* 1992: #9 UTEP vs #1 Kansas (66-60 2nd Rnd)
The Miners were in familiar territory when they took on the Jayhawks having made the tournament eight times in a nine year span. In addition, they were coached by Hall of Famer Don Haskins who led Texas Western (renamed to UTEP in 1967) to a National Title in 1966 when his team beat Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp. It was a pivotal game that initiated the end of racial segregation in college basketball. Kansas was ranked in the top 5 throughout much of the season and after dominating the Big Eight Tournament were looking to keep it rolling. However, the defensively persistent Miners proved to be too much and held on for the victory. It was another career win for Haskins who hadn’t taken a team past the second round of the tournament since winning it all in 1966.
* 1993: #15 Santa Clara vs #2 Arizona (64-61 1st Rnd)
The Broncos had momentum after winning the WCC Tournament for an automatic bid which was quite an accomplishment for a team who in early February had a 7-10 record. Santa Clara finished the season strong winning 9 of their last 10 games before being matched up against the Wildcats who were ranked 5th in the nation. Arizona dominated the Pac-10 (17-1 record) and had breezed through their conference Tournament. For a team stacked with talent (all 5 starters would go on to play in NBA) and a Hall of Fame coach (Lute Olson) it didn’t seem like the Broncos had much of a fighting chance. However, the Wildcats had a poor shooting night (17-55 FG) and starting guard Damon Stoudamire (future NBA Rookie of the Year ‘96) went 0-7 from the field along with 6 turnovers. Santa Clara kept things interesting until the very end by missing 4 free throws in the final 7 seconds. A desperation heave as time expired by Stoudamire also missed and Santa Clara survived. The Bronco that missed 2 of those free throws was Freshman guard Steve Nash. He would go on to become a NBA Hall of Famer and one of the most clutch free throw shooters to ever play the game.