The NCAA men's basketball championship game has featured its ample share of classics over the years. And since Monday would've been the 2020 title game, let's revisit some good memories - although certain schools may object.
In the Fab Five's final game together, Michigan was down two with the shot clock off late in the second half. After Chris Webber got away with a travel, he dribbled into a trap, panicked, and called timeout - a timeout the Wolverines didn't have.
The ensuing technical foul allowed North Carolina to effectively seal the national title.
The first-ever meeting between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird came in the 1979 title game, with Johnson's Michigan State squad prevailing 75-64 over Bird's Indiana State. This matchup, which set television ratings records at the time, remains a cornerstone of basketball history. The two superstars would help save the NBA over the next decade while meeting in The Finals three times.
The poor foul shooting that had plagued Memphis all season came back to haunt the team late against Kansas. With 11 seconds left and Memphis up two, star Derrick Rose missed one of two at the line, allowing Mario Chalmers to force overtime with just the Jayhawks' third trey of the game. Kansas went on to win in extra time, giving coach Bill Self his only national championship.
Butler was a Cinderella of sorts in the spring of 2010, reaching the Final Four on the shoulders of Gordon Hayward and head coach Brad Stevens. In the championship game in their hometown of Indianapolis against No. 1 Duke, they never trailed by more than five points. Then, with Butler down by two as time expired, Hayward's Hail Mary from midcourt clanged off the rim, missing by inches.
It must be said that this contest was played before the NCAA adopted a shot clock, which allowed NC State to hold the ball for such a long time on its final possession against top-ranked Houston. Yet the game-winning alley-oop (or was it a shot?) from Dereck Whittenburg to Thurl Bailey remains a signature moment in March Madness history.
Georgetown was a powerhouse in the 1980s, dominating college basketball and significantly influencing hip-hop culture. After the Hoyas won the title in 1984, few gave Villanova, a No. 8 seed, a chance against them the next season. It took a near-perfect performance to do it, but the Wildcats secured one of the biggest upsets in sports history by shooting an unconscionable 79% and winning 66-64.
Despite the massive upset in 1985, Villanova's championship game lore is headlined by the only NCAA men's title ever clinched with a buzzer-beater. The 2016 final was riveting throughout, as North Carolina stormed back in the final four minutes and tied the game on a Marcus Paige trey with five seconds left.
Then, Kris Jenkins wrote history.