Commentary

Tale of the Tape: Battle in Seattle

Originally Published: December 18, 2008
By Dana O'Neil | ESPN.com

OK, so it isn't the Thrilla in Manila, but the Battle in Seattle brings together two top 10 teams as an early holiday present. Mix in the history between Gonzaga and Connecticut -- last year's nailbiting win by the Bulldogs, the 2005 Denham Brown buzzer-beater for UConn in Maui and the 1999 showdown in the Elite Eight -- and you've got all the makings of a battle worthy of a Tale of the Tape:

Tale of the Tape: UConn-Gonzaga
  UConn Gonzaga
Head-to-head 2-1 1-2
Conference tournament titles 6 (Big East) 9 (West Coast)
NCAA tournament appearances 28 11
Elite Eight appearances or better 8 1
Current NCAA streak One year 10 years
Consensus first-team All-Americans 6 1
NABC National Players of the Year Emeka Okafor (2004) Adam Morrison (2006)
Active NBA players 13 2
Peerless leader Jim Calhoun (23rd season) -- Hall of Famer Mark Few (10th season) -- 2nd best winning percentage among active coaches
Peerless leader's rival Geno Auriemma Randy Bennett
In 1981 … Jim Calhoun makes his first NCAA appearance (with Northeastern) Mark Few graduates high school
Coach's good deed Cancer Challenge Ride -- raised over $500,000 Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Gala -- raised over $2 million
Assistant-made-good Virginia's Dave Leitao San Diego's Bill Grier
Delivery man of note Ben Gordon John Stockton
Barking dogs Husky Bulldog
Big break on the big screen Ray Allen as Jesus Shuttlesworth in "He Got Game" Axel Dench as a Wookiee in "Star Wars: Episode III"
Heartbreaking moment Christian Laettner's buzzer-beater in 1990 Elite Eight Khalid El-Amin's free throws in 1999 Elite Eight
Don't mention … Losing as the overall No. 1 seed to George Mason in 2006 Elite Eight Blowing a nine-point lead to UCLA in 2006 Sweet 16
Last football bowl game Dec. 29, 2007 Dec. 25, 1922 (football program disbanded in 1942)
Onomatopoeia alums Rip Hamilton Bing Crosby
All-World hairstyle Charlie Villanueva (representing the bald division) Adam Morrison
State professional team that flew the coop Hartford Whalers Seattle Sonics
State's musical export Peter Tork, The Monkees Kurt Cobain, Nirvana
Best import Hasheem Thabeet, Tanzania Ronny Turiaf, Martinique
Famous state export Lyme disease Starbucks

Dana O'Neil covers college basketball for ESPN.com and can be reached at espnoneil@live.com.

Dana O'Neil | email

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