Hoops flashback: UConn vs. Florida, 1994 East Semifinal

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by '78, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    I'd just finished a full Friday working a trade show at the Tampa Convention Center. A buddy and I decided to drop in for a beer at a makeshift cocktail tent outside the main venue.

    What we walked into was wow.

    The place was packed with people riveted to the UConn-Florida East semifinal, the cheers growing louder -- and I mean loud -- by the minute. Tied at 57 at the end of regulation, UF surged ahead in OT led by Brown and Cross in the backcourt, pure hustle from DeClercq and the inimitable Dametri Hill, aka Da Meat Hook, who could literally clog the lane with his 275 pounds packed on a 6-7 frame.

    12-3 we outscored Donyell Marshall's UConn in OT to advance to the East final against Boston College. People were screaming and high-fiving at the Tampa Convention Center that day. We were one win away from the Final Four. It all felt surreal.

     
  2. GatorBart

    GatorBart :bandit:
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    That was a pretty good UConn squad with Marshall, Ray Allen and Kevin Ollie.
    Craig Brown's 3 in OT was the dagger! Brown also had 17 pts, 9 rebs and 9 assists, damn near a triple-double!
    :chomp:
     
  3. gatordad3

    gatordad3 Well-Known Member

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    After the game, I yelled out 2 words: National Championship! Only Puke and Arky were better in the tourney. A very young Kevin Krueger was fun to watch during the whole season. Marshall averaged somewhere around 30 points per game and was held to 13, if I remember correctly
     
  4. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    Largely because of Andrew DeClercq, the unsung hero of that team, a guy who defended, rebounded, hustled, ran the break and made everyone else around him better for it. A kid from Clearwater's Countryside High, just down the road from me.
     
  5. PastyStoole

    PastyStoole Senior Member
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    My buddy and I went down to this game. One of the best Gator experiences I've ever had. We actually had a chance to get on the floor with the press folks but I chickened out. We had hopped a press shuttle we weren't supposed to be on from the hotel. Curry Kirkpatrick was on it. We were chatting him up and basically walked right in with him through the tunnel. They weren't checking credentials. I got nervous and we headed up to our seats. Late in the second half, though, we moved down to the stairs right above the press table. I was right near Donyell Marshall and screaming my ass off at him to miss those free throws. I've always imagined it had had some effect on him. Went to the BC game which was also amazing. DeClerq made an incredible block in that game. Not a ton of talent on that team, but man did they fight like hell. That season was so much fun.
     
  6. stephenPE

    stephenPE Senior Member
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    I was gonna say Marshall lost that game at the FT line.......he choked and now I know that Pasty made it happen...............:yes:.......the Declerq block was incredible. He was a great kid all hustle and enthusiasm. The guards were incredible, too. Two great kids one who had a camp at UF for years or still does. Here is my story. Early in that season I mailed in a candy bar wrapper (Mars I think) for a final four t-shirt for Charlotte I believe. AND Then the gators made their first final four FOR me I guess and my shirt.............
     
  7. oxrageous

    oxrageous American Hero
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    Lot of memories here. You didn't mention Marshall missing two free throws that would have iced the game at the end. I was in a Gainesville apartment with a bunch of Gator buddies who were screaming things at the TV while Marshall was at the line, such as "Noonan!" and "Monkeynuts!", and by God if that choker didn't miss them both.

    The whole run was like a dream we all couldn't believe we were having. We went to a late, packed movie one night shortly after the BC game (to advance to the Final Four) and before the movie started someone screamed out, "How bout them Gators!" and the theater erupted in cheers. Surreal.
     
  8. stephenPE

    stephenPE Senior Member
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  9. InstiGATOR1

    InstiGATOR1 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks a lot for posting this. I had never seen that game until watching this clip of it. It was not on where ever I was in 1994. I watched whatever game I was able to get and followed the score.

    I had long been a basketball fan, but never thought i would see the Gators in the final four. That run was really more shocking to me than even the first time UF won the NCAA tourney.
     
  10. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    Your feelings echo mine. That was one rag-tag bunch that earned the Final Four berth. You almost wanted to pinch yourself.
     
  11. ATXGator

    ATXGator Austin Gator
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    I remember that game... it was crazy. Then I went to the game against Boston College. Craig Brown hit some big 3s. So much fun!
     

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