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Sports Movie Madness: Basketball Movies – Round 2

Welcome back to Player Affinity’s Sports Movie Madness! Last week, we held the opening round of voting to determine the best sports movie ever. You voted, and we’ve got your results, as well as matchups for Round 2.

But first, let’s recap for those of you new to the tournament. In the Sports Movie Madness tournament, there are seven sports and one mega-category of miscellaneous sports, so eight regions total. This is the Basketball Region. Below are the four basketball films remaining after the first round of voting. There are two matchups based on our original seedings, and your job is to pick which movie you deem worthy of winning each matchup. Simply enter a comment by Sunday at 5:00 pm with the two movies you think should win each matchup (once again, not any two movies, but one of the two movies going up against each other, so no voting for Hoosiers and Glory Road, only one or the other) and your votes count! After a winner is determined in each region, those films will face off against one another until we have a winner!

Last week’s votes followed the seeds, with one exception. Samuel L. Jackson and his Coach Carter crew proved no match for the deadly inside-outside combination of Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan in Space Jam. The top two seeds, Hoosiers and Hoop Dreams, proved worthy of their statuses with very convincing victories, while the Josh Lucas-led Glory Road pulled out a one-vote squeaker against Spike Lee’s He Got Game. To vote in this round, simply read through the matchups and leave a comment with your choice for each matchup.

THE RESULTS
Hoosiers def. 8 Air Bud 
Glory Road def. 5 He Got Game
Space Jam def. 3 Coach Carter
Hoop Dreams def. 7 Love & Basketball

ROUND 2

1 Hoosiers vs. 4 Glory Road

For many, basketball films begin and end with Hoosiers. Featuring one of Gene Hackman’s best performances, the film nails the human-interest factor that elevates the best sports movies. That makes the film relatable, even to those who don’t care about the on-the-court drama. It’s about second chances and overcoming all sorts of odds, and Hoosiers hooks us into that point perhaps better than any other basketball, or sports, film ever.

Basketball films love the “based on a true story” label, and one of the all-time best true stories in the pantheon of basketball history is that of the 1966 Texas Western team. Featuring the first all African-American starting lineup, the team shocked the world by winning the National Championship. Forty years later, that story became Glory Road. The film follows the basketball formula pretty rigidly, but the story is so strong, you can’t deny the power of the film.

2 Hoop Dreams vs. 6 Space Jam

There are few documentaries in history—about any subject—that are as admired as Hoop Dreams. It’s a very personal story about the way sports can drive and define us. It’s not an easy film to watch; we feel connected to the film’s two stars, and when they suffer setback and tragedy, we hurt for them. But ultimately, Hoop Dreams is a very rewarding watch, and a brilliant basketball movie.

Michael Jordan and Loony Tunes—doesn’t get much better than that. Or does it? Throw in Bill Murray and a host of other NBA stars, like Larry Bird and Charles Barkley, and you’ve got a heck of a film on your hands—or something like that. Space Jam is a silly film by most standards, but we challenge you to watch it and not have fun.

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