Ahead of the return of NCAA March Madness in under a month, we’re taking a look at the best moments in competition history.
According to sportsbooks, Houston are +650 favorites to win the championship ahead of Purdue (+900), Alabama (+1000), Kansas (+1200), Tennessee (+1400) and UCLA (+1400).
Last year, Kansas took the crown and won a fourth championship in 2008 after beating Caleb Love’s North Carolina who are +4000 to get over the hump and win a ring.
Best NCAA March Madness Moments
5. Michael Jordan’s championship-winning shot
On March 29, 1982, a legend was born as 19-year-old North Carolina freshman Michael Jordan knocked down a 16-foot jumper with 15 seconds remaining to win a championship for the Tar Heels.
After the game, Jordan told reporters: “To tell the truth, I didn’t see it go in. I didn’t want to look.”
On this day 37 years ago, Michael Jordan knocked down the game-winning shot in the #NationalChampionship vs. Patrick Ewing's Georgetown squad. 🐐#MarchMadness | @UNC_Basketball pic.twitter.com/qhVPAtCdCS
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 29, 2019
4. UMBC beat Virginia with the greatest upset in NCAA history
Heading into the first round of the NCAA tournament in March 2018, the number one seed Virginia (31-2) did not expect their journey to end against the number 16 seed UMBC.
Despite being +2500 on the money line, UMBC pulled off the greatest upset in college basketball history and not only beat, but blew out the top seed and tournament favorites in the first round.
#OTD in 2018: @UMBCAthletics stunned No. 1 Virginia. 👀#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/7ksiM00JnE
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 16, 2021
3. Christian Laettner – ‘The Shot’
Nicknamed ‘the shot’ – Duke’s Christian Laettner won a national championship for the Blue Devils with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime in a 104-103 victory against Kentucky.
The 1992 championship game has been hailed as the greatest college basketball game of all-time as Laettner finished ten-for-ten from the field with one three and ten-for-ten from the free throw line.
30 years ago, Christian Laettner hit The Shot for @DukeMBB 👏
Still one of the greatest shots in #MarchMadness history pic.twitter.com/pZKf8iLhak
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 28, 2022
2. Kris Jenkins buzzer beater for Villanova
In the 2016 NCAA championship game, Kris Jenkins hit the shot that every young player with love for the game of basketball dreams of.
Villanova won a first title since 1985 and Jenkins’ winner is argued to be the greatest shot in NCAA tournament history to give the Wildcats (34-5) a 77-74 win over the North Carolina Tar Heels (33-6).
“A #NationalChampionship … BUZZER-BEATER!” 🗣#OTD, Kris Jenkins (@Smoove2you_) handed @NovaMBB its second National Championship in an absolute THRILLER vs. UNC! 🏆 #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/9trRX4WX58
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) April 4, 2022
1. Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird
The 1979 NCAA championship game saw Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans (25-6) defeat Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores (33-0) and foreshadow one of the greatest NBA rivalries ever.
This game remains the most-watched college basketball game ever with 35.1 million viewers as Johnson was named the MOP (Most Outstanding Player) of the Final Four.
41 years ago today, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird faced off for the first time in the national championship 🏆 pic.twitter.com/EEla3EK8rH
— ESPN (@espn) March 26, 2020
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