Tuesday, April 06, 2010

One Shining Moment Montage 2008 CBS - Identifying the Shots, Frame by Frame

To the Wildcat faithful-

I had previously noted the presence of various Wildcats in the classic CBS "One Shining Moment" montage...  and the thought occurred to me, that it might be interesting to do it for the entire song.  I have tremendous respect for CBS's NCAA tournament coverage...  Obviously, what you see below is not perfect, but it's the best that I can do at the moment...

From 2008 - "One Shining Moment" - recorded by Luther Vandross - about 3 minutes, 8 seconds:

Ball bouncing along the NCAA logo on court
Tennessee dog mascot
North Carolina fans
Texas cheerleaders
Baylor Bear and cheerleaders
Indiana fans dancing
What I believe is the UCLA band playing instruments - blue and yellow tie-dyed shirts
Notre Dame Leprechaun doing somersaults and bowing to the crowd
Little kid from Pitt cheering
Two little kids in stands, dancing for Arkansas
Butler cheerleaders blowing kisses
Duke Blue Devil and cheerleaders
Tiger mascot, can't tell who though
Texas A&M band percussion section
Blue and white cheerleaders doing backflips - may be Duke, but can't conclusively tell
Xavier players
Hands on ball
Arkansas Razorback flag being carried
Blue-clad pep band
Players in a circle - can't identify team - may have been Duke or possibly Pitt
Another team in a circle - red warmups
Player's face
Tip-off Villanova/Kansas, I believe, Sweet 16
Another tip-off, player in an orange jersey
Players running - a North Carolina game, since some of the sneakers were light blue, some were red; most likely this was the Elite Eight win over Louisville, whose colors are red and white.  Although it could be Washington State in the Sweet 16, since their color is crimson
Davidson - Stephon Curry
Somebody dunking - can't tell yet
Blue and gold player running into scorer's table, trying to corral a loose ball
Kansas Jayhawk going out of bounds to save a ball (can tell by the Jayhawk on the side of the shorts)
Western Kentucky player stopping to shoot
Carolina Tar Heel shooting three-pointer
Player in white uniform with maroon trim shooting
Three-pointer going down
Jim Phelan, coach of Mt. Saint Mary's - "all these years"
Two opposing players diving for a ball
Another guy diving for a ball
Butler player scooping up a loose ball while white-jerseyed opponent slides out of bounds under the basket; appears to be Tennessee.  Those teams did play that year - in the second round, UT won won 76-71...
Texas A&M #32 getting pumped
Georgetown (at least a gray jerseyed player, dunking, his number is just too small to conclusively identify - against a team with black and gold jerseys - I believe this was UMBC, which has those colors; that was a #2/#15 game in the first round
Texas #5 dunking
Red and black clad cheerleader with back to the camera - I think this was a Davidson cheerleader
Oklahoma #11
UMBC Retriever clapping
Red-jerseyed player diving
West Virginia cheerleaders and Mountaineer with musket, pumping fist
Two fans with orange hats with an "L"
Guy with the basketball glasses
Ball in slow motion rolling in - "frozen in time"
Orange and white jerseyed players embracing - I think that I can see a "T" for Tennessee, or Texas
Glum player in dark jersey
UConn player #12 being helped off court by teammates - #34 on left and can't tell on right
UConn player looking disgusted, pushing arm over head
Angry coach in a game with red and white jerseys
Washington State cheerleader winking / "in the blinking of an eye"
Backboard Dartronic clock counting down, 0:00:03-02-01-00 / "that moment's gone"
Drake #5 with hands behind head, looking dejected, after the #5 seed lost to #12 Western Kentucky, in first round, 101-99
Purdue player in dark jersey, looking dejected on bench
Kansas State players in dark jerseys looking dejected - can't quite find double-digit number on left player, right player wearing #1 - they were a #11 seed, lost to #3 Wisconsin in second round
Agitated UCLA coach Ben Howland
One teammate consoling another - wearing gold uniforms with green trim on bench, one guy with a towel over his head with his head covering face
Belmont player - appears to be #2 - walking off floor with teammate after Belmont - the #15 seed - lost to #2 Duke in first round, 71-70, in Washington, DC
Red jersey black trim player being hugged by coach
Kansas #3 jersey shooting over Villanova Wildcat, as #25 dunks on him
Memphis #1 cheering, with Memphis cheerleaders in background
Cheerleader - gold and black
Three Marquette Golden Eagles in white jerseys on bench - middle player is #41 - right player is #5, can't tell for sure - #10 giving someone a kiss.  This was their victory in the #6/#11 game against Kentucky, the only game in which Marquette was the higher seed; they lost in the second round.
Blue clad cheerleader
George Mason mascot - big green thing  - with guy in a white suit, dancing
Southern California cheerleaders
Xavier player in white headband
Xavier player in white jersey, saying "One Shining Moment" for the camera, after game ends, and pulling up Xavier jersey; #3 seed Xavier had three white-jerseyed wins, before losing to UCLA in Elite Eight
Memphis players linking arms and swaying on the bench
Davidson #23 pumping fist for camera - as Georgetown #4 walks slowly behind him 
Davidson #2 and #30 doing body jump and bump
Woman lifting arms in celebration
Three-pointer shot against UConn, from angle behind basket
Dark-jerseyed players celebrating, pouring off the bench
North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough dunking, from angle directly overhead the basket
Coach - apparently Kansas coach Bill Self - looking frustrated and hitting floor
White-jerseyed Texas Longhorn trying to engage crowd by gesturing arms
Arizona Wildcat #0 blue jersey pumping fist, opponent running behind him
West Virginia Mountaineer player in blue jersey looking somber
Memphis Tiger player exulting with raised arms
Three-pointer from corner good
Three-pointer from opposite corner good - #11 Xavier in white jersey
Davidson's Stephon Curry driving to basket, getting an "and one" call, apparently against Wisconsin, whom they played in the Sweet 16, as the opponents seem to have white jerseys with red trim and no name on back
Curry celebrating and looking to heaven
Shot of Stanford against Marquette, with Stanford scoring on floater that rattles in
Marquette players in dark jerseys on bench looking dejected; this was during their 82-81 loss in the second round to #3 Stanford, in overtime
Stanford #11 exulting, wtih Marquette #12 in background
Western Kentucky #1 lining up to take three-pointer from right side - he drains it, and starts celebrating, as teammate grabs him by his jersey
UCLA #0 in white jersey dunking on breakaway
2:14 West Virginia #43 on bench, covering his face with his dark jersey
Texas A&M dark jersey sitting on floor in fetal position; the #9 Aggies lost to the #1 seed, the UCLA Bruins, in the second round, 52-51.
Cal State-Fullerton players on bench; the #14 seed lost to #3 Wisconsin in the first round.
Rameses, the North Carolina ram mascot
A Memphis player, I think...
Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt clapping
Memphis #23 showing his jersey
Memphis #3 making a spectacular dunk
Kansas introductions
Kansas dunking over Scottie Reynolds, from under-the-basket inbounds play
Jayhawk mascot giving OK sign to camera
Memphis #5 dunk
Memphis player shouting
Then-Memphis coach John Calipari yelling, during game with UCLA
Kansas #15 pumping
Kansas #24 yelling (Sascha Kaun, I believe)
Jump ball between Kansas and Memphis in title game - #5 for Memphis - Dizier?
Flashbulbs popping throughout crowd
Memphis #22 layup, guarded by Kansas #15 - "and one"
Kansas #15 shooting three-pointer
Kansas #5 dunking, on lob from #15
Kansas #4 exulting
Bill Self with both arms and up and index fingers extended
Kansas #10 and redhaired guy celebrating
Chalmers/#15 hugging someone while wearing title hat
Jayhawks encircled, bouncing
Chalmers extending jersey as confetti falls from the proverbial rafters, then arms raised
Jayhawks gathered around, holding NCAA Tournament Championship Trophy over heads

