2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament logo2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

2011 NCAA Tournament: Top 10 What If Moments

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIApril 5, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament: Top 10 What If Moments

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The NCAA Tournament has many memorable moments to look back upon. With those memorable moments come memorable heartbreak. Have you ever sat back and said "what if?"

    What if Player A hits the game-winning shot instead of missing it? What if the referee doesn't blow the whistle that costs the team a game? What if the best player on the floor doesn't get hurt?

    These moments happen in any sport, but especially in college basketball. With the tournament being a single elimination tournament, it is more likely to occur.

    One play can change the outcome of the game in any sport. That is what makes the game so enjoyable. One teams' success is anothers failure. One team (Uconn) won the ultimate prize, and another (Butler) lost for the second consecutive year.

    It is hard to make a Final Four, let alone win a National Championship. You need luck, bounces, breaks, calls and, on top of that, a quality team.

    Only one team can win it all, and this year it was Connecticut.

    These are the top 10 "what if" moments of the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

No 10: What If Demonte Harper Missed Three Pointer Against Louisville?

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    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    Down two, Morehead State's Demonte Harper pulls up from long range to bury Louisville in the final seconds of the Second Round.

    What if he misses the shot? How far does Louisville go? Do they go to the Final Four?

    Do they win it all?

No 9: What If Officials Don't Call the Backcourt Violation Against Syracuse?

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The game was tied at 59 in the Syracuse and Marquette game. The ball was inbounded to Scoop Jardine, and his foot touched in the backcourt, which caused the refs to blow their whistle.

    John Adams, the head of officiating, admitting that the refs were wrong and they made a mistake. "It appears, from the video that we have seen, that an error was made in applying the backcourt violation rule," Adams said.

    What if this call isn't made? Does Syracuse beat Marquette? How far do they go?

No 8: What If Brandon Knight Doesn't Hit Pull-Up Against Ohio State?

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Ohio State just hit a three to tie the score. Freshman point guard Brandon Knight drives down the floor, pulls-up and hits the game-winning shot with seconds remaining.

    What if he misses? Does Ohio State score late? Win in OT?

    How far does Ohio State go? Does North Carolina beat Ohio State? Beat UConn? Beat Butler?

No 7: What If the Referee Didn't Miss the Five Second Call Against Arizona?

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Texas is up 69-67 with 14 seconds left in the game. They are inbounding from underneath their basket. Freshman guard Cory Joseph is attempting to get the ball in, but can't because of the pressure.

    The official blows the whistle and calls a five second violation. Clearly, it was a count of four instead of five.

    Arizona gets the ball, and Derrick Williams hits a three to give the Wildcats a 70-69 lead that they ultimately hold.

    What if that call isn't called? Does Texas win? How far does Texas go? Does Duke beat Texas? How far do they go?

    We never get to see Derrick Williams go off against Duke.

No 6: What If VCU Doesn't Score Off the Inbound Pass To Beat FSU?

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Down by a point in overtime, VCU scores the game-winning basket to beat Florida State.

    What happens if they don't get the pass inbounded? Do they win? How far does FSU go? Does Kansas rip them apart? Does Kansas win it all?

No 5: What If Derrick Williams Doesn't Block Shot To Beat Memphis?

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Arizona was up late in the game against Memphis. The Tigers were forced to miss the free throw on purpose to have a chance for a put-back to tie.

    They executed what was asked, and got the rebound. Memphis went up for the game-tying basket, but were denied by Derrick Williams.

    What if Memphis makes the shot? Do they win in overtime? How far do they go? Does Duke go to the Final Four? Do they win the National Championship? How far would Texas go?

    We would never realize how great Derrick Williams could be until the NBA. That block could have saved him some money next season.

No: 4 What If Brandon Knight Misses Shot Against Princeton?

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Kentucky and Princeton were tied late in the second round. Knight, who struggled all game, took it to the rack and scored with a few seconds remaining.

    What if he misses? Does Princeton win in OT? How far could they go?

    Kentucky's run could never have happened, and would we never have learned about Brandon Knight and his clutch gene.

No 3: What If Matt Howard Doesn't Make Shot To Beat Old Dominion

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Many people had Old Dominion winning this game.

    But Matt Howard was in the right spot at the right time off a miss, and laid in the game-winning basket to beat ODU.

    What if Howard misses? Does ODU win in overtime? How far do they go? Does Pittsburgh beat ODU and go to the final four? Do they win the national title? Does Wisconsin go to the Final Four Do they win the National Title? Does Florida or VCU win the National Title?

No 2: What If Jamelle Horne's Shot Falls Against Connecticut?

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    UConn was up 65-63 with seconds remaining against Arizona.

    Derrick Williams shoots a three, but misses. The ball is rebounded by Arizona and kicked out to an open Jamelle Horne for a chance to win it. He shoots, but misses, and the game is over.

    What if he makes the shot? Obviously UConn doesn't win the National Title. Does Arizona win the championship? Does Kentucky beat Arizona? Does Butler win the National Title?

No: 1 What If Gilbert Brown Makes Second Free Throw Against Butler?

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Butler's Andrew Smith scores a basket that gives Butler a one point lead against Pittsburgh in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

    Gilbert Brown receives the inbound pass around half court and is fouled by Shelvin Mack with less than a second remaining.

    He goes to the free-throw line and knocks down the first attempt. He misses the second free throw, and the ball is rebounded by Matt Howard.

    Howard is then fouled by Nasir Robinson from 80-plus feet away from the hoop. He goes to the free-throw line and makes the free throw that wins the game.

    What if Brown makes the second free throw? Would Pitt go to the final four? Win the National Title? Would Florida or VCU win the National Title?

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