Billy McGill scores 31 points and grabs 18 rebounds to lead Utah to an 88-80 victory over Arizona State in the West Region finals in Portland and puts the Utes in the Final Four. A week later, the Utes lost to future champion Cincinnati in the NCAA semifinals and then lost the famous four-overtime game to St. Jospeh’s in the third-fourth place game.
In the photo: Saturday November 11, 2000 University of Utah All-Stars Banquet (l to r) George Hughes, Arnie Ferrin, Helen Howard, Ladell Andersen, Mrs. Lola Thompson, Ron Boone, Billy McGill, Gwen McGill, Gary Hill and Lori Parrish-Salvo.
Jimmer Fredette makes his first big splash on the national scene with his 37-point performance in BYU’s first-round 99-92 overtime victory against Florida in Oklahoma City. Fredette, who was nearly overshadowed by teammate Michael Loyd’s 26 points off the bench, hit a key basket to send the game into overtime, then knocked down two long 3-pointers in the second overtime to give the Cougars their first NCAA victory in 17 years.
On his way to setting an NCAA record for points in four games, Utah’s Jerry Chambers starts off his NCAA Tournament with 40 points in an 83-74 first-round victory over Pacific in Los Angeles. Chambers made 17 of 30 shots from the field and 6 of 8 from the foul line to lead the Ute victory. The next night he scored 33 in a win over Oregon State and later scored 70 points in the two Final Four games. His 143 points in four NCAA games is still an tournament record, tied by Bo Kimble of Loyola Marymount in 1990.
Freshman Shawn Bradley blocks an NCAA-record 10 shots as BYU beats Virginia 61-48 in a first-round game at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake. Bradley didn’t even get to double figures for points or rebounds, but his 7-foot-6 presence in the middle made all the difference in his 37 minutes as BYU came back from a 22-19 halftime deficit. “He broke out concentration once we got the ball in the middle,” said Virginia forward Bryant Stith. “He was playing a one-man zone.”
Although he fouled out early in the overtime, Keith Van Horn scores 25 points and grabs 14 rebounds to lead Utah to an 82-77 overtime victory over Stanford in San Jose and into the Elite Eight for first time in 31 years. Van Horn was brilliant until fouling out on an offensive foul just 34 seconds into overtime. Freshman Jeff Johnsen, Hanno Mottola and David Jackson had to play most of the overtime as Van Horn watched from the bench. At the end of regulation, Van Horn nearly won the game on a tip-in that came just after the final buzzer.
In what might have been the best game of his stellar college career, Josh Grant scores 29 points to lead the Utes to an 85-84 double-overtime win over Michigan State in an NCAA second-round game in Tucson. Besides outdueling the Spartans’ all-American Steve Smith with his 29 points, Grant also came up with 10 rebounds, five steals and four assists in a brilliant overall game. The Utes finished 30-4 with a loss to UNLV in the Sweet 16 the following week.
Weber State’s Harold “The Show” Arceneaux scores 36 points and dazzles the nation in the Wildcats’ shocking 76-74 upset of 13th-ranked North Carolina in a first-round game at Key Arena in Seattle. The 6-foot-6 junior hit 14 of 26 from the field, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range in the victory and made two free throws with 13 seconds left and intercepted a pass in the final seconds to preserve the victory. “We did not have an answer for Arceneaux,” said North Carolina coach Bill Guthridge. “He was sensational.” Two days later, the Wildcats lost to Florida 82-74 in overtime to end their NCAA dreams.
On his way to tournament MVP honors, Arnie Ferrin leads Utah to its only NCAA basketball championship by scoring more than half of Utah’s points with 22 in a 42-40 overtime victory over Dartmouth in front of 17,000 at Madison Square Garden. The freshman from Ogden was “downright sensational” according to newspaper reports in leading a team of mostly Utah teenagers to the upset victory. Later in the week, Utah defeated NIT champion St. Johns in a benefit game, also at Madison Square Garden.
It wasn’t an especially great night for Danny Ainge who was about to see his college career end in Atlanta with his team trailing Notre Dame by one point with less than 10 seconds left. He had scored just 10 points, one of the lowest scoring outputs of his four-year career. But what he did at the end will forever go down in NCAA lore as one of the greatest plays ever.. During a timeout after Kelly Tripucka’s jumper had put Notre Dame ahead, Ainge decided he was going to take the ball all the way to the hoop. He dribbled his way through several Irish defenders until with two seconds left, he got to the basket and flipped up a layup just over the outstretched hand of Orlando Woolridge. “I dribbled between two guys at halfcourt and saw the clock ticking away,” Ainge said. “I just went to the hole.”
Not many folks gave Utah any chance of beating Arizona, the defending NCAA champs, the No. 1 seed featuring two all-Americans and three future NBA players, in the NCAA West Regional finals. But not only did the Utes beat the Wildcats, they pulverized them with a stunning 76-51 victory at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. While Michael Doleac and Alex Jensen both had double-doubles, Andre Miller was simply sensational, playing one of the greatest games in NCAA history, finishing with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists in leading Utah to the Final Four. Miller played the top of Utah’s triangle-and-two defense, which allowed him to get more rebounds than usual, while shutting down Arizona’s guards Mike Bibby, Miles Simon and Jason Terry. “This is the kind of line you hardly see out of anybody,” marveled Arizona coach Lute Olson. “I love Andre and wouldn’t trade him for anyone in the world,” said Utah coach Rick Majerus.