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

25th Anniversary of Villanova over Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game - Lexington, Kentucky

To the Wildcat faithful-

Today is the anniversary of the most important day in the history of not just Villanova basketball, but arguably Villanova University as a whole.  A quarter of a century ago, today, the Wildcats stunned the nation by upsetting Georgetown, 66-64...  Villanova was a #8 seed, the lowest seed to ever win the title under the current format, adopted in 1985 - its inaugural year.

It was stunning to observers at the time, but even more so in the light of history.  No other seed that low has done it in the 25 subsequent tournaments, including this one, in which the two lowest seeds remaining are a pair of #5s, in Butler and Michigan State.

With us in the Final Four last season, I had written the following piece for last season's April Fool's Day.  I think that as we emerge from the wreckage of this year's so promising, and then profoundly disappointing ending, I think that it might be a good idea to revisit the greatest moment in the Villanova Wildcats program, before or since...  I've revised and updated it for this season...

Last season, to put myself in the proper perspective for April Fool's Day, 2009, I re-watched the outstanding HBO documentary, The Perfect Upset, to immerse myself in the atmosphere of the stunning Villanova

Simply put, The Perfect Upset is outstanding. I highly recommend it, for anyone who wants to dive deeply not only into the game itself, but Villanova's entire NCAA tournament run, as well as the social atmosphere and upheavals that were convulsing American life and society in the 1980s.

I had previously seen it, but of course, it has particular resonance in light of the highly unexpected Final Four run by the 2009 Wildcats... here are some observations, on the game that took place two dozen years ago...

Villanova - as a #8 seed - winning the NCAA tournament in 1985, is probably the second-greatest upset in the history of North American sports.

(The only one that I believe is clearly greater, was the U.S. hockey team capturing the gold medal against the Soviet Union in 1980.) Nor does that primarily stem from my being a Villanova alumnus and fan. For sports enthusiasts of any partisan stripe, Villanova/Georgetown is a magnificent story, enormously entertaining, filled with unique, memorable, flamboyant characters, richly textured, with a thrilling plot and spectacular ending. It's so great that no fiction writer could ever have contrived it.

