The 2010 NCAA tournament was a memorable one if, for no other reason, it kickstarted the trend of mid-major programs making a run to the Final Four.
Butler made their first of two back-to-back national title game appearances that year, setting the stage for VCU and Wichita State to do the same in the coming seasons. All three programs have since been launched to the high-major level, even if Butler is trying to survive with Brad Stevens now at the NBA level.
There were plenty of moments during that tournament that should stand out to college hoops fans: Gordon Hayward’s half-court, national title-winner that bounced off the front of the rim; Omar Samhan’s shot to relevance; Ali Farokhmanesh with the dumbest, most glorious three you’ll ever see; Cornell’s run to the Sweet 16.
What I’ll always remember, however, was the battle that No. 2 seed Kansas State and No. 6 seed Xavier had in the Sweet 16 that year as Xavier’s back court of Jordan Crawford (32 points) and Tu Holloway (26 points, six assists) came up just short as K-State’s Jacob Pullen (28 points) and Denis Clemente (25 points, five assists) made just enough plays down the stretch to earn the win.
The most memorable moment in that game? Crawford’s bomb to force the second overtime, which was punctuated by Gus Johnson screaming … well, nothing of note, but that doesn’t matter.
Because look how deep that three Crawford hit was: