Reporting Matt Ryan
The matchup in the national championship game has been. Louisville will face Michigan for the right to cut down the nets at the Georgia Dome, after an exciting double header in the Final Four. There have been great moments and close finishes throughout all the rounds of this year’s NCAA Tournament. Here’s a look back at 16 of those memorable games, heading in to Monday night’s finale.
North Carolina A&T 73 , Liberty 72
It certainly wasn’t the most watched game of this year’s NCAA Tournament, but this one came down to the wire with the Aggies holding on for the win after the Flames failed to convert the buzzer beater.
Round of 64
Memphis 54 , Saint Mary’s 52
The Gaels cut their deficit to two with 5 second left on the clock and forced a turnover on Memphis’s next possession. Matthew Dellavedova missed the game’s final shot and Saint Mary’s season ended without that shining moment.
Marquette 59 , Davidson 58
Vander Blue scored the winning layup with one second left on the clock, as the Golden Eagles rallied from seven points down in the final 93 seconds to avoid the upset against fourteenth seeded Davidson.
Gonzaga 64 , Southern University 58
A number one seed didn’t lose to a 16-seed this year, but the Zags narrowly avoided a historic upset against the SWAC-champions who only trailed 59-58 with 2:28 left in regulation.
Kansas 64 , Western Kentucky 57
The Hilltoppers didn’t play well offensively against Kansas, shooting 31.8% from the field and missing 17 three-pointers, but they lead at halftime and went the distance against a championship contender.
Round of 32
Marquette 74 , Butler 72
Buzz Williams squad survived two nail biters in the first weekend of the Big Dance and held off Butler from sending this one to overtime on the final possession. Vander Blue came through for the Golden Eagles once again with 29 points and 4 steals.
Wichita State 76 , Gonzaga 70
Kelly Olynyk and the Zags may have been able to get past Southern University, but their season ended during the first weekend of the tournament. The Shockers routed Pittsburgh in their first game and continued their unexpected run to the Final Four by knocking off the nation’s number one ranked team.
Ohio State 78 , Iowa State 75
Aaron Craft played the entire game for the Buckeyes. He hit the game winning basket with one second remaining and the scored tied 75-75.
Indiana 58 , Temple 52
After their Big Ten counterpart from Columbus barely made it out of Dayton, Indiana faced a tough test of their own on the same court. Victor Oladipo secured the victory by hitting a crucial three with 15 second left on the clock and the Hoosiers ahead 53-52.
La Salle 76 , Ole Miss 74
Tyrone Garland’s layup in the final seconds of regulation broke a 74-74 tie, sending the Explorers to their first Sweet Sixteen since 1955.
Miami 63 , Illinois 59
Four schools from the Big Ten advanced to the Sweet Sixteen this year and Illinois nearly became the fifth. The Illini were competitive against Miami for 39 minutes and never regained the lead, after Shane Larkin put the Hurricanes ahead for good with 60 seconds left in regulation.
Ohio State 73 , Arizona 70
The Buckeyes avoided overtime for a second straight game thanks to a late three from LaQuinton Ross.
Michigan 87 , Kansas 85 (overtime)
Michigan’s Final Four hopes looked out of reach, trailing by ten points with less than three minutes to go. Trey Burke and Glenn Robinson III combined to score 8 of their team’s final 10 points, pushing the Wolverines to the only overtime game (so far) of this year’s tournament. Burke and Robinson continued their strong play in extra time to help Michigan reach their first Elite Eight in 19 years.
Wichita State 70 , Ohio State 66
Gregg Marshall’s squad dominated Ohio State from the start and lead by 20 points with a little over eleven minutes left in the game. The Buckeyes rallied back over the final quarter of action, cutting their deficit to only three points with 2:49 on the clock, but were unable to complete their historic turnaround.
Louisville 72 , Wichita State 68
Many thought the Cardinals would run away with this game. Instead, the Shockers got off to an 8-0 start and proved once again why they were able to compete with the top teams in the nation. Wichita State held the lead until the just under five minute mark. Luke Hancock and Russ Smith combined to score Louisville’s final 10 points.
Michigan 61 , Syracuse 56
The Georgia Dome audience got to see two exciting finishes on Saturday. It looked like Michigan had secured a berth in the championship game going in to the final minute. James Southerland brought the Orange within a point (56-57), by a hitting a late three with 42 seconds to go. Syracuse had a chance to send the game to overtime on the final possession, instead Jordan Morgan finished the game with a slam dunk for the Wolverines.