10 best NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 moments of all time

SALT LAKE CITY - MARCH 25: Denis Clemente
SALT LAKE CITY - MARCH 25: Denis Clemente /
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4. VCU overcomes Florida State in OT thriller – 2011

Few Tournament runs before or since have captured the same magical qualities that VCU possessed in 2011. Even though Butler did well to make it back to the Championship Game, VCU was the team that got everybody talking. They were the Cinderella story that refused to run out, even though many people thought they didn’t belong.

VCU just got in as a First Four team, and probably wouldn’t have if the field hadn’t expanded to 68 teams. But they made it all the way to the Final Four in Shaka Smart’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Ironically, their toughest test came against another double-digit seed. In Florida State, we were treated to the rare 10 vs. 11 matchup in the Sweet 16. And perhaps Florida State being another underdog team was the reason why VCU couldn’t sneak up on them.

After 40 minutes solved nothing, the two teams had to go to overtime. From there, VCU hung on to win in the most dramatic fashion. Bradford Burgess caught an inbound pass and drove for a lay-up to make it 72-71. Then, with Florida State eyeing the buzzer beater, Rob Brandenburg came up with the game-saving block to send his team to the Elite Eight.

Had Florida State made it through, they’d be the team that everyone would be talking about. But VCU showed tremendous guts to close out a game like this. Even though the Rams have made it back to the Tournament every year since then, they haven’t been able to recapture the same magic from 2011.