Best Cinderella Stories in NCAA Tournament History

Five of the Best Cinderella Stories in NCAA Tournament History 
What makes March the Maddest? Cinderella Stories do, right? The tournament deep run surprise team emerges as if the stars align for one team. This is how it would be for the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the 1998-1999 season. From Spokane, Washington, the fans will always remember how they beat Minnesota, then Stanford, then Florida. By the quarter finals they had to end their fairy tale run with a defeat to the eventual champions, Connecticut. This run had come after never being in a NCAA Tournament except for a one and done in 1995.

The previously unknown Gulf Coast team from Florida, the Eagles, began their run in 2013 at the Atlantic Sun champs. The Eagles were the underdog that the crowd glommed onto as they applied a game plan that would not quit while they proceeded to put the Georgetown heavy favorites away, lead by Otto Porter Junior. The name ‘Dunk City,’ was penned as the Eagles shoved them aside with their airborne style, flying their way to a 78 to 68 route over Georgetown. Reaching the Sweet sixteen as the first number 15 seed, they made Cinderella history.

Davidson, of North Carolina, the stomping ground of NCAA March Madness, was showing their upstart potential by narrowly losing to the famous Duke Blue Devils and the UNC Tarheels earlier in the 2007-08 season. They went on a tear, being undefeated for 22 games leading up to the Southern Conference meet. Seeded as number ten, with nothing to lose and no media hype, they reached the Elite Eight after trouncing Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Wisconsin. A star was born as Steph Curry made 19 three-pointers, capturing hearts everywhere. Curry and Davidson were finally stopped by the 2007-08 Champions on their way to the top, the Kansas Jayhawks.

A highly ridiculed seed in the 2010-11 season was The Rams of VCU. Pundits were mystified by the NCAA Selection Sunday antics. By choosing VCU based on lack luster credentials, the choice was creating jokes by commentators of ESPN. Someone knew something that the experts did not as VCU showed up for their first three games, burying hopes of big teams such as USC, Georgetown and Purdue, arriving at their first Sweet Sixteen. They took Florida to overtime, finally, duking it out to win. After that, The Rams sent shockwaves throughout the B-ball world by defeating Kansas. Their Cinderella run came to a halt in the semifinals in a loss to Butler.

Finally, the George Mason Patriots must be noted as the team that blew everyone away in their unsuspecting manner in 2005-06 season. As the eleventh seed, they began with a quiet but impressive record of being in the top 25 that season. Having been selected because of this, yet still causing negative vibes from doubters about the validity of their qualifications, they proceeded to mow down their opponents such as Michigan State, the Defending Champion Tarheels, Wichita State and UConn. Randy Gay got noticed in this run and eventually was drafted to the NBA, after he lead George Mason to the Final Four that year where they were stopped by the Florida Gators, the two time National Champions. This was not just the Cinderella story of the season, it was the most or one of the most memorable Cinderella stories in the entire NCAA Championship history.

The adrenaline levels are always enormously high for all who are fortunate enough to be selected with their team to compete in the NCAA championships. The event calls on the deepest commitment in each and every player so that magic happens, in particular, it happens for one special team in some very special moments.

 

Longest CBB Conference Championship Streaks

When it comes to the best streaks in college basketball in terms of conference championships, there are a lot of teams that could be argued as being the best. These teams have worked hard through their seasons to make sure that they are considered to be one of the best in their conference. Many of these teams have been rewarded with a conference championship and have done it enough times in a row, that they are part of history of having the longest streak. Let’s take a look at a few of these teams that have etched their name in the history books.

Kansas Jayhawks
The Jayhawks are the prime example of knowing how to put together a winning combination together and win conference championships. Last season was a huge season for the Jayhawks as they won their 11th in a row conference title. Many people will tell you that winning one conference title is a challenge itself, it becomes even more of a challenge when you do it 11 times in a row. Bill Self is a coach that has been able to take his team to the conference game and win 11 times in a row. This is putting Kansas in the driver seat to be one of the more dominant teams in recent history. There have been others that stood at the top of the mountain.

UConn Huskies
The Huskies are a team that came into their own during the 1951-1960 era. The Huskies took home a total of 12 titles in a row and dominated their conference even though they really were not looked at as being one of the “big” schools. Nonetheless, the little team from Connecticut, would still put on a dominating performance and take the college basketball world by storm.

UNLV Runnin Rebels
This was one of the most recognizable teams in college basketball. Jerry Takkanian was the man that led the team to their 10 straight conference titles. The coach was more notorious than the team was as he was known for his biting of a towel during season games. The closer a game was the more he would bite on the towel. No matter what you may think about the tradition, it must have worked as the team would go on and win in a very impressive fashion.

Gonzaga Bulldogs
Tied with The Jayhawks, the Bulldogs took home 11 titles. Mark Few took control of the team and under his time with the team, he won the Bulldogs 11 titles. This was again a team that was always dismissed and finally found their voice to stand up and be heard. During his time with the team, he took them to 15 NCAA appearances and won 432 games. This is a feat that may never be repeated in the near future of the Bulldogs.

UCLA Bruins
John Woodens team took home 13 straight titles in their conference. It was getting to the point, people started to just see the opposing team hand the Bruins the conference title as opposed to suffer defeat. This was the gold standard that many teams since the 70’s have been chasing and one that many may never actually reach.

