That was my freshman year, and I got to go to Rice for the spring break series with the Owls. Eleven hours in two vans each way; one for the pitchers, one for the position players. We got rained out on Saturday, had to play two on Sunday and then drive back to Fayetteville for class on Monday morning. I rode back in the van with the pitchers and there was a game of cards going the entire way. I think they finally took pity on me and let me win a hand about 4 a.m. We got back to campus at 6:30 a.m.; I didn’t make my 8:30 class but I made the 10:30, after my roommate slept through all three of his alarm clocks (the boy could sleep through World War III no problem). He moved out a few weeks later before any more of those alarm clock episodes.
Norm had just had one NCAA tournament team before that, and IIRC it was two-and-out. Little did I know on that March weekend how close we would come to winning it all – and that it would be 39 years before we got that close again.