If you're still keeping up with the 2016 NCAA Men's Tournament, you know that Villanova and North Carolina handled Oklahoma and Syracuse, respectively, this past Saturday evening during the Final Four in Houston to reach Monday's national championship game.
Even if you don't care about the games' results, you might be more interested in what else the Final Four brought to the people of Houston. Check out some of the best events from the weekend that didn't require tickets to the basketball court, in which nearly 70,000 people participated in total:
FanFest A Friday through Monday event, FanFest offered several things to do for guests of all ages, hosting giveaways, concerts, youth clinics, interactive games, special appearances, and autograph signings.
Going to the Fan Fest is just one way to experience championship weekend without actually watching the games.
Final Four 4-Miler Those who had some extra time before getting a little rowdy on Saturday morning may have bought tickets to run in the Final Four 4-Miler, a four-mile walk, jog, or run. All proceeds went to the Lone Star Veterans Association, which is great.
These five moments take the cake in NCAA Tournament history.
It's that time of the year again. The upsets, the miracles, and the heartbreaks are all what make March Madness the best time in sports. With the NCAA Tournament underway, who knows what we will see this year?
Lets take time to look at back at the top five best moments in tournament that I feel are engraved in March Madness history. Hold on to your seats!
5. Valparaiso Upsets Ole Miss (1998) Valparaiso went into the game losing in the first round the previous two seasons. Ole Miss was a four seed and had more experience. Think nothing could possibly go wrong for Ole Miss? Think again.
With 2.5 seconds to go, Valparaiso threw the ball way down court only to land in the hands of the great Bryce Drew. Drew drained a three for the win and a spot in the second round.
What impressed me the most was the fact that the Bryce Drew was able to shoot the three in time, especially with the long pass from all the way down the court. For any Ole Miss fans who might be reading this, I apologize if you're bitter.
4. Nova Takes Down Mighty Georgetown (1985) If you were around in 1985 and picked the eighth seeded Villanova to win the national title, everyone thought you were probably crazy. The Georgetown Hoyas were reigning national champs heading into the 1985 National Championship game. The Hoyas returned most of their starters from the previous year, including the All-American Patrick Ewing. Everyone had Georgetown winning.
Oh boy they were wrong! In fact, the 1985 Villanova Wildcats are still the lowest seeded team to win a national title in history. The Wildcats held Patrick Ewing to only 14 points.
Personally, this was a huge moment in sports history because it proved once and for all that you should never doubt the underdog.
3. The Shot (1992) With around two seconds remaining, everyone in the stadium and watching from home would witness the greatest inbound pass in college basketball history.
Grant Hill launched the inbound pass from the other end to the legendary Duke player, Christian Laettner. Once Laettner caught the pass, he nailed the fadeaway shot to seal the win for the Blue Devils sending them to the Final Four.
Let me just say that the inbound pass from Grant Hill to Christian Laettner will forever be remembered as the best moment in Elite Eight history. Come on, when have you have seen a better inbound pass than that?
2. Kris Jenkins' Buzzer Beater With the 2016 tournament being full of upsets and surprises, fans were waiting for an epic conclusion. Last year's title game between Villanova and UNC was a close game the entire time, but no one was ready for what would happen at the end of the game.
After UNC tied the game with around five seconds to go, everyone thought the game would go into overtime. As the Nova squad stormed down the court, Kris Jenkins gets the ball and pulled up from the three point line sinking the three as time expired.
Kris Jenkins is single-handedly the reason Villanova won the title last year, and he stunned every UNC fan in the country. The best to part to me, however, was all the crying Jordan memes being posted on Twitter afterwards.
1. The 1983 National Championship: NC State vs. Houston If there was one moment in all of sports to describe the feeling of victory and triumph over your opponent, that feeling is bested represented in the 1983 National Championship game.
Going into the title game, NC State was a six seed going up against and elite Houston team with future Hall of Famers in the starting line-up. No one expected NC State to even come close to beating Houston, but critics and everyone alike were proved wrong.
The game was tied at 52 as it was coming to a close, and NC State was looking for a miracle. NC State's Dereck Whittenburg tried to make the three and came up short, but teammate Lorenzo Charles came out of no where and grabbed the ball mid-air and dunked it to give NC State the title.
Was this the best accidental alley-oop ever? I definitely think so!
However, my favorite part about the end of the game is NC State coach Jimmy Valvano running around the court hugging everyone on the team. This was a storybook ending for NC State, and their title was well-deserved. Long live Jimmy V.
Now some of these moments may not be on your personal list, but I feel that these five moments in March Madness history capture the excitement and history of college basketball as a whole.
Well, the best month/two and a half weeks of the year are wrapping up tonight. The 67th game of March Madness is here, and it's UNC vs. Gonzaga (like you didn't already know). There's plenty at stake for both teams; Gonzaga is looking for their first national championship ever, while North Carolina is vying to avenge their heartbreaking loss at the buzzer against Villanova.
