March 25, 2006
Pontiac's Game Changing Performance competition added four new candidates today from the 2006 NCAA® Men's Basketball Championship Sweet 16 round.
Sweet 16 nominees include:
UCLA 73, Gonzaga 71
In a game that defines what NCAA® "March Madness" is all about, #2-seeded UCLA staged one of the most memorable comebacks in NCAA® Tournament history. UCLA trailed by 17 points in the first half, nine with just over three minutes remaining and never led until the final seconds. But, the Bruins delivered a Pontiac Game Changing Performance when it counted, highlighted by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's scoring six of the game's final 11 points and huge steal in the waning seconds to seal the win and send UCLA to its first Elite 8 since 1997.
Texas 74, West Virginia 71
In the end it came down to the sharpshooters. Sixth-seeded West Virginia struck first from long range when Kevin Pittsnogle hit one from downtown to tie the game with five seconds remaining. But #2-seeded Texas had a marksman of its own. The Longhorn's buried a Pontiac Game Changing Performance triple as time expired sending Texas to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2003.
Villanova 60, Boston College 59
The #1-seeded Wildcats were down 59-58 with the clocking winding down in overtime. But, 'Nova's Will Sheridan got behind the defense and under the basket, taking the inbounds pass for a lay-up to go ahead by one with 2.3 seconds remaining. The Eagles tried for the block but were called for goaltending giving the Wildcats the victory, a Pontiac Game Changing Performance nomination and a trip to the Elite 8.
Connecticut 98, Washington 92
The 5th-seeded Washington Huskies clung to a 78-72 lead with 1:52 left in regulation, but Connecticut rallied to send the game into overtime on a miraculous Pontiac Game Changing Performance 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left. Number-one seeded Uconn then held off Washington in overtime for the win, advancing to the Elite 8 for the sixth time in 12 years.
After each round leading to the Final Four, CBS will nominate four game-changing plays. Fans voting online will determine which of those four represents the single outstanding example of "Pontiac Game Changing Performance" for that round. Voting for Round 3 runs through 11:59 p.m., March 26 on NCAAsports.com/Pontiac.
On March 29, NCAAsports.com/Pontiac will reveal the four Pontiac Game Changing Performance finalists, each of which will receive a $5,000 donation to the selected school's general scholarship fund. Fans will then vote for the overall winner, which will be announced during the CBS broadcast of the Championship Game on Monday, April 3, and will receive a $100,000 scholarship donation.
"The "Pontiac Game Changing Performance" program recognizes that dramatic moment in every competition that changes the outcome of a game, defining a season," said Dino Bernacchi, Pontiac Advertising Manager. "The 'Pontiac Game Changing Performance' award will focus on plays that vividly show the most incredible moment in the game, exemplifying the emotion and intensity of NCAA Basketball."
Following this year's award presentation Pontiac, a leading sponsor of NCAA sporting events and collegiate athletics, will have contributed nearly $650,000 to NCAA institutions since the program began in 2004.
Full program details can be reviewed by visiting NCAAsports.com/Pontiac.
Pontiac is a division of General Motors Corporation (NYSE: GM) and markets the G6 sedan and coupe, GTO, Solstice roadster, Torrent SUV, Grand Prix, Vibe and Montana SV6. In 2006, Pontiac will introduce the G6 retractable hardtop convertible. Pontiac sold more than 437,000 vehicles in 2005, ranking third among GM divisions in total sales. More information on Pontiac and its products can be found on the division's website at www.pontiac.com and in Spanish at www.pontiac.com/espanol.