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• If you'd like to ask another member of the Classic Tournament panel questions, Howie Schwab will be chatting at 3 p.m. ET.
• Go vote in the bracket!
|Ewing's '84 Hoyas could get shocked by the '74 Terps.|
Carolina won two triple-overtime games to claim the title way back when, and slayed Kansas and the Dipper in the title game with the Heels' star player (Lenny Rosenbluth) sitting on the bench with five fouls down the stretch. That's a gut check, baby. "We're a chilly club," junior guard Tommy Kearns said when he explained how UNC could handle Chamblerlain. "We just keep it cool." So does Big Bill, though, and his cool comes with a heaping portion of boards (20-plus) and points (20-plus) on the side. In the end, his fast-break-starting brand of glass work is enough to turn the Heels away. In triple overtime, of course. SOUTHEAST REGION
Best styles-make-fights game: Kentucky (1996) vs. California (1959).
Regional final: N.C. State (1974) over Duke (1992); the No. 2 seed topples the top seed. Why? Duke's built around Christian Laettner, who has trouble shooting over and around Tom Burleson (who had seven blocks in the 1974 title game) all night. N.C. State, meanwhile, is built around Thompson, who has no trouble at all abusing Brian Davis the way Muhammad Ali once toyed with Ernie Terrell. At one point, Coach K actually throws in a towel. Thompson catches it in midair, smiles and wipes his brow, as if to say, "It's hard work beating up on your boy like this." WEST REGION
|Bill Walton would have to go head-to-head with another legendary UCLA center.|
David Thompson is the irresistible force. Bill Russell is the immovable object. It's close, but give the edge to the object. And do so precisely because there's nothing stationary about Russell at all. The only contemporary analogue we have for Russell -- for his mobility, for his constant activity, for the range of his ranginess -- is Kevin Garnett. And Garnett, great as he is, couldn't carry Big Bill's jock, frankly, when it comes to D-ing up or rebounding (Russell's 13-season NBA average comes in at 22.5 per night). Defense wins championships, and Russell will take Thompson (who needs to be in and around the bucket) out of his game far more than anyone on the State side will take Bill out of his. San Francisco in a tight one. Here's the thing about the 1968 Bruins come tournament time: They were angry. After UCLA lost to Houston in the Astrodome, on a night when Alcindor -- thanks to a scratched eye -- could hardly see (the big man had his worst shooting night of the year that night), folks were talking about how the Bruins might be vulnerable. If you're making a list of things you do not want to run into while you're moving through the NCAA Tournament, a motivated, chip-on-their-shoulders Lew Alcindor-led team that also, by the way, includes Mike Warren, Lucius Allen and Lynn Shackleford, is at the very top of your list. When UCLA got a rematch with Elvin Hayes and Houston in the national semis in 1968, it dropped the Cougars like a bad habit, 101-69. Houston coach Guy Lewis called it "the greatest exhibition of basketball I've ever seen in my life. They could have beaten anybody -- I mean anybody." I'm with Guy on this one: UCLA (1968) over UCLA (1972).