BYU's record-setting comeback against Iona on Tuesday launched the Cougars directly into the heart March Madness. The 78-72 win was blinding in its swiftness. One minute they were out of the game, the next moment they were extending their lead. But it wasn't the first time the Cougars have made pulses rise in the early spring. Here is a look at the top 10 wins in BYU post-season history.
Just an NIT second-round game, back when the NIT was losing steam, but still pretty prestigious. It paves the way for an Elite Eight berth that season.
In 1986, the top BYU player was Jeff Chatman (17.5 ppg). That season BYU won 13 games in a row.
A second-round NCAA Tournament game, but it isn't supposed to be so easy. A nice segue into the West Coast Conference.
Another NCAA second-round game. Rocket Rod Foster's Bruins not enough to slow Danny Ainge, who scores 23 of BYU's 31 first-half points.
Tenth-seeded Cougs upset seventh seed Virginia in Salt Lake 69-59 in NCAA first round.
In 1991, Shawn Bradley was the leading scorer, averaging 14.8 points.
Setup game for BYU to win its first NIT title. The NIT is at that time still the the best post-season tournament in the country. Star Mel Hutchins fouls out but Dick Jones stepped up.
Double-overtime thriller over SEC power in NCAA's first round. Not Florida's best team, but still Florida. First-round NCAA win gives BYU the confidence it can prevail in the post-season, not just show up.
Just a play-in game, but what a game. BYU sets record for NCAA's biggest comeback, trailing by 25 in first half. Obama, you missed something special.
BYU defeats Dayton 62-43 behind Roland (The Cat) Minson and Mel (Hutch the Clutch) Hutchins. LDS President George Albert Smith sends this telegram to the Cougars on the even of the title game: “From the top of the Rockies, I send my love and blessing. I have faith in your abilities. Play clean, play hard, play fair, play to win. God bless you.”
Jeff Congdon, Dick Nemelka are Cougar stars. Run-and-gun hoops – just like now, only better. Nemelka tells a writer after semifinal game: “We haven't played our basketball yet.” Coach Stan Watts, also the coach in 1951, tells a reporter “it seemed easier for some reason” the first time around.
Ainge takes the ball coast-to-coast and scores over Orlando Woolridge just before the buzzer. During the last timeout, teammate Steve Trumbo is looking into the crowd and misses coach Frank Arnold's instructions. After asking Ainge what they are supposed to be doing, Ainge tells him, “Don't worry about it. Just get the ball to me.”