There have been plenty of exciting games and crazy moments involving the men's basketball program in the 33 seasons they spent in the Rutgers Athletic Center, and ScarletReport.com has boiled them down to the Top 5 moments in the building's history, as it pertains to the men's program.
5. Feb. 9, 2011 – Rutgers 77, Villanova 76: Desperate for a signature moment, senior Jonathan Mitchell provided it with an incredible four-point play with .8 seconds left to turn a three-point deficit into a one-point win against the nation's ninth-ranked team.
The fans mobbed the floor and the players celebrated wildly after erasing a 13-point deficit in the final 4 minutes, 24 seconds. Mitchell finished with a career-high 25 points and made national headlines with the play.
4. Nov. 30, 1977 – Rutgers 81, Seton Hall 76: The move from College Ave. to the Livingston Campus took place when the Scarlet Knights opened the building with a five-point win against their rivals to the north.
In subsequent years, the RAC gained a reputation as being a "pit" to play in for visiting teams when the Scarlet Knights are even modestly good, and a true home court advantage like few others in the country.
3. Dec. 7, 1991 – Rutgers 91, UNLV 85 (OT): The Runnin' Rebels were coming off back-to-back national title game appearances, including the 1990 national championship, and were battling with Duke for the title of the nation's best program.
True, the Runnin' Rebels weren't nearly the team of the two previous seasons, but their presence at the Rutgers Athletic Center was more than enough to give the place plenty of charge. Led by Chuck Weiler's 12 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots, the Scarlet Knights pulled the upset.
2. Feb. 7, 1995 – Rutgers 31, UMass 29 (postponed): The Scarlet Knights led the nation's No. 1-ranked team at the half, but never got a chance to finish the job. A student protest in response to controversial and racially-charged remarks by school president Francis Lawrence saw approximately 150 students stage a sit-in as the second half was about to start, and the game was postponed.
The game was resumed March 3 at The Palestra in Philadelphia, and Marcus Camby, who did not play in the first half of the game because of an injury a month earlier, led the Minutemen to a second-half route and a 77-62 win.
1. March 9, 1989 – Rutgers 70, Penn State 66: An upset of Temple in the semifinals sent Rutgers to its home court for the Atlantic 10 title game, and Tom Savage scored 18 points and Rick Dadika hit a pair of late 3-pointers to give the Scarlet Knights the win, and send them to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1983.
It capped a turnaround for a 7-22 season the previous year, and energized what had become a lethargic fan base that held dwindled to a few thousand per game under former coach Craig Littlepage, who was fired after winning 23 games in three seasons.