A UW tie — or two — in tonight’s Final Four instant classic?
LARAMIE -- Tonight's instant classic in the Final Four between Gonzaga and UCLA got my wheels turning a bit.
And there is a Wyoming tie. Two -- kind of -- actually.
Stay with me.
First of all, the Bulldogs and Bruins are the last two teams the Cowboys beat in the NCAA Tournament.
The initial win came in the second round against No. 4 seeded UCLA back in 1987. Fennis Dembo netted a career-high 41 points that night in Salt Lake City, leading UW to a 78-68 victory over Reggie Miller's Bruins.
Check out this lede in a Los Angeles Time story entitled "Wyoming puts Fennis-ing touch to UCLA's season."
"UCLA is back, all right. Back home," the article begins. "Missing from the NCAA tournament for four years, the Bruins are gone again, forced to leave Saturday when Wyoming pulled Fennis Dembo out of a Cowboy hat and made them disappear."
How good is that?
In 2002, Marcus Bailey, Josh Davis, Uche Nsonwu-Amadi and crew took care of No. 6 Gonzaga, 73-66, inside The Pit in Albuquerque.
That 'Zags squad featured future NBA players Dan Dickau and Ronny Turiaf. That team had made the Sweet 16 three straight times. They were primed to get there again. That is until Nsonwu-Amadi scored a team-high 14 and Bailey chipped in with 13. Davis, Donta Richardson and Paris Corner all finished in double-digits, too.
Davis had a night against Mark Few's Bulldogs, rejecting five shots and pulling down 14 rebounds to go along with 11 points.
“There were people debating whether we deserved to be in this,” Cowboys coach Steve McClain told the Spokesman-Review postgame. “And I think we proved we deserve to be in the same arena with Gonzaga and teams like them.”
Bailey added: "I don’t think this was a fluke. We played a tough schedule this year and we’ve played pretty good basketball all year. We expected to win this game and we came out and did all the things the coaches wanted us to do."
Now, these examples don't directly correlate with Gonzaga's 93-90 overtime victory tonight that ended with a Jalen Suggs heave from near midcourt at the buzzer, but the IMG Radio call for the 'Zags was highlighted by former star Adam Morrison, who is the first cousin of Wyoming's starting right tackle and Laramie native, Frank Crum.
Morrison was selected No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2006 NBA Draft. He also won a pair of championships as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers during his six-year career. He showed up on campus in Spokane in 2003, the year after UW knocked the 'Zags out of the tourney.
Morrison's father, John Morrison, coached hoops at Casper College.
How's that for a tie to Wyoming?
It's a stretch, I know, but still interesting.
Anyway, check out Morrison's call right here. I'm sure this one will seared into the memories of Bulldogs fans for years to come:
Gonzaga will take on fellow No. 1 seed Baylor for all the marbles Monday night at 7:20 p.m. MDT.