I have to be honest… I haven’t been paying much attention to the Jazz this weekend. My focus has been solely on the NCAA tournament –but if you’re curious… we beat the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.
While the local teams dropped the ball over the weekend, the tourney was still exciting. It made me think about the magical tourney appearances that our Jazz players participated in over their college basketball careers.
To reflect on that, I remember watching #1 Duke being upset by Indiana in 2002. Boozer and the Blue Devils were considered unstoppable back then (with Jay Williams & Mike Dunleavy). Kyle Korver (for Creighton) lost to Chris Kaman in the 1st Round at the Huntsman Center. I was there to witness it. Brevin Knight starred for Stanford against the Utes of Utah in the Sweet 16 of 1997. And of course, AK47, Memo Okur and the Fes never played NCAA Tournament Ball (that would’ve been thrilling if they had…). Probably the best memory of all though was the highlight of Deron Williams and Illinois in their run to the Final Four. Here’s to reminiscing:
Elite Eight 2005 – Illinois vs. Arizona
To many, it’s known as “the shot”. Illinois made one of the most improbable comebacks –down nearly 15 points with 4 minutes to play- and beat Arizona to advance to the Final Four. Deron Williams was the superstar behind the comeback. His “shot” put his playing career on the proverbial “map”. And as we all know now, he's been making those caliber of shots ever since.