Friar Makes Pass at College Student
In the 1973 NCAA semis the crowd of 19,000 in St. Louis falls eerily silent, awestruck when Providence guard Ernie DiGregorio whips an 80-foot behind-the-back pass, splitting two defenders and connecting perfectly with streaking teammate Kevin Stacom for a layup. It's the most breathtaking assist in college basketball history.
Kimble Eulogizes Gathers With Lefthanded Compliment
In the 1990 NCAAs, Loyola Marymount's Bo Kimble (right) shoots his first free throw of each game with his left hand to honor teammate and friend Hank Gathers, who had collapsed and died of heart failure during a game two weeks before the tournament began. Riveting the nation, the 11th-seeded Lions scorch defending champ Michigan 149-115 on their way to the West Regional final. Appropriately, Kimble sinks each one of his lefthanded tributes. "It may sound corny," he says, "but it makes me believe I've got a little bit of Hank inside me. I feel his strength."
Deadhead Redhead Takes Tigers to Woodshed
How best to describe Bill Walton's 1973 NCAA final as he makes 21 of 22 shots and almost single-handedly secures UCLA's ninth title in 10 years with 44 points? Try, perhaps, something like this:
Dear Memphis State,
Peace and love,
Stormin' Mormon Goes Coastal
With BYU trailing by one with 10 seconds left in the 1981 NCAA East Regional semis, guard Danny Ainge (22) takes the inbounds pass, knifes through three Notre Dame defenders at midcourt with a behind-the-back dribble, zips past a fourth at the free throw line and lays the ball in over the fifth at the buzzer for a 51-50 win.
On Dec. 23, 1982, Chaminade, a tiny NAIA school (enrollment 900) in Honolulu, knocks off No. l-ranked Virginia, with 7'4" Ralph Sampson, 77-72 in the most stunning upset in college history. While the mainland sleeps, the Cavaliers' fate is sealed soon after 6'2" Chaminade guard Tim Dunham skies over Sampson and flushes a perfect alley-oop. "I must be dreaming," says Silverswords coach Merv Lopes, who works full time as a high school guidance counselor. "It's amazing what human beings can accomplish."
Fundamental Christian Crucifies Kentucky
Five times the ball changes hands, and each possession results not only in a score but also a lead change—and that's only in the last 31.5 seconds of overtime. With :02.2 left in the 1992 East Regional final between Duke and Kentucky, the Blue Devils' Grant Hill arcs a three-quarter court pass to Christian Laettner, who wheels, fires and—just as he has done with every shot that night, 10 free throws and 10 field goals—scores. Duke 104, Kentucky 103.
Birth of the Jump Shot
Using a revolutionary running one-handed thingamajig that the man from The New York Times has no name for, college basketball's first superstar, Hank Luisetti, scores 15 points and exits to a prolonged standing ovation at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 30,1936, as Stanford ends LIU's 43-game winning streak, 45-31.
Laying a Big Hurt on the Big Dipper
On March 23, 1957, the longest championship game in NCAA history finally ends after three ulcer-inducing overtimes when North Carolina's Joe Quigg sinks two free throws to beat Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas 54-53. Quigg bats away the Jayhawks' last-ditch pass to Chamberlain, and the victorious Tar Heels (featuring five starters from New York) carry coach Frank McGuire off on their shoulders. Chamberlain plays heroically—23 points, 14 rebounds—but the loss will haunt him as he develops a reputation for not winning the Big One.
Young Jedi Knight Harnesses the Force
Coach Bobby Knight, 35, guides Indiana to the 1976 NCAA title and a spotless 32-0 record that only improves with age. Over the next 23 years there will be pretenders—both Indiana State (79) and UNLV ('91) will go into the Final Four undefeated—but no team has gone perfect since.