4 March Madness Cinderella Stories We’ll Never Forget

Other Sports | March 12, 2021

Via 2F5rssolucoesambientais.com.br. Cinderella teams play their best when the lights and pressure get the brightest.

It’s about that time. The time when everyone you know starts wearing hoodies of their alma mater. The time when the guy at the Zoom meeting at work tells you how much he knows about college basketball. The time when you figure that the NCAA teams with the best NBA prospects are guaranteed to at least make the Final Four.

Ready or not, March Madness has descended upon us.

In reality, no one knows anything about what will unfold. As was proven in the 2018 tournament when 16 seed UMBC blew out 1 seed Virginia, anyone can lose in any given game.

Who are some of the most memorable Cinderella stories in tournament history?

4. Loyola Chicago

Via ChicagoTribune.com. Sister Jean was the Loyola Chicago team chaplain, and one of their biggest fans in 2018.

2018 was a year filled with upsets, but there was no bigger longshot who did more damage than Loyola Chicago. It’s not just that an 11 seed made it all the way to the Final Four—it’s the heartstopping manner in which they did it.

Loyola Chicago won their first three tournament games by a combined nail-biting four points. It doesn’t get much closer than that. They took down an ACC, SEC and Big 12 opponent on their run, proving power conference affiliations means little in March. The team made Sister Jean very proud that year.

3. VCU

Via USAToday.com. VCU Rams coach Shaka Smart brought as much intensity to the game as his players did on the floor.

In the 2011 Tournament, the VCU Rams shocked the world by making it to the Final Four. They did it behind a gritty defensive performance, allowing under 65 points in half of their tournament games. It wasn’t even just the players. Head coach Shaka Smart could be seen pacing up and down the sidelines with boundless energy.

Their signature win was against 1 seed Kansas in the Elite 8, which featured both Markieff and Marcus Morris. That team also had Thomas Robinson, who was the fifth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

2. Butler

Via BleacherReport.com. Butler head coach Brad Stevens showed his skills in college before taking the Boston Celtics head coaching job.

Not to be outdone in 2011, the Butler Bulldogs did VCU one better in March Madness that year. Led by current Celtics coach Brad Stevens, the well oiled Bulldogs made it all the way to the Final Four.

Their march to the Final Four was made more impressive since star forward Gordon Hayward entered the NBA Draft before that campaign. No one thought that Butler could once again wear Cinderella’s slipper without him. But upperclassman Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard carried the team to the precipice of the title game.

  1. Davidson
Via The Undefeated.com. Steph Curry was a scoring machine during the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

It’s hard to imagine that one of the NBA’s biggest superstars of the last decade was a part of arguably the most memorable Cinderella run. But Stephen Curry was on the Davidson Wildcats in 2008 when they nearly made the Final Four.

Curry averaged 32 points a game in the NCAA tournament, putting himself in a national spotlight he has not relinquished to this day. Davidson beat Gonzaga with future pros Austin Daye and Robert Sacre, Georgetown with Roy Hibbert, and 2 seeded Wisconsin. In the elite 8, they lost by 2 points to Kansas, which had several future NBA players on that team.

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Andrew Pistone

Andrew has been an avid NBA/NFL fan for 25 years and counting! He's a Sports media junkie as well, always hoping Gus Johnson or Kevin Harlan will call the game he is about to watch.

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