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Two BYU Basketball Moments Featured Among NCAA’s Greatest March Madness Moments

Mar 19, 2020, 10:36 AM
BYU - Danny Ainge...
BYU - Danny Ainge

PROVO, Utah – The NCAA highlighted two of the top moments in BYU Basketball history in its bracket of the greatest March Madness Moments.

NCAA.com’s Andy Katz seeded a bracket featuring the best moments from NCAA Tournament history.

Katz slotted Danny Ainge game-winning shot against Notre Dame in 1981 as a No. 1 seed in the bracket. The Cougars’ second-best bracket moment featured 2011’s Jimmer Mania team led by Jimmer Fredette and was slotted as a No. 10 seed.

Danny Ainge’s 1981 Game Winner Against Notre Dame

Ainge led the Cougars to a No. 6 seed in the 1981 NCAA Tournament. In BYU’s first game of the tourney, the Cougars defeated the No. 11 seed Princeton Tigers 60-51 to advance to the Round of 32. In their next game, the Cougars smashed the No. 3 seed UCLA Bruins 78-55 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

In the Sweet Sixteen, BYU faced No. 2 seed Notre Dame. Ainge received an inbound pass with the Cougars down one point and only eight seconds left on the clock. The BYU legend took the ball the length of the court and score a game-winning shot on a finger roll layup with two seconds remaining. Ainge’s bucket helped the Cougars advance to the Elite Eight.

In the Elite Eight, BYU fell to top seed Virginia 74-60. Ainge’s squad finished the season with a 25-7 record.

2011’s Jimmer Mania

BYU had arguably its best season since the Ainge’s game-winning shot during the 2010-11 season. The Cougars were led by Naismith Player of the Year award winner Jimmer Fredette.

With acrobatic shots and deep three-pointers, Fredette led BYU to an impressive 32-5 record and a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tourney.

In the Cougars’ first matchup of the tournament, they defeated the No. 14 Wofford Terriers 74-66 to advance to the Round of 32. BYU faced the No. 11 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs to a chance to play in the Sweet Sixteen.

Fredette led the Cougars past the Bulldogs with 34 points that featured seven baskets from beyond the arc.

The moment’s bracket is the only postseason bracket featuring the Cougars in 2020 after the NCAA announced it wouldn’t release a bracket following the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament due to coronavirus concerns.

Fans were able to choose their favorite to advance in the bracket via a vote on the NCAA’s official March Madness Twitter account beginning at 10 a.m. (MDT) on Thursday, March 19.

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