Top 10 March Madness Cinderella stories
By GARY LOEWEN, QMI Agency
|Norfolk State University Spartans centre Kyle O'Quinn (left) consoles University of Missouri Tigers guard Phil Pressey after the Spartans' win in the second round in the NCAA men's West Regional basketball tournament in Omaha, Neb., on Friday, March 16, 2012. (Dave Kaup/Reuters)
10) Norfolk State, 2012
Usually, parity is a rarity in the round of 64 at the annual NCAA basketball tournament, but this year, for the first time, two No. 15 seeds advanced, including the Norfolk State Spartans. Getting their first-ever whiff of March Madness, the Spartans edged No. 2 Missouri, 86-84. Kyle O'Quinn had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the winners, capping the best season in Norfolk State history. "We messed up some brackets, we messed up some brackets!" O'Quinn shouted afterward. "We even messed up my bracket."
9) Hampton, 2001
Eleven years ago, in a No. 15 over No. 2 upset, Tarvis Williams made a four-footer with 6.9 seconds left to give the Hampton Pirates a 58-57 lead over the Iowa State Cyclones. There was still enough time for Iowa State to win it but Marcus Fizer -- talk about March Sadness -- missed a lay-in with 1.2 seconds on the clock.
8) Weber State, 1999
The North Carolina Tar Heels were a No. 3 seed with Brendan Haywood, Ed Capel and Ronald Curry on the roster, but they were no match for Harold (The Show) Arceneaux. Arceneaux had 36 points as 14th-seeded Weber State knocked off the Tar Heels, 76-74, in the opening round in 1999. Arceneaux was never drafted by the NBA so took his show to Europe, Australia and Mexico.
7) Lehigh, 2012
Not all Duke fans are obnoxious. But enough of them carry an air of haughtiness to make fans of other teams gag. The Blue Devils haters were celebrating just over a week ago when the Lehigh Mountain Hawks dumped No. 2 Duke, 75-70. It was just the third time in 31 years under coach Mike Krzyzewski that Duke had lost its first-round game. Talk about your Lehighs and lows.
6) George Mason, 2006
Huskie-wee-wee! The University of Connecticut was a top-seeded squad in 2006, however the Huskies were jarred by George Mason, 86-84 in overtime. The Patriots became only the second No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four but lost their next game to the Florida Gators. The Gators went on to win the national title.
5) Duke, 1991
OK, Duke supporters, here is your chance to get obnoxious. Having lost by 30 points to University of Nevada, Las Vegas the previous year, the Blue Devils turned the tables on the Runnin' Rebels to reach the 1991 final. The Blue Devils went on to win the title and Christian Laettner was tournament MVP.
4) Santa Clara, 1993
Santa Clara, led by a skinny Canadian point guard name of Steve Nash, defeated the star-laden Arizona Wildcats, 64-61, in one of those No. 15 over No. 2 upsets. In the first-round game in 1993, Arizona's Damon Stoudamire missed a three-pointer at the buzzer shortly after Nash had missed two free throws. However, Nash had converted six free throws down the stretch to solidify the Broncos' lead.
3) Richmond, 1991
The first No. 15 seed to oust a No. 2 was Richmond in 1991. The Spiders squeezed the Syracuse Orangemen 73-69 in the first round. The shocker was shown on prime time by CBS and cemented sports fans' interest in March Madness.
2) N.C. State, 1983
A Houston team -- if you're over 40, you'll remember Phi Slama Jama -- featuring future NBA stars Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler and ranked No. 1, couldn't handle No. 6 North Carolina State in the 1983 final. Lorenzo Charles dunked Dereck Whittenburg's air ball at the buzzer and North Carolina won 54-52. Fittingly, the Wolfpack was known that season as the Cardiac Pack. When it was over coach Jim Valvano, overcome with March Gladness, ran up and down the court looking for somebody, anybody to hug.
1) Villanova, 1985
The 1985 championship game between Villanova and Georgetown promised to be a lopsided affair. The No. 1 Hoyas featured Patrick Ewing, Reggie Williams and David Wingate, and had defeated No. 8 Villanova twice during the season.
But the Wildcats, under Rollie Massimino, missed only one shot during the second half and finished the game shooting 78.6% from the floor. In winning 66-64, Villanova became the lowest seed to capture the championship.