PISCATAWAY, NJ - When Rutgers defeated eventual-national champion Syracuse, 68-65, on Jan. 29, 2003, it marked the first time the Scarlet Knights had ever defeated the eventual national champions.
However, Rutgers has played three other eventual national champions in its history.
On Feb. 16, 1999, Rutgers lost to eventual national champion Connecticut, 77-64. The Huskies, who were ranked No. 4 when they played Rutgers, would go on to defeat Duke in the 1999 National Championship Game.
On Dec. 19, 1981, Rutgers lost to eventual national champion North Carolina, 59-36, at Madison Square Garden. The Tar Heels, who were ranked No. 1 when it played Rutgers, went on to defeat Georgetown later that season in the 1982 National Championship Game.
On Dec. 27, 1980, Rutgers lost to No. 11 Indiana 55-50 in the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii. The Hoosiers would go on to defeat North Carolina in the 1981 National Championship Game later that season.