Price's cold shooting only punctuated Georgetown's real strength, which is its depth, its legions of doom. Ewing wasn't around for much of the second half, but Dalton was, and when he got into foul trouble, in came third-string freshman center Grady Mateen to do the job. Jackson was even colder than Price, but Martin, Broadnax and Williams shot 12 of 20 from the floor. Paging Michael Graham. Wasn't this team supposed to miss the exiled intimidator?
Price has a year to rise, but Loyola's Alfrederick (The Great) Hughes probably lost beaucoup NBA bucks off his non-performance in the Ramblers' 65-53 loss to Georgetown in the semis. Martin wore him like a cheap suit, and Hughes, the NCAA's No. 5 alltime scorer, finished with eight points, ending a streak of 94 consecutive double-figure games.
Illinois' two best players, forward Efrem Winters and point guard Bruce Douglas, were MIA, too, in their semifinal against Tech. Winters had just four rebounds and did not score during the game's last 34:12. Douglas had a real doozy of a stat line: 1 of 6 from the floor, two rebounds, one assist and nine turnovers. Were it not for Doug Altenberger's bombs (he scored 24 points, including 14 in a row late in the game), the Big Ten's lone representative among the final 16 could've mailed the result in from Champaign.
So the best two teams made the final. And the best team, Georgetown, had Tech on the ropes early in the first half, when Thompson, ahead by 28-21, went to his spread, perhaps to show that he can coach the hell out of the game, which everyone knows. At any rate, Tech tied the score at 29 at halftime. Thompson ordered the spread for much of the second half, too, but with Ewing not around to swoop in from the wing for pterodactylian dunks and tap-ins, Georgetown never really looked comfortable in it. At the same time, the Price was not right and Tech couldn't capitalize. Once Georgetown got the lead at 46-44 on a Dalton follow shot with 7:22 to play, it never lost it, using its pressure defense and clutch foul shooting in the stretch to hold on.
" Indiana had it," said Cremins. " North Carolina had it once. And now it's Georgetown." The "it" is a lot of things, but mostly it's heart. And Georgetown, indeed, has a lot of it.