Who to pick? Let's take a look.
First, you have storybook Gonzaga. While they are a one seed, some would consider them a Cinderella, because of how often it's said that "this is their year" and it never is. This was their first Final Four appearance ever, and they're riding a team of experienced fourth year juniors and fifth year seniors. While some worry about how well they will handle the pressure because of being in a non-power five conference, you don't go 37-1 without some difficult games.
On the other hand, there's North Carolina. Yes, they have seven losses, but that ACC this year was stronger than so many have ever seen, regardless of their lack of success in the tournament. Some worry about their ability to close in late game situations due to the mess that was their free throws against Oregon, but I focus on what won them that game at the end, rather than the missed free throws-- their rebounding.
Roy Williams has been here before, over and over, and Gonzaga's team hasn't ever. North Carolina is searching for vengeance, for the championship that slipped out of their grasp at the hands of Kris Jenkins. They're hungry, experienced, and battle tested through and through.
If I were a betting man, I would absolutely hammer the spread of UNC -1.5, but if you're not confident, go ahead and ride the money line. I see no way that the national championship trophy doesn't end up on Chapel Hill, with middle fingers held high at that other school down Tobacco Road.
Top 5 NCAA Football And Basketball Team Combinations
Which schools have the best combination of a football and basketball team?
Some schools have elite teams at one sport, but subpar teams at others. Here are the schools that had the top five combinations of football and basketball teams this past season. All team records mentioned in this article are from ESPN for football and ESPN for basketball.
A list like this brings forth the question for schools and fans: would you rather be solid at both sports, or elite at one and awful at the other? On this list, none of the five teams won the championships or were even in their sport's Final Four this past season. However, they were all well above average in both sports, unlike a good portion of the country's schools.
5. Michigan Wolverines The fifth and final spot on this list came down to Michigan and the Louisville Cardinals. Michigan took the spot because they won their conference tournament and took down Louisville in the NCAA tournament to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
Both teams lost their bowl games in football, but Michigan was in a New Year's Six bowl while Louisville was not. Both teams were in contention for the College Football Playoff late in the season, and Michigan ended up with the better record, with their 10-3 trumping Louisville's 9-4.
4. USC Trojans USC was arguably one the best team in the country in football after ending the season on a nine-game winning streak, with one of those nine victories being a win in the Rose Bowl over the Penn State Nittany Lions.
3. Florida Gators Florida had a decent season in football, and they actually got to the SEC championship game before being knocked off by the Alabama Crimson Tide, the national runner-up. They won the Outback Bowl and finished with a 9-4 record.
2. Florida State Seminoles Florida State knocked off the Michigan Wolverines in an epic Orange Bowl matchup in football before reaching the semifinals in the ACC tournament in basketball. They ultimately earned a #3 seed in the NCAA tournament before being knocked off in the Round of 32 by the Xavier Musketeers.
Wisconsin was the only team to win a New Year's Six bowl game in football and make it into the Sweet Sixteen in basketball. There was no better combination of football and basketball teams this past season.
If I had to make a decision between a school with football and basketball teams that are both well above average or a school with one extremely elite team and an extremely awful team, I would pick the school with good teams at both sports.
Why? Because not just one but two teams are well above average, and that means two legitimate championship contenders as opposed to just one championship favorite.
Spring is in the air, and you may still be entranced in the NCAA National Championship game from last week. What are you supposed to do now? What spring sport can you watch until football in the fall? Is there a college sport that will give you the same heart-racing excitement that March Madness did?
Yes, there is. The sport?
Men's Volleyball should be the spring sport you turn your TV on to watch. Many well- known schools in the country have competitive Division 1 programs. Ohio State, UCLA, Stanford, Penn State and Hawaii are all ranked in the top-15 in the country.
Loyola University Chicago is the defending champion after beating Lewis last year. They have won two championships in a row. Being at a school that wins a national championship in anything is fun, but in such a high-intensity sport like volleyball makes it even more fun to go to.
The games are fun to watch simply because of how fast they can change in a matter of seconds. A block, kill, or a player misreading the ball can change the game in the blink of an eye. This year, BYU and Ohio State are sitting at the top of the rankings, but there are lot of teams in country that could win the title. Much like March Madness, anything can happen during the tournament.
Men's Volleyball will be one of the many sports to watch this summer in the Olympics, and many of the men playing this spring on college teams are candidates to join Team USA this summer in Rio.
So sit back, turn your TV on, and get ready to watch some volleyball. There are so many great teams to watch and thrilling matches to look forward to. If you're looking for that crazy feeling you felt in the final seconds of Villanova/UNC, you can bet you'll find feeling that again.