Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Best Team Money Could Buy

I'm sure most of you remember when UNLV had it's day in the sun. They won the 1990 national title, beating the Dukies like a drum 103-73. It is still the largest margin of victory and most points in a title game. Coach Jerry Tarkanian had the best team money could buy with future NBAers Larry "Gramama" Johnson, Stacy "Plastic Man" Augmon, Greg "Young Republican" Anthony and Anderson "On the Take" Hunt leading the Rebs to a 69-6 record in a 2 year span. They stormed through the '91 season going undefeated, only to fall to the same Dukies they embarrassed the year ealier in the Final 4. Weeks before the defeat, Hunt and a couple teammates were pictured lounging in a hot tub with the mafia connected and noted game fixer Richard Perry. Perry had also been tied with many recruits and allegedly greased the pockets of many a Rebel. The NCAA struck down with a year postseason penalty. An agreement was made that UNLV would be able to defend their title and miss the next year. Stacy Augmon's ridiculously long arms, Johnson's gold tooth, Anthony's Kid N Play box-top afro, and Hunt's deadly stroke created the perfect storm and one of the best 2-year spans in NCAA history for a team not named UCLA. Tarkanian, however great a coach he was, got every school he coached put on probation (Long Beach, UNLV, Fresno) in a 700+ victory career. This has to be the team they based "Blue Chips" off of.

Even though I don't condone cheating, it did bring us teams like the Fab 5 at Michigan, most of the late 80-early 90s Miami football teams and this great Runnin' Rebel team. All revolutionized their sport but did it in a sleazy way. It is somewhat of a basketball moral dilemma whether or not to pass this team as legit in "greatest ever" discussions. I say cut them some slack, but if UK ever does it they better get the death penalty. That would only be fair right?

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