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 for the next four days, we’ll be re-visiting some of the timeless moments from Championship Week. Enjoy.
Dateline: 1995 ACC Tournament
Context: In the 1995 ACC race for conference superiority, there were four teams who stood above the rest. UNC, Wake Forest, Maryland and Virginia ended the season in a four-way tie for first place at 12-4 in one of the most closely contested conference races in the history of the league. The NBA talent just on those four teams was impressive: Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and Jeff McInnis at Carolina; Tim Duncan and Rusty Larue at Wake; Joe Smith and Keith Booth at Maryland; Cory Alexander at UVa. But in that year, there was one player who barely got time at the next level who made the ACC Tournament his own personal shooting gallery: Wake’s assassin, Randolph Childress. In the quarterfinals against Duke, Childress drilled eight threes and went off for 40 points and seven assists in a comeback win. The next day in the semis, he cooled off for only six threes and 30/7 assts against Virginia as Wake won again, moving on to face their nemesis North Carolina in the ACC Championship game. In that overtime thriller, Childress again went nuts, hitting nine more threes en route to scoring 37 points and handing out another seven dimes, including the last 22 points and the game-winner for Wake (keep in mind that eventual 4-time NBA champion Duncan was also on this team). Over the course of three days, Childress shattered the ACC Tournament record for points (107) and scoring average (35.7 PPG), leaving many of the long-time ACC observers stating that they’d never seen anything like it before in the history of that storied league (even so, Childress was not a unanimous selection for tournament MVP!). Legend has it that he played the tournament with a broken finger and that during the stretch run against Carolina, he told his teammates to give him the ball every time down the floor and “get out of the way.” Interestingly, the video showing one of Childress’ crossovers to get open for a three against Jeff McInnis has gotten even more run that his shot to win the game in overtime, but they’re both fantastic.