SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Rollie Massimino's Team Pulls a Big Upset . . . Again

He's 75. He's 25 years removed from one of the biggest upsets -- if not the biggest upset -- in the NCAA finals (for what it's worth, had Gordon Hayward's last-second shot gone in, a Butler defeat of Duke in the final game would have been the biggest upset in an NCAA final), when Villanova, a #8 seed, beat #1 Georgetown in the final of the 1985 NCAA tournament. It was a magical moment for the Wildcats.

Massimino dangled with taking a big contract with the New Jersey Nets, only to have, among others, good friend Billy Cunningham talk him out of it at the bar of a long-since gone Adams Hotel on Philadelphia's City Line Avenue shortly thereafter. Ultimately, after 19 years at Villanova, he went to UNLV, where it was simply impossible to replace a legend and a rogue named Jerry Tarkanian (and where he was forced out after 2 years because of having cut a side-deal with the college president for more money than was reported to the state), and then he spent seven years at Cleveland State (going 90-113), and then he retired to Florida.

Or so everyone thought.

He did retire, to Florida, found an NAIA school named Northwood University that was starting a program, and, well, they had an exhibition game against a DI school last night and beat them. You can read about it here.

Sometimes, when you're having a difficult day, a friend will tell you, "remember this, it's not the destination, it's the journey." Well, it's been a long, sometimes exhilirating, sometimes difficult journey for Coach Mass, but it seems that right now he finds this particular destination to his liking.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had Gordon Hayward's last second shot banked in, instead of off iron, last year's Butler-Duke championship would have been the greatest college basketball game ever.

It might have been even better had Butler won by 30, but that's a different point.

1:17 PM  

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