Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mr. March Madness: No. 4 The Slipper Still Fits

March is a great month. Not only because it ushers in the start of spring, but because of March Madness, the greatest sporting event of the year.

There are many reasons why March Madness is great. The endless basketball, the great games, the upsets, and the the buzzer-beaters. But there is one thing that ties all of these great reasons together, and that one thing makes all of those reasons infinitely better.

Gus Johnson.

In honor of his contribution to March Madness, B.I.A.H will be counting down the 10 greatest calls from Gus Johnson. Now, not all of the clips are from March Madness, but all of them are instant-classics.

Here is No. 4: The Slipper Still Fits

Not only is this the signature call in Gus Johnson's resume, it is also one of the most iconic calls in college basketball history.

The Gonzaga program has long been known as the pioneers of "the Cinderella story". A small catholic school from Spokane, WA should never be able to challenge the big universities of the mid-west and the east coast. But somehow, someway, the Zags always seemed to be primed for a March Madness upset.

In 1999, Gonzaga, the No. 10-seed won their first-ever tournament game, defeating No. 7 Minnesota, win the first round, then had to face No. 2 Stanford in the round of 32. Gonzaga beat Stanford by eight, setting up an unlikely Sweet Sixteen showdown with the No 6. Gators.

Florida trailed 52-44 with 14:08 to play, but clawed back to even things up after Udonis Haslem made the second of two free throws and a lay-in to tie the game 67-67 with two minutes to go. Florida's Greg Stolt nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing to give Florida a 72-69 lead with 45.7 seconds to play, but a Jeremy Eaton-layup with 19.7 seconds left made it a one-point game. Florida got the ball but Brent Wright was called for traveling as he tried to call timeout, which would give Gonzaga the ball back with 15.4sec to play.

From here, well you know the rest:




Those final four words " The slipper still fits" has become a hallmark of the Gonzaga program. This was arguably the school's signature moment, and the program has had a meteoric rise to success since Gus-Jeezy uttered those four glorious words.

For Gus Johnson, this was the call that started it all.

Mr. March Madness: No. 5 - Cold. Blooded.
Mr. March Madness: No. 6 - Sorrentine from the parking lot
Mr. March Madness: No. 7 - Heartbreak City
Mr. March Madness: No. 8 - Sylvester for three
Mr. March Madness: No. 9 - Hey coach, play this kid
Mr. March Madness: No. 10 - Overtime in Seattle
Mr. March Madness: The Preview

To browse the rest of our Mr. March Madness countdown, click here.

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