Mount St. Mary’s It Is

Mount St. Mary’s, champions of the NEC, defeated Coppin State 69-60 in the Opening Round(Don’t Call It a Play-In) Game. And as a reward for this fine effort MSM gets to travel to Raleigh and play the #1 overall seed in North Carolina. Incidentally UNC led off the 2005 NCAA Tournament playing the opening round winner Oakland despite the fact UNC was actually the #2 seed that season but due to some logistical issues UNC was given the opening round winner instead of Illinois.

And let me just say, the kid holding up the sign that said “BURY NORTH CAROLINA” must be in the 0.4% that has picked UNC to lose the game on Friday in the ESPN bracket contest.

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24 Responses to Mount St. Mary’s It Is

  1. 52BigGameJames says:

    Chaminade…just sayin.

  2. william says:

    That is a reward, THF. I actually think the play-in teams are in a better position than the other 16 seeds. They get a game on national television with no other NCAA tourney games and they actually have a 50% chance or so of winning and if they win, they get to play a second game.

    For these MSM kids from my home county, playing against UNC in the tournament will probably be the highlight of their careers, so you better believe they are excited to win tonight against an in-state rival. Kudos to the Mountaineers!

  3. william says:

    I was wondering about that Oakland game, because I remembered that they were in the play-in game. Like then, I had to watch the game tonight to scout the contest for our Heels.

    I remember the media trying to trick the Heels into saying that they had never heard of Oakland, a la Sam Perkins in 1983 about Georgia, but Jawad said that he was from the Midwest near their campus and he knew all about those guys. It was a perfect answer.

  4. william says:

    Here’s a link regarding Sam’s so-called gaffe, which was entirely overblown in my opinion for a kid from the North who had only played three years of ball, back in the days before cable television….

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/uga/stories/2008/03/18/ncaa83dawgs_0319.html

  5. william says:

    And I hate to say it, James, as it was only two games but you have to say that Hugh Durham might be the only coach to best Dean Smith, as he beat Smith in the Regional Final in 1983 and in the National Semi-final in 1972, which might have been one of the most disappointing Carolina losses ever but even I am too young to remember that.

    My first disappointments were the 1976 tourney against Virginia and the 1977 loss against Marquette, which might have been the only time that I ever cried about basketball. That one still hurts, even though I am happy for Al McGuire, who was a good guy with ties to North Carolina from coaching at Belmont Abbey.

  6. 52BigGameJames says:

    Georgia? rings a bell–seem to recall they had a beast of a PF in 72. That 72 team was one of my favs.
    Taking nothing from McGuire and Butch Lee, but Phil was gimpy, and I believe LaGarde was too. Met Al at Joes in downtown Raleigh one time–helluva nice man!
    Good link and you’re right–that was bogus bb material on Sam, but if it works it works. Fleming was pretty dang good on that 83 team.

  7. william says:

    It was Florida State in 1972 and then Hugh Durham left to take the Georgia job. FSU had the number 2 Heels down by over 20 points in the Semi-final in 1972 and Carolina then made a mad comeback in the Second Half, even after Bob McAdoo fouled out, but they could only get to within four and lost 79-75, I think.

  8. 52BigGameJames says:

    ah yes, Otto Petty!

  9. william says:

    Remember, Lagarde didn’t play at all in March in 1977. The Heels had Rich Yonakor, Jeff Wolf and Steve Krafcisin splitting minutes the last 6 weeks of the season. Walter Davis broke the finger on his shooting hand and Phil Ford hyper-extended his elbow against Kentucky.

    Even though we lost in the Finals, after having a chance to tie in the last two minutes, 1977 was probably Smith’s greatest coaching job. It was amazing the way he won the ACC tournament and almost the whole thing using a patchwork line-up and often having to use John Kuester at the point instead of Ford.

  10. 52BigGameJames says:

    Kuester would’ve starred for many other teams in the ACC.

  11. 52BigGameJames says:

    did you happen to catch Black Magic last night?

