1997 NCAA Tournament MemoriesRound 1: Coppin State 78, South Carolina 65
Do you believe in miracles? Coppin State was a 30-point underdog, and to East No. 2 seed South Carolina, but the Eagles believed. They believed despite never having won a game in the NCAA Tournament. They believed despite seeing their best player, Terquin Mott, sprain his ankle on the day before the game. They believed despite falling behind by seven points in the second half. And when the buzzer sounded and Coppin State had run away from the mighty Gamecocks, 78-65, everyone believed.
Round 2: Texas 82, Coppin State 81
Reggie Freeman scored 22 points and Texas stole an inbounds pass with with four seconds left as the Longhorns withstood Coppin State's scrambling guards and held on for an 82-81 Sunday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Round 1: California 55, Princeton 52
Princeton showed a glimpse of what was to come after the departure of legendary coach Pete Carril more of the same. The Tigers had upset defending NCAA champion UCLA in 1996 Carril's last season and again found themselves in the familiar giant-killer role. Ed Gray, Cal's Pac-10 player of the year, was out for the season, and Princeton's patented slow pace and back-door cuts had Cal reeling in the first half. But the Golden Bears, led by tight-end-turned-power-forward Tony Gonzales, overcame a six-point halftime deficit to pull out the 55-52 win.
Round 3: Arizona 85, Kansas 82
For the final 15 weeks of the regular season, Kansas sat atop the Associated Press poll. Speedy Arizona was hardly in awe of the Jayhawks when they met in the Southeast semifinal, however. The Wilcats caused 20 turnovers and took a 10-point lead into the final two minutes. Kansas showed its long-range prowess with three straight three-pointers to pull within one. Then, after Arizona's leading scorer Mike Bibby made two free throws, the Jayhawks got three opportunities to send the game to overtime from behind the three-point arc and missed them all.
Round 2: Providence 98, Duke 87
As a No. 10 seed, the Friars had to be excited just to make it into the Southeast second round, where they faced a Blue Devils team with championship aspirations. Providence's Austin Croshere, coming off a career-high 39 points in a win over Marquette, flirted with foul trouble and nerves the entire game, shooting two airballs. The Friars looked elsewhere for scoring, and found it in senior forward Derrick Brown. Brown made 12 of 16 field goals for a career-high 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Providence ran past Duke and all the way to the regional final.
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company