Ten years, two kids and an uncountable number of head hairs ago, I plopped down on the couch, turned on the tube and witnessed arguably the single greatest NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game this century, a transcendent battle that still resonates with many casual and dedicated fans today.
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Arizona/Illinois. Allstate Arena. Chicago. March 26, 2005.
It was a clash of basketball titans. The Wildcats, the No. 3 seed led by legendary silver fox Lute Olsen, were loaded with future NBA talent – Channing Frye, Hasaan Adams, Salim Stoudamire and Mustafa Shakur. They blazed a trail to the Midwest Regional Final by dismantling Utah St. and UAB while sneaking by a fiery three-point shooting club from Stillwater, Oklahoma St.
Meanwhile their nemesis, No. 1 seed Illinois coached by Bruce Weber, was 35-1 and the college basketball media darling that year. Its charismatic leader Dee Brown, who graced Sports Illustrated’s tournamentRead More »from Reflecting on the greatest Elite Eight game ever played -- Arizona/Illinois '05