75th Anniversary Part I: NCAA names 35 Greatest March Madness Moments


As part of its celebration of 75 years of March Madness, the NCAA released a list detailing the Top 35 moments, the Top 25 teams, and Top 75 players. The NCAA did not order the moments, rather deciding to put them in chronological order, so we here at CBT decided we might take on a challenge during Finals Week and rank them.

We begin with the list itself, as laid out by the NCAA:

1939– Oregon wins first NCAA tournament
1963– Loyola (Ill.) vs. Mississippi State
1966– A win for Civil Rights–Texas Western’s 72-65 victory against Kentucky
1973– Walton leads Bruins to title
1974– N.C. State ends UCLA’s run
1975– Wooden goes out with 10th title
1976– Indiana wins the title — perfectly
1977– Marquette’s McGuire goes out on top
1979– Magic vs. Bird
1981– Ainge’s full-court drive leads BYU last-second win
1981– U.S. Reed, Rolando Blackman and John Smith
1982– Jordan hits game-winner to lead North Carolina
1983– NC State’s last second win against Houston
1985– Andre Turner: Twice a hero
1985– Villanova upsets Georgetown
1987– Indiana’s Smart shocks Syracuse
1989– Rumeal Robinson seals Michigan victory
1990– Loyola Marymount’s Bo Kimble shoots lefty
1990– UConn’s Tate George beats Clemson in final seconds
1990– Laettner…before the Kentucky game
1991– Duke upsets UNLV
1991– No. 15 Richmond makes history
1992– Laettner hits last-second shot against Kentucky
1995– Tyus Edney saves UCLA
1996– Mile High Madness: Syracuse beats Georgia in OT
1998– The Bryce Drew shot — Valpo upsets Ole Miss
1998– Rip rips the hearts out of the Washington Huskies
1999– The nation meets Gonzaga
2001– Hampton coach Steve Merfeld gets a lift
2005– Regional Finals for the ages
2006– George Mason reaches Final Four
2008– Kansas comes back in closing minutes to win title
2010– Butler comes oh so close
2011– VCU goes from First Four to the Final Four
2012– Twice in one day? Afraid so, Missouri and Duke

Click here to read the descriptions of each.

So what about a Top 10? Here is CBT’s list:

10) 15th seed Richmond makes history

9) Villanova upsets Georgetown

8 ) George Mason reaches Final Four

7) Loyola (Ill.) vs. Mississippi State

6) Jordan hits game-winner to lead UNC

5) Bryce Drew’s shot lifts Valpo

4) Magic vs. Bird

3) LMU’s Bo Kimble shoots lefty

2) Christian Laetnner’s last shot against Kentucky

1) NC State’s last-second win over Houston

Disagree? Make your own list in the comments section and share your thoughts.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Reports: Rhode Island’s Dan Hurley mulling UConn, Pitt options

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Even before Rhode Island’s NCAA tournament came to an end Saturday in the Round of 32 against Duke, speculation was running wild about the future of Rams coach Dan Hurley.

Stay or go. If it’s go, where to?

There was no clarity, but maybe some progress Monday.

Both Connecticut and Pittsburgh, the prime candidates to pry Hurley away from Rhode Island, spoke with the coach, but no decision had yet been reached, according to multiple reports.

Hurley was set to meet with Rams athletic director Thorr Bjorn on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. Heart Connecticut Media’s Jeff Jacobs reported that UConn was “closing in on an agreement” with Hurley but that Pitt was continuing its pursuit.

Hurley has led the Rams to the NCAA tournament the last two years and signed a seven-year contract with Rhode Island worth approximately $1 million per year last off-season. UConn was paying Kevin Ollie, who led the team to the 2014 NCAA title before being fired after this season, an average of $3 million per season while Kevin Stallings reportedly was due a buyout of nearly $10 million when he was fired by Pitt this season.

What Hurley will have to weigh beyond the financial circumstances will be his ability to win at either UConn or Pitt, should he decide to move on from Rhode Island.

Ollie – well, really Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright – showed you can win a national title out of the AAC at UConn. The league adding Wichita State only strengthens that point. Pitt, meanwhile, may be a tougher job now than it was when Jamie Dixon had it rolling since their move from the Big East to the ACC.

