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Ohio State 67 Georgetown 60.

box score
audio - coach john thompson, jeff green, roy hibbert & jonathan wallace
audio - coach john thompson (second interview)

Throughout Georgetown's incredible run to the 2007 Final Four, there has been an oft-incomprehensible member of the HoyaTalk message board posting the same story again and again.

It is a parable told in all caps and awash in emoticons, but the tale goes something like this:

As a young man, legendary coach Al McGuire was at the beach with his grandmother.

Al was about to go out with his friends.

Al's grandmother offered him a banana to eat but McGuire said he was not hungry.

When McGuire returned famished later that day, the banana was gone.

The moral was - as his grandmother informed him - "Al, when you have the banana, eat the banana."

This fable had become the rallying cry for Hoya faithful during every comeback and each heart-pausing victory that beget another fantastic finish.

In the first semifinal of this evening's NCAA Final Four, it was Ohio State that ate the banana.

It had been another rally for the Hoyas, who had trailed by eight points in the first half. Georgetown drew even at 44 with 9:45 left on Jonathan Wallace's step-back three point shot.

Hoya center Roy Hibbert picked up his fourth personal foul, called for holding on a loose ball scramble as both teams tried to track down Ron Lewis' missed three pointer. Hibbert headed to the sidelines.

Saddled with three personal fouls of his own, Ohio State freshman center Greg Oden came back off the bench and started a 7-0 Buckeye run with a right-handed hook over the Hoyas' Jeff Green. Two transition layups for Ohio State, each following a missed Georgetown three point shot, gave the Buckeyes six points in a single minute. By the time Hibbert returned to the lineup three possessions separated the two teams.

When Jessie Saap drove to the basket for a layup with 3:21 left Georgetown was back to within four, 56-52. The Hoyas would get the ball as Oden missed from just outside his comfort range. Oden was whistled for his fourth foul as Green drove on him and was hacked.

Georgetown did a great job this season calling set plays out of time outs, but did not have similar success after the game's final media stoppage.

Inbounding in the frontcourt, Hibbert flashed to the rim, however ball did not come his way. Green made a move to the basket from the wing as the defense swarmed to the Hoyas' 7'2" big man, but one Buckeye defender got in Green's way to draw an offensive foul.

Down at the other side of the Georgia Dome, a short Oden jumper went back iron and in, and Ohio State could start to peel their spot in Monday's championship game.

Hibbert finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Oden had 13 points and 9 boards. Both manchildren were hampered by foul problems. Hibbert was whistled on the game's first possession. Oden picked up two fouls in the first three minutes. It took Hibbert 13 minutes to get called for his second foul, flagged on a bump after having just recorded consecutive slams.

Around Atlanta.

Some pictures from the 3.65 mile walk from my hotel to the Georgia Dome...

I don't believe this was erected for this weekend's events, but it could have been.

R2D2 mailbox.

A tribute to Emperor Palpatine.

Free Ludacris concert in Centenial Park.

That guy has a lot of hit songs and he knows it.

Color your own J.J. Jumper.

Villanova coach Jay Wright at an autograph station that also featured Tennessee's Bruce Pearl and American Idol's Daughtry.

Wheelchair basketball exhibition.

Though shall not worship false idols.

Poor, neglected Slamball court.

Final Four media day - Georgetown.

Georgetown was the first of the 2007 Final Four participants to have an open practice this afternoon at the Georgia Dome. The team and select players met the media afterwards. The audio links are below.

audio - coach john thompson
audio - jeff green & jonathan wallace

Georgetown's starters were 3-22 from three point range the other time the Hoyas played in a dome this season (@ Syracuse, a 72-58 loss). Outside shooting will be something to watch closely tomorrow night. The cavenous Georgia Dome is full of odd angles, open spaces and funky sightlines.

These tricked-out Krispy Kreme donuts were a nice touch.

Bill Bradley interview.

I had a chance to interview Senator Bill Bradley this evening in Princeton. Bradley was in town to discuss "The New American Story", his sixth book. Senator Bradley was gracious to give me 14 minutes of his time before signing copies of this book at the area Barnes & Noble.

You can listen to the interview here (.mp3). Unlike the majority of the interviews on princetonbasketball,com, this recording does not require a donor subscription. Enjoy!

Thompson & Carril interviews on WFAN.

Coach John Thompson III on "Mike & The Mad Dog" - mp3

Coach Pete Carril on "Joe Benigno & Evan Roberts" - mp3

Cutting down the nets.

Hoya Saxa.

Georgetown 96 North Carolina 84 (OT).

box score
audio - coach john thompson, jeff green, jonathan wallace, jeff green, roy hibbert & dajuan summers
audio - jeff green : audio - coach john thompson (second interview)

Trailing by nine points with six minutes to play against North Carolina in the NCAA East Regional final, Georgetown never wavered from who they were.

"We wanted to stick with our stuff [on offense] because we knew it worked." said guard Jessie Saap. "We didn't want to go into anything different because it's been working all year."

The Hoyas rallied from a 75-66 deficit, sending the game to overtime and the Continental Airlines Arena into bedlam on a soft Jonathan Wallace three point short with thirty seconds to play in regulation.

"I call Jon 'Buckets' because to me, Jon doesn't miss." said Georgetown co-captain Tyler Crawford after the game. "That's Jon Wallace. He played with tremendous confidence."

The Hoyas switched to a 2-3 zone defense down double figures midway through the second half and North Carolina was unable to get the second chance opportunities and the points in the paint they had used to build their lead. The Tarheels finished the evening in a 2-23 shooting slide.

