I'm feeling a little guilty that I reduced Patrick Ewing Jr.'s huge reverse dunk in the final minute of the BC game to a mere sentence in my game story, especially after watching the replay on ESPN about a hundred times and seeing John McDonnell's great photo in the paper. (Check out number 4)
But every player I talked to in the locker room after the win pointed to Jeff Green's soaring putback dunk with 7 minutes left as the play that changed the game. I even asked Green, point-blank, to pick the turning point and this was his response (said with a big smile): "The dunk. My dunk. Not Pat's dunk."
In the post-game press conference, center Roy Hibbert--whose awareness and nice pass set up the dunk--underplayed his role: "I have a checklist to see what time is on the shot clock, to see if I can make a move or if I am open to the basket. I went to make my move and as they were collapsing down, I saw Patrick was open so I could make a pass to him. I'm happy he finished it, to tell you the truth."
Lost in the euphoric aftermath of the dunk was the fact that Ewing Jr.--a 50 percent free throw shooter--actually converted the foul shot to complete the andone. (After the Belmont game, Ewing Jr.--in between bites of his post-game sandwich--informed me that from now on, "and one" should be written as one word. I'm still a little unclear as to the reason why. But Rennie, please take note of this.)
Other odds and ends from Winston-Salem:
The following Carolina blue t-shirts were being sold at a sports bar across from the arena:
"Fear the Mask" (already passe)
"Choke: The Official Drink of Duke Basketball"
"Lose Carbs: Flush a Dukie"
John Thompson Jr. is once again doing radio broadcasts for the NCAA tournament, and sits courtside. As Hibbert ran down the court following his pass to Ewing, he looked right at Big John and pointed to him.
I sat on press row a few seats down from Rich Chvotkin. As I was madly trying to finish up my first game story on Saturday--which was supposed to be filed shortly after the buzzer--all I could hear was, "Hoyas win! Hoyas win!" etc. etc. Rich used 15 "Hoyas win!" after they beat Notre Dame in the Big East semifinal, so I'm not sure what this one was worth. Maybe 16, for the Sweet 16?
Georgetown students were well-represented inside the LJVMC; they stood en masse in their grey "We are Georgetown" t-shirts. And I was told that the Hoya band played the theme song from Eastern Motors at some point during the weekend--if that's true, then I feel terrible that I missed it, because Steinberg wouldn't have. He'd also find out why the Georgetown band ends every game with a song from "Jesus Christ Superstar."