- 2002: #10 Kent St vs #7 Oklahoma St (69-61 1st Rnd)
After getting their first ever NCAA Tournament win the year before, the Golden Flashes were ready to build on that success. They entered the tournament with the longest winning streak in the nation at 18 games and were only allowing 62.2 points/game during that span. The Cowboys started the season strong winning their first 13 games but had been inconsistent since then and were coming off a 22 point loss. Kent St lead by as many as 15 in the first half and were able to hold off Oklahoma St in the second half. The Cowboys cut the deficit to 4 in the closing minute at 64-60 but Kent St made 5 of 6 free throws to close the game. The Golden Flashes’ victory over Oklahoma St would extend their winning streak to 19 games and they weren’t finished yet. They would go on to beat #2 Alabama and #3 Pittsburgh to advance the Elite Eight for the first (and only) time in school history. Ironically, Kent St would then lose to eventual runner-up Indiana in the Regional Finals, the team that they had upset the year before in the first round.
- 2003: #12 Butler vs #5 Mississippi St (47-46 1st Rnd)
The Horizon League regular-season champions received an at-large bid for the first time since 1962. The match-up would prove to be a true “dog fight” (Bulldogs vs Bulldogs) as both teams ranked among the nation’s top defensive skills. Butler jumped out to a 12-3 lead and was on top 28-25 at halftime. The game winning shot belonged to senior guard Brandon Miller who hit a running floater with 6.2 seconds remaining and led the Bulldogs to victory with 14 points. Butler would go to advance to just it’s second Sweet 16 appearance, and first since 1962, after beating #4 Louisville 79-71. This team would help put Butler “on the map” in college basketball world as they would have much success in coming years.