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Under Review
Nancy Ramsey
March 28, 2005
They were the biggest, baddest team in the country. "We took no prisoners," recalls coach John Thompson of his 1985 Georgetown Hoyas, in Perfect Upset: The 1985 Villanova vs. Georgetown NCAA Championship (HBO, March 28). But on April Fools' Day, 1985--in a game people watched, says former New York Daily News columnist Mark Kriegel, "expecting Villanova to get smoked"--the little team that could beat the No. 1 Hoyas 66--64, becoming the lowest-seeded national champion ever. (The Wildcats were a No. 8 seed.) "We didn't miss," says center Ed Pinckney, of a team that made 22 of 28 shots against the Hoyas' defense, which had Patrick Ewing in the middle. Nothing makes a better story than an underdog tale, and the one-hour Upset does not disappoint. (It's not all uplifting, though. Guard Gary McLain admitted to SI in 1987 that he'd been wired on cocaine during certain games--although, he says in Upset, not on April 1.) Upset has not only a terrific game as its payoff but also great characters: the 6'10" Thompson, who, says USC critical studies professor Todd Boyd, "put the fear of God in you"; and Villanova's roly-poly Rollie Massimino, who "by the end of the game," says then Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt, "looked like he'd been in a Maytag washing machine." --Nancy Ramsey
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March 28, 2005

Under Review

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They were the biggest, baddest team in the country. "We took no prisoners," recalls coach John Thompson of his 1985 Georgetown Hoyas, in Perfect Upset: The 1985 Villanova vs. Georgetown NCAA Championship ( HBO, March 28). But on April Fools' Day, 1985--in a game people watched, says former New York Daily News columnist Mark Kriegel, "expecting Villanova to get smoked"--the little team that could beat the No. 1 Hoyas 66--64, becoming the lowest-seeded national champion ever. (The Wildcats were a No. 8 seed.) "We didn't miss," says center Ed Pinckney, of a team that made 22 of 28 shots against the Hoyas' defense, which had Patrick Ewing in the middle. Nothing makes a better story than an underdog tale, and the one-hour Upset does not disappoint. (It's not all uplifting, though. Guard Gary McLain admitted to SI in 1987 that he'd been wired on cocaine during certain games--although, he says in Upset, not on April 1.) Upset has not only a terrific game as its payoff but also great characters: the 6'10" Thompson, who, says USC critical studies professor Todd Boyd, "put the fear of God in you"; and Villanova's roly-poly Rollie Massimino, who "by the end of the game," says then Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt, "looked like he'd been in a Maytag washing machine." -- Nancy Ramsey

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