March Madness 2013: 5 Legendary Moments in NCAA Tournament History


It's often hard to gauge "greatness," but one thing's for certain: we know "memorable" when we see it.

Many of these moments in NCAA Tournament history are notable more for their historical significance than anything: they may hint at the rise of a future star, or the demise of a current one. Or maybe they just blow our minds through sheer unbelievability.

Either way, they're permanently ingrained in our collective memory. They are but five, but  there will doubtless be many more in the years to come:

1. 1979: Magic Beats Larry in the title game:

This is basically where it all started: Magic versus Larry, Lakers versus Celtics, legend versus legend. But before all that, it was Michigan State versus Indiana State for the '79 title. And the Magic man did not disappoint.

2. 2008: Mario Chalmers takes it to OT vs. Derrick Rose:

After this game, these point guards went their separate ways. And it's arguable that Rose, with his 2011 NBA MVP award, got the last laugh (at least from an individual standpoint). But in this game, Chalmers was the hero, leading the Jayhawks to the '08 championship with this devastating 3-pointer that sent game into OT. To quote Biggie: "Things done changed."

3. 1993: Chris Webber calls a timeout Michigan doesn't have:

The "death" of Michigan's Fab Five is attributed to this moment: with the '93 title on the line, Chris Webber calls a timeout his team doesn't have, charging him a technical foul and costing them the game. It has since gone down as one of the most notorious blunders in NCAA history.

4. 1982: Michael Jordan hits "The Shot":

His Airness, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, attributes the spark of his career's subsequent trajectory to this game-changer over Georgetown. What more needs to be said?

5. 2009: Syracuse's 6-OT win over UConn:

I'll come clean: this didn't actually happen during the Tournament, per se. It was the 2009 Big East championship. Regardless, this was hands down the best basketball game I've ever seen, and because of it, I'll never forget the name "Jonny Flynn" even long after everyone else has. In my opinion, this game alone legitimizes his basketball career. It was that good.