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Before we got NBA superstar Steph Curry, we had college basketball darling Stephen Curry. In the 2008 NCAA Tournament, the future Hall of Famer led tiny Davidson College on a run for the ages to the Elite Eight.

Stephen did Steph things for four straight rounds — we just didn’t know they were Steph things yet.

Let’s relive Curry and Davidson’s impressive run 15 years ago when the country fell in love with a short, slight, obscure guard who would go on to change the way basketball is played.

Stephen Curry and Davidson College entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed

The Wildcats finished the ’07-08 season 29-7 overall, 20-0 in the Southern Conference. They played some good, non-conference competition during the year, facing powerhouses such as Duke, North Carolina, and UCLA.

Davidson lost by four to a UNC team that featured Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, and Ty Lawson and went to the Final Four. That same team won the National Championship the following season.

The Bruins’ squad featured Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and Darren Collison. The 2007-08 Blue Devils had Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer, and Nolan Smith and beat the Wildcats by just six.

“We had a tough-mindedness that I think is a unique skill for a team,” Davidson head coach Bob McKillop said in 2020 via

“It’s a skill and mental ability, but that tough-mindedness, I’m convinced, is one of the true tests of greatness. We had that, and of course, Stephen was the master of that.”

Come tournament time, Curry proved a master of many things.

The magic started immediately during a game against Gonzaga and didn’t slow

The Wildcats drew a No. 7 seed and played 10-seeded Gonzaga in the first round. Curry finished the night with 40 points, 30 of which came in the second half. He was 14-of-22 from the floor and 8-of-10 from three-point land in an 82-76 win.

Next came an upset of second-seeded Georgetown, led by Roy Hibbert. The Wildcats trailed by 17 in the second half but came back to earn a 74-70 win behind 30 points from Curry.

It had already become a Cinderella run, and Curry put himself on the national radar but then came a Sweet 16 game against Wisconsin, who led the nation in scoring defense. The Badgers allowed only 53 points per game that year. Steph scored more than half that by himself in a Wildcats win (33 points on 11-of-22 shooting and 6-of-11 from three). Davidson routed the Badgers 73-56.

The Wildcats then took on Kansas in the Elite Eight. It was a back-and-forth night, but Curry hit a three with under a minute left to bring Davidson to within two at 59-57. Knowing the Wildcats’ best shot at winning was Curry, the Wildcats double-teamed him the entire second half to the point that he barely touched the ball.

Davidson ran a play for Curry on the final possession but was doubled once again and passed to an open teammate in Jason Richards, who missed the shot, ending one of the most epic runs in college basketball history.

Curry’s college run gave us a glimpse of what was to come in the NBA

Curry finished the tournament with averages of 32.0 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.3 steals. He shot 46.7% from the floor and 44.2% from deep on 13 attempts per game. He returned the next year and led the country in scoring before becoming the seventh-overall pick in the 2009 draft.

Taking after his father, Dell, a longtime NBA player, Curry earned a living in the league as a sharpshooter. ?The younger Curry, however, has taken his game to another level.

A two-time MVP and nine-time All-Star, Curry is considered by many to be the best shooter in the history of the game. He’s guided the Warriors to four championships and six NBA Finals appearances. He’s led the NBA in scoring twice and was tops in free-throw percentage four times. He even led the NBA in steals during the 2015-16 season.

Curry’s a lock for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and it all began with a magical NCAA run at Davidson.

All statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.


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