A Revival Meeting That Was a Long Time Coming
Brandon Bowman cradled the ball on the ground. The horn blared. Kids, some of whom had spray-painted their chests a metallic silver and wore blue Afro wigs, stormed midcourt like frenzied Pamplonans after the bulls are released. They bobbed up and down, poking their index fingers toward the rafters.
Somewhere in the pandemonium of Georgetown's unfathomable upset of undefeated Duke yesterday, a coach named Thompson and a gangly kid named Ewing were celebrating with their Hoya brethren -- and it wasn't even 1985, the last time Georgetown toppled the No. 1 team in the nation.
This was not just one game in the middle of a maddening college basketball season. With each clutch jump shot Darrel Owens left fly, with each dunk Bowman threw down, the program's recent struggles -- the inability to recruit another future Hall of Famer, the four straight seasons without an NCAA tournament bid -- were all moot.
All net, all forgotten.
"I about lost my voice," Patrick Ewing Jr. said after Georgetown's wild 87-84 victory. He transferred to his father's alma mater from Indiana and won't be eligible until next season. But he was there leading the halftime chant. "No letups!" he yelled underneath the stands in the arena corridor. "No letups! We got a whole 'nother half."
This whole father-son nostalgia the university has been selling for almost two years had been more hope than reality entering yesterday afternoon, with more excitement coming from recruiting commitments than on-court results. But if John Thompson III has not yet completely refurbished the program his father willed into a national powerhouse, he got much closer in two of the most scintillating hours of basketball Georgetown has ever played at MCI Center.
As good as Georgetown's future looked, yesterday felt like old-home week. Oblivious to what had happened to his alma mater yesterday, Dikembe Mutombo got off a plane in Detroit, where his Houston Rockets will face the Pistons today.
"Georgetown beat Duke?" Mutombo said in that rich, baritone Cookie Monster voice of his.
"You mean men or women?"
"No?" Deek said.