Well, some amazing things occurred. Instead of dying outside, the Bulldogs lived it up inside. With 16:04 to play, Georgia had a very shaky lead, 45-44. Then in rapid succession Fleming made a layup; James Banks, who led his team with 20 points (7 for 10 from the floor and 6 for 6 from the line) and was named the regional's outstanding player, laid one in; reserve Richard Corhen got a layup; Fleming scored another layup and yet another, and Corhen made a, yep, layup. How's that for inside work amongst the trees? With 9:11 left, Georgia led 61-50. But that wasn't all.
A few minutes later Corhen, the soph who subs for Fair, blocked a Carolina shot underneath, which in turn was batted out to Crosby, who drove the court, bedazzled a would-be defender and sank the basket. That made the score 70-57 and Carolina had never been so blue. Said Corhen, "I had confidence I could come in and do the job. I had to do something and that's what I did." All in all, he contributed seven big points.
Defensively the Bulldogs, who had pressed St. John's into oblivion, zoned Perkins into isolation. He attempted only nine shots and finished with 14 points. The hands of Georgia's defenders are so quick and reach so far that it can now be disclosed they aren't connected to their wrists. Carolina got a fine offensive performance from Michael Jordan, who scored 26 points, but that was not even close to being enough.
How Georgia managed to lose nine games this year—exactly half of its conference outings—is unfathomable. Durham likes to point out that four of the defeats came by a total of nine points. He also attributes the Dogs' success to "balance, experience—and pretty good chemistry." Better make that explosive chemistry. No matter what happens at the NCAA finals in Albuquerque—understand, now, the Dogs have no business being there—the goings-on at Syracuse provided a textbook example of why experts should never be believed. Just ask St. John's and North Carolina.