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Kentucky's Bret Bearup, a loquacious reserve forward, was even more forthcoming. "Anybody on either side who says he hasn't been thinking about this matchup since the tournament started is just saying what he's supposed to say so he won't get in trouble," he said. "I say what I'm not supposed to. I've been dreaming about this game. This is great stuff. 'Course now I'm in big trouble."
Saturday afternoon Kentucky ambushed its city cousins, opening up a 23-10 lead after the first 9:45. By half-time Kentucky had permitted the Doctors of Dunk precisely zero dunks and had turned the ball over only four times while shooting 62.1% in constructing a 37-30 lead. But right after intermission Louisville stormed the barricades. In the locker room Crum had told his charges Kentucky had shot its wad. He asked for "just a little more pressure." And. sure enough, over the first 4:43 of the second half the Cards' more aggressive 2-D, or "denial." press caused six turnovers. Louisville cut the margin to 45-42. And less than four minutes later—Scooter McCray swatting shots and intercepting passes, the spectacular Gordon practically somersaulting for baskets as if there was no tomorrow, which there wasn't—Louisville had its first lead, 50-49, after a Gordon breakaway. "We could see they were worried and confused." Scooter would say later.
But there was still some fight in the old 'Cats yet. The lead was exchanged a few more times and Kentucky fought back from a five-point deficit to a 60-60 tie. After a Louisville mistake, Kentucky had possession, so the Wildcats stalled, hoping to take the final, regional-winning shot. But at :15 Dirk Minniefield's flying drive to the hole was blocked by Charles Jones. Instantly Scooter rebounded and outlet-passed to brother Rodney, who fired to Gordon, who converted the transition eight-footer. Just like that: Louisville 62-60 with 10 seconds left. But Kentucky had one last ace for the Cards, that being the flame-throwing Jim Master, who had already made seven brave baskets from everywhere except the World's Fair grounds. When the Louisville defenders unaccountably failed to pick him up. Master fired one more time as the gun sounded. The match was even, 62-62.
"I hate overtimes," Gordon was to say later. "It's like practice is over and you got to practice five more minutes." But Gordon must have loved this one. After Jones won the tap, Gordon hit a fadeaway jumper from the left baseline. Then he stole a pass intended for Minniefield and again scored on a hanging jumper to make it 66-62. "I saw it slipping way." said Hall, who was powerless to do anything about the explosion—and those 14 consecutive Louisville points that swirled in like a monsoon.
The Cards were in their steal-and-sling-and-slam drill now, and two more Scooter pilfers led to four more Louisville points (70-62). "I thought uh-oh, showtime." McCray. S., said. "Might as well show everybody we're still the Doctors." The game was over barely 2� minutes after the overtime began.
When it was officially over. Scooter and Jones, who split 14 rebounds and a like number of intimidations, were at the Kentucky bench offering condolences all around. "I know it had to be hard on them," McCray said. Then he joined his brother to lead cheers and joyously spell out C-A-R-D-S with their arms and legs, undoubtedly contemplating Albuquerque, where Rodney will be making his third appearance in the Final Four.
In the winners' locker room after the game Hall congratulated the Louisville players. "Good game. Scooter." he said to McCray, S. "Good game, Rodney," he said to Milt Wagner. Well, what do you expect from Joe B. (for Befuddled?), a perfect double?
Though both sides downplayed the rivalry and any leftover bitterness, blood had been spilled on the bluegrass. Afterward, as Hall strode down a corridor, seemingly under control, he suddenly pounded his program against the wall, slammed it to the concrete and then kicked it with all his might.
Hall's wife, Katharine, was even more distraught. She grabbed the coat of a Louisville sportswriter who has been feuding with Hall in recent years and viciously chewed him out. "Are you satisfied now?" she demanded. "You've taken one of the finest men on the face of the earth and ruined him with your writing."