Sorry guys, it is hard to get on the site sometimes, and I am sure I miss some good threads.
Memories of that game are incredible. I remember the night before the team was loose, not nervous. It was one of those years where we felt we could compete or beat anyone on a given night.
Stepping out on the court (even after practicing) was a bit surreal. IT WAS HUGE! It seemed bigger with a full crowd, cameras, fans, family, friends. It was like the world was watching.
During the game, as mentioned, they jumped out early on us. Really tried to take our heart & impose their will on us. I remember reading later on in a book, or article on the FAB 5, that they had never heard of GWU, and wondered where we were from. Later on I read that they spoke about the heart of the team, and how we just wouldn't go away. How lucky they were to get the win.
Tight and close after the 15-2 begining. If I remember correctly Jarvis made some subs, and got the game rolling. Keep in mind, Kwame was absent (not getting much time) leading into the tournament, and basically exploded in the NCAA's. One of the best parts of having a team so deep was that in practice the 2nd team could beat the first team. Not saying we did it often, but often enough that the practices might have been better than some games. We didn't lose much by putting in the younger players (Nimbo, Vaughn, Kwame, can I mention myself??) We were young enough that we didn't fear the competition, and good enough to compete.
In game, Holland was leading, Brigham was fighting in the paint, we were running our offense (Alvin), controlling the tempo, and basically playing our game. I remember guarding Webber, Riley, and Howard. Webber is strong and naturally gifted. Howard was not as athletic, but worked VERY hard. He would out work you. Riley, although losing his starting position to the younger guys was a very good player with good size and defensive abilities. Jalen was the clearl floor general for them, and he came to play. He did not want to lose. He blocked my shot twice. ;-)
I could go into more details, but the team at one point rallied together fully believeing we were going to win that game. The missed free throw was a gift. The eventualy rebound by Michigan was a nightmare. Until the buzzer rang, we continued to believe we were going to win..and were prepared to take on Jamal MAshburn and KY. We just knew it was our year to shock the world. It was just not meant to be.
Fans were incredible, we became media favorites. Maybe not as in being seen on TV, but everwhere we went media knew us by name, asked to exchange gifts, inquired, and offered thanks for a great game, and an incredible run. It was nice, for the moment, to be in the national spotlight, and not just some mid-major (a title we as a team never accepted).
I remember reading someplace that without Yinka we won the game by 9 pts. I couldn't imagine being able to win many games without the presence of Yinka. How could you ever keep him out of the game? He is intimidating just being in the paint, a threat to block everything. We needed every player we had to be alive and almost pull off one of the great upsets of my career.
It was a great run, and for those that are too young, or were not fans...I wish I good adequately put into words what that run meant to GWU basketball. We had exxensially stepped across the line and set teh stage for many expectations we have today. Call them the Golden Years, the moment in time that you can point to that is the begining of when GWU made a huge step forward onto the National Basketball Map.
Maybe I just have a bad memory. ;-)