6. 1999: Duke vs. UConn
In terms of name recognition, this classic was one of the best March Madness championship games of the past 20 years. UConn was headlined by players like Richard Hamilton (before the mask), Ricky Moore and Khalid El-Amin. Duke came into the game at 37-1, and as EASILY the best team in America. They were so good and so talented that Corey Maggette was coming off the bench. I remember watching the introductions thinking, “There’s no way anyone can beat Duke.” William Avery and Trajan Langdon went on to be first round busts in the NBA, but as Dukies, they were seemingly unflappable. Yet on this night, that backcourt was dominated by Moore and El-Amin. In the closing seconds, UConn’s pudgy point guard (everyone forgets how loveable he was) hit a floater, and Moore ripped Langdon off the bounce to win it 77-74.
5. 1982: UNC vs. Georgetown
Of course, it’s hard to top a game that comes down to a final shot, a jumper that propelled a young, skinny freshman towards eventually becoming the greatest player of all time. If you grew up at any time in the ’80s or ’90s, then you were probably an MJ fan, and if you were a fan of No. 23, then you’ve probably seen him swish that 17-footer on Patrick Ewing and John Thompson‘s Hoyas at least 100 times. This game gets extra credit for having a crazy start (Ewing goal-tended five shots in the first few minutes) and a crazy ending (Fred Brown threw the ball right to James Worthy on the game’s biggest possession).