From the start of overtime the Hoyas knocked North Carolina out with an incredible 14-0 run. On Georgetown's first possession Jeff Green passed diagonally from the wing to a cutting Jonathan Wallace for a backdoor layup. Wallace faked coming up top behind a Roy Hibbert screen, then slashed fed to the basket as Ty Lawson spun in the wrong direction, laying the ball in as it reached him in stride.

An errant backdoor bounce pass by Green in traffic deflected to DaJuan Summers for a two-handed throwdown that doubled the Georgetown lead. Following a Tyler Hansbrough traveling violation Jeff Green drove to his left and used the glass to send the Hoyas out to their biggest advantage of the night. Six straight Georgetown free throws opened the lead up to 93-81 and the champions of the east were crowned on a breakaway throwdown from Summers.

Summers finished with 20 points, and East regional Most Outstanding Player Jeff Green appeared genuinely surprised after the game upon learning that he and not Summers had received this honor.

As the Georgetown band chanted "JT3! JT3!" Coach Thompson strolled across the court to reach his father, who was broadcasting the game for Westwood One. Thompson stopped along the way to embrace the small grey-haired man with the Georgetown hat sitting on the sidelines. It was his collegiate coach, Pete Carril.

"[Coach Carril] is a part of what we're doing." explained Thompson. "I just wanted to go over and give him a hug." Coach Carril and Thompson shared an embrace and a high five. They both went over to press row where they were guests on Thompson's father's broadcast. The two iconic figures of Princeton basketball and Georgetown basketball standing proudly alongside the man they had both been such strong influences on.

When Coach Thompson climbed the ladder to cut down the final strand of the net, he led the crowd in his favorite cheer.

We are...


We are...


We are...


The Hoyas were heading to the Final Four, and Georgetown had proved that they knew who they were all along.

Pete Carril (in Hoyas hat) holds an impromptu press conference after the game.

Georgetown 66 Vanderbilt 65.

box score
audio - coach john thompson, jeff green, jonathan wallace & dajuan summers
audio - roy hibbert : audio - jonathan wallace
audio - coach john thompson (second interview)

Trailing by one point against Vanderbilt with seventeen seconds to play, Coach John Thompson went into the playbook and came up with a scheme that had worked before in a similar situation.

The play is called "Center/Forward."

Princeton ran it to knock off UCLA in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament.

Last night Georgetown used it to defeat Vanderbilt 66-65 and advance to the NCAA East Regional Final on Sunday.

The Hoyas had executed the play out of a time out at the end of the first half and would have had an easy basket for Patrick Ewing Jr. if Ewing did not slip on the hardwood while driving to the iron.

It was Jeff Green, not Steve Goodrich, getting the ball on the right elbow with nine seconds left.

It was Patrick Ewing Jr,, not Gabe Lewullis, slashing to the basket before moving out on the arc, instructed by his coach to camp in the corner instead of cutting a second time on the baseline.

When Green could not find space to hit Ewing with a bounce pass, it was time to turn and go.

Green split a double team of oncoming Commodores and exploded above both men to kiss a shot high off the glass for the winning basket with two seconds remaining. Despite having two time outs in their pocket Vanderbilt rushed the ball inbounds and a desperation heave never made it to the rim.

The Hoyas poured onto the court, but it was Coach Thompson walking to the sidelines after doing an interview with CBS Sports to kiss his wife and wish his oldest daughter Morgan a happy ninth birthday.

I spent the game sitting next to former Princeton basketball player and current Time Magazine writer Sean “Bones” Gregory ‘98. When Georgetown called time down 65-64, Gregory turned to me and said with a knowing grin - “Center/Forward.”

After the game, as Gregory and I caught up with Coach Thompson for a brief interview in the hallway outside of the Georgetown locker room, his first words to us were: “Bones, didn’t you think Center/Forward was going to work?”

Did 1996 have something to do with this call? “If you want me to say that, I’ll say it for you” Thompson responded slyly.

See the highlights on YouTube: Select plays. Green's final basket.

Coach Thompson quotes on Sydney Johnson.

There's a lot of rumor and speculation being tossed around about the open head coaching job at Princeton, but this early in the search for Joe Scott's replacement there is not an equal amount of concrete information.

The best I can offer up is a few lines from the transcript of yesterday's Georgetown interviews at the Meadowlands:

Q: The Princeton job just came open. Your assistant Sydney Johnson has been talked about as a candidate. Talk about is he ready for a Division I coaching job?

Coach John Thompson III: Who has talked about him being a candidate for that job?

Q: Published reports last couple of days in the wake of Joe going to Denver?

Coach John Thompson III: Has Gary [Walters] said it?

Q: Gary has not said it.

Coach John Thompson III: You know, all of my staff, my entire staff, I think one day they will all be very good head coaches. Obviously Sydney at Princeton is home for him, and one day sooner or later he's going to be a very good coach. Whether it's there or somewhere else, time will tell.

Justin Conway honored.

Congratulations to Princeton captain Justin Conway on being named a winter 2007 Academic All-Ivy selection. A well-earned honor for the senior sociology major from Santa Fe, MN.

New Recruit - Bobby Foley.

photo from

The Richmond Times Dispatch is reporting that 6'4" Mills Goodwin guard Bobby Foley will be attending Princeton to play basketball. The son of coaches Bob Foley and Louise Foley is an expert three point shooter who was named 2007 Colonial District Player of the Year.

There are now four publicly announced members of the 2007 Princeton recruiting class: Foley, Dan Mavraides, Kareem Maddox and Jason Liberman.

Denver press conference.

AP photo

The University of Denver held a 5:00 pm ET press conference yesterday to announce Joe Scott as their new men's basketball coach.

Here is a full transcript from Wednesday's event.

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