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KRIS JENKINS FTW (2016)
CHRIS WEBBER’S TIMEOUT (1993)
the ensuing years, Bird’s Celtics and Magic’s Lakers would trade shots in an epic tussle for NBA supremacy, but it all started here.
The most stunning moment in recent tournament history came from Villanova’s forward Kris Jenkins and his team. The Philadelphia-area school had not won a title in more than 20 years when they made the championship game in 2016. Their duel with North Carolina in that game was one for the ages — a back-and-forth affair that was tied 74-74 before the final possession. The ball came to Jenkins, who chucked a deep three as time expired, and the buzzer sounded as the ball went through the rim. “When I get it,” Jenkins told reporters after the game, “it’s going up. I always think it’s going in, and this was no different.” It was no different, except for the fact that most shots aren’t destined to be remembered for decades. Which moments from this year will end up leaving an indelible imprint on the sport? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
Michigan’s Fab Five (Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson) are the most famous recruiting class in college basketball history. They transformed the sport by injecting a healthy dose of what we know today as “swag.” After reaching the finals of the tournament as freshmen— an unheard-of achievement at the time — theWolverines were expected to romp to a title in 1993. Everything went according to plan until the final when Chris Webber committed basketball’s most famous blunder. Down by two points with 20 seconds left, Webber secured a rebound and headed up the court. The North Carolina defense smartly used a trap defense to funnel him into the corner. Panicked and out of real estate, Webber signaled for a timeout. The problem was that Michigan didn’t have any. As an automatic technical foul, Webber’s gaffe secured North Carolina’s victory.
N.C. STATE’S LAST-SECOND UPSET (1983)
March Madness is known for underdog stories, and few are more inspirational than N.C. State’s shocking upset of Houston in the 1983 title game. Houston, known as Phi Slamma Jamma for their above-the-rim playstyle, was on a 26-game winning streak and heavily favored to make mincemeat of theWolfpack. But that’s not what happened. With the game tied and time expiring, N.C. State’s DereckWhittenburg had the ball near the top of the key. He heaved up a prayer of a shot that came down well short of the basket. However, his teammate Lorenzo Charles caught the ball as if the errant shot were a perfectly placed alley-oop. He slammed the ball, time expired, and the entire stadiumwent wild. Jim Valvano, N.C. State’s coach, was so overcome that he ran around the court in utter disbelief.
An Inside Job The Curious Case of the Disappearing Flags
Apparently, the wooden flagpoles attract groundhogs, something other groundskeepers have experienced as well. “I’m glad we don’t have someone who has taken it upon themselves to desecrate the stones and the flags in front of them,” said Hudson mayor Bill Hallenbeck. “We can all rest a little easier knowing that it was a critter and not a human defacing our flags, especially those of the veterans,” added Hudson’s police commissioner.
Like the year before, flags were placed on veterans’ graves in honor of Independence Day, and again, they went missing sometime in the night, this time taken from the graves of African American Civil War soldiers. Cemetery caretaker and veteran Vincent Wallace was appalled, as was the rest of his community. “I just can’t comprehend the mindset that would allow someone to do this,”Wallace said. Determined to find out who was to blame, police put up surveillance cameras and recorded the goings-on in the cemetery. As they watched the tapes, sure enough, they saw one of the culprits sitting atop a gravestone with an empty flagpole in front of him. It was a groundhog.
Theft is a serious matter, made even more grave when the victims are fallen war heroes. Such was the situation that stumped police in Hudson, New York, in 2012. The crime was first committed in July of the previous year. Flags had been placed around the graves of soldiers in Cedar Park Cemetery — only to go missing right around Independence Day. Veterans groups and locals were outraged and mystified by the crime. Some worried that a hate group was to blame, as the missing flags had adorned the graves of Jewish soldiers. Veterans worked to replace the flags, one by one, and right the wrong. No culprit was found, and the community moved on — until the following July, when the mystery repeated itself.
Turns out Punxsutawney Phil has some very naughty cousins — ones who aren’t subject to the law.
2 • marclopezlaw.commarclopezlaw.com
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