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AND FINALLY, THERE ARE FOUR
William F. Reed
March 26, 1979
While one of the pre-tournament favorites, Michigan State, worked its Magic in the Mideast, three upstarts—Penn, DePaul and, most notably, still-unbeaten Indiana State—qualified for trips to Salt Lake City
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March 26, 1979

And Finally, There Are Four

While one of the pre-tournament favorites, Michigan State, worked its Magic in the Mideast, three upstarts—Penn, DePaul and, most notably, still-unbeaten Indiana State—qualified for trips to Salt Lake City

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On the game's final play, Bird got the ball with some 11 seconds left. Moncrief was swarming all over him, however, so Bird passed to Guard Steve Reed, who went up as if to shoot. But because of defensive pressure, he abruptly dumped the ball off to Bob Heaton.

"I sort of lost the ball in the shuffle," said Heaton, a 6'5" sub. "I was going to take it up with my right hand, but I was afraid of getting it blocked, so I just sort of threw it up with my left. I was hoping somebody would tip it in." The ball hit the rim and bounced around for what seemed an eternity. Finally, with :02 on the clock, it fell through.

Nobody knew what Bird thought about the day's events, because he again declined to meet the press. Well, perhaps genius doesn't have to explain itself. At least he took part in the celebration on the floor. As he walked off, the Sycamore fans chanted, "Ayyy-men, Ayyy-men, Ayyy-men, Ay-men, Ay-men." The Mormon Tabernacle Choir couldn't have done it better.

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