The Elite Eight, removed from the magical first two days of March Madness and the Final Four, has had its share of classics over the years. This weekend, which would have hosted the 2020 edition, let's revisit some of the best Elite Eight games.
Illinois trailed Arizona by 14 points with 3:25 remaining. But the Fighting Illini's backcourt trio of Deron Williams, Luther Head, and Dee Brown keyed a comeback that began with a 3-pointer by Head, and they eventually forced overtime on another triple by Williams. The three guards combined for their team's final 20 points of regulation. Illinois won 90-89 to advance to the Final Four.
Purdue's 2018-19 squad was highlighted by Player of the Year finalist Carsen Edwards. He scored 42 points in this showdown with No. 1 Virginia, including a trey that gave the Boilermakers the lead with a minute left. But Mamadi Diakite sent the game to overtime with a prayer jumper after a missed Virginia free throw and the Cavaliers ultimately prevailed 80-75.
After Kyle Lowry and before Jalen Brunson, Villanova's backcourt star was Scottie Reynolds. In a vintage Big East matchup against Pitt, Reynolds ensconced himself in Wildcats lore with this runner to send Villanova to the Final Four.
Playing without injured forward Chuma Okeke, underdog Auburn hung with Kentucky all game and forced overtime with a mammoth defensive stand in the final 30 seconds of regulation. In the extra period, the Tigers outscored the Wildcats 17-11 to reach the school's first Final Four.
In a battle of two of the top teams in the country, Kentucky's Malik Monk tied this game against North Carolina on a twisting trey with 7.2 seconds remaining. Carolina came right back down the floor and won it on a Luke Maye jumper with 0.3 to go.
Before Loyola Chicago and VCU, one of the greatest Cinderella runs of the last 20 years occurred in 2006 when George Mason went all the way to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed. Connecticut forced overtime on a last-second bucket but the Patriots hung on thanks to Jai Lewis and Will Thomas.
Kentucky has won eight NCAA championships but has also been on the wrong side of some notable Elite Eight heartbreaks. None was bigger than the 1992 East Regional final. In what some have called the greatest college basketball game ever played, Duke stole victory on a Christian Laettner overtime buzzer-beater. It went on to win its second straight national title.
The turnaround jumper was one thing, but it doesn't happen without Grant Hill's baseball inbounds pass.