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My Obligatory March Madness Post
a/k/a/ Duke Sucks!

I went to St. John's University. I happened to be attending the school at a time when their basketball program was at the top of its game [I also worked in the sports information office at the time, but I'll save those stories for the tell all book]. Final Four, ranked #1 a few times - it was a good time to be on the Queens campus. Chris Mullin. Walter Berry. Mark Jackson. That was some team.

The Big East was a pretty good conference in general, which made for nice rivalries. There was one out-of conference rival, but it doesn't really count because everyone hates Duke. And it was more or less the Duke fans we hated and not necessarily the team. Though I never liked that Danny Ferry character (later, that hatred would be transferred to Christian Laettner). Come to think of it, I hated more opposing players and teams than I liked and/or respected. Indiana? Hah. Given the chance I would have kicked Bobby Knight in the nuts. UNLV? They were like the al Qaeda of college basketball. Kansas? Danny Manning was a sissy boy, I tell you. A sissy boy! A few year later I tried to hate on the Michigan Wolverines and Glenn Rice, but at that point, college basketball had lost its luster for me and all I could dredge up was a mild dislike for any one team. Except for Syracuse and Duke. While vague hatred can dissipate, bitter rivalry never leaves your soul.

Anyhow, back to the 84-85 seaosn. Our real rivals at that time were the Georgetown Hoyas. In 1985 three of the four Final Four teams were Big East teams; St. John's, Villanova and Georgetown. I think I hated Georgetown more than any other team. Oh, I hated Syracuse. I loathed Ron Seikaly. I don't remember why, I just remember yelling nasty things at him from the safety of the behind-the-net seats at MSG. But Georgetown was the be-all and end-all of sports loathing. At that moment in time, I despised them more than the Rangers, Mets and Red Sox combined. So of course, that's who SJU ended up playing in the semi-finals. We watched the game at a fellow student's house. There must have been 100 of us, at least. Drunk, loud, obnoxious and ready to lord it over Georgetown fans when we won. I think we even had the idea to drive down to the Georgetown campus after the game and randomly moon people.

You probably know how that one ended. The hated Hoyas beat the crap out of the Redmen (SJU hadn't changed to the politically correct Red Storm yet) by a score of 77-59 (insert several curse words directed at David Wingate here). It was devastating. I didn't eat for days.

Well, not really. But I was kinda bummed for a week or so, until the day of the big final game came along.

All Big East final. Georgetown v. Villanova. Ewing v. errr.....Rollie Massimino. Damn, I can't think of a single player from that Villanova team. Hang on.

Right! Ed Pinckney!

So, the game. Villanova played nearly perfect basketball. The final score of 66-64 does not do justice to the beauty of the game the Wildcats played that night.

I felt as if justice was somehow served. Georgetown lost the championship, and the title still got to stay in the Big East.

Afterthought: I wonder what ever happened to these guys. Bill Wennington, Walter Berry, Willie Glass...somewhere in my garage is an NCAA basketball autographed by the SJU Final Four team. I'm sure I could sell it, but there's too many good memories attached to it. Besides, it's my ex husband's. It's the one thing I haven't given back to him yet.

Duke sucks! Go uhh....UConn, I guess!

Comments

Duke's kinda like the Yankees.
'Cept they don't usually choke.
(couldn't resist)

ACC is College Basketball. The Big East... just a bunch of hoodlums.

(Although in private I would admit that UConn has developed sophistication over the years.)

I'm pickin Creighton to go all the way.

Actually, folks, it's spelled "dook". Students and fans are known as "dookies"

Yeah, that was a hell of a team, Michele. Too bad they didn't make it, but the final was sweet. I'm a Terps fan who loathed G'town at the time, although I don't even pay any attention to them anymore. Plus, I have a Main Line connection, so I was rooting for Nova all the way.

With my Terps out of it this year, I'm just rooting for my pool teams. Syracuse and Kansas have already blown up one side of two of my brackets. Oh, well.

what da hell you talkin about girl? what kinda game is this thing you call basketball? Only Duke I know is a Hazzard. Oh, and that greek guy married to our Queen. Well, my Queen.

Would it help if I scanned in my 1984 Georgetown championship Coke bottle?

Say, anyone know if it's worth anything?

If you're looking for someone to root for, the Sooners can use all the help we can get. We've been so wildly inconsistent this year there's just no telling - we could crash and burn today, or we might make it to the Final Four.

Speaking of hated rivals, it didn't hurt my feelings one bit to see Kansas lose to Bucknell last night. ;-)

Indeed, go UCONN, from a UCONN alum.

So far, only one person has an unblemished bracket on ESPN's bracket game through the entire first round.

Guess who he has winning it all?

To quote Quagmire, "I like where this is goin....Giggity Giggity Gigg-i-ty!"

Forgot to say you're so right, Michele.
Danny Manning WAS a sissy boy!

Actually, folks, it's spelled "dook".

Yes, folks, that's how spelling is taught at UNC. Doesn't say much for a Carolina education, does it?

(Come on, caltechgirl, at least make it challenging.)

*Disclaimer: This post will sound arrogant because I refuse to use those damned "emoticons" to indicate the jocular spirit the comment is meant to display. But I can take as well as I give, so feel free to shoot back.

And who would have believed that Bill Wennington would end up with more of an NBA career than Walter "The Truth" Berry.

gotta go with the alma mater,

I L L - I N I

any team with kids who should be in jail is a shoo-in to win.

If you're looking for someone to root for, the Sooners can use all the help we can get.

I'll say.

Well, this Duke fan was born and bred in the great state of Illinois, so it's ALL good from where I sit.

I was hoping Kansas would win, so they could play the Tarholes in the Elite Eight. Roy Williams had said that would've been the "worst day of his life", which to the rest of us? AWESOME day.

MikeR:

"Danny Manning WAS a sissy boy!"

Danny has a championship, what've you got?

Thanks for rubbing salt in the wound, Michele! I think our guards shot something like 1-for-50 on three pointers in that game...

Matt, all I have is the small pleasure obtained from calling Danny Manning a sissy boy - please don't try to take that from me. ;-)

Well, and there's also the memory of all those Calvin Pierce thunder dunks. Billy Tubbs may not be the best coach in the world, but going to OU basketball games was a helluva lot of fun when he was in his prime...

Ouch! Dang Hillbillies.