Just in case you need some help getting in the mood for March Madness, NCAA.com is running the “Classic 68” bracket to determine the greatest game in NCAA Tournament history. The bracket matches up memorable games from Tournaments past and lets fans pick the winners until a champion is crowned.
Even if you don’t want to vote, this is definitely worth checking out because the NCAA has posted complete videos of nearly every game in the bracket. So if you’re an N.C. State fan who wants to relive some past glory, you can watch Jimmy V run around the court looking for someone to hug after the 1983 title game upset over Houston. Or if you’d just rather experience a little schadenfreude, there are a couple of gems from 1999 available: Carolina’s first-round loss to Weber State and Harold “The Show” Arceneaux and the Connecticut-Duke title game, which ended with Trajan Langdon dribbling the ball off his foot.
The Classic 68 mostly features games from the last 30 years, with the exception of a few championship games from the ’60s and ’70s. There are also some notable games missing. For example, I thought the 2005 Elite Eight was one of the best weekends of college basketball ever, but none of those four games made the bracket. Still, there’s a nice mix of great championship games, first–round upsets and crazy buzzer beaters to keep any college basketball fan busy until this year’s Tournament gets under way.
As for which game will end up winning the Classic 68, the State-Houston ’83 title game is the No. 1 seed in the Southwest Region, but I’ve got to go with the 1992 East Regional Final between Duke and Kentucky. That game featured two elite teams playing at their absolute peaks from the jump ball all the way to Christian Laettner’s shot from the free-throw line to win it at the end of overtime. Nearly twenty years later, it’s still the best college basketball game ever.
And if you don’t agree with me … well, voting for the second round of the Classic 68 lasts through the end of today.