The Big East, in its heyday, had more than its fair share of thrilling, memorable, timeless games, but you will be hard-pressed to find one that was better than the 1996 Big East tournament title game.
The buildup to the game was fantastic, as two of the best players in all of college basketball, UConn’s Ray Allen and Georgetown’s Allen Iverson, squared off in a battle between two league powers in a packed Madison Square Garden vying for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
The finish itself was legendary. Allen missed 14 consecutive shots from the floor over the final 28 minutes of the game, but UConn was still able to claw their way back from a 74-63 deficit with less than five minutes remaining.
The Huskies had possession with just 30 seconds left when Allen … well, just watch:
Endings just don’t get better than that, unless you’re a Hoya fan.
Maybe I’m looking into it too much, but the game also served as a passing of the torch. UConn has won four national titles since that game took place, and while Georgetown has won some league titles since then, they’ve never been the same program that they were under John Thompson, Jr.
But hey, that could just be the UConn fan in me talking. This game took place a month before my 11th birthday. It’s still one of the top five moments of my life as a sports fan.
Anyway, if you want to watch the entire game, you can … right here: