6. Glass Slipper Fits for Panthers
Entering the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Kansas was riding high. The Jayhawks were 33-2 and winners of both the Big 12 regular season and tournament championships. They were the top overall seed in the tournament and many considered them too talented, experienced, and deep to falter.
Unfortunately for Kansas, even the best teams are not immune to the power of Cinderella. After a surprisingly tough first-round game against Patriot League champion Lehigh, Kansas advanced to play Northern Iowa (who had defeated UNLV in its first-round contest). Champions of the Missouri Valley Conference, the UNI Panthers figured to have no chance against Kansas. But, as is so often the case in the tournament, the mid-major team shocked the traditional power.
Northern Iowa took an 8-point lead into halftime and held on by a thread near the finish. Though they were able to stretch the lead to double digits early in the second half, the Jayhawks mounted a furious rally. A Sherron Collins layup with 43 seconds left narrowed the gap to one; however, with plenty of time left on the shot clock, senior Ali Farokhmanesh, inexplicably, buried a 3-pointer on the ensuing UNI possession to effectively put the game out of reach. Farokhmanesh finished with 16 points in the Panthers' 69-67 victory and, although they lost to Michigan State in the next round, UNI’s upset provided one of the most poignant memories of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.