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
Loyola v Kansas State / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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2010 Butler Bulldogs

  • Seed: No. 5
  • Tournament Run: National Championship Game
  • Final Ranking: No. 2

The 2010 tournament came within an eyelash of giving us the most memorable finish ever. However, Butler came one bad bounce of the ball away from making history.

Sure, the 2010 Butler Bulldogs were a No. 5 seed. That might not make them feel like the typical Cinderella but they fit that description because they were a plucky little school crashing the Big Dance of the blue bloods. What's more, they almost took down the bluest of blue-bloods in the most dramatic way ever.

After taking out UTEP and Murray St. in the first two rounds, the latter by only two points, Butler then faced No. 1 seed (No. 4 ranked) Syracuse in the Sweet 16. In a game that was back-and-forth for most of the second half, Butler's defense came up big in the closing minutes in a 63-59 win.

The Elite Eight brought Butler up against No. 2 seed (No. 7 ranked) Kansas State out of the Big 12. Again the Butler defense would be the story in a 63-56 win. With the win, head coach Brad Stevens became the youngest coach to lead a team to the Final Four (age 33) since Bob Knight made his first Final Four appearance at age 32 in 1973. Butler also became the smallest school (enrollment 4,200) to make the Final Four since seeding began in 1979.

In the Final Four, Butler took down No. 5 seed (No. 12 ranked) Michigan State 52-50. Then, in the National Championship Game, the Bulldogs took No. 1 seed Duke to the brink but came up just short as Gordon Hayward's half-court last-second heave hit the backboard and the rim before bouncing out.

No, Butler wasn't the typical double-digit-seeded Cinderella in 2010. Still, that team wore the glass slipper as time and again it had to claw through some of the biggest names in the program. What's more, it came within inches of taking down the biggest brand in the sport.