Most Memorable March Madness Moments

Basketball
Basketball

 

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March Madness is a sporting event unlike any other. Each year, the tournament is full of incredible storylines, from improbable upsets to seemingly impossible last-second buzzer beaters.

Although incredible, awe-inspiring plays are typically put on display, several moments stand out over the years. Take a look at some of the most memorable moments in March Madness history, and get excited for this year’s tournament!

Christian Laettner and “The Shot”
Christian Laettner’s buzzer-beating jump shot to lift Duke over Kentucky in 1992 may be among the most recognizable plays in all of sports history. Fun fact: Even though this was a game-winning shot, it didn’t take place during the championship game. Laettner and the Blue Devils were battling the Wildcats for a regional title, and he could not have come up bigger for his team. Duke would go on to beat Michigan that year for the championship.

The 1979 national championship game
It was a year that would live on in college basketball infamy (at least in the hearts of true fans). The championship game in 1979 pitted Michigan State and its prolific star player, Magic Johnson, against Larry Bird and Indiana State. Though Indiana State entered the game boasting a perfect record, Johnson and the Spartans rose to the occasion and took home the title. The game, at the time, was the most highly watched college basketball game in history.

The 1966 national championship game
In 1966, college basketball remained a relatively segregated sport in the midst of the civil rights movement. The national championship game that year was not a typical matchup, as the lineups reflected the tension that existed in America’s social culture at that point: The University of Texas, El Paso, squared off against Kentucky. Kentucky’s starting lineup featured five white student athletes while UTEP started five African-American players. Ultimately, UTEP would emerge victorious in a memorable evening of basketball.

1975 national championship game and John Wooden
John Wooden is one of the most storied coaches in all of college sports. The legendary UCLA coach won 10 national championships throughout his career. In his final game as coach, the 1975 national championship, Wooden and his Bruins played a spirited and emotional game to drop the Kentucky Wildcats. Having retired following the game, Wooden solidified his legacy among basketball immortals.