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LEADING OFF

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Photograph by Hy Peskin

BATTLE OF THE BLUE BLOODS The hair was spikier and the shoes less supportive, but March was plenty mad in 1964, especially when giants such as Duke and Michigan met in the Final Four. Jeff Mullins (44) and the Blue Devils won 90--81.

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Photograph by Jerry Wachter

BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME It wasn't exactly a Hoosiers moment—Indiana was a No. 1 seed—but the joy in the heartland was no less intense when native son Steve Alford led his state's real-life hoops heroes to their fifth title, in 1987.

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Photograph by Robert Beck

RISE OF THE UNDERDOGS The tournament is usually dominated by legacy programs, but there's always room for upstarts such as Brigham Young, which Jimmer Fredette (32) led to victory over fellow party crasher Gonzaga in 2011.