SI.com recently ranked the best/worst overtime systems in sports. (See link below.) Here, though, are some of our favorite overtime moments in sports, beginning with Kansas-North Carolina. It is remarkable this triple-overtime win in Kansas City for the NCAA basketball championship does not gain more mention as the greatest game ever played, period. All Frank Maguire's Tar Heels did was win back-to-back triple-overtime games in the Final Four and beat Wilt Chamberlain in the title game. Oh, by the way, the Tar Heels finished 32-0.
Nearly 20 future Hall of Famers were on the field for this one, including coaches. It was nationally televised and the first NFL game to go into sudden-death. That may not be the preferred overtime method now, but in this one, it was marvelous. The Giants erased a 14-3 lead. Johnny Unitas then went to work with an unstoppable Raymond Berry hauling in every pass. And finally, Alan Ameche (inset) barreled in for the winning touchdown.
All you have to do is mention "Game 6" in Boston. Nothing else is necessary. It is one of the most enduring images in American sports history, Carlton Fisk imploring the ball to stay fair. It did. The Red Sox forced Game 7, which they lost. But after 12-innings, Fisk gave baseball a picture that will last forever.
It wasn't just the three overtimes or marvelous individual play from stars and role-players on both sides. It was the huge dips and dives of emotions clear on every face in the building. The players were exhausted, the storied parquet floor was drenched with sweat and fans stormed the floor on a John Havlicek jumper, only to have time placed back on the clock and the Suns tie it again. Ultimately, the hero was little-used Celtic Glenn McDonald (inset), who scored six-points in the third overtime for a 128-126 win.
Some call it the greatest baseball game ever played. It was closely contested, heated, controversial (did Astros' ace Mike Scott have the right scuff?) and had supreme star power. In Game 6, everything came together for 16-innings of magic. Every time you thought it was over, it wasn't. The Mets scored three in the ninth to tie it and then three in the top of the 16th. The Astros answered with two in the bottom of the 16th, but left the potential tying and winning runs on base.
The Islanders fought off a 3-1 series deficit in the Patrick Division semifinals, only to seemingly hit the wall in Game 7 at Washington. But this would become the Easter Epic. With less than five minutes remaining, Bryan Trottier sent it to overtime. Then, there was back-and-forth, near-misses and near-exhaustion. Finally in the fourth overtime, the first time in NHL history, Pat LaFontaine hit the back of the net and the Epic was complete.
It wasn't "The Shot," that broke the Cavaliers' hearts a year earlier, or even an overtime thriller with playoff implications. It was merely Michael Jordan at his most brilliant best. He could not miss. Anything. The Cavaliers were playing as well as anyone could play and craved redemption from the playoff exit a year earlier. They didn't get it. Jordan finished with 69 points and it was the start of a beautiful relationship with new coach Phil Jackson.
Did you miss the recent 10-year anniversary party? Yeah, women's soccer hasn't exactly experienced the boom many predicted would happen. But for one glorious afternoon, America tuned in, Brandi Chastain took off her top and millions of hearts raced with glee. Sure, it was a shootout, possibly the worst way to determine a winner, but it was fun.
The longest NCAA football game ever played, the Razorbacks seemed to be on their way to a relatively easy win most of the afternoon. But Wildcats quarterback Jared Lorenzen brought his team back from a 21-7 halftime deficit and threw the tying touchown late in the fourth-quarter. Finally in the seventh overtime, Lorenzen lost grip of the football on a quarterback keeper and the Razorbacks took a 71-63 win.
Zinedine Zidane lost his head and then used it. Unfortunately for the great Zidane and this superb World Cup final, Zidane's head-butt of Italy's Marco Materazzi will be what is remembered most. But the game was fast-paced, exciting and ended in a 1-1 draw, leading to a penalty-kick shootout that ended with a 5-3 Italy win and championship when France's David Trezeguet missed his shot.
The only corny, smarmy, utterly unbelievable thing missing from this one was the game's hero sprinting from the endzone to the sideline, so he could propose to his cheerleader girlfriend on bended knee. Oh, wait ... Ian Johnson did. It was magnificent and shocking and daring. The tricky Broncos didn't have to go for the two-point conversion in the first overtime, but did. Sure, why not? That's how legends are made.
Tiger Woods is going to have more huge moments in his career. They likely all will take a backseat to this one. Playing on an injured knee that grew progressively more painful, Woods battled the popular and grooving Rocco Mediate for 72-holes. Then, 90-holes. Woods made a pair of stunningly huge putts along the way. Finally on the 91st hole, Woods put another memory on the mantle for his throng of fans.
In the end, Jonny Flynn said he no longer could feel his legs. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was rendered speechless, which is saying something: ''I've got no words.'' Everyone else watching had frayed nerves. It was six overtimes, countless breathless and framed by basketball's Mecca -- Madison Square Garden. In the end, it was a 127-117 'Cuse win in the Big East quarterfinals.
The defending champs faced the young guns and Joakim Noah put the exclamation point on a stunning three-overtime win with a steal, a dunk and a scream. It was the signature moment and game of a series that should be remembered as one of the greatest series in NBA history.
It was baseball drama at its best, wrapped around Longhorns reliever Austin Wood pitching 12 1/3-innings of no-hit ball, striking out 14. After a record 25 innings, seven hours and 169 pitches by Wood, the Longhorns prevailed 3-2 in a crucial NCAA Tournament game.
Everyone but Andy Roddick gave Federer his record-breaking 15th major title. And that's what made it special. It lasted four hours, 16 minutes. It took five sets. The fifth set alone lasted 95 minutes. But Federer finally won and made Grand Slam history. The word ''epic'' was made for performances like these, by Federer and Roddick.<br><br>What overtime would you add to the list?<br> Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org