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Friday, September 30, 2011
Dickie V's top 5 sports moments

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

I have been blessed to see so many great sports moments over the years.

What a dramatic, unbelievable moment in baseball to see the Tampa Bay Rays down a touchdown, 7-0 to the Yankees and come back and win was magical. Couple that with the Red Sox's loss to the Orioles and it was a miracle day for Rays fans. All of it happened in a three-minute span, two wild and unfathomable endings.

To see Evan Longoria hit a laser for a game-winning shot was unreal. Seeing the emotion and the hard work put in by Joe Maddon and his team, all I could say is WOW!

Let me lay on you the list of the top five sporting events that I have been fortunate enough to see in person:

1. NC State over Houston in 1983

I was there in Albuquerque to see my buddy, Jimmy V., as his Wolfpack stunned Phi Slama Jama on a Lorenzo Charles dunk. It was truly a David vs. Golaith scenario and one for the ages. It was so dramatic when they shocked the world and cut down the nets. NC State went on an amazing run just to make the tournament, and then won it all.

2. Pittsburgh over Arizona in Super Bowl, February 2009

It feels like it was yesterday ... It was incredible to see Ben Roethlisberger connect with Santonio Holmes in the corner of the end zone in Tampa. It won the Steelers a Super Bowl in an incredible fourth quarter. There were so many big plays with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin coming through until Holmes made the game-winning catch despite solid coverage.

3. Rays over Yankees to make the playoffs, 2011

I have baseball fever right now. Joe Maddon has done an incredible job bringing this team back from nine games down in September. Three out of four years in the playoffs, and to do it with a payroll under $50 million in this day and age is unbelievable. Pitching and defense has made a big difference.

4. Villanova over Georgetown in 1985

Rollie Massimino's club was brilliant, hitting big shot after big shot to upset Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas. Massimino's kids pitched a perfect game and were so efficient offensively in the second half to win that game in Lexington, Kentucky.

5. Duke over Butler in Indianapolis, April 2010

Gordon Hayward almost hit a half-court shot to provide a Cinderella story. It was amazing to see the Butler kids battle, scrap and claw against Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and company. It was a special game to attend. It would have been Hoosiers in real life if that shot fell. It was an amazing environment as Coach K won his fourth national title.

I have been so lucky to be at the World Series, Final Four and Super Bowl. The remarkable win by the Rays ranks among the best of the best in my sports moments. I truly love sports and the passion of these moments stand out.