Our friends at Dime Magazine put together this dope list. Make sure to check out the Dime blog for NCAA previews, exclusive NBA coverage, and more.

Before Selection Sunday—and those two glorious weekdays of gaining five pounds in pizza weight as the NCAA Tournament field of 65 gets cut to 32—there are the conference tournaments. Significant if for no other reason than being the first official Madness of March, the conference tourneys have provided some of the college game's most memorable moments—almost on par with the Big Dance. So, while you're watching the best of the Big East, ACC, Big 12, SEC, Pac-10, Big Ten, and more this week, here are Dime's favorite conference tournament moments...

#8: Everybody Hates Duke
WHEN: 2004 ACC championship game, Maryland vs. Duke
DIME SAYS: Duke is the standard dividing line in sports: Either you're with the Blue Devils, or you're against them. Either you're a fan forever, or you hate them to no end. This game ranks as a historical landmark in the Duke Haters' national archive: Coach K's favored squad-winners of the last five ACC titles losing to the underdog Terrapins; J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams, and Chris Duhon staring into space in utter disbelief as the loss set in; and best of all, the little kid in the crowd wearing a Duke jersey, crying his eyes out. Actually, that might have been Greg Paulus.

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#7: Ladies and Gentlemen... Joakim Noah
WHEN: 2007 SEC championship game, Florida vs. Arkansas
DIME SAYS: Joakim Noah is a clown. We all know this. We all knew this. So for Noah to make experienced broadcasters speechless, he must have done something memorable. We didn't say something cool, or something a sane person would do. Just memorable.

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#6: Tyler Hansbrough and The Worst Celebration Ever
WHEN: 2008 ACC semifinals, North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech
DIME SAYS: Although the Heels fell short of a national championship, Hansbrough owned college ball in '08. He swept all the relevant National Player of the Year trophies and officially landed a spot in Dick Vitale's will. So why was "Psycho T" drawing comparisons to noted NBA scrub Mark Madsen during the ACC tourney? Because after Hansbrough's baseline J knocked off Virginia Tech at the buzzer, he took off in one of the whitest White Man moments ever seen.

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#5: Georgia is Cinderella before Cinderella
WHEN: 2008 SEC Tournament, Georgia vs. Arkansas
DIME SAYS: Usually the "glass slipper" and "big pumpkin" references don't pop up until the Big Dance, when mid-major schools try toppling big-name powerhouses and stealing the nation's hearts. But the '08 UGA Bulldogs earned Everybody's Favorite Underdog status well before the big bracket thanks to their insane run through the SEC Tournament. Led by current NBA/D-Leaguer and NYC playground star Sundiata Gaines, Georgia was sub-.500 in the regular season, but knocked off four favored teams in three days to win the conference crown. After they beat Ole Miss in the first round, a tornado rocked host city Atlanta and made the Georgia Dome unfit to play in. So the next day, UGA had to play twice (on Georgia Tech's campus), upsetting Kentucky and Mississippi State. Then, after three nail-biters, Georgia completed the job by beating Arkansas fairly easily in the title game. Gaines copped tourney MVP, averaging 17.2 points. Nobody blamed the exhausted Bulldogs when they exited in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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CLICK NEXT TO SEE DIME'S TOP 4 MOMENTS...

 

#4: Gerry McNamara isn't overrated, apparently
WHEN: 2006 Big East Tournament
DIME SAYS: Before the '06 Big East tourney, some local and national media had made Syracuse senior PG Gerry McNamara a scapegoat for the Orange's subpar season. The popular word being thrown around was "overrated." How did G-Mac respond? Going on a one-man killing spree at Madison Square Garden. He beat Cincinnati with a buzzer-beater. He sent the UConn game into overtime with a clutch three and led 'Cuse in another win. He made clutch shots, steals, and assists to beat Georgetown. Then he beat Pitt in the title game. In the process, coach Jim Boeheim was glad to let those media critics eat it: "Without Gerry McNamara, we wouldn't have won 10 fucking games this year!"

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#3: Allen Iverson vs. Ray Allen
WHEN: 1996 Big East championship, Georgetown vs. UConn
DIME SAYS: Two of this generation's greatest NBA perimeter scorers gave us a preview in college under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden. After A.I. and Ray (and don't forget Victor Page) went shot-for-shot, it came down to UConn behind by one in the final seconds. Ray got the ball, and with A.I. all over him, threw up a twisting, off-balance, impossible hang-time shot that somehow went in. Iverson came down and missed a jumper, and "Junkyard Dog" Jerome Williams missed an easy putback at the buzzer to end a classic. Check out UConn coach Jim Calhoun partying like it's 1999, but immediately switching to somber mode when he remembered he still had to shake hands with Big John Thompson.

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#2: Randolph Childress is a bad mutha...
WHEN: 1995 ACC championship, Wake Forest vs. North Carolina
DIME SAYS: Childress didn't have to average 35 points and seven assists during the '95 ACC tournament. He didn't have to put up 37 and 7 and stick the game-winner against UNC in the final. Why? Because when he broke out a crossover that dropped Tar Heels PG Jeff McInnis on his ass—then paused to give McInnis the "Come here" sign before drilling a three-pointer—Childress branded his name and that image into the memories of anybody who was watching college ball back then. Last we heard, Childress is playing pro ball in Italy, and he's also the answer to a trivia question: When was the last time Tim Duncan wasn't "The Man" on his own team?

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#1: The Epic
WHEN: 2009 Big East quarterfinals, UConn vs. Syracuse
DIME SAYS: From about 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., the Orange and the Huskies put on the greatest show of college basketball you may ever see. Besides some future NBA talent on the court and the natural UConn/Syracuse rivalry, there wasn't much going in to suggest this game would become legendary. Six overtimes later, it was embedded in the history books Current NBA rookie PG Jonny Flynn put up 34 points, 11 dimes and 6 steals in 67 grueling minutes for the Orange, while counterpart A.J. Price had 33 and 10 dimes for the Huskies in 61 minutes. 'Cuse forward Paul Harris posted 29 points and 22 boards. Hasheem Thabeet went for 19 points, 14 boards and 6 blocks, one of five UConn players to snatch double-digit rebounds. Oh, and Syracuse won, 127-117. "Epic" is the only appropriate word.

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