Back in 1994, the North Carolina Tar Heels were SERIOUS. The defending champs retained their best player (Eric Montross) and two other starters, and added freshmen Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, and Jeff McInnis. I was entering year 3 of an impressive 17 year sports fan prime, and having just been schooled by LJ&Augmon&UNLV, Laetner&Hurley&Duke, and Michigan's Fab Five, I now Knew Things. I knew, for instance, what it meant to add a wing scorer, post scorer, and point guard of the caliber of Stack, Sheed, and McInnis to any team, let alone the defending, returning champs. The Tar Heels were a number 1 seed. They were what we thought the '94 Bulls would be with Jordan and Kukoc. Back and better than ever. Reloaded. Stacked.
...and in came 9th seeded Boston College, in the second round, and like that - *poof* - UNC was gone...
Amazing! My first, "Holy shit, ANYTHING happens in this tournament!" moment. And captured so wonderfully on the cover of Sports Illustrated, back when every SI cover was a candidate to one day hang on your bedroom wall. Then they went out and topped Bobby Knight's 5th seeded Hoosiers. When the run came to its end against Florida, I had witnessed my first ever Great Cinderella Run to the Elite Eight. So hats off to you, Bill Curley and the '94 BC Golden Eagles!
In honor of two truly distinct Final Four runs by Butler (two straight FF for small school) and VCU (five wins??!), here at Lists That Actually Matter, in chronological order, are Six Great Cinderella Runs to the Elite Eight, post- '94 Boston College: