NCAA Tournament: 5 greatest games ever played

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Apr 7, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of a fan fest tent the championship game of the Final Four in the 2014 NCAA Mens Division I Championship tournament between the Connecticut Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a certain undeniable sense of urgency and even desperation that comes with a tournament game, whether it be the NCAA Tournament, or any other sport’s postseason party.

It’s the ultimate finality that referred to so often by fans and broadcasters…

Win, or go home.

With that type of pressure and those types of stakes, it’s no wonder that games played in such a tournament can be some of the most emotional and exciting games you can see. The NFL playoffs, the series clinching games in the NHL, NBA and MLB, and this year (for the first time) the semifinal college football playoff games will all contain this type of dynamic.

But there’s something different in the NCAA Tournament as compared to those other playoff scenarios. March Madness has a bravado all its own, and the sheer number of games played in such a compressed amount of time makes it even more breathtaking.

The Big Dance has produced uncountable dramatic and gut-wrenching moments, and has turned ordinary college students – who may never play basketball in front of cameras and thousands of people again in their lives – into legends and heroes.

Trying to whittle down those moments into games, and those games into a list of the handful to be considered the best ever, is no easy task. But in sports, its all about stats, opinions and lists.

With apologies to all the fine games, schools and student-athletes who didn’t make this list, but made for some incredible viewing during their tournament runs, here are the best five NCAA Tournament games ever played.

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