Few things beat the first Thursday and Friday of March Madness.
Of course, there are priorities in life, but the NCAA Tournament's magical first round will be missed dearly this year. Keeping it close to our hearts, here are five of the most unforgettable first-round games in tourney history.
To be clear, the basketball in this game wasn't exceptional. Virginia entered March Madness as the top-ranked team in the tournament, a byproduct of a lockdown defense that held opponents to just 54 points per contest during the regular season.
The two teams were tied at halftime, but 16th-seeded UMBC went on a 23-8 run to start the second half, exposing the Cavaliers' fatal flaw: offense. The Retrievers went on to win in a 74-54 rout, becoming the first-ever 16-seed to defeat a No. 1 program.
Let's take it back to the old school. In March 1996, Bill Clinton was president, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men were atop the charts with "One Sweet Day," and UCLA was defending national champion. The No. 4 Bruins might have expected a cakewalk against No. 13 and Ivy League champion Princeton, but they didn't get it.
In a clinic of head coach Pete Carril's venerable Princeton Offense - a heavy dose of off-ball cuts and screens that has significantly influenced today's pace-and-space approach - the Tigers stunned UCLA on a backdoor cut with 3.9 seconds remaining.
Bonus material: a young Gus Johnson on the call.
There's an entire cottage industry of schadenfreude built around Duke's elimination each year. The Blue Devils have had their share of early tournament exits, including falling to No. 15 Lehigh as a 2-seed in 2012.
However, their first-round loss to Mercer two years later stands out even more. Lehigh had a star-in-the-making in CJ McCollum, but Mercer had no future NBAers and beat a squad featuring Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, holding Duke to 36% shooting in a 78-71 upset.
This was one of the most unlikely buzzer-beaters ever. No. 13 Valparaiso had the ball against No. 4 Ole Miss, trailing by two with 2.5 seconds left. Inbounding from his own end, Jamie Sykes uncorked a baseball throw, which was caught by a leaping Bill Jenkins well past midcourt. Jenkins immediately passed it to Bryce Drew.
Drew only had time to launch a 23-foot trey, but he drained it as time expired, clinching the major upset and creating a moment that came to be known simply as "The Shot."
One day before UMBC stunned Virginia, Loyola kicked off an astonishing run to the 2018 Final Four. The 11th-seeded Ramblers' win over No. 6 Miami was a well-played game, too - both teams shot well and there were 10 lead changes.
Miami clung to a one-point lead after Lonnie Walker IV missed a free throw with nine seconds remaining. That's when Marques Townes hit a trailing Donte Ingram well beyond the arc. The slipper fit.