This team was deemed too young and too playful to get to the final, and its inherent silliness was evident in their pregame rituals. First they would pray, as Walker anointed their foreheads with a drop of water. And then, just before taking the court, they would gather in a circle and dance. First Walker in the middle while his teammates chanted, E-ZPass, K-Walk, K-K-Walk. And then Oriahki: A-O, A-A-O. Finally they would yell Drunk Drive, Drunk-Drunk-Drive as Smith (who had once stumbled into the middle of the circle) pretended to stir a huge pot of food with a giant spoon. And at last: Tastes Good!
When the championship game was over they were eating real food, individual pizzas delivered to the locker room and stacked into a tall, metal warming oven. They tasted good, too. It had been an improbable journey, one win built on top of another until none remained. "I think back to the first game of the Big East tournament," said Beverly. "We blew out DePaul [97--71] and after that game, we just took this attitude of let's just keep doing this. And it never stopped."
Then his coach stopped in on his way to the team bus. He was wearing a tailored blue suit made just for the Final Four, wrinkled from a long night's work. History will judge his career on another day. History will judge this inartistic game on another day. The coach will not wait. "To me," he said, walking down a long wide corridor of a building far from home, "this was beauty."