Best NCAA tournament of the "Modern Era???" | The Boneyard

Best NCAA tournament of the "Modern Era???"

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So I've been watching the ESPN 30 for 30 box set I just got for my birthday and one of the installments I just got to was of the Loyola Marymount 1989-1990 team, with Hank Gathers / Bo Kimball. I had completely forgotten all about that squad and their crazy emotional run. Jeff Fryer was unreal against Michigan, he had 43 points on 11 - 22 3's LOL.. still a record. So it had me thinking about how great of a tournament that was. With the death of Hank Gathers and LMU's unreal run, with them scoring 120 - 130 ppg, ultimately bowing out to Vegas in the elite 8. I've never seen anything like that, (the way they played) and if they didn't run into Vegas, probably would have made the final 4. You had Shaq and Chris Jackson on LSU running and gunning (How did that team that year lose 9 games with Shaq (28 ppg 63%FG Pct 15 RPG 4 BLK / G) and Chris Jackson (30ppg 49% FG pct)... (easily one of the best inside / outside combos of the Modern Era) I guess Dale Brown was not that good a coach???? Then of course our magical run.... the Clemson buzzer beater and subsequent Laettner's buzzer beater of his own 2 days later against us. Then you had the Lethal Weapon 3 team of Georgia Tech and Dennis Scott absolutely bombing, with Kenny Anderson hitting a buzzer beater of his own in the sweet 16 against Michigan St, who also bowed out to Vegas in the final 4, though they only lost by 8 points (they were in it most of the game unlike Duke in the title).. Scott put up like 40 ppg in that tournament. Then you had UNLV destroying everyone... Easily one of the best teams of all time. Even though the 91 team was better, they only lost 1 game... in the final 4, and to this day I think they either point shaved or just didn't take Duke seriously. I think if we had ultimately beaten Duke we would have gotten by Arkansas (all Tate had to do was throw the ball in the backcourt on that steal attempt .... Duke beat them by 20 or so, but Vegas would have absolutely destroyed us as we would have tried to run and press them as we did with everyone that year and it just would't have worked. Looking back, I can't think of a more fun / crazy / buzzer beater filled tournament in the modern era. I only go back to 87 -88 or so of watching college hoops so I wonder what you guys thought was your most exciting / favorite / best tournament... Obviously 2011 ranks up there but we won pretty ugly games and there weren't that many exciting games or buzzer beaters. Lot's of slow ugly defensive battles.

On a side note. Looking back at the late 80's early 90's teams of college hoops most of the really good teams run and gunned. It was not uncommon to have scores in the 90s-100 every night. That rarely happens now. Uconn, Unlv, LSU, UNC, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, LMU, Georgetown... and even Duke ran a lot back then. I guess it's just a much different game now.
 
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There's no question the three Best Ever NCAA tournaments were 1999, 2004 and 2011. The 4th best NCAA Tournament was Tate's THE SHOT vs Clemson. One of JC's best coaching jobs (one of many) was UCONN beating LSU and Shaq in 1992. Rod Sellers and out other bigs bottled up Shaq. That box score was misleading because most of Shaq's 26 or so points came after the game was decided.
 
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Yes I get it... our title runs are the best tournaments ever, but this years tournament kinda sucked as far as the games went. They were ugly beyond UGLY defensive struggles, and only a few buzzer beaters. The 04 tournament we blew everyone out except Duke and that was a great great game, but the rest of the tournament was kind of boring. Same with the 99 tournament. I'm just saying not from a Uconn fan's perspective, just a college hoops fan in general the 89-90 tournament had to be the most exciting with the amount of buzzer beaters and close games in the late stages of the tourney.
 

willie99

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2011 of course
 

FfldCntyFan

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The only thing (UConn not winning it all aside) preventing the 1990 tournament from absolutely being the best ever was the blowout in the championshiop game. I would wager that at least 70% of the first round games and a similar (if not higher) rate of second and third round games were buzzer beaters or OT (I remember one stretch on the first Friday where they showed the final minute of four games over at most a 90 minute stretch and each went down to the final shot.
 
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