  12. william says:

    i would love to have the 1972 game on DVD. After UCLA won its game, the media asked Wooden what he thought of FSU and he pulled a bit of a Perkins, saying “I don’t know much about them. You guys in the media all told me that we would be playing UNC in the Finals and that they had a center almost as good as Walton.”

    Of course, UCLA won anyway, but I think that FSU and Jacksonville, the year before, gave UCLA their toughest competition until NC State, unlike Duke, UNC, Memphis, et al, who all got annihilated by the Bruins.

  13. william says:

    I caught all of Black Magic and highly recommend it, especially the first two hours. My dad used to go to Winston Salem State games when he was a reporter for the Journal, so I grew up hearing about Earl Monroe….

  14. william says:

    Actually, Villanova was in between those two and only lost 68-62 but later had to vacate its runner-up, like Michigan, although do you really think that the NCAA would have done that if either Villanova or Michigan had won? Never in a million years–they would have found some other penalty.

  15. 52BigGameJames says:

    I thought you would be particularly interested in the segment about Ben Jobe, and the relationship with McGuire and Cremins/Felton. I couldn’t help but come away feeling a little melancholy…on many levels.

    I always sensed a little (competetive?) tension between Wooden and Smith and asked Adam Lucas about it one time. He said there was mutual respect, and that Dean in fact had an autographed photo of JW in his office. I’ll buy that, but I’m convinced there was also something to my suspicions.

  16. 52BigGameJames says:

    did your Dad ever happen to know a sports reporter for the Journal by the name of “Country-Dan”?

  17. 52BigGameJames says:

    looks like the Celtics might break the Rockets string tonight.

  18. william says:

    Well, Wooden sort of looked the other way when some of the UCLA boosters were very generous. On the other hand, Smith was able to find some summer jobs for his players that were very high playing and that had very flexible, even loose hours.

    Wooden probably was the greatest talent evaluator of the era. When everyone was gushing about Tom McMillen, Wooden was out recruiting the second best schoolboy center in the nation, a redheaded kid who stuttered, named Walton.

    Down low, from 1967 to 1973, UCLA had Alcindor, Curtis Rowe, Sydney Wicks, and Bill Walton. I don’t know if any other program has had a run of talent like that and that is just the tall front court. They also had Dave Meyers, Marques Johnson, Richard Washington, Lucius Allen, Walt Hazzard, Mike Warren, Gail Goodrich and plenty of others. Swen Nater never even played, for goodness sake.

    And don’t forget Keith (Jamal–how come some guys change their last name and some don’t) Wilkes–how does he play into that pro versus college thing–he certainly outdid David Thompson in the long run in the pro’s after being overshadowed by Thompson in college and during their early years in the pro’s.

  19. william says:

    I’ll have to ask him, he was just a cub reporter there and then got seduced into advertising….

  20. william says:

    I would say that the Rockets are crashing. Very strange that they could win that many in a row in the West, but 33 in a row is probably safe. L.A. won 69 that year and Milwaukee won 66 and that was the Western Final for the ages with Wilt winning his second title that year and dethroning the future scoring champ Jabbar, whose Bucks had won the title the year before.

    I think we could have the Celtics against the Lakers again this year. Pro ball needs the Lakers, Celtics and Knicks to be in the finals more. I can’t take another year of Miami against Dallas or San Antonio vs. Cleveland.

  21. william says:

    I guess it is getting late. Here is a great article from the NYT comparing our 2005 team to this year’s team, and there are a lot of similarities, although that team was much better from outside:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/19/sports/ncaabasketball/19unc.html?ref=sports

  22. 52BigGameJames says:

    good article–I especially liked Scott’s last line (and agree with it). You can definitely see that confidence if you look.

    I think you’ll be able to tell in the first game or two if Roy’s comparison takes root. Should be interesting to witness the process.

  23. 52BigGameJames says:

    I did say Scott didn’t I, lol?

    SEAN dammit!

  24. 52BigGameJames says:

    didn’t know where else to put it, and I hope you don’t mind the link THF, but this is a good story from the N & O (for the out of towners) on Marc Campbell and his Dad, and the Carolina “Family”.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/college/unc/story/1005402.html

    would love to see this kid get some pt, along the lines of Wes.

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