Beavers executed to max

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

Jalen Suggs’ 40-foot bank shot at the buzzer that gave Gonzaga a stunning 93-90 overtime win over UCLA on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four prompted me to create my Top 10 all-time greatest title games.

n 10. 1999 — UConn 79, Duke 74: The Huskies were the biggest underdogs to capture a national title when Rip Hamilton and Ricky Moore led them over the powerful Blue Devils.

n 9. 2008 — Kansas 75, Memphis 68 (OT): The Jayhawks overcame a nine-point hole in the final two minutes, forcing overtime on a Mario Chalmers’ game-tying shot and then breezing in OT.

n 8. 1993 — North Carolina 77, Michigan 71: This game is remembered for Chris Webber’s ill-fated timeout in the waning seconds after he was trapped in the right wing.

n 7. 1989 — Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79 (OT): Glen Rice, who averaged 30.7 points in six tourney games, scored 31 in the title game, capping a wild ride after interim head coach Steve Fisher had replaced the fired Bill Frieder.

n 6. 2019 — Virginia 85, Texas Tech 77 (OT): De’Andre Hunter’s game-tying, 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in regulation sent the Cavs into OT, where they won and redeemed themselves after becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 in 2018.

n 5. 1982 — North Carolina 63, Georgetown 62: Dean Smith’s first national title came in bizarre fashion when guard Fred Brown, whose Hoyas were down by a point in waning seconds, mysteriously threw a pass directly to the Tar Heels’ James Worthy.

n 4. 1987 — Indiana 74, Syracuse 73: Keith Smart’s 17 second-half points, including a baseline jumper with four seconds left, delayed Jim Boeheim’s first title for 16 years.

n 3. 1985 — Villanova 66, Georgetown 64: The first big upset in final history, with the eighth-seeded Wildcats, with Ed Pinckney leading the way, shooting 79% from the floor overall and missing only one shot in the second half to top the Hoyas in Patrick Ewing’s final college game.

n 2. 1983 — North Carolina St. 54, Houston 52: Lorenzo Charles’ championship-winning dunk shocked the Cougars but sent Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano into a frenzy looking for somebody to hug.

n 1. 2016 — Villanova 77, North Carolina 74: Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beating, 3-pointer was the exclamation point to a frantic and ultimate finish, topping off a magical season.

n Honorable Mention — Michigan St. 75, Indiana St. 74 in 1979; Texas Western 72, Kentucky 65 in 1966; North Carolina 54, Kansas 53 (3 OTs) in 1957; and Kansas 83, Oklahoma 79 in 1988.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at

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