No other team seeded that low has ever come close to repeating the feat. Granted, Villanova is not the lowest seed to advance to the Final Four - George Mason in 2006, and LSU two decades earlier - both made it as #11 seeds. But neither won a game in the Final Four. And even if they had, they would not have to face an opponent as formidable as the 1985 Georgetown Hoyas.

Perhaps the most astonishing element of the story of the 1985 Villanova Wildcats, is the fact that the entire story is true and genuine. One interviewee in The Perfect Upset notes that "you can't script the stuff," and he's absolutely right. (His line parallels the slogan Fox Sports used once for its October baseball coverage - "You Can't Script October".)

All of the following classic dramatic elements were present:
victory over Georgetown, 24 years ago, today... It is but one of the greatest ironies that it took place on April Fool's Day....
  • The metaphor of David vs. Goliath;
  • Clear villains in John Thompson and the Hoyas;
  • Clear heroes in Rollie Massimino and the Wildcats;
  • Not one, but two ailing Villanova fixtures - the first being Jake Nevin (who features prominently in The Perfect Upset) and also Alexander Severance, the founding father of Villanova basketball, who died during the Final Four but before the championship game (surprisingly, his passing is not mentioned during The Perfect Upset)...
  • A small, private, academically prominent school winning the national championship;
  • The first time that school had ever won the national championship;
  • An astoundingly high level of play in the game itself - shooting 78.6% from the floor (22/28 overall), including 9/10 in the second half;
  • the end of an era - it was the last tournament without a shot clock;
  • the beginning of an era - it was the first year of the 64-team field.
That's only a partial list... Had Hollywood come up with a script for a basketball film, that incorporated all of the above elements, it clearly would have been rejected, as too unrealistic and sentimental - the audience would be unable to suspend its disbelief for a story like Villanova's.

But truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and the story really did take place according to the legend. It's all true...

If you haven't seen the outstanding1986 film Hoosiers (or if you haven't seen it recently), you really should go see it. Although its story stems from the true tale of a high school team in 1950s Indiana, the parallels between its plot and the saga of the Villanova Wildcats of 1985 are unmistakable. (I speculate that the script had probably already been written before the 1985 tournament, but it's possible that elements of it might have slipped in.) When telling the story of the 1985 Wildcats to those who are not familiar with it, it's often illustrative to liken it to Hoosiers..   (spoiler alert: don't keep reading, if you haven't seen it...)

Worth noting: The climax of Hoosiers, when the Hickory team coached by Gene Hackman upsets the powerhouse in the Indiana state title game, and in which he dramtically illustrates that the court's dimensions are the same size as back in Hickory, was filmed at the home venue of Butler University - which, as we all know, is located in Indianapolis, the site of this year's Final Four.  25 years after Villanova's upset, and 24 years after the release of Hoosiers.  Amazing...

Another aspect to keep in mind, is the distortion of retrospection. We all know the happy ending, about the eventual Villanova victory. In order to truly appreciate the stunning nature, though, we have to put ourselves in the frame of mind of those players, coaches, reporters, broadcasters, fans, etc., who were watching the events as they unfolded. It has to be remembered how improbable it was that Villanova had even reached the Final Four, let alone winning the entire tournament. Moreover, it had been highly improbable, that the Wildcats even reached the Sweet 16, having to play #9 Dayton on its home floor, and then top seed Michigan in the second round.

And as great as this year's team has been - and even if it does capture Villanova's second national crown - it can never match 1985. This year's team is a #3 seed, that had the further advantage of playing two rounds at home. And while North Carolina and either UConn/Michigan State are fine teams, they are not the juggernauts that the 1985 Hoyas were.

Villanova's 1985 championship is too difficult of an act to follow.

In the 24 tournaments since then (including this one), no lower seed has won the championship, or reached the title game. In 2006, as I (along with virtually all of America) rooted for George Mason to further shock the world by winning the national championship, I recognized that there would be one downside to the miracle - it would partially eclipse Villanova's feat. George Mason was an even bigger underdog, from a far less prominent conference, with a lower seed.

But of course, I was pulling for them, because it would have been a great feat on behalf of all the little schools in America, those who don't have the good fortune to play in power conferences or in great facilities or frequently on television. It would have underscored Villanova's triumph, not replaced it.

Although the 1985 team's accomplishment was certainly fully recognized at the time, the legend has only grown in the last two dozen years. As the big public schools, concentrated in the power conferences, continue to gobble up national titles, Final Four appearances, (and most alarmingly) an even greater share of NCAA tournament invitations, the achievement of the 1985 Wildcats has only glimmered that much brighter. Every year that goes by, without the miraculous event being repeated, simply adds to its luster.

So those are my thoughts on this April Fool's Day...

In the meantime...
You can also take a look at the other Villanova blogs included in Various Viewpoints on the right sidebar, for their takes...

There are two ways you can contact Villanova Viewpoint. One is by commenting on this blog. Comments are encouraged. Also, you can e-mail villanova.viewpoint@yahoo.com

Go Wildcats!

E-mail: villanova.viewpoint@yahoo.com