April 2, 2005 |
* The game: Illinois (36-1) vs. Louisville (33-4), 3:07 p.m. PST, on Channel 2 * How they got there: The last step was a dramatic one for both teams. Illinois made a comeback against Arizona to reach the Final Four that was so stunning some of the players said they now feel a sense of destiny. Trailing by 15 with four minutes left, Illinois stormed back to win in overtime, 90-89.
March 31, 2005 |
Hard to believe, but it has been 18 years since a boyish Rick Pitino first burst into the Final Four in 1987, with a three-point-shooting Providence team led by point guard Billy Donovan that upset top-seeded Georgetown. Though it was the first of Pitino's five Final Fours, it was also the saddest, a March filled with pain after his infant son Daniel, born prematurely, died of heart failure shortly before the tournament began.
March 25, 2005 |
Washington guard Nate Robinson stood by his coach, bent at the waist, trying to stretch out his cramping legs but unable to make the pain in his heart go away. Louisville, champion of Conference USA, regular season and tournament, owner of 31-4 record and a curiously low No. 4 seeding in the NCAA Albuquerque Regional, ran circles around Robinson's top-seeded Huskies on Thursday night in the Sweet 16. The Cardinals built a 12-point halftime lead and just kept going, eliminating Washington, 93-79.
March 7, 2001 |
Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich doesn't care if Rick Pitino coached at rival Kentucky or failed to turn around the Boston Celtics. He's the only man Jurich wants to replace Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum. Jurich and Pitino will meet in Florida this weekend about the job vacated when Crum retired last Friday. "What I've tried to focus on is who would be the best fit, and who would do the best job and who I would enjoy working with," Jurich said at a news conference Tuesday.
March 3, 2001 |
When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now. Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greeting, bottle of wine? No, but sometimes they'll cut you a check. Denny Crum turned 64 on Friday and, with administrators leading him by the elbow, gingerly stepped down as Louisville coach after 30 years. Defiant until days ago, when he shook his fist and vowed things would be different once "the real truth is known," he quickly shifted into Al Gore-esque concession mode.
March 24, 1994 |
The best team in the West? Well, it's either the team from New York, the one from Missouri, the one from Kentucky or the one that is actually from the West, Arizona. Syracuse, Missouri, Louisville and Arizona not only know where they're from, but they are also quite aware of where one of them is headed after the West Regional, which continues with the semifinals tonight at the Sports Arena. That would be Charlotte, N.C., for the Final Four.