Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Top 5 Most Painful UGA Basketball Moments

Actually, I should call this "Top 5 Most Painful UGA Basketball Moments of My Lifetime". Yes, despite our frequent absence from the Big Dance, AND the fact that I'm only in my mid-twenties, we still have managed to put forth some serious gut-wrenchers (you may have noticed the 1996 Syracuse video I posted a couple of days ago)

Anyway, I need to point out that one of my "go-to" websites,, has actual box scores from all the following games (sans the last one) to help me re-live the moment. We'll start in reverse order (because that makes lists more intriguing):

5. 2002-2003 -- The team that never was. Thanks to the Harrick/Cole scandal, we self-imposed a post-season ban right before the 2003 postseason. It was easily the best team we had in my lifetime (or that I remember), but was forced to sit it out in fear of the NCAA hammer. This was more of a "couple going through a divorce" type of pain as opposed to a gut-wrencher. Either way it was bad.

4. 2001 Missouri First Round Game -- Yes, the infamous 16-14 at-large team....that somehow got an 8-seed. Anyway, Mizzou was coached then by Quin "Mr. Good Hair" Snyder, and the game took place in Greensboro. (And as I recall, it was the last game of the night). Guess who our leading scorer was for this game....not D.A. Layne...not Ezra Williams....but Rob Dryden, who poured in 18 points. Wow! Anyway, we trailed by like 13 in the second half and came all the way back to tie it...only to lose on a last second shot by I think Clarence Gilbert. It sucked. Better luck next year.

3. 2002 Southern Illinois Second Round Game -- Actually, NOT better luck next year. After earning a 3-seed, we won a yawner over Murray State in the first round, then looked to be pummeling the 11-seed SIU Salukis (who had upset Texas Tech in Round 1). After building an 18 or 19 point lead however (can't remember exactly), the wheels completely came off. Of course, the neutral crowd in Chicago was rooting for the underdog and was just painful. Despite Jarvis Hayes scoring 26 (and pulling down 11 boards) we went down 77-75. SIU had some guy named Jermaine Dearman score 25 that I think of it....technically this game didn't count didn't happen.

2. 1997 UT-Chatanooga First Round Game -- This was Tubby's second team. This team also earned a 3-seed but did not waste any time screwing it up. We literally got down 20-2 in the first half and trailed 46-31 at the a 14-seed. But we made a furious come-back and G.G. Smith launched the potential game-tying three at the buzzer...only to get it partially blocked. We lost 73-70. G.G. led us in scoring with 18 but UT-Chat. had a guy named Willie Young who poured in 24 and another guy named Johnny Taylor score 19. This was like coming home and finding your kids murdered...our tourney run was over before it started. OUCH. (One more thing -- this game was played in...gulp...Charlotte)

1. 1996 Syracuse Sweet Sixteen Game -- I posted the video two days ago. One of the better NCAA Tourney games ever. Back and forth the whole way. The real drama started when Syracuse hit a shot at the end of regulation to send it to overtime. Then, in overtime, Pertha Robinson hit a go-ahead three (when we were only down 2) with only 7 seconds left. Not to be outdone, Syracuse's John Wallace hit a leaning three (which was actually a two if you re-watch it) with only two seconds left -- one of the more ill-advised, yet successful shots ever. Then, we stupidly throw it in didn't end well..we didn't even get a real shot off. And what made matters worse is that Syracuse ended up playing in the national title game. (Trivia: Did you know Donovan McNabb was a walk-on Hoops player on that team? Oh yes)

Obviously, unless you win the whole thing, the season probably isn't going to end well. But think about it...of our last 5 NCAA tournament appearances, four of them have ended on a single possession LOSS. Ouch. Let's hope we buck the trend this Friday.


  1. #1 is definitely the loss by Hugh Durham to Jimmy V's NCST - Terry Fair, James Banks, Nique, Marbury and Flemming were studs! Should've won the whole tourney! Knocked off UNC and Syracuse on way to The Pit in New Mexico!

  2. Nique didn't play on the final 4 team.