The best college basketball game in 10 years? We debate

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Sam and Nick debate the best college basketball game in the last 10 years.


College sports tend to set the bar higher for fans, as they bring something professional sports cannot bring ­— sheer passion. They do not play for money or fame; they simply play for the love of the game.

College basketball provided a thrilling definition of this on Saturday as Notre Dame beat Louisville 104–101 in five overtimes.

Each moment left fans on the edge of their seats, as bench players became heroes and star players became duds. Seeing the amazing efforts of Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant in the closing minute of regulation and Garrick Sherman’s dominance in overtime, memories of similar games started to come to mind.

So what is the greatest college basketball game in the last 10 years? The Hot Corner debates the issue.

Nick:

I tuned into the Notre Dame vs. Louisville game late but still watched the overtimes. I have followed college basketball since I started playing the game and have seen some thrilling finishes over the last 10 years. The Notre Dame game brings back the memory of the 2009 Big East Tournament game with Syracuse beating UConn 127–117 in six overtimes.

The game was so intense because each team battled hard, as Big East teams normally do. Seeing Eric Devendorf nearly end the game in regulation with a desperation shot, but have it be called off was only the icing on the cake that night. UConn’s A.J. Price and Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn traded shots throughout the entire game scoring 33 and 34 points, respectively.

Heartbreak filled the court with every tied score knowing that the will to go on was slowly dissipating from their bodies. It is the greatest college basketball game in the last 10 years not just because of its length but because of the importance. The Big East had six teams in the Top 25 and each team had a legitimate shot at the Big East Title. I could not fathom the effort that they put in going that long, but the resilience showed in that game from both teams makes this the hands down greatest game in college basketball.

Sam:

I do not think many people remember this game, but this game is what brought me to love college basketball, the state of Texas and the Big Twelve Conference.

It’s Feb. 28, 2007.

I am making myself at home on the couch in my living room munching on some famous fried chicken that my mom had just made. The chicken was marvelous, but this game, this game that I happened to turn on was far more riveting.

Until this point in time the sport of basketball was as appealing to me as a trip to the dentist. When the Philadelphia 76ers made their run to the NBA Finals in the 2000–2001 season, I may have been the only Philadelphian who was more impressed with the mediocre season the Phillies were having than a potential championship contender. I knew the 76ers would lose, why should I watch? Why should I have watched a sport that had put me through numerous jammed fingers, a sprained ankle and a near concussion in the only attempts I made to play the game?

Feb. 28, 2007, was different though.

I watched a young Acie Law IV single-handily rally a Texas A&M squad against a Texas University team that to me, looked far superior. With the little that I had followed college basketball in years past, I was unaware that the Aggies were in the midst of a 24–5 year with a legitimate chance of grabbing a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Facing Texas, a team that they shocked a year before with Law’s three-pointer at the buzzer, A&M found itself down 75–72 with less than 10 seconds to play. Like the year before, Law stepped up big, not once, but twice. Law hit two 3-pointers to tie the game — one in regulation, one in overtime.

Ultimately, the Aggies lost the game in double-overtime but for the three hours that I watched the game, I could not take my eyes off the screen. Watching Law that day has shaped me into a basketball fan today.

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