March Madness is the sporting event equivalent of Bret the Hitman Hart – the best there was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be. No debate. Every year everyone drops what they are doing to get engulfed in all things NCAA tournament – calling in sick, watching at work while the boss turns his/her head, brackets more prevalent than Shawn Kemp paternity suits, and gambling galore.
One of everyone’s favorite is the first weekend upsets and Cinderella stories. This is what makes the NCAA tournament such a great event. Teams are written off, given no chance, just happy to be dancing coming in with nothing to lose and shock the world. And do not forget the office bracket guy who tells you he totally called the upsets.
The feel good story of the first weekend was Georgia State. They were Taylor Swift, America’s sweetheart. After scoring a Big 10-esque 38 points to advance to the NCAA tournament we were introduced to the man, myth, and legend Ron Hunter. Hunter, the former roommate of Ron Harper at Miami (OH) and a Steve Harvey clone, shredded his Achilles celebrating like Martin Gramatica. Hard to top? Clearly we did not know Hunter. As his son nails a game winning 3 to pull the mega upset on Baylor, Hunter fell of his stool celebrating. Ron Hunter, Pedro Cerrano thinks you have marbles.
That got me to thinking, what were some of my favorite March Madness Cinderella or feel good stories of recent memory?
Florida Gulf Coast: 2013
Who can forget the magical Sweet 16 run in 2013 by “Dunk City.” The Eagles took the nation by storm as the high flying act with lobs and dunks that made your jaw drop like Kate Upton ran past you in a bikini. They had swag, mystique and a growing enrollment once Jeff Spicoli-like high schooler’s realized the school nestled up next to a beach and Urban Meyer’s smoke daughter played volleyball there. And they dropped my favorite dunk in NCAA tournament history… Up High Down Hard!
In 2008 the nation was introduced to a dude who abides more than Jeffrey Lebowski, Mr. Stephen Curry. A 10 seed who rode Curry’s hot hand (34 ppg in first three games), strong fundamentals, and great coaching knocked off Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Wisconsin before bowing out to Kansas. A nation of gamblers included myself suffered through heartaches and losing slips betting against Davidson. Adding to the aura was Gus Johnson having Davidson’s game and getting funky on one of the sickest fakes ever….”We got a Star in the Motor City!”
George Mason: 2006
This was one of the craziest tournament runs of all time. Prior to the tournament if you told anyone you knew of GMU, you either had to live in the same city or gone to school there. All of a sudden Jai Lewis came out of nowhere to crush dreams and break hearts like Stephen A. Smith. They knocked off Michigan State, North Carolina, and UCONN on the way to the Final Four as an 11 seed! And Uncle Verne Lundquist with an epic epitaph send off into the Final Four “Bye George the dream is alive!”
These are clearly not the only miracle runs and upsets, and no one likes talking and dishing hoops more than us at Bacon Sports. We want to hear from you! What is your favorite tourney run? What are your favorite memories? Hit us up on Twitter @BaconSports.