Was the Duke-Butler game the greatest ever?
Did America just view the greatest college basketball game ever?
When Gordon Haywood's half-court heave was off the mark, immediately my boss Sean Hamilton stated, “if that would have gone in, it would have been the greatest game ever.”
Maybe it already was. I can't think of a game that was better with so much on the line.
I was seven when Christian Laettner made what's caled “the shot” in college basketbll. I remember even at that age watching it thinking this was great. But his came in the NCAA semi-final and it was Kentucky/Duke. Not a mid-major like Butler.
I have seen the 1985 NCAA championship game on ESPN Classic. Along with the 1982 one that featured Michael Jordan as a freshman. Neither compared to tonight.
When looking at the smallest margins of victory in the championship game, every one of them was what you would call a national power in their time.
Indiana 69, Kansas 68 (1953)
North Carolina 54, Kansas 53/3OT (1957)
California 71, West Virginia 70 (1959)
North Carolina 63, Georgetown 62 (1982)
Indiana 74, Syracuse 73 (1987)
Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79/OT (1989)