It’s April 7th, 2003. We’re in New Orleans, Louisiana, for the 2003 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final. The Syracuse Orangemen lead the Kansas Jayhawks by three in the closing seconds, but the Jayhawks are in position to stay alive and force overtime. This is a night of magic, filled with major names and icons in the sport — but there’s still plenty of room for an unsuspecting hero to emerge.
No matter what happens, there is one big truth to this evening: one coach is going to win his first, long-awaited title. Kansas’s Roy Williams has built a deep, senior-led team to bring the Jayhawks back to the precipice of glory. Jim Boeheim has finally gotten Syracuse back to the Superdome thanks primarily to one of the greatest freshmen ever: Carmelo Anthony.
But in the end, it all came down to the little things: missed free throws, a kick-out to the corner, and one frantic, last-second close-out for the win.
Welcome to a moment in history.