In the final quarterfinal matchup of our Greatest Games bracket, we find a matchup of two colossal contests from our athletics history - 1980 vs. Alabama (Football) versus 1996 vs. Kentucky (Basketball).
How they got here
'80 vs. Bama (Football) was a heavy favorite in their previous matchup with '04 vs. Florida, and it showed in the voting, as '80 vs. Bama crushed the '04 Florida game 79-7. Although it was a classic contest, '04 vs. Florida probably never stood a chance, as '80 vs. Bama is highly revered throughout many generations of Bulldog fans. Plus, the '80 vs. Bama game was up against a game coached by Sylvester Croom, therefore the probability was always high that they would be able to amass a large number of points.
'96 vs. Kentucky (Basketball) didn't have it quite as easily in their first round matchup, but did manage to defeat '96 vs. Bama (Football) 36-21, thwarting what would have been an all-Bama quarterfinal matchup (/claims another NC for Tide). Although the '96 Bama game was a classic contest, '96 vs. Kentucky will forever be remembered as the contest where we defeated the mighty evil-empire that is Kentucky basketball, thus sending all of those 1996 SEC Tournament Championship Wildcat t-shirts to their new home in a 3rd world country. And this victory was against the eventualy national champion Wildcats, so that makes it even more special.
One boats a monumental victory over the Bear, one boasts an SEC Tournament Championship that began an amazing final four run. Which will you vote for. Let's check out some highlights from each contest one more time before you make your decision:
'80 vs. Bama (Football)
MSU's defense haults a late Bama drive with a fumble recovery as the Dogs hand Bear Bryant his first loss in a
decade a million bagillion years some undefined number of games that is impressive but unknown to us at this time 28 games.
Mississippi State---Alabama 1980 Last 2 minutes (via SteelyZan)
'96 vs. Kentucky (Basketball)
Dontae Jones, renowned summer class taker and noted Nashville rapper, had his way with the mighty #1 Kentucky Wildcats, as he and his fellow Bulldogs Eric Dampier, Darryl Wilson and Co. defeated the Wildcats 84-73 as a part of one of the more memorable years of Bulldog basketball history.
1996 SEC Tournament Championship Game: Mississippi State vs Kentucky (via sparky39762)
There you have it folks: two great games in our history. But only one can emerge from this quarterfinal matchup to move one step closer to being the Greatest Game. You've reviewed the tape, you know the history, now it's your turn to decide: which game moves on to the semifinal round?
Voting will only be open until Thursday at 3pm, so make sure you get your vote in right now!