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An incomplete list of events that transpired after the final buzzer of LSU-Loyola:
• The Tigers celebrated briefly, then went to their locker room and wilted. Says Roberts, who was 10 for 10 from the field despite not being in what anyone would've described as exquisite shape, "Everybody just laid on the floor in silence, thankful that it was over. Everybody but Shaq: He was still hyped, clowning and jumping around. He was a big kid, all excited that we just won on national TV, and we had to tell him, 'Leave us alone, man! Let us rest.'"
• Loyola showered, took a bus to the Baton Rouge airport, then boarded a commercial connecting flight back to Los Angeles—where they scored 157 points in a win over San Francisco the next day.
• Gathers's heart gave out on March 4, when he collapsed during a West Coast Conference tournament game. He was declared dead less than two hours later in a Los Angeles hospital. The team attended Gathers's funeral on March 12 in Philadelphia, then played the NCAA tournament in his honor, upsetting New Mexico State, defending national champ Michigan and Alabama before losing to UNLV in the Elite Eight. The tragedy and subsequent improbable tourney run was such national news that a nine-year-old me, having jumped on the bandwagon, was able to buy a LOYOLA shirt at my local mall in Wisconsin.
• Westhead left after the season to take over the Denver Nuggets, but the System didn't work in the NBA. Denver gave up an NBA-record 130.8 points per game in 1990--91 while scoring 119.9. The Nuggets went 20--62, and Westhead was sacked after one more year. In '93, Westhead was hired at George Mason and attempted a reboot, but that didn't work, and he was done after four losing seasons. One of his 70 losses with the Patriots came on Dec. 3, 1994, in Baton Rouge. He assumed no one there would remember him, but numerous stadium staffers approached Westhead before the game to tell him LSU-Loyola was the best show they'd ever seen.
• In a phone interview last month, Brown, who retired in 1997, insisted that Westhead was a revolutionary figure who could have changed the college game had he stayed at Loyola. Brown then asked, "Where is Westhead now? Is he still running?"
University of Oregon, I answered. With the women's team, trying to replicate the success he had while coaching the Phoenix Mercury to an WNBA title in 2007. It has been slow going: His Ducks went 15--16 last season and averaged only 71.0 points per game.
In fact, the fastest team in Eugene is on the gridiron. Coach Chip Kelly's no-huddle, up-tempo offense—which at one point had a play-call placard with an image of Westhead—is the most talked-about scheme in the nation. Who would have predicted that the football mainstream would become obsessed with up-tempo while the hoops world was marginalizing it? To find a men's team running a true replica of the System, you have to go to Shoreline Community College in Washington, where Kimble helped install it as a volunteer assistant.
• Westhead took a recording of LSU-Loyola along with him to Eugene. Never mind that it was a loss: "When I'm not in a happy mood," he says, "I'll pick up that tape and revel in the mood of that day." His video coordinator cut a five-minute edit of fast breaks from that game, and his Oregon players viewed it earlier this month. "They marveled at it," he says. "I marveled at it."