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It was the kind of feel-good underdog story that puts the heart into March. “It all started when his defender tripped and Kansas was kind of in a scramble and running around,” Richards said. I think they went on a 9-0 run. Yeah, it was deep. 10 seed in the Midwest Region. Stay up to date with the latest in college basketball recruiting news. March Madness: 31 questions for college basketball’s best month, “Taking Jason Richards out with 7:42 to go in the game and a seven-point lead. 10 seed in the Midwest region, were actually favored against the No. “I was a dual threat,” he says. When the Wildcats lost by one point at North Carolina State on Dec. 21, they were 4-6. Thursday, it’ll be Kentucky having to deal with them, and would now be a good time for John Calipari to tell his guys about 10 years ago? No. 2008 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Teams . So the fact Steph took the nation by storm, it was newspaper articles, people texting, people calling and leaving voice messages, sending emails. “When the Cavs came to Charlotte to play the Bobcats a few weeks later, the greatest player in the world—after Steph, that is!—invited all of us to be his guests.”, One obstacle remained between Davidson and the Final Four, but it was formidable. They did not lose again in the regular season. Stephen Curry and Jason Richards of Davidson during the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, March 21, 2008 at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. He would be after March 2008. “We never felt we dug ourselves too big of a hole,” Richards says. Richards, who scored 20 points of his own, found Curry for yet another three that gave Davidson the lead. Curry and Davidson took out their frustrations on the tiny schools in the Southern Conference, winning all 18 regular-season games and sweeping through the conference tournament. “We came two points away from the Final Four with a 1,700-student school in the Southern Conference.”. I remember when we were sitting there -- I think we were 4-6 at the time -- thinking to ourselves, we can’t let this get us down. That guard was Steph Curry, an eventual three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP. CBSSports.com is your college basketball scores and news source. LeBron James. But here they were with a compelling star, a fearless confidence, an affable coach, and a lovable story. The 2008–09 Davidson Wildcats men's basketball team represented Davidson College in … But before he was Steph Curry, he led Davidson to a first-round upset of Gonzaga in the 2008 NCAA men's basketball tournament. 1 seed Kansas. The Wildcats then took out Georgetown, and a week later they beat Wisconsin. Curry personally outscored Wisconsin 22-20 in the second half, as LeBron James watched from the stands and paid a royal visit to the victorious locker room. 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. Jason was fatigued, so I took him out. You’ve run out of free articles. March 21, 2008: Stephen Curry scores 40 points against Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament The son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, Steph wasn’t a five-star recruit in high school. The odds are against them, but they've been there before. 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. Second-seeded Georgetown and its tough defense, anchored by 7-foot-2 center Roy Hibbert, was next up. The fundamental upsets included: #10 Seed Davidson Knocks Off #2 Seed Georgetown 74-70 He added another three-point play as Davidson was in danger of falling out of the game, down 11 with 14:50 to play. But Curry didn’t shoot. “We always worked on special situations like that in practice, and attention to detail was key to our success,” Richards notes, “so Andrew’s rebound and kick-out to Steph was just second nature for him and us.” Curry had begun to retreat back on defense, but raced to the three-point line when he saw his team still had the ball. 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. Kansas missed on the other end, giving Davidson a shot at the immense upset. “It’s always in your mind, asking yourself, How could it have been different? Curry hits 33, is picking up legions of new fans, including the familiar face applauding from his courtside seat. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Richards has to, from the next zip code. With the chance to send his team to the Final Four, the future MVP and world champion passed the ball to a teammate. Steph totally won them over.” (Surely some of them wondered why the Charlotte native wasn’t wearing Carolina blue, as Curry famously wasn’t recruited by any of the Tobacco Road powers. He took the nation by storm, and ran with it.”. He still replays that final play in his mind, wondering if they should’ve run a different offensive set—a play where he had the ball in his hands and Curry ran off screens to try and find an open look. You can cancel anytime. With his playing career over, Richards took a job with the Pittsburgh Panthers, where he just finished his third year as video coordinator and director of analytics. He remains friends with his former backcourt partner, even staying with him in northern California during the NBA playoffs. His career ended with an NIT second round loss at Saint Mary’s. It was more about the run as a team, than that one specific play.”. We thought we had a chance to beat them, just like we did any other team in that tournament. Rugged guard Michael Flowers was the supposed “Curry stopper,” but Steph lit the Badgers up for 33 more points in a 73-56 rout. “I want to say about 1200 of the 1700 went,” McKillop said. 2 Georgetown in the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament in 2008 (Midwest Region). Curry pointed to his parents in the stands as he retreated down court, even then playing to the moment. “I was confident,” Richards says. But we fought back and ended up winning the game.”