Hugh directs one of his Florida State teams from the bench.
gia became one of the few teams since the NCAA Tournament began in 1939 to reach the Final Four in its first ever tournament appearance. As with his 1972 FSU team, Hugh’s squad was given little chance in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldog starters were Fleming, Fair, Banks, Crosby and Lamar Heard with Hartry, McMillen, Richard Corhen and Derrick Floyd coming off the bench. Georgia was a Number 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament and played fifthseeded Virginia Commonwealth in the first round in Greensboro, N.C. The Bulldogs pulled out a 56-54 win. From there it was on to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY to play in the regional
semifinals against St. Johns, the East’s top seed. Georgia had four players score in double figures, including 27 points from Fair, who also grabbed nine rebounds. After trailing 29-27 at halftime, the Bulldogs pulled ahead in the second half and prevailed 70-67, earning a match-up with defending national champion North Carolina. Before a crowd of almost 23,000, Georgia played a North Carolina team that, like St. Johns, had been atop the national polls during the season. Coach Dean Smith’s Tar Heels featured National Player of The Year Michael Jordan, along with his fellow-All-Americans Sam Perkins and Brad Daugherty. Perkins had even inexplicably commented that he
did not know which conference Georgia played in. But the Bulldogs got 20 points from Banks (7-of-10 FG’s; 6-of-6 FT’s), who was named the East Regional Most Valuable Player, and 17 each from Fleming and unsung hero Crosby en route to a stunning 82-77 upset. In detail, Hugh told how his Bulldogs prevailed: “North Carolina had a great deal of height inside, led by Perkins and Daugherty, and while outside shooting had not necessarily been a team strength for us that season, we shot very well from the perimeter in that game. That forced the Tar Heels out of their zone defense to play us man-to-man, which got their tall players away from the basket. So it took them away from their May 2012
High Country Magazine