After the last Arizona-Duke basketball game, a sense of injustice smoldered in the Arizona sections of the stands in the Metrodome. Although I wasn't a sports reporter, I went to the 2001 Final Four as a sort of color reporter, in part because I'm from Minneapolis and know my way around there.
What sticks with me from the game is the sense that, in the first half, Arizona got jobbed. I'm sure I'm not the only one with a mental image of Duke's Jason Williams draped over Arizona's Jason Gardner — no foul was called. (Look at the photo to the left and make your own call.) My post-championship story, attached here, caught some of that sentiment as expressed by the players' families.
It isn't that the refs stole the game from the Wildcats. Duke's Mike Dunleavy made the victory seem earned, but you never know what would have happened had calls been made such as the foul by Williams.
I'll attach another story here that was my favorite to cover there. It's about Lute Olson's life in Minneapolis, which was a real joy to research and write.
After the gloomy Final Four weekend, my favorite line came from Olson's son-in-law, John Brase: "The sun will come up tomorrow. Maybe not in Minneapolis, but it will come up."