The fact that on Friday night the timekeeper had not come to the referees' aid caused time to stand still in the Kansas-Michigan State semi. Between Spartan Vernon Carr's free throw with 2:21 left in regulation (MSU leading 76-72) and Kellogg's rebound tip for Kansas, the game clock did not change. The official play-by-play, kept on a computer utilizing a separate clock, listed 12 seconds between plays; CBS-TV counted 15. Because Spartan coach Jud Heathcote left his bench to pound on the scorer's table, demanding the clock be corrected, Brown blew up in his own tirade, earning a technical. Meanwhile, Skiles was being fouled by Kansas.
But to be fair, did it really matter? When play resumed, MSU had a chance for at least six unanswered points—Skiles' four possible free throws plus possession. The Spartans scored only four and still led 80-78 with freshman Mark Brown (no relation to Larry, also no chance) at the line with 20 seconds to go. Kansas would live to Rock again.
Manning reaffirmed that on Sunday when he made up for an early-season outing against N.C. State in which he scored but two baskets and was booed in his hometown of Greensboro, N.C.
"Just great," muttered Valvano as he watched Manning leave Kemper Arena. "First he turns down my recruiting pitch and leaves the state. Then he goes spectacular and makes all those baskets. Next he'll probably go eat Italian for dinner."
And who knows? This week maybe the national championship for dessert.