March 30, 1982 was the date when the Georgetown-UNC Championship game began the modern era of college basketball. Why am I picking a loss for my last Heart Attack Hoya Classic? I hate to even discuss one of our most heart-breaking losses. However, I was impressed recently when '97 Georgetown alumnus & movie star, Bradley Cooper addressed the Georgetown students in Gaston Hall. In his address he told the students that he felt sorry for those who never fail at something, because only really in failure do we grow. As disappointing as the 62-63 loss was in the national championship game it was what allowed the Hoyas to learn, and usher in the greatest 10 years of basketball in Georgetown history including the 1984 NCAA championship. I remember watching the game on TV before a record crowd at the New Orleans Superdome. It was close throughout. Patrick Ewing as instructed by coach John Thompson, Jr. had several goaltending calls early as he did not allow any baskets by the Tar Heels in the first few minutes. Coach Thompson wanted to create a defensive presence early in the game. There were numerous lead changes as Georgetown and Carolina battled most of the game. Many college basketball historians often point to this game as a showcase for the new athleticism in the game of basketball. There were many underlying themes to this game. There was the friendship of John Thompson and Dean Smith. There was the battle between the Big East and ACC. Most people remember it as the game when Michael Jordan made the shot, and Fred Brown threw the ball to James Worthy. Who can forget Coach Thompson hugging Fred Brown and assuring him that his mistake did not cost the Hoyas the game. Certainly Fred had won the Hoyas many games during his Georgetown career. It seemed as if the next two years flew by, and Thompson was hugging Fred Brown when Georgetown defeated Houston for the NCAA championship. I am not one who likes moral victories, but I do not think anyone could watch this game and not be proud of the Georgetown Hoyas. Indeed it was a classic--the largest crowd ever to see a game, and at the very beginning of ESPN, and the modern era of college basketball. Indeed it was not Michael Jordan against Patrick Ewing, or John Thompson against Dean Smith, but it was Georgetown against North Carolina. Indeed I believe it is only a matter of time before these two schools play for another national championship. It is now only one week before Midnight Madness--I cannot wait!
We are Georgetown! Hoya Saxa!
Dr. Thomas A. Wong
Hoya Hoop Club Vice-President & Director of Communications
Proud Member of Generation Ewing