Hey yo. You know exactly what time of year this is. Now, for the purposes of this adventure, let’s clarify a few things.
- This is not a top-10. The headline does not read Top-10 – just 10.
- Additionally, this is not necessarily a ranking of said 10. Just 10 awesome moments that’ll make you nostalgic for previous NCAA Tournaments that may project what we we’re about to endure with this month’s March Madness. Not everything needs to turn into a Twitter-replies-section debate for us to have a good time.
- If your favorite moment isn’t here, it’s gonna be OK. Life will go on.
Good? Good! Now, let’s play with some emotions.
March 20, 2010: Ali Farokhmanesh💦— PointsBet Iowa (@PointsBetIA) March 20, 2021
It’s been 11 years since Northern Iowa (+11) took down Kansas to reach the Sweet 16!
“You can’t be serious with that shot!”pic.twitter.com/Qf3MWNY4xH
“You can’t be serious with that shot!”
Kansas has made literally every NCAA Tournament since 1990, and every single time, they’ve been the higher seed in round one. As a result, they’ve had some embarrassing losses, and because they’re a blue blood, some of us laugh at them every time. Arguably the best and ballsiest example of this came in 2010.
Kansas was a No. 1 seed in their region – as they normally are – facing ninth-seeded Northern Iowa in round two. Northern Iowa led 63-62 while breaking Kansas’ press with 42 seconds to go. Northern Iowa quickly broke said press, landing the ball in the hands of a senior guard named Ali Farokhmanesh.
As 37 seconds remained – with 30 on the shot clock – you’d figure he’d hold and either get fouled or just milk the clock. But his eyes made love to the net about 24-feet-away, and once Kansas realized he was actually going to take the shot, it was too late. Northern Iowa won 69-67, reaching the Sweet Sixteen for the only time in program history.
Five years ago today, RJ Hunter knocked his dad (and coach) off his stool with a game-winning three 🔥— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 19, 2020
“What are they doing?”
Baylor led Georgia State 56-54 with 14.1 seconds to go in 2015. Ron Hunter, Georgia State’s head coach, tore his Achilles while celebrating the team's Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship days before the NCAA Tournament, so he had been coaching from a stool. His son, RJ Hunter, was the best player on the team and, naturally, had the ball in his hands for the team’s last possession. It was an objectively terrible possession, which caused the commentator to ask aloud, “What are they doing?”
Hunter basically pulled a near 30-foot three-point-attempt with around four seconds left, and made it, giving the 14th-seeded Panthers an upset win over the third-seeded Baylor Bears in round one. More importantly, the stool-sitting Ron Hunter fell on his face in celebration on the sideline.
The Real First Time
Before UMBC stunned Virginia in 2018, becoming the first No. 16 to defeat a No. 1 in the men’s tournament, the Harvard women’s squad made history 20 years earlier. The Crimson went 22-4 during the regular season, and ran into a Pac-10 heavyweight in Stanford, who had been in the previous three Final Fours and won two national championships earlier in the decade.
The win was not only impressive because Harvard matched Stanford blow for blow all night long, but they won in Stanford.
Craziest comeback in March Madness history?— Barstool Bench Mob (@stoolbenchmob) September 29, 2021
In 2016, Texas A&M rallied back from down 12 with 36 seconds left to force OT vs Northern Iowa
Final: Texas A&M 92 UNI 88pic.twitter.com/awYiihgB9K
Alright, let’s play for real
As great as Northern Iowa’s win over Kansas was in 2010, their 2016 loss against Texas A&M was equally as impressive. Northern Iowa, as the No. 11 seed, led third-seeded A&M 69-57 with 44 seconds to go en route to another Sweet Sixteen. And then, an A&M squad, led by a couple seniors you may recognize named Alex Caruso and Danuel House, made the most ridiculous comeback you may have ever seen in such a short span, forcing overtime, and eventually winning 92-88 after multiple OTs.
The first time some of us heard of Florida Gulf Coast was during their 2013 NCAA Tournament run, which earned them the nickname Dunk City. Why? Because these dudes were catching bodies on a seemingly improbable run to the Sweet Sixteen. FGC wasn’t even a Division I school until 2007, but as a 15-seed in 2013, they tomahawked their way to a 78-68 victory over No. 2 Georgetown – Otto Porter’s last college game – and continued raising hell against No. 7 San Diego State, alley-ooping their way to an 81-71 win.
They lost to No. 3 and inner-state foe Florida 62-50, but made a memorable enough run that people still call them Dunk City to this day. They even pissed off Joakim Noah, who was in attendance, before bowing out gracefully. Thankfully, Kevin Harlan was the perfect broadcaster to take us on this experience. If there’s anything to bring in the casual observer, it’s a bunch of dudes you’ve never heard of just unexpectedly yamming on people.
Three years ago today, Mississippi State stunned unbeaten UConn in overtime at the Final Four.— ESPN (@espn) March 31, 2020
The Huskies had won 111 straight games 🤯 pic.twitter.com/D39SdrhdnW
No room for 112
UConn had 111 straight wins heading into the 2017 Final Four, including the previous four-straight NCAA titles. A team including future WNBA’ers Kia Nurse, Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier, Crystal Dangerfield and Saniya Chong led UConn to wins of 116-55, 94-64, 86-71 and 90-52 heading into their match-up with Mississippi State. The Bulldogs had just gotten by Baylor in overtime in their Elite Eight game.