We asked some folks across the industry about their most groan-worthy March Madness moments. Here’s what they had to say. 

Chris LaPlaca
SVP, Corporate Communications
ESPN

“It has to be the very first game played in the 2000 NCAA Tournament, between favored Kentucky and my alma mater, St. Bonaventure, coached by a good friend of mine. We weren’t supposed to be close and lost…in double OT. We had a three-point lead late in regulation but couldn’t hold it…and we needed three straight free throws at the end of the first OT to tie it. Great heart by our guys. But a brutal loss!”

Damon Phillips
SVP, Strategic Initiatives; Head of Diversity & Inclusion
NBC Sports Group

“I have two favorite women’s teams. My alma mater Stanford and my adopted team… Florida Gulf Coast University. FGCU is a scrappy mid-major program and one of best places to watch basketball games. FGCU was on a 25-game winning streak going into the tourney. I was hoping for an upset over Michigan, but it didn’t happen.”

Hania Poole
SVP, Digital
Turner Sports

“When I first took the helm of the MM product team, Duke was playing Mercer in the 2014 tourney, 2nd round. As the game went back and forth, more and more people joined to watch. I was sick to my stomach, both from the game, but also because I didn’t know if our products could handle the traffic. Well, we lost the game, but set an industry record for audience!”

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