30 Days of Madness: Phi Slama Jama Detonates on Louisville

Posted by rtmsf on March 31st, 2010

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the next thirty days for the last eleven months.  You have too.  In fact, if this isn’t your favorite time of year by a healthy margin then you should probably click away from this site for a while.   Because we plan on waterboarding you with March Madness coverage.  Seriously, you’re going to feel like Dick Cheney himself is holding a Spalding-logoed towel over your face.  Your intake will be so voluminous that you’ll be drooling Gus Johnson and bracket residue in your sleep.  Or Seth Davis, if that’s more your style.  The point is that we’re all locked in and ready to go.  Are you?  To help us all get into the mood, we like to click around a fancy little website called YouTube for a daily dose of notable events, happenings, finishes, ups and downs relating to the next month.  We’re going to try to make this video compilation a little smarter, a little edgier, a little historical-er.  Or whatever.  Sure, you’ll see some old favorites that never lose their luster, but you’ll also see some that maybe you’ve forgotten or never knew to begin with.  That’s the hope, at least.  We’ll be matching the videos by the appropriate week, so all of this week we’re heading down memory lane at the Final Four.  Enjoy.

NCAA Final Four

Dateline: 1983 NCAA Final Four – Houston vs. Louisville

Context: This game was the most highly anticipated game of the year in 1983: Houston’s Phi Slama Jamma versus Louisville’s Doctors of Dunk.  Both teams were filled with high-flying, athletic players who liked to get up and down the court.  Houston was led by future Hall of Famers Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, while Louisville had Scooter and Rodney McCray up front as well as Lancaster Gordon and Milt Wagner in the backcourt.  This game more than any other of the post-UCLA era showcased the “attack the rim” mentality that has come to define the modern game, and it showed in the viewership (earning a then-record 14.8 television rating).  We pick up the game with Houston trailing and about to go on a spectacular 17-1 run that included six straight dunks by the Cougars (and ten in the final 12 minutes of the game).  SI’s Curry Kirkpatrick wrote at the time that the display was “breathtaking… [a] bomb of a Houston team detonated.”  Enjoy.

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