Thursday, March 27, 2008

Will Goliath Fall Again?

No detailed X's and O's breakdown today. You can get that anywhere else in serious information-overload all over the net. There are previews everywhere. No, instead, a simple tribute to David over Goliath. Because even though we're a 4-seed, and many believe that we are simply exactly where a 4-seed should be, still, let's be honest. It's Washington State vs. North Carolina.

First, though, who was Goliath?
  • Born: c. 1060 B.C.
  • Birthplace: Gath, Palestine
  • Died: c. 1030 B.C. (killed in battle)
  • Best Known As: The giant slain by David's slingshot

Goliath was a giant soldier from Gath in ancient Palestine, according to a famous story in the biblical book 1 Samuel. Listed at roughly 9 FEET tall, an imposing figure no matter the era. The 17th chapter describes an armed clash between the Philistines, led by Goliath, and the army of Israel. Despite Goliath's intimidating size, the unlikely Judean boy-hero David meets him on the field of battle. David slings a fatal stone that hits the giant between the eyes and fells him. David beheads the fallen Goliath, Israel wins in a rout and David goes on to become king. In sports, politics, business and other arenas, a competition between seemingly mismatched opponents is sometimes described as "David and Goliath" or "David versus Goliath."

So clearly it's happened before (if you believe in such things). Here's some of the biggest NCAA versions of Goliath to fall to David over the years:

Chaminade over #1 Virginia in 1982. Virginia had Ralph Sampson, but were shocked 72-70 by a school that still nobody knows where they are, or how it happened (Chaminade beat them in Hawaii by the way).

Villanova over Georgetown (sorry Reep). Easily one of the most stunning upsets of all-time, the scrappy Wildcats play nearly the perfect game, including the 2nd half where they shot 90%! The only miss was a block by Ewing. This was pre-shot clock days, and some to this day claim that the clock was introduced because of this game. Villanova was an 8-seed by the way, still to this day the lowest seed to ever win the NCAA title.

George Mason topples #1 U-Conn. Mason was loaded with patience and experience, and U-Conn was loaded with NBA first-round draft picks in Rudy Gay, Marcus Williams, Hilton Armstrong and Josh Boone. U-Conn survived an OT win over UW to get to the Great 8, and everyone thought they were home free to return to the Final Four if they could kick the pesky upstarts from nowhere to the curb. DENIED.

Hmmm....maybe this is our best hope? Isn't UNC loaded with NBA draft picks? Don't they like to play fast and will try to run, run, run us back to Pullman? Hmmm.

Stanford over USC this year. Almost a 40-pt dog, on the road, and the Cardinal shock the Trojans. NOBODY saw that coming, yet it happened.

One of the the biggest upsets in terms of name/shock value? App State - Michigan last year. App State blocks the field goal heard 'round the college football world, as fans all over the country break out in a spontaneous cheer in the 34-32 stunner.

Maybe my favorite of all-time? Hickory winning the state title in Indiana, led by Gene Hackman. How inspiring is that?

(gotta love the "let's win this for all the small schools"!)

So there you have it. It's been done before. Will it happen again??


longball said...

In case the Hoosiers clip doesnt have you reaching for the tissues, check this out -

Here we go Cou-gars, Here we go -

Anonymous said...

Great post Sedi - funny and inspiring - maybe TB is showing his kids highlights of these games/movies? I know i would be.....tradition ain't gonna win tonight, it is x's & o's, execution, and HEART.......and the old chip on the shoulder/no respect attitude - still have not heard one analyst even give WSU a chance in this...Tony K today was the closest saying on PTI - heck these Cougars have not given up more than 41 and 40 in last two games - what about UNC has not seen a team like Washington State all year?? (As opposed to WSU has to play their best game of year to even be close, blah blah blah, la la la.......). Anyway, still sticking to my prediction WSU 69, UNC 68 and the nation is in utter SHOCK - believe it, BELIEVE, lets go COUGAR NATION !! - this is your moment ;) and don't forget there you have to goto work on Friday or class (except for me being in Spokane for the women's bracket since I could not get men's tickets this year :(
Hope to be at Heroes and Legends to root the men to victory on Saturday - go COUGS!!!

Reno, NV
1992 wsu alum

WillDerting51 said...

I love Chaminade cutting down the nets in beating Virgina. That game was in the middle of the night when espn was still just a newborn, and literally nobody say it. Fantastic though.

WillDerting51 said...


By Andy Katz

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk is expecting the suitors to come calling. He isn't certain Indiana will make an effort, but he won't be surprised if the Hoosiers make a run at Washington State's most coveted asset: men's basketball coach Tony Bennett.

A year ago, after Bennett led the Cougars to a second-place Pac-10 finish, 26 wins and a second-round NCAA tournament appearance -- all after being picked to finish last in the league -- Sterk went on the offensive. He bumped Bennett's salary from a league-low $400,000 to $800,000 after Bennett was named the national coach of the year in his first season.

Thursday night, as the Cougars were being blown out by North Carolina in the East Regional semifinals, Sterk said he would make every effort to improve the program. He said he didn't anticipate Bennett asking for more money for himself but possibly for the assistants. The AD said he would do everything in his power to improve their salary situation.

Was Thursday's loss the last game on the Wazzu sideline for the highly coveted Tony Bennett? The Cougs hope not.

Travel for the team out of remote Pullman, and especially for Bennett when he is recruiting, is also a major issue. Nearby Gonzaga takes charter planes for road trips, and Bulldogs coach Mark Few has said on a number of occasions how beneficial that is to their program. The Cougars desperately want the same to remain competitive.

Meanwhile, Bennett said after the loss to the Tar Heels that he purposely hasn't thought about other schools. He said he loves Pullman and understands there will be a retooling situation at hand with the departures of seniors Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver and Robbie Cowgill. But it's clear that if Indiana were to call, he would have to listen, considering the stature of the job and his roots in the Midwest. Pac-10 competitor Cal could also make a run at Bennett. It would be hard for Bennett to move within the league, but Cal has always been an easier job than Washington State. Bennett doesn't expect to be courted by LSU, which is located in Baton Rouge, where his wife Laurel was raised.

Bennett said he's not chasing any jobs. Sterk said he wants to be as proactive as possible in order to keep his young coach.

As the clock wound down Thursday night, Sterk reflected on what the seniors and Bennett have meant to the university.

"Washington State was really, really down," Sterk said. "They all came here and made a difference and made 130,000 Cougar alumni care about basketball."

Sedihawk said...

I know the wound is still fresh from last night, but isn't this what we expected? The rumor mill is already churning today. There are articles this AM that link Bennett to CAL. And not the St Mary's Bennett either!

Unfortunately, until he addresses things head-on, there will be many more articles, many more rumors, and a ton of speculation about his future. The reality is silence only encourages speculation in a situation like this. Until he addresses it directly, it's going to continue.