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Reliving March Madness with the Sacramento Kings

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It’s still March for a little bit longer, which means it’s a good time to remember some past madness.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Virginia Commonwealth v Oklahoma Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings roster is littered with blue bloods. Just about every truly great collegiate basketball program is represented in the 2019-20 Kings, which means that these players had to have played in some epic NCAA Tournament games.

A look back at their college histories proves that to be true, but unfortunately, not all of these great games went in their favor. But Kings fans are used to taking the good with the bad, so here are some of the most memorable NCAA moments from this year’s roster. This isn’t a thorough recounting of each player’s Tournament career, but rather the games that stand the test of time.


Kyle Guy

First, a nod to the Kyle Guy, mostly of the Stockton Kings. Guy was part of the wrong end of the greatest upset in Tournament history, as his Virginia Cavaliers became the first no. 1 seed to lose to a no. 16 seed in 2018. UMBC didn’t just beat Virginia — it was a whupping.

Fortunately, for the Guy and the Cavaliers, they came back to win it all the following season, and due to some extremely strange circumstances, will remain the defending Tournament champions for another calendar year. Guy was at his best against Purdue in the Elite Eight, going toe-to-toe with Carsen Edwards as he hit five threes in the second half to help Virginia outlast the Boilermakers in overtime.

If you have the time, the entire Virginia-Purdue game is one of the most thrilling of the last decade, but the last few minutes absolutely deserve a rewatch.

Jabari Parker

Duke v Mercer
This is probably a day Jabari Parker would like to forget.

If you’re a fan of great upsets, look no further than Mercer handing it to Duke in 2014, a team led by one Jabari Parker. The image of Kevin Canevari doing the nae nae after the game was an obvious candidate for One Shining Moment.

Don’t feel too badly for those plucky Blue Devils — like the Cavaliers, they bounced back and reached the mountaintop the very next year.

Buddy Hield

Oklahoma had some trouble getting out of the first round in Hield’s first two seasons with the Sooners, but in Hield’s senior year, the team put on quite the show to reach the 2016 Final Four. I’d advise against rewatching the Final Four game itself, because Villanova was on another level that year, but the Elite Eight is delightful.

This game was Hield at his finest. He dropped 37 points against Oregon, including splashing 8-of-13 from 3-point range. If there was ever a reason to climb aboard the Hield bandwagon, this game was it.

Cory Joseph

Admittedly, I was unfamiliar with Cory Joseph’s college career before this post, other than the fact that he went to Texas. As a one-and-done, Joseph doesn’t have an extended Tournament history to look back on, but he was a part of one of the games that essentially gives March Madness its name.

Rather than spoil what happens, because it is legitimately mind-blowing, take a trip back to 2011 when the Longhorns faced off against former Sacramento King Derrick Williams and the Arizona Wildcats.

De’Aaron Fox

UCLA v Kentucky
De’Aaron Fox has always been at his best driving to the basket.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Everyone that goes to Kentucky has a good March Madness story. Even though the Wildcats only won one title this decade, they have been part of some of the more insane finishes in recent Tournament history.

De’Aaron Fox’s best moment didn’t come in game that went down to the wire, however. He dominated Lonzo Ball and the UCLA Bruins from start to finish, scoring 39 points in the Sweet 16 matchup against his point guard rival and securing himself a spot in the top five of the upcoming NBA Draft. Fox was a nightmare getting to the basket that night, earning 15 free throws as his team booked a trip to the Elite Eight with an 11-point win.

Marvin Bagley

Duke v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Another Blue Devil one-and-done, Marvin Bagley played in arguably the game of the 2018 Big Dance in the Elite Eight: Duke vs. Kansas. This matchup lost a little of its luster, because the winner was absolutely gobsmacked by Villanova in the Final Four, but at the moment, these two powerhouse programs put on an absolute classic.

This is one more game that I am loath to spoil, so here it is in its full glory.

Harrison Barnes

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Ohio v North Carolina Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

One more blue blood to finish off this list, Harrison Barnes of North Carolina. Barnes never actually made a Final Four in college, even though his Tar Heel team was the national title favorite during his sophomore season in 2012. Regardless, Barnes was part of a great game that season in the Sweet 16, as North Carolina got everything it could handle against no. 13 Ohio.

Barnes wasn’t at his best in the game (the ESPN recap goes so far as to call his performance “dismal”), but it’s always fun to go back and watch an underdog go at one of the most successful programs in college history. It’s even more entertaining because one of the Bobcats’ best players was Nick Kellogg, whose father Clark was calling the game.