Ten years ago, Nevada Las Vegas made its only other appearance in the Final Four, losing to North Carolina, 84-83, in the semifinals. The Tar Heels, in turn, lost to Marquette, 67-59, in Al McGuire's final game as a coach.
Nevada Las Vegas, the nation's highest scoring team, led North Carolina, 49-43, at halftime. North Carolina came back to lead, 57-55, with 15 minutes to play. With that, Dean Smith ordered the Tar Heels into their four-corners offense, and they held off the Runnin' Rebels with free throws down the stretch.
Freshman forward Mike O'Koren led the Tar Heels with 31 points, followed by forward Walter Davis with 19. Guard Phil Ford, who had 12 points and 9 assists, said his team was lucky to survive.
Of the Rebels, he said, "I think they'd do pretty well in the NBA."
There was no 45-second clock or three-point shot in those days, or it might have different.
As Reggie Theus of the Rebels said afterward, "If we'd have kept running, their tongues would have been hanging out."
Jerry Tarkanian, on the three-point shot: "I've heard a lot of coaches tell me they've changed their minds. You should hear George Raveling. He was really against it and now he is all for it. I couldn't believe one person could turn around so much as he has on this thing.
"Of course he's got a great three-point shooter that he's red-shirted, so that may have something to do with it."
That would be Anthony Pendleton, a 6-4 sharpshooter from Flint., Mich.
Trivia Time: Of the six former UCLA centers in the NBA how many can you name? (Answer below.)
Scott St. James of Channel 9 asked Seattle Manager Dick Williams if he might be joining former Mariner owner George Argyros in San Diego if Argyros buys the Padres.
Williams: "No, I don't think so."
St. James: "Why not?"
Williams: "I just left there. I don't think they want me back."
St. James: "We're talking about a different ownership situation there, that's why I asked the question."
Williams, after a pause: "Same writers there?"
Just Asking: After Southern Mississippi beat La Salle to win the NIT, were its rooters shouting, "We're No. 65!"?
Bob Hope, on why he doesn't like to play golf with slow-talking Jimmy Stewart: "By the time he yells fore, the guy's in an ambulance. I don't like to play with Lawrence Welk, either, because he can only count to two."
He added: "Jerry Ford, God bless him, he's the most exciting player on the golf course. He's the Rambo of golf. He's got a black belt in golf. My favorite foursome is myself, Ford, a paramedic and a faith healer."
Owner Edward Bennett Williams of the Baltimore Orioles: "National League owners are 100% for progress and 100% against change. I think it was a long time before any of them had inside plumbing."
Trivia Answer: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lakers), Bill Walton (Boston), Mike Sanders (Phoenix), Mark Eaton (Utah), Stuart Gray (Indiana), Brad Wright (New York).
Eldridge Hudson of Nevada Las Vegas, on the night life in New Orleans: "It's no big deal. Vegas is faster than New Orleans."