Just because it’s March

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Me and US Reeds high school coach(Jerry Rook) tried that shot over and over in the Pine Bluff HS gym. I never hit it for sure don’t remember if Jerry did. US Reed did us Pine Bluff folk proud playing for the Hogs. What a great memory. I was listening to the game on the radio in the office at Wiengartens when he hit it. A great day.

I got mad at the game because I thought we’d lost. Went outside to driveway to shoot baskets by myself. Heard my dad yelling uncontrollably through screen door. He saw it. I missed it. LOL.


There was a lot of beer spilt when he made that shot where I was at watching that game.

I made a shot from same side but about 10-12 feet further behind the half court line in semi finals of state tournament at AR Tech.
But at the buzzer end of 3rd qtr, not a game winner. We did win that game though. Lost by 3 in state finals dang it.

I was at the parsonage of the church we attended. With my friend, the pastor’s son. We were all watching that night, it was almost a holy ghost revival.

That was an afternoon game, probably 3 pm tip. It was still light when we left the Erwin Center after all the postgame hubbub (including Abe Lemons staggering out to the TV cameras outside and proclaiming “I have seen that shot before!”; U.S. had hit a buzzer beater in Barnhill against Texas earlier that season to beat them). I was watching when the Texas people measured the shot out on the floor – 47 feet.

I had forgotten that Abe also conducted the Hogwild band outside the Drum after the game. The guy I went to Austin with that weekend reminded me of that.

I thought it was a late night game also. Remember watching that game with my Mom. Remember that date because it was the last night I lived in Arkansas and stayed up fairly late that night…Maybe the game was earlier and I stayed up late to celebrate…

My entire childhood, probably till high school, when we shot a long shot, we’d yell “US Reid!” as we launched. That was such a part of growing up in Arkansas. I’ve got a signed photo of him taking that shot in my man cave.

The power of the hog!


I’ve told my story about the shot but will repeat it here. I had a photo credential and was sitting on the floor under the basket in the second half. When US launched the shot I looked up at the ball and realized I was looking at it through the hoop – and it wasn’t leaving! So a split second before it went through I realized it would probably go in. When it did, pandemonium. US went down press row shaking hands while team, cheerleaders and media rushed onto the court.

Hard to believe that’s been 40 years.

Was definitely a day game.
I watched it in my apartment in Washington Plaza in Fayetteville. My Jr year at UA. We were so pumped by it we made the trip to Nawlins the next week to play LSU in the Superdome. That result was not as enjoyable.

Yeah I was in Nawlins too. Got stopped by cops in Krotz Springs LA on the way home. On the way down we were beside a couple of LSU coeds on I-10 east of Red Stick and we were holding up signs going down the interstate taunting each other. What I should have done is gotten a phone number. They were hot!

Before we played LSU that night, Kansas met Wichita State. It was a situation similar to us and ASWho – the Shockers had wanted to play KU for years but had been ignored until the NCAA got them together. Wichita won, then LSU blew them out in the regional final. We had beaten LSU in Alaska back in November, but in front of 30K+ drunk Cajuns in the Dome, we weren’t going to beat them twice.

It’s funny we all remember where we were with a shot made 40 years ago… the power of the Hog. Muss is bringing that Hog power back.

It was a day game. I was covering. My seat was front row and even with about the top of the key of the Louisville basket. Reed hit the shot, eluded the celebration of his teammates pretty quickly and walked to the media row and started shaking hands. I was one of the hands he shook. It was like he was a proud pappa accepting congrats for the birth of a son. Pretty cool. I asked US about that recently and he doesn’t really remember why he went over and started shaking hands but he did it.

One thing US pointed out, it’s one of the longest UA made baskets only to count two points.

In 1970, Jerry West hit a 60-foot shot to force overtime in Game 3 of the NBA finals against the Knicks, but the Knicks won in OT and eventually won the title (that’s the year Willis Reed limped out and inspired NY in game 7 in the Garden). If there had been a 3-pointer, LA would have won in regulation and might have won the series.

Aloha Jeff,

Good ole Abe also led the fans calling the Hogs outside the Drum.


Abe had had a few during the game, I’m sure.

I was just reminded of another game in Texas, played 51 weeks after US hit the shot. The '82 SWC tournament final at Barnhill South, and this was the year that Reunion really became Barnhill South. Sellout of 17,500, about 500 of them from Houston and the rest were calling the Hogs. Game was pretty even (Houston shot 51% and played pretty well), but Eddie got one of his intentional technicals to get the Hog fans going, and after that Cougar High had no chance. We shot 63%, Alvin Robertson had 2 steal and slams and we won by 15. That was Akeem’s freshman year and UH would go on to the Final Four (Eddie got outcoached by Jack Hartman of K-State a week later and we lost by 1 in the second round of the NCAA).

It has been said that the term “March Madness” started with that shot.

Was that a Sunday game?

That was the first time the TV networks cut from game to game to get the crucial moments. Within a few minutes Rolando Blackman hit a buzzer beater to knock out Oregon State and St. Joseph’s got a layup to upset DePaul, and NBC jumped from game to game to get all those moments.


James Smith took this shot. I was sitting next to James on the baseline. But I was watching instead of shooting. My bad.

Here’s a story by a New York writer, who happens to be a former sports editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times, on that day.

It was a Saturday afternoon. The tournament had 48 teams that year, and 16 of them got byes to the second round. Louisville was the 4 seed and got the bye; we were the 5 seed. We played 12-seed Mercer on Thursday night and barely escaped with a six-point win. I called my friend who arranged credentials and we drove down the next day. He had family in Austin so we crashed there.

Before the game I was wandering in the bowels of the Erwin Center and there were some Louisville managers discussing their plans for French Quarter debauchery the next weekend. I was rather ticked that they were assuming a win (even though they were defending national champions) and it was nice that US ruined their plans.

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