The NCAA Tournament, with so many games, has seen its fair share of thrilling victories… and epic collapses. Experts and fans like to focus on the teams that put it all together. But what happens when it all falls apart?
In this edition of Fan Essentials, CBS Sports Radio personalities looked at some of the worst collapses in NCAA Tournament history history. So many teams have dropped the ball, but these teams took it to new lows.
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“I’m gonna go back to 2008,” said Tiki Barber, co-host of Tiki and Tierney. “Memphis had a big lead with two minutes or so left against Kansas, and they couldn’t hold onto it because they couldn’t make any free throws. They missed them, all of them, except one.”
Memphis’s collapse was bad. Northern Iowa’s was worse.
“The team that had the biggest collapse, and it’s a shame, is Northern Iowa,” said Brandon Tierney, also of Tiki and Tierney. ” I mean, they’re up 69-57 with 35 seconds left.”
“You hate to crush kids because they’re young and they’ll never forget that but that was pathetic,” said Gregg Giannotti, co-host of Gio & Jones. “Think about the turnovers and the missed shots that had to happen [for them to give up the game].”
Northern Iowa gave up a 12-point lead with under a minute left, and basketball fans still can’t stop talking about it. Part of the problem, of course, is that the collapse happened in last year’s tournament.
“It was obscene. They had a 12-point lead with 35 seconds to go,” said Doug Gottlieb, who hosts The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Something where everybody is turning their televisions off and they somehow found a way to completely destroy it.”
Northern Iowa’s loss was so “implausible” and “impossible” that it will hold the title of worst collapse for years to come.
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“That is physically impossible,” said Giannotti. “If you put that same scenario in this tournament… and for the next 50 years, that team that’s up 12 points with 35 seconds to go is gonna win.”
Gottlieb summed up Iowa’s misfortune simply: “I think it’s gonna be very difficult for anyone to match the ineptitude of Northern Iowa.”