6. Syracuse vs. Kansas – 2003 Championship Game
This game will make Syracuse fans happier than their earlier appearance on the list. Orange fans fondly remember the 2003 title game for Hakim Warrick’s last-second block on Michael Lee’s tying jumper to preserve the championship.
While Syracuse had plenty of heartbreak in their tournament past, things were different for the Orange in 2003 due to one impact freshman. Carmelo Anthony became the unquestioned star of the Orange down the stretch, putting the team on his back to bring Syracuse back to the Final Four.
Kansas, on the other hand, had an excellent team to try and help Roy Williams claim his first national championship. Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison and Wayne Simien brought plenty of firepower for a Jayhawks’ team that made quick work of most of its tournament opposition to reach the championship game.
Anthony and the Orange were hot early, building an 11-point lead at the half, but Kansas didn’t give up. The Jayhawks cut the deficit to two in the final minute and had a chance to tie the game after Warrick missed a pair of free throws.
Warrick redeemed himself in quick order, blocking Lee’s potential tying jumper with 0.7 seconds to go. Hinrich’s last-second three missed as well, giving Boeheim a championship as Anthony would parlay his March success into a strong NBA career.