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This Upset Was One Ute Beaut
Curry Kirkpatrick
March 28, 1983
After defeating UCLA, Utah became the least likely of the NCAA regional qualifiers
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March 28, 1983

This Upset Was One Ute Beaut

After defeating UCLA, Utah became the least likely of the NCAA regional qualifiers

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Consider the circumstances in Ogden: Utah will have run out of mirrors against N.C. State. The Wolfpack, lacking the ACC's three-point rule, which seven-year teammates Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg lived on from 17.750 feet, or whatever it is, cannot be expected to repeat its ACC tournament upset of Virginia twice in 13 days. The task of thwarting Sampson, then, remains for Boston College, which dispatched Princeton 51-42 in the second round after the sophisticated Tigers had shocked Oklahoma State 56-53 in the first round. (Mamas, don't let your Cowboys grow up to play Ivies.)

Looking ahead to BC-UVa, what if Eagle Coach Gary Williams, one of the truly inventive minds in the business, works the game to a frazzle? What if the swarming Eagle press bothers the Virginia ball handlers, while muscular 6'8" John Garris and heady 6'11" Jay Murphy collapse on Sampson down low? What if, at the other end, BC's Michael Adams, the yo-yo man, can confuse the Cav defenses enough for Garris to be effective in the key and for Murphy to bury bunches of his long one-handers? Imagine if the loosey-goosey Eagles achieve a solid lead and force a shaky, coughing Virginia to chase? WAHOOS WAYLAID IN THE WASATCH. Nobody should feel stunned if all of this happens. Just sort of sad that Sampson, the college student who passed up the bucks to stay in school, did not accomplish all he desired.

If the Final Four, then, turn out to be BC, Villanova, Louisville and North Carolina—and here is one vote for the Tar Heels to repeat as champions—the craziest outcome of this craziest season would be that Ralph Sampson, 7'4" Goliath that he is, ultimately finished up as a sentimental favorite.

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