Which game will I judge to be the best of the 2024 March Madness menโ€™s basketball tournament?
resolved Apr 10
#14 Oakland over #3 Kentucky in Rd of 64
#3 Creighton beating #11 Oregon in Rd of 32
#13 Yale over #4 Auburn in Rd of 64
#11 NC State over #14 Oakland in Rd of 32
#4 Alabama over #1 UNC in Sweet 16
#11 NC State over #2 Marquette in Sweet 16

โ€œBestโ€ characteristics likely will include:

  • Massive late game win probability swing / buzzer beater

  • Significant upset

  • Competitive game / lots of lead changes

  • Best storyline

  • Ramifications transcending the tournament

I will not bet in this market.

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So there went my day! But it was fun to rewatch some of the games - some I didn't even have on my radar! This was such a tough decision, but honestly either #1 Houston over #9 Texas A&M or #10 Colorado over #7 Florida should probably be the answer here. Houston collapsed as Texas A&M went on a 13-3 run in final 1:17 with a buzzer beating 3pt shot to tie the game and send to overtime. But, the game overall wasn't that exciting, with Houston owning much of the game. The extra intrigue of Houston being a #1 made it all the more exciting.

Colorado and Florida was a much closer game throughout and had a game-winning basket with 1.2 remaining, despite Florida storming back, down 6 with 38.5 remaining.

Honorable mentions to:

The tightest game overall was #3 Creighton over #11 Oregon - it went to 2 OT but didn't have the last-second shenanigans of the top two.

#14 Oakland over #3 Kentucky was a very strong contender given the star power of Gohlke, the competitive game throughout, and the earthquake of an event that led to Calipari leaving Kentucky. This game might have the longest lasting impact on the sport from this tournament, but I couldn't quite get myself to saying that it was the best game.

I'll try to rewatch these games today and make a decision.

#4 Alabama over #1 UNC in Sweet 16

Not a bad chart

Some absolutely-wild games you might want to take a look at the gameplay of (or take a look at at least the ESPN "Win Probability" graphs for):

  • Round of 64: #13 Yale beating #4 Auburn [...present in the other market but not here]

  • Round of 32: #11 NC State beating #14 Oakland State in OT (the lead swapped hands a LOT)

  • Round of 32: #3 Creighton beating #11 Oregon in OT2 (...Like, even compared to the above, the lead swapped hands SO MUCH omg. It was BONKERS.)