Friday, July 2, 2010

Flashback Friday: Arguably The Biggest Upset In NCAA Tournament History

On March 20, 2010 the Kansas Jayhawks and Northern Iowa Panthers were set to play around 5:45 PM ET.

Coming into the game, nobody gave the Panthers a chance.

They were of course a No. 9 seed, playing a No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. Who would give them a chance? Faith!

With one of the most unknown mid-major teams, I doubt the Jayhawks actually competed, and watched game film over the Panthers.

That is most definitely one of the reasons why they came away as the biggest loser in the 2010 NCAA tournament.

Kansas started off this game with a Cole Aldrich basket. That was going to be the last time they lead throughout the rest of the game.

Ali Farokhmanesh and the Panthers started the game off better than anticipated. They were up 10-2 before anybody could say Farokhmanesh.

Because of that, the Jayhawks were forced to call a time-out and regroup.

Coming out of the time out, everything seemed to be all good for the Jayhawks. They had cut the lead to three, but the Panthers never let them regain the lead.

Going into halftime, the Panther had a 36-28 advantage over the heavily favorite Jayhawks. 

Most people couldn't believe that the Panthers were ahead of the Jayhawks at intermission. They couldn't believe that the Jayhawks were in a game with Northern Iowa.

So once intermission was over, the Jayhawks started the second half like the first; with a Cole Aldrich lay-up. 

However, before you know it Northern Iowa pushed the league out to ten and put a lot of pressure on the No. 1 overall seed.

Once the game got under ten minutes in the second half the Jayhawks started pushing the ball. They found out the Panther folded when pressure was brought upon them.

But unfortunately for the Jayhawks, it was too late. The Panthers had a 63-56 advantage with 1:07 left and still nobody gave the Panthers a chance to win this game.

Everybody that Kansas was going to make a miracle comeback and win the game.

However, after a Sherron Collins lay-up that pulled the Jayhawks within one, Kansas Head Coach Bill Self called a time out.

After that, the Panthers took the ball out. They escaped the pressure of the Jayhawks and threw the ball up to Farokhmanesh. 

Now there he is on the wing with the opportunity to pull the ball back and waste clock or become an instant legend by hitting one of the most clutch shots in NCAA tournament history.

He chose instant fame and nailed the three-point jumper with just about 35 seconds left on the clock.

Soon after, Tyrel Reed committed an offensive foul, which gave the ball back to the Panthers with momentum. 

Once this happened, everybody in the stadium was in shock.

They could not believe their own eyes. 

Sherron Collins fouled, Kwadzo Ahelegbe hit a crucial free-throw and the rest is history.

The Northern Iowa Panthers were able to beat the No. 1 overall Jayhawks 69-67.

In just about every bracket across the internet, Kansas was there front-runner to win the National Championship. 

So after this lost, everybody was calling Farokhmanesh the 'bracket buster'. 

This became an instant classic and morale lesson to everybody in the tournament.

Rankings show how well your team performed in the regular season. However, once March hits, rankings don't matter.

Whoever wants it more, will get it.

Northern Iowa wanted it more and that's why they came away with the victory.

This was arguably the worst turning point for the Jayhawks. This loss resulted in three of their top contributors leaving and nobody to show for except Josh Selby.

Written by DeAnte Mitchell

(Flashback Friday is a new segment started by DeAnte Mitchell for the purpose of revisiting the great things in the past. The series will carry over to every friday, so be on the lookout for the next article.)

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