Rothstein: 5 Final Four Memories

Jon Rothstein
Jon Rothstein@JonRothstein

This is April!

The Final Four drums up all sorts of memories for college basketball junkies.

Check out mine below.

In no particular order:

Final Four Memories

Duke Beats UNLV (1991)

The Runnin' Rebels entered this game at 34-0 and on a 45-game winning streak. Then they ran into Christian Laettner. The Blue Devils' star big man tallied 31 points and hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to give Duke an improbable 79-77 win, which ultimately led to Coach K's first national title.

UConn Beats Duke (1999)

Entering this game, many people felt that this was a coronation for the Blue Devils, who up until that point were 34-1 and appeared to be vastly superior to their competition. The Huskies would have none of that jargon. Jim Calhoun's first national title was full of drama, as UConn edged Duke, 77-74. It was the Huskies' first-ever appearance in the Final Four.

Florida Goes Back-to-Back (2007)

How rare is it for a team to not just win back-to-back national titles but win back-to-back national titles with the same exact same starting five? It feels unfathomable in today's climate. The Gators' starting five of Taurean Green, Lee Humphrey, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, and Al Horford cemented a place in history by cutting down the nets in 2007 in Atlanta.

Shabazz Napier Drags UConn to a National Title (2014)

There may have been better guards than Napier in the history of the NCAA Tournament, but there haven't been many who played better during a six-game stretch. His performance in 2014 was legendary as he led the seventh-seeded Huskies to an improbable national title. On the last Saturday of the regular season, UConn lost by 33 at Louisville. Three weeks later, it was a national champion.

Kris Jenkins' Buzzer-Beater (2016)

Thirty-one years after Rollie Massimino and Villanova shocked Georgetown in 1985, the Wildcats won their second-ever national title in dramatic fashion. Villanova's flawless end-of-game execution resulted in a finish for the ages as Ryan Arcidiacono's pitch to Jenkins led to a national title and a moment that will last for eternity.

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Jon Rothstein is not a FanDuel employee. The reporting of Rothstein is not subject to FanDuel's verification and does not represent the views or input of FanDuel. Betting based on Rothstein's reporting will not guarantee a successful outcome. Always do your own due diligence and use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.

Rothstein has been a college basketball insider for CBS Sports since 2010 and a contributor to the CBS Broadcast Network since 2016. He joined FanDuel in 2022 as a Content Creator. Rothstein is also the host of the College Hoops Today Podcast via Compass Media Networks.