IU's run in NCAA takes top billing
Its unlikely push to title game is area's most memorable sports story of 2002.
By Mark Alesia
December 29, 2002
Fischer: Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Indiana 72, Duke 70, with 32.8 seconds to go -- 26 seconds on the shot clock. And the Hoosiers with the lead.
Leary: Unbelievable, Don. I can't believe it. I'm about to cry over here. This is incredible. I can't sit down anymore. . . . I love this. They can't give me a technical for standing up, so I'm standing up all I want.
Given a voice in real time by radio announcers Don Fischer and Todd Leary, the emotion comes back now -- the story of the year in Indiana sports as voted on by The Star's sports staff, Indiana University's unlikely NCAA basketball tournament run.
It ended with a loss to Maryland in the title game -- denying IU a sixth national title -- but by then this team had already produced a memory that will last decades.
In the semifinals of the South Regional, IU faced top-ranked Duke, a team that would eventually have two of its players taken in the top three of the NBA draft.
On this Thursday night in Lexington, Ky., the Hoosiers' season figured to come to a predictable end. When reality seemed too good to be true for IU fans, maybe it was.
The Hoosiers led by four with 11 seconds left.
Fischer: He eyes, he flies, he got it! Moye with 14. Here comes Duke. Daniel Ewing driving right side, 3 on the way. No good. Williams' 3 on the way . . . a foul . . .
Leary: Oh, no!
Fischer: . . . and he hit it. Jason Williams just hit a 3-point shot; (Dane Fife) fouled him. And he'll have a chance to tie the game at 74.
Leary: Oh, my gosh. I can't believe what I just saw.
Fife, the brash and charismatic senior, ended up joking about it in a television commercial for a magazine.
Who, me? What foul?
It easily could have ended so much differently, for Fife and for IU, which is part of the legend.
Fischer: Jason Williams, with 15 points, will have a chance to tie it with 4.2 seconds to go.
Leary: You've got to get the rebound if he misses this. If he misses this and Duke's able to get the rebound, they could win this ballgame.
Fischer: Four seconds left, Williams at the free-throw line.
Leary: He's not a good free-throw shooter.
Fischer: Shot is up. Missed it!
Leary: Oh, no.
Fischer: Rebound, Boozer. He missed! Tip up, no. (SCREAMING, HOARSE) Indiana wins! They've done it! Indiana's done it! They've shocked the world!
Ohhhh ... that was such a GREAT moment!
(though these don't work, lol )