These are a few of the teams that have achieved greatness in the last several years. Who will be the next dynasty that will ascend up to the mountain of immortals and set their own record? Only time will tell, but in the meantime it will make for some very interesting basketball. No matter who it is, these teams will still have a place among the CBB Gods that look down on the NCAA.

 

NBA Players with the Worst Facial Hair

The Five Worst Beards Or Mustaches In The NBA 

Beards and mustaches in the NBA have been a problem for some time. Everyone who has one has been the subject of scorn, and now a list must come out. This is a list of a few men who have such bad facial hair that they must be called out for it. This article is the story of all five men who are wearing facial hair that is not acceptable in any sense of the word.

#1: Dirk Nowitski

Dirk has stubble that everyone may see in every interview, and his stubble never goes away. He carries the stubble with him wherever he goes, but his blond locks are not good for facial hair. Someone with facial hair like this will have problems because it is difficult to see their facial hair. They are not showing off something that gives them a fresh look, and Dirk has never shaved his beard away. He would look much cleaner if he got rid of all the stubble.

#2: James Harden

His beard is so easy to recognize that everyone knows what it looks like the second it is brought up. The beard is so large that fans often wonder if it gets in the way of his game, and they look at him wondering how they will get past it. James Harden has kept his beard out there for quite a long time, and it appears that it will not go anywhere any time soon. His Rockets play well in the current with his beard in-play, and he has come close to winning the MVP with his beard. It is not attractive, but it helps his game.

#3: Larry Legend

Larry Bird once sported a mustache so bad that everyone in basketball still remembers it. His blond hair came on very thick, and he had a mustache that was so large anyone could see it. The mustache did not get in the way of his play, but it left him in later years because it did not look good at all. Larry Bird is one of the greats of the game who brought basketball back from the doldrums when it was on tape delay and not taken seriously. His mustache is simply a reminder of a time when he was not in a position to give fashion advice to younger players.

#4: Bill Walton

Another old mustache and beard was Bill Walton. His playing days were an eclectic mix of success and pontification. He does so today with a clean face, but he once carried so much facial hair that it is hard to believe he could stand to get up in the morning. The classic pictures of Walton make him look like he came from a bad movie of the period, and he started in college as the boy with the long sideburns and stubble. Growing out the beard and mustache only made him a greater target for scorn in the future.

#5: Carlos Boozer

Carlos Boozer has facial hair that defies any explanation. His beard is one that looks as though it was made in a design house, and it remind the viewer that the design on beards are often not all that exciting. Carlos keeps his beard angular, and he forces the issue by wearing it every night without every shaving it. It does not look good in profile, and it looks frightening from the front.

Every hair in this article has caused problems for NBA fans for years. Facial hair is not a part of the NBA that anyone is proud of, but they see it on TV every night.

 

Top 5 Players in Gonzaga Basketball History

Gonzaga University has a long and storied basketball program dating back to 1907. 109 years of hard nosed basketball later, the Bulldogs remain a force to be reckoned with. Throughout this time an incredible amount of great talent has passed through the university’s halls. Every point, block, steal, rebound and assist adding to the lineage and legacy of this fantastic basketball program. Here is a list of the top five players who absolutely decimated the competition and made the Gonzaga Bulldogs what they are today.

#5. Ronny Turiaf

Ronny Turiaf was a man amongst boys in his days at Gonzaga. Standing at six feet and ten inches, he possessed the natural body size and strength to be a great basketball player. He finished out his four year run while averaging 13.6 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. This coupled with his accolades (WCC player of the year 2005, 3 time first team all WCC 2003-2005) made this man a terrifying opponent to play against.

#4. Matt Santangelo

Matt Santangelo was a gifted point guard who excelled at minimizing turnovers and scoring efficiently. He really shined in his junior year (1998-1999), leading the Zags to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. Santangelo was known for his breakout games in which he would score 30+ points and absolutely rain hell down from the 3 point line.

#3. Frank Burgess

Frank Burgess is responsible for turning the nations eyes on Gonzaga and letting everybody know this wasn’t some bush league school. He made his mark back in 1961 when he averaged an absolutely ludicrous 32 points per game. Frank was a wrecking machine, known most for his 52 point performance in his senior year. He remains the all time leader in points scored for Gonzaga.

#2. Adam Morrison

Perhaps the most well known player in the last decade, Adam Morrison was a manimal when it came to putting the ball through the iron. He started off slowly his Freshman year, averaging 11.4 points per game yet his play was impressive enough to get him named to the WCC all-freshman squad. Adam quickly made his name as a dominant force the following two years, averaging 19 points per game his sophomore year and a ridiculous 28 points per game his junior year. He had five, count them, FIVE 40+ point games in his junior year. This man was unstoppable. Unfortunately for Adam Morrison and his feather duster mustache, his skills couldn’t survive the transition to the NBA and subsequently he became a draft bust.

#1. John Stockton

John Stockton should be a household name for any NBA fan in existence. John’s insane passing ability, his dead on shooting and his basketball IQ combined together to make one of the craftiest players to ever pick up a ball. As a Spokane native, he decided to take his talents to the Bulldogs and play under the legendary coach Dan Fitzgerald. As is the case with most college players, his best performances were found in his senior year. Stockton averaged 20.9 points per game while shooting a mind blowing 57% from the field. Stockton’s 20.9 points a game were enough for him to lead the WCC in scoring, while also leading in assists and steals. Stockton knew the game of basketball very well and is to this day on of the best fundamental players out there. John took his talents to the NBA and is unanimously considered one of the best point guards of all time.