Busting Brackets

10 March Madness Cinderella teams that stole our hearts

March Madness is all about the upsets and these ten Cinderellas stole America's heart as they made their runs.

Loyola v Kansas State
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1999 Gonzaga Bulldogs

  • Seed: No. 10
  • Tournament Run: Elite Eight
  • Final Ranking: 12

There was a time when Gonzaga was a school few people had heard of. That was until 1999 when the Bulldogs went on an improbable run to the Elite 8 and announced their presence as a force in the college basketball world.

Seeded just 10th in their region, not much was expected from the Zags that year. However, they began their run with the classic 10 over 7 upset by taking down Minnesota 75-63 in Seattle.

Next, Gonzaga was able to stun No. 2 seed and No. 7 ranked Stanford 82-74. That set up a meeting with No. 6 seed Florida in the Sweet 16.

In one of the most memorable games in NCAA Tournament history, Gonzaga took out the Gators 73-72 on an improbable shot. The game-winning play wasn't pretty as forward Casey Calvary simply swatted at an offensive rebound and somehow tipped the ball into the basket with just 4.4 seconds to play. Florida would hurry the ball downcourt but miss the game-winning attempt at the buzzer to send the Zags to the Elite Eight.

In the Elite Eight, No. 1 seed UCONN (the nation's No. 3 ranked team) would end Gonzaga's run with a 67-62 win. Still, Gonzaga basketball had found a way to capture America's hearts and announce its arrival on the national scene.

Since then, the Zags have gone from a Cinderella to a power player in the sport. Now, they are one of the most polarizing programs in the nation making it unlikely that they will ever capture the nation's heart the way they did in 1999 when they splashed onto the national scene.