Let the Madness Begin: Our Favorite Moments from the Big Dance



Every year the NCAA basketball tournament provides fans of basketball and sports in general with some of the best moments. As we get deeper into this years tournament, we at the Chrony sports desk looked back on some of our favorite moments from tournaments past.


Sammy Mora

One of my favorite moments came during the 2018 tourney. Loyola-Chicago was the No. 11 seed who took both Miami and Tennessee on game-winning shots. Not only were they one of a few memorable moments from that year’s tourney, but they also had Sister Jean there to support them the whole way. Sister Jean supported the team through every game until their ultimate loss in the Final Four to Michigan. Not only was Loyola-Chicago playing some really good basketball, but Sister Jean was the supporter that everyone fell in love with as yet another Cinderella Story unfolded in the tourney. 

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Mallory Arnold

My favorite memory took place in the second round of the 2015 tournament. I’m one of those people who likes to root for the underdog, the teams who don’t have big names but are able to put themselves on the map. This moment came when No. 14 Georgia State took the lead from the No. 3 seed in Baylor. There were nine seconds left to play, but Baylor had just missed their shot. Georgia State got the rebound. R.J. Hunter made a deep three to put the Panthers ahead 57-56 and there were only 2.6 seconds left in the 2nd after. The crowd went crazy, but the best part was that R.J.’s dad was his coach, Ron Hunter. Ron had torn his achilles earlier in the season so he was forced to coach from a rolling stool after R.J. made the shot he fell out of his chair and onto the march madness court in excitement. It’s one of the moments in march madness basketball no one will forget. 

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Ethan Pearce

March Madness is always a great time of the year for basketball fans around the world. Whether you’re a fan of college hoops or not, people around the country tune in to the NCAA Tournament for its exciting finishes and crazy upsets. When you’re talking upsets, nothing is better than the UMBC Retrievers’ upset over the top-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in 2018. 

Virginia was not only one of the four No. 1 seeds in the tournament, but they were also the top seed in the tournament overall. It was the first time in the Men’s NCAA Tournament ever that a No. 1 seed lost to a No. 16 seed. The game featured a back-and-forth first half, followed by a huge second half from the Retrievers to win by 20. The Cavaliers were favored by 20.5 points going into the game and ended up losing by 20. That’s the second-biggest upset based on point-spread in tournament history.

As a fan of the tournament, I usually find myself cheering for upsets. It’s fun to root for the underdog and it makes for a great story. This was definitely a memorable one and I’m glad I got to witness this game.

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Brayden Ramsay 

My favorite march madness moments are memories that I have with myself and my dad. The first is when he and I travelled to Austin, Texas to watch Andrew Bogut and the Runnin’ Utes take on the Kentucky Wildcats in the sweet 16. The Utes lost, but it was awesome to take a guy’s-trip and spend some time with my dad at 10-years-old. 

My next favorite memory came a few years later when the Syracuse Orangemen came to Salt Lake City to take on Gordon Hayward and the Butler Bulldogs. My dad served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in upstate New York and Syracuse University was one of the areas he served. The Orangemen were a team we had both always followed, and this was the first time he or I had been able to see them play live. 

And finally, last year I was able to attend Syracuse’s opening practice at Vivint Smarthome Arena where I got a selfie with legendary coach Jim Boeheim. I was able to send it to my dad the day before the Orange took on Baylor in the opening round of the tournament. 

March Madness is a blast when you participate with family. For me and my dad, it’s a time where were able to reflect on some great memories while watching high-caliber basketball.

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Ryker Jackson

I still remember getting into Utes basketball during the 2011 season. If you recall, that season was horrendous. We finished with a record of 6-25. Granted, it was Larry Krystkowiak’s first season after taking over for a program that was not having its best days. Over the next few seasons, things began to improve. Eventually, with players like Delon Wright and Jakob Poetl in 2014 and 2015, we were able to make it to the NCAA tournament. What I remember the most was the Utes game against Georgetown to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. For me, this was a defining moment. I had seen so many teams have incredible success, but at the same time was accustomed to watching the Utes struggle in basketball. Finally being able to witness the team overcome the odds and make it that far in the tournament was gratifying. The Utes, unfortunately, haven’t been able to replicate that performance since, but because of their amazing performance in the tournament, I now know that they can.

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Cole Bagley

In 2011, the University of Connecticut had arguably the greatest and most improbable title run in the history of the NCAA tournament. The Huskies finished the season 21-9 with a 9-9 Big East conference record. As they entered the Big East tournament, they were in no way favored to even make it past the second round, but the madness started early that year as the Huskies would upset No. 3 Pittsburgh on a buzzer-beater by “Cardiac” Kemba Walker. I’ll never forget as Kemba started at the top of the arc, waved off his teammates, crossed over, stepped back and swished the shot as time expired. After the huge upset, Uconn would beat No. 11 Syracuse and No. 14 Louisville to win the Big East and secure a No. 3 spot in the NCAA tournament. As the tournament began, Uconn would face a difficult road as they played No. 6 Cincinnati, No. 2 San Diego State with their star player Kawhi Leonard, No. 5 Arizona, No. 4 Kentucky and No. 8 Butler. But with “Cardiac” Kemba leading the Huskies, Uconn would win 11 straight games, finish the season 32-9 and immortalize themselves as they were crowned national champions.

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Scott Stephens

My favorite March Madness moment was the championship game in 2016 between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Villanova Wildcats. I was a senior in high school watching the game with my dad. The Wildcats were winning by three points with only a few seconds to play when Marcus Paige hit a ridiculous three-pointer over a Wildcat defender. He hung in the air, double-clutched and somehow was able to bury the tying bucket. The wildcats then called timeout with less than five seconds left to draw up their play. The ball was inbounded to Ryan Arcidiacono who flew up the court, was picked up by a Tar Heel defender, threw on the breaks and fed the ball to Marcus Jenkins who was trailing him. Jenkins let it fly from well outside NBA range and buried the game-winner as the buzzer sounded crowning Villanova the champions. My dad and I sat there in stunned silence, not sure if what we had just seen was even real.

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Carlos Padilla

March Madness is the time of the year that brings people together. Regardless of what team you may cheer for, the common love for the sport of basketball is a strong, unifying force. This commonality was expressed best during my senior year of high school. At lunch, every person at my table had a laptop or phone streaming a game. The cheers, groans and laughs seemed to unite the entire lunchroom. Long live March Madness!

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