CBT Podcast: Recapping the first weekend of the 2018 NCAA Tournament

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Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic joined Rob Dauster for an epic, two-hour podcast on the first weekend of the tournament. It was so good that we had to split the podcast into two parts. On this show, the two go through everything that happened in the South and West Regions, from Sister Jean to UMBC to Nevada’s comebacks to Kentucky’s chances at a Final Four.

On this show, the two go through everything that happened in the East and Midwest Regions, from Villanova and Duke steamrolling to Michigan State collapsing to Syracuse and Clemson and Texas Tech and Purdue. It’s all in there.

2018 NCAA Tournament: Eight viral heroes from first weekend of March Madness

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One of my favorite parts of the NCAA tournament is seeing who comes out of nowhere to turn into a viral celebrity during this month of madness.

By my estimation, we had eight true candidates for the award of March Madness Viral Celebrity of the Year. Here they are:


He was more fired up for Houston’s success in the tournament than any Houston fan in the history of basketball in the city of Houston.


Jordan Poole is spelled a lot like Jordan Peele, which inevitably led to people tweeting at Peele instead of Poole. Peele’s thank you tweet was a highlight of the first weekend.


Having to answer questions from a bunch of reporters after suffering the most humiliating moment of your life is not an easy thing to do. Having to answer ridiculous and stupid questions could be intolerable, which is why I loved Ty Jerome’s response to a stupid question he was asked:


I loved seeing Robert Williams’ teammate do a panotmine windmill in the background while Williams was throwing down a windmill in real time on Providence:


Nevada head coach Eric Musselman has led his team to the Sweet 16, cussed on live television and gone shirtless to celebrate with his team, but the star of the Musselman family is his daughter Mariah:


He really does have great hair:

2. @UMBCAthletics

This dude lived the dream of every twitter user out there. When your shot is there, you have to take it.


Mic drop:

VIDEO: Eric Musselman celebrates Nevada win without a shirt

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Nevada head coach Eric Musselman went shirtless to celebrate his team’s come-from-behind win over No. 2 seed Cincinnati on Sunday.

I guess this is better than dropping F-bombs live on national TV. Maybe that’s why they had Steve Lappas talking over him …

Penny Hardaway to be named next Memphis head coach

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The worst-kept secret in college basketball no longer appears to be a secret: Penny Hardaway is going to be the next coaching at the University of Memphis.

ESPN is reporting that a deal has been agreed upon. The Memphis Commercial-Appeal is reporting that Penny was waiting for his season to end with East High School before he made anything official. NBC Sports can confirm that an announcement is expected to be made early this week, likely as soon as Tuesday, to introduce the former Memphis and NBA star as Tubby Smith’s replacement.

The truth, however, is that we all knew this was what would be happening the second that Memphis formally fired Tubby Smith. Hell, we knew it a month before that decision was made final. This was always how it was going to play out.

What’s interesting to me is now the discussion of whether or not Penny will be able to handle being a Division I head coach, because it’s been hit or miss with basketball programs hiring legends of their past. Chris Mullin and St. John’s hasn’t exactly gone to plan but Fred Hoiberg was quite successful at Iowa State. Kevin Ollie won a title with UConn then fell off a cliff. Patrick Ewing’s start wasn’t great, but he was better than expected.

Where does Penny fall on this scale?

Well, let me just drop this section of a column from Geoff Calkins in here:

Hardaway isn’t a guy who woke up one morning and decided he’d like to be a Division I head coach. He’s not a former player who got bored with retirement and decided he’d like to do something other than play golf.

Hardaway started coaching at middle school. Middle school! Because an old friend needed some help.

Then he built one of the best AAU programs in the country. Then he spent years coaching a high school team.

Does that sound like someone who doesn’t want to roll up his sleeves and do the work? Does that sound like someone who is just in it for the glory and the glitz?

The truth is, if it weren’t for Hardaway’s iconic stature, he might be characterized as a grinder, as a guy who worked his way up from the lowest levels of basketball on the strength of his relationship with the kids.

I think that this is going to work out for both Penny and Memphis, especially if Penny hires a staff that can help him with the intricacies of running a college basketball program.