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Friday, March 31, 2006 

Top 7 - Final Four Style

Two things to get out of the way before moving on to the business at hand:

1) I’ve been wanting to write about “The O.C.” for the past couple of weeks, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I mean, it’s just gotten so painful. It’s just the same old story: Marissa’s drinking and losing control, Sandy is battling against evil, Julie Cooper-Nichol is marrying a rich dude, Seth is quirky, Summer’s clothes are still way too baggy, blah, blah, blah. Why do I keep watching? Well, on the bright side, we had the first mention of Ryan’s illegitimate love child in a while last night. So, maybe we’ve got that to look forward to?

2) My buddy Andy emailed me last night and asked why I haven’t been giving out the caption contest award lately. Well, quite simply, it’s because Fite is dominating. In fact, Fish emailed me yesterday and suggested we put up a random afternoon picture just to test his skills. Well, with the Al Roker comment, he passed with flying colors. So, the die has been cast boys. It’s time to raise your game and dethrone the reigning king.

Okay, now that the housekeeping is done, let’s talk about the Final Four. Well, I think I’ve been pretty clear that I’m not exactly excited about this year’s Final Four, but it’s still going to happen, so we can’t just ignore it. Well, I guess we could, but I couldn’t think of anything else to write about. The fact of the matter is that the only two nice things I can think to say about this Final Four are that we get two more days worth of Masters commercials (I still get pumped every time I hear Nantz saying “A tradition unlike any other…The Masters on CBS.” Goosebumps.), and even if we have to endure a Championship Game of LSU vs. Florida (I know I promised no more negative comments about LSU, but I just couldn’t resist one more! Sorry Ben.), at least we have “One Shining Moment” waiting at the end. Let’s just say that goosebumps don’t even begin to describe what happens to me during “One Shining Moment”!!! Okay, I’ll move on.

Well, since I think this year’s Final Four doesn’t have a single team worthy of calling itself a Champion, I’ve decided to turn back the clock to better times and give you my list of the Top 7 Most Memorable Final Four Moments of Our Lifetime. By “our lifetime”, I mean the last 30 years. Here we go:

Honorable Mention:

Grant Hill’s Dunk- 1991 Championship Game
Two nights after shocking the world and taking out UNLV, Duke took home their first title against Kansas. The most memorable moment from this game, however, came in the opening minutes when Grant Hill reached over his head and behind the backboard to catch an errant Bobby Hurley pass and dunk it. I’ve seen the clip a thousand times, but it is no less retarded every time I see it. Unbelievable.

The Top 7:

7) Will Bynum- 2004 National Semifinal
So, I’m biased, but really, how many times has a game been decided by a 5’2” inch kid hitting the game winning layup with 1.5 seconds left? Who cares if neither team could score consistently if they were playing 5 on 4? Great game, great finish, and very memorable to folks in Atlanta and Stillwater.

6) Keith Smart and Indiana – 1987 National Championship Game
Down 1 with the clock ticking down, Keith Smart went baseline and drained a 16 foot jumper with :04 left to give Bobby Knight his third National Title. This was an electrifying finish to an electrifying game that featured legendary performances by Steve Alford (7 three’s) and Syracuse freshman Derrick Coleman (19 rebounds), as well as a match up of two eventual Hall of Fame coaches. Smart, however, was the biggest star as he scored 12 of Indiana’s last 15 points including the shot heard round the world.

5) Webber’s Timeout – 1993 National Championship Game
Down 2 with :11 seconds left, the face of the Fab 5 picked up his dribble in the corner, wheeled around wildly and called timeout. Only one little problem…Michigan had no timeouts left. Technical Foul. Game over. Webber and Rose went pro, the Fab 5 was finished, and now you can’t even find their names in the record books. But hey, they took the long shorts to a whole new level, and forever ended the era of the nut huggers. So, shouldn’t we all be fans of the Fab 5?

4) Michael Jordan – 1982 National Championship Game
Carolina battled back from 5 down with less than a minute to play, and as the clock ticked down, Jordan stroked a 15 footer from the left wing to give the Heels a one point lead. Seconds later, Fred Brown decided to go ahead and end the suspense by tossing the ball to James Worthy. Aside from the dramatic finish, this game will always be remembered as the birth of a legend. How many games can make that claim?

3) Villanova over Georgetown – 1985 National Championship Game
In what may have been the greatest Final Four of all time, David truly slew Goliath. In a Final Four that featured names like Ewing, Williams, Thompson, Mullin, Jackson, and Carneseca, it was Pickney, McClain, a reserve guard named Jensen, and a coach named Massimino that cut down the nets in Lexington. As an eight seed, the Cats are still the lowest seed to ever win it all. Couple that with the fact that they lost to Georgetown twice in the regular season, and the fact that it took a remarkable 78% shooting performance to overcome the Hoyas in the Title Game, many people consider this the greatest upset in college basketball history. I, however, am not one of those people, but more on that in a minute.


