Under Review

March 28, 2005
March 28, 2005

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March 28, 2005

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2005 NCAA Tournament
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Under Review

They were the biggest, baddest team in the country. "We took no prisoners," recalls coach John Thompson of his 1985 Georgetown Hoyas, in Perfect Upset: The 1985 Villanova vs. Georgetown NCAA Championship (HBO, March 28). But on April Fools' Day, 1985--in a game people watched, says former New York Daily News columnist Mark Kriegel, "expecting Villanova to get smoked"--the little team that could beat the No. 1 Hoyas 66--64, becoming the lowest-seeded national champion ever. (The Wildcats were a No. 8 seed.) "We didn't miss," says center Ed Pinckney, of a team that made 22 of 28 shots against the Hoyas' defense, which had Patrick Ewing in the middle. Nothing makes a better story than an underdog tale, and the one-hour Upset does not disappoint. (It's not all uplifting, though. Guard Gary McLain admitted to SI in 1987 that he'd been wired on cocaine during certain games--although, he says in Upset, not on April 1.) Upset has not only a terrific game as its payoff but also great characters: the 6'10" Thompson, who, says USC critical studies professor Todd Boyd, "put the fear of God in you"; and Villanova's roly-poly Rollie Massimino, who "by the end of the game," says then Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt, "looked like he'd been in a Maytag washing machine." --Nancy Ramsey

This is an article from the March 28, 2005 issue Original Layout