8. Virginia, 1984
Everyone wrote off the Cavaliers following the departure of Ralph Sampson, the three-time national player of the year, in 1983. After all, even with the 7-foot-4 Sampson, Virginia had reached just one Final Four, in 1982, and failed to win a title. So when the Cavs fought through the East Region as a No. 7 seed, winning three games by two points or less, no one was probably more surprised than Sampson. With Rick Carlisle, Othell Wilson (pictured), Ricky Stokes and Jimmy Miller, Virginia nearly reached new heights before falling to Houston in overtime in the Final Four.
(AP Photo/Joe Holloway, Jr.)