2007 was the second year of Florida’s championship run as Billy Donovan ascended to rare heights as Florida won a second straight national championship.
That hasn’t happened very often. Henry Iba did it in 1945-46. Adolph Rupp pulled it off in 1948-49. Phil Woolpert did it in 1955-56 with San Francisco. Ed Jucker managed a repeat in 1961-62 with Cincinnati and of course John Wooden won in 1964-65 and then from 1967-1973.
After that no one pulled it off until Mike Krzyzewski did it with Duke in 1991-92.
So it’s only happened seven times in 84 years.
The 2007 One Shining Moment therefore comes down to Florida’s impressive achievement.
Technology also gets a plug in this year’s version as the video is vastly improved. The opening scene before the vocals (Luther Vandross again) is heavy on cheerleaders with about 10 shots. There are a couple of CKS (cute kid shots), some bands, a juggler and Joakim Noah’s iconic hair from behind before the jump ball. We see - we think - Patrick Ewing Jr. and shortly after that UNC’s Ty Lawson streaking up court as part of the “running for your life” shot.
Oregon’s Tajuan Porter gets the “shooting star” spot as teammate Malik Hairston looks on.
Then we see a very young Kevin Durant and Big John Thompson hugging his son John III. Then there’s UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough looking quite glum and apparently missing a tooth. Presumably that was a result of the late-season run-in with Gerald Henderson.
UNC’s Brandan Wright gets a big block and an image later is one of the truly great fan shots of the entire series. That’s one happy guy!
Then it’s a dunk montage, starting with Kansas’ Mario Chalmers and teammate Sasha Kaun and UNC’s Wright again. UNLV’s Kevin Kruger is delighted as he runs up court - he’s now the coach there - before Florida’s Corey Brewer stuffs Oregon’s Aaron Brooks. Jayhawk Sherron Collins gets the “frozen in time” spot. Then Purdue’s Chris Lutz hits a big shot against Arizona. We think it’s Lutz but two guys are listed as #14 on two different sites so it’s hard to be sure. Looks like he also wore #4. Weird.
A Wisconsin player jumps with urgency as Vandross sings “time is short” just before Jayhawk Chalmers throws a sweet alley-oop to Darrell Arthur over a UCLA defender as Luther sings “the road is long.”
Then it’s a worried fan and a pensive player for “the moment’s gone” spot. Two Vanderbilt players reach out to one another across the foul line while Georgetown’s Dajuan Summers looks on. Patrick Ewing Jr. is on the right, wearing his dad’s number 33.
Next up is a shot of Butler celebrating knocking Maryland out in the second round. We love Butler’s tradition and Hinkle. It’s sort of a midwest version of Duke without the banners.
Albany’s Brent Wilson takes a shot to the face as Vandross sings “you always did your best” and the UNC Ram appeals to the Tar Heel faithful at the “inside you knew” line. How many people knew? And when did they know it?
Then BC’s Sean Marshall exults on his way downcourt before Xavier’s Drew Lavender, all 5-7 of him, hits a big shot against BYU as Danny Ainge’s kid, Austin, looks on helplessly.
Purdue’s Chris Kramer stumbles but delivers an amazing shot on his knees against Arizona as Wildcat Mustafa Shakur looks on helplessly. He gets a rare back-to-back shot after that - and earned it too. What a shot!
USC’s Gabe Pruitt has an emotional moment at the “knew you were alive” spot followed by not one but two chest poundings at the “beat of the heart.” First one is by Maryland’s DJ Strawberry during Maryland’s win over Davidson and freshman Stephen Curry. Then it’s Florida’s Noah.
A Vandy player blocks Georgetown’s Roy Hibbert at the rim and his hair lifts perfectly at the “wind in your face” line. Then a USC player takes a hit at the “more than a contest” line and a chest bump followed by a ferocious Greg Oden block of Tennessee’s Ramar Smith.
Illinois’ Brian Randle gets a muscle shot and then Butler’s Marcus Nellems celebrates a Bulldog basket.
Then VCU gets a highlight moment with a dagger shot to take out Duke. There are two future coaches in there - Jon Scheyer (Duke) and Greg Paulus (Niagara).
Ohio State’s Ron Lewis hits a big one then Georgetown celebrates. We can’t be sure but it looks like Austin Rivers brother Jeremiah makes a brief cameo in the group hug. He’s on the left.
Then it’s not to the “win or lose” montage and those are always a bit painful on the one hand but gleeful on the other. Florida’s Brewer gets a breakaway triumph then Hoya Jeff Green gets one too. And count one for Buckeye Lewis!
Greg Oden gets a monster dunk to remind of his lost potential (never be a big man drafted by Portland, kids - bad things will happen) before we move on to the championship game. There are a lot of cool shots there but the best is of Lee Humphrey shimmering after a basket, starting straight at the camera.
The video closes with the Gators holding up their second straight trophy, something no one has done since.
Next up is 2008 and the Year of Chalmers. And the age of Curry really takes off too.