|ESPN.com: Page 2||[Print without images]|
|Photos: Rice (Getty), Webber (Getty), Rose (Getty)|
|Scoop Jackson predicts ...|
The U of M's battling for basketball supreme clientele-ness. Lefty and Gary on the bench, Cazzie and Chris on the court. From the opening tip, the war is on. Leads of two are enormous. Each team takes the other's best shot. Glen Rice's ability to pull Len Bias outside and drop 3s from everywhere has the crowd inside the Carrier Dome in awe. Jalen Rose plays the game of his life, raising the level of his play equal to that of Juan Dixon circa 2002. 51-50. 53-51. 54-54. 57-56. 59-59.
Both teams are making the unbelievers believe: that they are the un-pound-for-un-pound greatest team in this tournament. Rickey Green blows past John Lucas for what looks like the go-ahead basket. But the shot is blocked by Joe Smith. The entire Michigan bench jumps up, wanting a goaltending call. None comes. As the clock ticks down, Rose is forced to foul Dixon to stop the clock at 0.05. Dixon drains both, draining Michigan's chance at immortality. This game becomes the new Kentucky-Duke of NCAA basketball.
Final score: Maryland 101, Michigan 100
|Photos: Bias (AP), Smith (Getty), Francis (Getty)|
|Eric Neel predicts ...|
Here's something Mike Krzyzewski said about Len Bias a couple of years ago, "This is my 24th year at Duke, and in that time there have been two opposing players who have really stood out: Michael Jordan and Len Bias. Len was an amazing athlete with great competitiveness. My feeling is that he would have been one of the top players in the NBA. He created things. People associate the term 'playmaking' with point guards. But I consider a playmaker as someone who can do what others can't, the way Jordan did. Bias was like that. He could invent ways to score, and there was nothing you could do about it. No matter how you defended him, he could make a play."
Here's something I wrote a couple of years ago about watching Bias play in the 1986 NCAA Tournament, just weeks before he died: "In the second game, against UNLV, he came around a pick to catch the ball at the top of the key. Two guys collapsed on him, and then he disappeared. What I'm saying is, he dematerialized -- millions of subatomic particles scattered throughout the arena, thin air, wisps of smoke where his arms and legs used to be. The Vegas players ran into each other. It looked like that scene in "It's A Wonderful Life" when Bert, the cop, and Ernie, the cab driver, try to grab George Bailey and end up in a bear hug on the stoop in the snow. Anyway, it was all quiet for a drawn-out instant, until Bias reappeared, fully formed, above the rim and dunked with two hands. My friend Aaron was sitting next to me, giggling. He saw it all."
Final score: Maryland 82, Michigan 79