2) N.C. State over Houston – 1983 National Championship Game
You all know the story. You all know how there was no way Hakeem, The Glyde, and the rest of Guy Lewis’s Phi Slamma Jamma was supposed to lose to Jimmy V’s Wolfpack. But, you also know that Drexler picked up four fouls in the first half (what was he doing on the floor with three fouls? Not even John Brady would have done that! I know, I’m stopping. I promise.), and most of all, you know that Derek Whittenburg’s “pass” found it’s way into Lorenzo Charles’ hands, and Coach Valvano looked for someone to hug. You know it all happened, but when you see it in writing, it’s still hard to believe. That night in New Mexico is the stuff legends are made of. For the record, I’ve asked Coach Whitt many times how it feels to have hoisted the most famous air-ball of all time, and his answer never changes. He always says, “It went down as an assist, so it must have been a pass. Hey Mike, I dished the most famous assist of all time. What have you done?” Good point Coach Whitt.


1) Duke over UNLV – 1991 National Semifinal
One year before, UNLV hammered Duke 103-73 in the National Championship Game after they escaped Lethal Weapon 3 in the semis. (Did you really think I wasn’t going to mention that?) Well, nearly 365 days later, Duke was again faced with the Rebels. This time the stage was the National Semis, and UNLV was riding a 45 game winning streak and was flirting with immortality. In short, nobody in America, NOBODY, thought Duke would keep it close, much less win the game. How could you? I mean, Vegas had possibly the greatest starting five of our lifetime: Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony, Andersen Hunt, and George Ackles in the middle. Simply disgusting.

As the game drug on and Laettner, Hurley, the Hills, and Brian Davis managed to keep it close, you still couldn’t believe it was possible. You just knew that at any moment Vegas would go on one of its patented 15-0 runs, the crowd would start that haunting “REEEEBBBBBEEEELLLLLSSSS” chant, and the Rebels would ride off into history. But, it never happened. The key moment came when Greg Anthony fouled out with 3:51 left, and Vegas had to enter the last four minutes of a game in trouble for the first time all season, and their floor general was on the bench. With :04 left, Larry Johnson passéd up an open three to tie the game, dished off to Andersen Hunt, and Hunt missed a desperation three as the buzzer sounded. In all my years of watching sports, I’ve never been more shocked than when that ball clanged off the back iron. I was flat out stunned. I’ll never forget sitting on the floor of my living room and putting my hands on my head with my mouth wide open, but no words could come out. To this day, I’ve never been this shocked at the outcome of a sporting event, and I’ve never seen a better coaching job and a guttier team than Duke that night. Coach K could win 20 national titles, but nothing could ever top what his team pulled off in the 1991 national semifinal. It’s not only the most memorable Final Four moment of my lifetime, it is the most memorable college sporting moment of my lifetime that didn’t involve Georgia Tech.


Well, that’s my list. I hope you take a few minutes to let us know how you would shake the list up. By the way, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 6 of my 7 moments all came before the era that the best players either skipped college or only stayed for a year or two. But, that’s a whole other column.

Let's be honest here... 7 out of 7 because there is no way will bynum belongs anywhere near this list. By the way, check the record books - the Webber timeout never happenned, North Carolina won the championship against bye.

The creator of the shotgun formation has died. It was named the shotgun because the receivers were spread all over the field.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2390966

Anybody in the ATL want to be in a movie? Click on this link and scroll to the bottom.


http://www.beinamovie.com/

I dont know which one is gayer, Jim Nantz calling the Masters or Dick Endberg doing the US Open. Both are turd burglers

Refs can take bribes, but must only pretend to be influenced by them:

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=2006-03-31T144619Z_01_L31303153_RTRUKOC_0_US-NIGERIA-BRIBERY.xml&archived=False

Everybody stop what you are doing and go to

http://www.terrellowens.com

make sure your speakers are on, and enjoy TO's new rap song.

Check this out:

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1143672623767&call_pageid=968867503640&col=970081593064&t=TS_Home

Hilarious. Go Jays!

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Weekly Top 7

All-Time Top 7 Sports Movies

7) Kingpin - "The world can really kick your ass. I only have a vague recollection of when it wasn't kickin' mine" - Roy Munson

6) Caddyshack - "Don't sell yourself short Judge. You're a tremendous slouch." - Ty Webb

5) Major League - "Want me to drag him outta here, kick the shit out of him?" - Rick Vaugh

4) Eight Men Out - "Say it ain't so Joe. Say it ain't so." - Pee Wee

3) Rocky - "If I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood." - Rocky Balboa

2) The Natural - "I coulda been better. I coulda broke every record in the book." - Roy Hobbs

AND...

1) Hoosiers - "My team's on the floor!" - Coach Dale

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Getting this Laker team into the playoffs is the best coaching job Phil has ever done. Now he can list "The WAD" Man of the Week right next to his 9 rings on his list of accomplishments. Is there any reason for him to keep going?

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