. In short order, Curry converted a four-point play, hit another three, and dished out a perfect pass to Lovedale for a layup. I did see the play when (Mario) Chalmers hit his shot (to save Kansas in the title game with Memphis), but I stayed away from TV.”. 2008 NCAA Tournament. !” yelped CBS’ Billy Packer. NCAA Tournament The first two rounds of the 2008 NCAA College Basketball Tournament underscored simply how a long way parity has come within the men’s opposition as as a minimum 1 essential upset befell every 6 games (8 important upsets and 3 minor upsets in forty eight games). “It changed my life,” McKillop said. Davidson 82, Gonzaga 76. He knew where to pass it. “I kept my head down, did my job,” he said. It’s only going to prepare us for what we wanted to do in March. But a team with Steph Curry was about to go—or not go—to the Final Four based on someone else’s skills. “There was no Twitter really, there was no Instagram, there was no Snapchat. “We’ve smelled and touched and seen our dream, and we missed,” McKillop said after the game. 2 seed Georgetown leads Davidson 46-29 with 17:52 left. “It’s hard to believe it was 10 years ago, and maybe that speaks about what it has meant to Davidson,” said Bob McKillop, the coach now, as he was then. A tiny school, oozing with charm, started cutting down one giant after another in the NCAA Tournament, as the bandwagon filled every seat. He contributed 20 points against Georgetown, 13 assists against Wisconsin. “We would have had another shot at Carolina, which we had lost to by four to begin the season,” Richards said. About logos. As a coach, you’re fortunate to have that for one game. Ten years later, the images of that March still warm Davidson. He scores 25, but has to shoot 9-for-25 to get them. Wisconsin vs. Davidson Box Score, March 28, 2008. “In 2008, when you think about it, Facebook had just started,” Richards said. By then, Davidson was the perfect Cinderella story. In the Elite Eight, the baby-faced, rail-thin sophomore and his liberal-arts–school teammates took on No. And when the Wildcats hit the Sweet 16, the school offered free bus transportation and ticket to any student who wanted to go to Detroit. Gonzaga tied the game at 74 with 1:45 left, setting the stage for Curry’s first iconic moment of the tournament. The Wildcats challenged some of the best programs in the country, including North Carolina, Duke, North Carolina State, and UCLA. “Are you kidding me? Richards was signed by the Miami Heat, but his pro dreams died when he tore his left ACL three times in the span of a year. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. The Wildcats charged ahead 49-45. Davidson’s program has stayed solid, but the Wildcats have not won an NCAA Tournament game since. In 2008, Davidson defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Georgetown Hoyas, and Wisconsin Badgers to advance to the Elite Eight. “We knew how much firepower we had offensively and that our shots would eventually start to fall. Kansas rotated four defenders on Curry, which wore him down and caused him to miss 16 of his 25 shots and go a woeful 4-for-16 from three-point range. Once again he went bananas after halftime, scoring 25 of his 30 points while leading a furious rally. Richards would graduate that spring. The Wildcats storm back to win 74-70. Curry was back at Davidson the next season and led the nation in scoring, but the Wildcats could not recapture the same electricity. Especially working in college basketball this time of year, it obviously brings back memories, but I don’t sit back here and think what if, because I’d drive myself crazy. But Chalmers, who would take and make a pretty big shot himself eight days later, alertly switched on to Curry, denying him an opening. Obviously I missed it, but I would take it again if I had the opportunity. The 2008 NCAA Tournament is being seen as a tournament where the nation's top teams are just too good to lose to the lesser ranked teams. The Jayhawks, free of Davidson at last, jumped into each other’s arms, and soon after headed for San Antonio for the Final Four. “People around the basketball world knew how good Steph was, but that put him on the map, because everyone watches the NCAA Tournament. We were down [20 points] to them at their place. Davidson. PNC Arena (Raleigh, North Carolina) - Neutral Site. I didn’t watch any of the games. ), The Midwest regional was held at Detroit’s Ford Field, and Davidson chartered buses to transport seemingly the entire student body and faculty to the Motor City, an 11-hour drive. 2008 NCAA Tournament Results for Round 1: Midwest Regional: #1 Kansas eliminated #16 Portland State 85-61 #2 Georgetown eliminated #15 UMBC 66-47 #3 Wisconsin eliminated #14 Cal State Fullerton 71-56 #4 Vanderbilt was upset by #13 Siena 83-62 #5 Clemson was upset by #12 Villanova 75-69 #6 Southern Cal was upset by #11 Kansas State 80-67 #7 Gonzaga was upset by #10 Davidson 82-76 #8 … Sweet 16, No. Now he’s director of basketball operations at Pittsburgh. But there was something else going on that spring. “I think about it a lot, especially at this time of year,” he says. “He was put on the national stage because of the competition he had,” McKillop said. Richards, who’s now on the basketball staff at the University of Pittsburgh, told me that a brutal non-conference schedule helped set that Davidson team on the path to NCAA glory. I can only imagine what it would be like if we had social media back then.”. These are the essential Steph Curry college basketball stats, moments and best quotes from his career at Davidson. Davidson was down six points in the second half with the Jayhawks seemingly taking charge, when a reserve named Bryant Barr came off the bench and hit three 3-pointers in two minutes. “I don’t know how they got everyone there, much less found hotel rooms for them all.”, Wisconsin, the three seed, led the nation in scoring defense and seemed up to the challenge of ending Davidson’s dream. Here are some of the best fathers and sons in the history of college basketball, including Glenn Robinson II and III, the Curry family and Marques and Kris Johnson. 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