1985 VILLANOVA WILDCATS
Villanova may be a national power with Jay Wright at the helm, but as the lowest seed in NCAA Tournament history to win it all, this one was a no-brainer. The eighth-seed Wildcats, coached by the irreverent Rollie Massimino, topped legendary coach John Thompson’s Georgetown Hoyas, led by star Patrick Ewing, in what’s considered the greatest upset in championship game history. The Wildcats famously missed just one shot in the second half and shot a record 78.6 percent from the field, slowing the game down in the pre-shot clock era. ‘Nova defeated Dayton, Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina and Memphis State to reach the title game.
1983 NC STATE WOLFPACK
The Wolfpack needed a miraculous run at the end of the regular season just to make the tournament, and once it got there, Jim Valvano’s squad just kept “surviving and advancing.” After narrowly escaping an upset in the first round to Pepperdine, the Wolfpack edged Utah and No. 1 seed Virginia, led by great Ralph Sampson. But this squad is forever famous for Lorenzo Charles’ buzzer-beater off an airball put-back to defeat Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and heavily favored Houston squad that came in as a No. 1 seed, which was followed by Valvano running around the court looking for someone to hug.