With no Final Four to cover this year, his first since 1991, Pat Forde picks his best men’s semi-final and final championship games of all-time.
His top semi-final game? North Carolina State over UCLA in 1974. After the Bruins were on a seven-year winning streak, that came to an end during double overtime. The Wolfpack’s 6’4” David Thompson blocked two shots from UCLA’s 6’11” Bill Walton.
His best title game pick? He chose North Carolina State over Houston in 1983, although Villanova over North Carolina in 2016 was a close second. The Villanova – North Carolina game ended on a spectacular shot and was a great game all the way through, while the North Carolina – Houston game was not a great game, but the ending was unique and deserved a top mention. It was a huge upset—no one ever thought North Carolina would win. Throughout history, there have been last-second jump shots to win games, but there’s never been a last-second dunk of an airball to win a national championship.