The 5 Best National Championship Performances Ever

By: 04.03.12
Doron Lamb

Doron Lamb (photo. UK Athletics)

You know you’re good when you make one shot, and yet everyone agrees: you were the best player, the one who made the biggest impact, in the most important college basketball game of the year. Anthony Davis was on his way to becoming the No. 1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, and shooting 1-for-10 in the biggest game of his life didn’t affect his destiny one way or another. That might have had something to do with the rest of his night (16 rebounds, five dimes, three steals and six blocks), which was one of those unique, Rajon Rondo statlines that Kentucky seems so fond of producing.

Doron Lamb‘s outside shooting helped make sure Davis wouldn’t have to spend the summer answering “what if?” questions about his offense, keying the ‘Cats second half offense with 22 points. How can you accurately grade the center for Kentucky’s performance when he barely contributed more than John Calipari on one end? Well, if we’re talking just defensively, it was one of the great games we’ve ever seen at the NCAA Championship level. Too bad we’ve seen players put both ends together before.

Here are the five best individual performances ever in the March Madness finale.

*** *** ***

5. ED O’BANNON, 1995
This run to the NCAA Championship was one of my fonder memories of college ball in the ’90s. From Tyus Edney‘s coast-to-coast runner to save the season in the second round to names like Cameron Dollar and Toby Bailey, the Bruins were as exciting as they were talented (six players on this team would eventually be drafted into the NBA). In the championship game, it was the senior O’Bannon who went off for 30 points and 17 rebounds in his MOP-winning performance against the defending champs from Arkansas.
Subscribe to UPROXX

Page 2

4. JACK GIVENS, 1978
The best team in America was led by perhaps the best player in 1978, winning in the championship game by six over Duke. How good was Givens that night? He went wild for 41 points, eight rebounds and three assists while shooting 18-for-27 from the field. Givens averaged over 17 points a game for the season, but he took it to an entirely new level on that night in St. Louis.

Page 3

3. DANNY MANNING, 1988
No his NBA career never really took off. But in March of 1988, Manning went on a month-long run that still hasn’t been touched. In the title game against Oklahoma, Manning led Kansas to a four-point win by throwing up 31 points, 18 rebounds.

Around The Web

Featured

Chris Hardwick Talks ‘Funcomfortable,’ His Dad’s Personal Mantra, And Keeping A Crazy Schedule

By: 04.29.16

What Really Happened To Adam Walsh?

Stand-Up Comedy Scared The Hell Out Of Me, So I Decided To Give It A Shot

W. Kamau Bell On Joking With The KKK For CNN And Quoting Malcolm X In His New Special

Chef Jonathan Bennett Shares His Fourteen ‘Can’t Miss’ Food Experiences In Cleveland, Ohio

Jen Kirkman Talking About Her New Book Will Make You Want To Write Your Own

Your Travel Guide To Every ‘Archer’ Location On The Planet

Drifters Take Note: This Couple Has Crucial Advice For Long-Term Travelers

By: 04.27.16

‘Rad’ Star Bill Allen Looks Back On Helltrack And That Iconic BMX Prom Scene, 30 Years Later

Key And Peele Talk About ‘Keanu,’ Why Cats Are Funny, And What They’ll Do If Fame Doesn’t Work Out

Meet Christine Sun Kim — The Sound Artist Who’s Changing The Way We Listen

Presented By
The All-New Prius

UPROXX 20: Jon Lajoie Wishes He Could Go Back In Time To Buy Netflix Stock, Just Like You