Sharing Slippers: The 98 Greatest Cinderellas of the Last 20 Years

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Sharing Slippers: The 98 Greatest Cinderellas of the Last 20 Years
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With Butler and Virginia Commonwealth having advanced to this year's Final Four, I figure now would be a good time to recount the great Cinderella runs we've seen over the past 20 years.

These teams are the 14- and 15-seeds that have surprised the nation, the 12-seeds that have advanced to the Sweet 16, and, of course, the mid-majors that have made it to the Final Four.

But how does one determine whether or not a team is truly a Cinderella?

If a team advances to the Final Four like George Mason did in 2006, or to the Championship Game like Butler did this year and in 2010, can they really be considered a Cinderella?

I believe they can.

In 2000, Florida, just like Butler, advanced to the Championship Game as a No 5 seed. So are they a Cinderella? 

I would say no, because, much of being a Cinderella is coming from a smaller, lesser-known school. It is about being one of the first teams from your program to leave its imprint on the NCAA Tournament. 

At Florida, they had a team that advanced to the Final Four in 1994—Butler did not have any recent history comparable to that.

That's not to say that a school from one of the BCS Conferences can't be a Cinderella. 

Aren't North Carolina and Wisconsin's respective runs to the Final Four as No. 8 seeds in 2000 worthy or this kind of distinction?


But, for a school from one of the major conferences to be on this list, it will have to have accomplished quite a bit. The sixth-place team from the Big 12 winning a game or two as a No. 12 seed doesn't have the same aura and mystique associated with it as does a No. 12 seed from the Missouri Valley Conference or the Mid-American Conference winning a few games in the tournament.

Enjoy the countdown....

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