Long before becoming a two-time NBA MVP, Steve Nash had only one scholarship, from Santa Clara (CA) University in Silicon Valley.
In his freshman year, the plucky Canadian rewarded the Broncos for their faith in him with one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history. The victim: Arizona, the No. 2 seed in the West Region and the No. 5 ranked team in the country.
The Wildcats held a 46–33 lead with 15:26 remaining in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament. But when leading scorer Chris Mills picked up his fourth foul, the tide turned to No. 15 seed Santa Clara. Arizona would not hit another field goal until a Mills 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds remaining.
Nash was only 1-for-7 from the field on the day but made eight free throws to help pull off the 64–61 upset. The Broncos lost in the next round but Nash would lead Santa Clara back to the Big Dance in both 1995 and 1996.
At 19–8 on the season and heading into a tough road game at third-ranked Gonzaga on Wednesday night, the Broncos have perhaps their best shot at a tourney bid since the Steve Nash Era.