 years before his first championship in 1982. The Tar Heels defeated Georgetown with the help of a few future NBA stars: Sam Perkins, James Worthy — and a wiry freshman by the name of Michael Jordan, who made the game-winning shot with 17 seconds left.
10 of 11 John Biever/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
George Mason's 2006 Cinderella Run
Possibly the most improbable run of any team in NCAA tournament history, George Mason, an 11th seed, reached the Final Four after defeating powerhouses Michigan State, North Carolina, and tournament favorite UConn.
11 of 11 Rich Clarkson/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
Bill Walton Dominates — UCLA vs. Memphis State (1973)
UCLA big man Bill Walton showed why he was the best player in the country in the title game. He torched he Memphis State Tigers, scoring 44 points and going 21-of-22 from the field.