Duke just suffered a huge upset in its first game in the 2012 NCAA tournament -- the No.2-seeded Blue Devils fell to No.15 seed Lehigh, 75-70.
While I was watching the game live in Greensboro and trying to write a column to capture it, I started thinking about another huge upset from 13 years before. Remember Weber State?
It had a (briefly) great player named Harold "The Show" Arceneaux, and Weber State upset UNC by two points in the 1999 tournament. UNC was the No.3 seed and Weber State was a No.14, but the Tar Heels couldn't use their size advantage well (future NBA player Brendan Haywood had zero rebounds and was 0-for-3 from the field in 24 minutes) and Arceneaux scored 36. (Arceneaux would later make a living playing basketball overseas, but not in the NBA).
Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum played the role of Arceneaux Friday night against Duke. He was the best player on the court, scoring 30, and he could have had a lot more if he had made his free throws and layups. The guy could drive by anyone Duke threw at him.
Duke fans for years later could tease UNC fans with only two words: "Weber State." Some went as far as to buy Weber State T-shirts to wear.
Tar Heel fans will long remember the word "Lehigh" now -- particularly the ones who were in Greensboro screaming for the Mountain Hawks and waving "Go Lehigh" signs. And there were a lot of those. Don't be surprised if some brown Lehigh T-shirts start showing up in Chapel Hill soon.
So my two equations for the night is simple:
Weber State = Lehigh
Harold Arceneaux = C.J. McCollum
And the NCAA tournament, as always, equals a whole lot of surprises.
6 months ago