We had a tough-mindedness that I think is a unique skill for a team. But there was something else going on that spring. I actually watched this game from start to finish for the first time at the beginning of the pandemic. 2008 NCAA Tournament. It was an open look. And just like when he was at Davidson, he’s a superstar, but he was just a normal guy, and nothing’s changed. Richards: We went into halftime with Wisconsin tied. That sounds ancient, but people started getting noticed because we were everywhere. Matt Matheny and Jim Fox were absolutely spectacular. The pivotal 3 Steph made was at the top of the key. Coach Fox: a lot of people thought Davidson has no shot of winning those games. But before he was Steph Curry, he led Davidson to a first-round upset of Gonzaga in the 2008 NCAA men's basketball tournament. Believe me; we were realistic; we saw that roster, we watched their tape. Ten years later, the images of that March still warm Davidson. At Davidson, at that point in time, we didn’t really recruit a lot from the area around Charlotte. I mean, he’s had a couple of injuries over the past few years. TEAM BESTS. The first and second round games were pl… 1 ranked Jayhawks. Coach McKillop: In the lead up to the game, the Defensive Player of the Year in the Big-10 said he was going to leave Stephen breathless that he was going to defend him and press him. “If we wanted to be the best, we had to play against the best. “People around the basketball world knew how good Steph was, but that put him on the map, because everyone watches the NCAA Tournament. Curry hinted at the future with his early games against the bluebloods; 24 points in a four-point loss to North Carolina, 20 in a six-point defeat by Duke. Since then, Steph has grown into a global superstar who captured two NBA MVPs and three championships over the next 10 years. We became the darlings of that year, with Steph being our guy, our leader. We had it for those two successive weekends.”, But he hasn’t watched the Kansas game. I don’t know how I never watched it. March 21, 2008. Davidson’s deficit found itself down 46-29 just over two minutes into the second half. Curry that day: “It hurts a lot to get so far, be this close to the Final Four.”, MORE: Naismith Award 10 semifinalists announced |. “I’d be lying to you if I said that shot didn’t replay in my mind every couple of days. Would Sixers’ Daryl Morey offer multiple first round picks and young players in a blockbuster trade? NCAA Tournament Scores — Mar 28, 2008. Note: Insider gets you ready for the NCAA Tournament with complete scouting reports on all 65 teams and in-depth bracket analysis to help you project the field all the way to San Antonio. It was the kind of feel-good underdog story that puts the heart into March. North Carolina, Duke, UCLA. We knew he was going to play in the NBA. Davidson drew a first-round matchup against the seventh-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs. And out of the blue, he gets up, maybe halfway through our presentation, and says, “I want to come to Davidson.” Matt and I drove home, and it was as if we didn’t need our car. I didn’t watch any of the games. Richards: When we started to chip away and make our run, the entire arena started cheering for us. Steph gets the rebound, takes one dribble and throws it on the money, like a Tom Brady pass to Thomas Sander in full sprint, he shoots the layup and gets fouled. Those games were in Charlotte, the Duke and North Carolina games, and we were in both for the duration. Every time he’s been put on the stage in a pivotal role, he has taken that play, that musical, that drama, that comedy, whatever it might be, he has taken it from Podunk Town America to big city America to Broadway. And that was us, that was Steph, and that was what we call a dagger. 'March Means More': Remembering Stephen Curry's 2008 NCAA Tournament Run Thomas Duffy @ @TJDhoops. I spoke with Davidson head coach Bob McKillop, assistant coach Jim Fox, teammates Jason Richards and Brendan McKillop, as well as former Georgetown player and current Denver Nuggets executive, Jon Wallace. Coach McKillop obliged and set-up non-conference games against powerhouse programs. So no matter what the deficit that we had, we knew we could get out of it. Curry’s individual 2008 NCAA Tournament numbers are ridiculous. By the time they hit the NCAA Tournament, they had won 22 in a row. CBSSports.com is your college basketball scores and news source. Richards: It’s disappointing because we wanted to win the game. In 2008, Davidson defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Georgetown Hoyas, and Wisconsin Badgers to advance to the Elite Eight. “We would have had another shot at Carolina, which we had lost to by four to begin the season,” Richards said. Kansas answered back for a 59-53 lead with 1:15 to go, but a four-point Davidson possession – free throw, Jayhawks losing the rebound of a second missed free throw out of bounds, Curry 3-pointer – cut it to 59-57. Not just the basketball players at that time, but basketball players from every generation, alums from every generation, community people from every generation.”, MORE: Xavier basketball approaching history as first-ever Big East title is within reach vs. Providence. Giannis Antetokounmpo Agrees to Five-Year, $228M Super Max Extension, Josh Richardson and his quickly found comfort with the Mavericks, Grizzlies 123, Wolves 104: Case of the Monday’s. Steph is the most important part. Also, of what Jason Richards was doing, I think he had 13 assists, no turnovers and just the overall team effort. Mike Lopresti is a member of the US Basketball Writers Hall of Fame, Ball State journalism Hall of Fame and Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. Coach McKillop: Three Gonzaga players, I think, went after Andrew Lovedale, our power forward. Coach McKillop: What those games taught us was that we could compete, and we can play with anybody. It was more about the run as a team, than that one specific play.”. Davidson. We use the pressure and that kind of invited them into shooting quick 3s. They’re back. Coach Fox: They were the last game of the day on Friday. It changed the life of the coaching staff and all the players who were part of that roster. But when you go back home to his house after the game, he’s the same Steph that was joking in your office 10-15 years ago. Next up for the Wildcats was a date with the No. Then, led by Steph, we just got on a wave, and that wave kept on going in that second half. But that play also got better because Stephen played the lead role. Brendan McKillop: Going into the locker room after that, and just like the range of emotions, you know we tried to understand how great what we had accomplished was, but also, you know, everyone was heartbroken, and we fully expected to win that game. LeBron James. Coach McKillop and coach Fox zeroed in on Steph as their top recruit. Now he’s director of basketball operations at Pittsburgh. He took the nation by storm, and ran with it.”. Too bad, Davidson’s fairy tale couldn’t have lasted one week longer – as it did two years earlier for George Mason, as it would two years later for Butler. UNC (1) 108: Final: ARK (9) 77 TENN (2) 76: Final: BUT (7) 71: OT GTWN (2) 70: Final: DAV (10) 74 OKLA (6) 48: Final: LOU (3) 78 MSST (8) 74: Final: MEM (1) 77 By then, Davidson was the perfect Cinderella story. He’s a better person than he is a basketball player. I liken him to a great Broadway performer. Dell and Sonia were there. 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