Of all the people in the building, including Larranaga, Calhoun probably had a better handle than anybody on what George Mason has accomplished in getting to the Final Four. Calhoun, in defeat, was almost proud of George Mason, mostly because Calhoun coached at Northeastern for 14 years, which coincidentally is a Colonial Athletic Association colleague of George Mason.
"I can only imagine, and probably better than most, the feeling they must have on that campus and in that locker room," Calhoun said. "Those kids, many of whom were passed over by the Big East schools and others . . . I tip my hat to their conviction, to staying with what they have, to the incredible coaching job that [Larranaga] did. I feel a great deal of inner joy, honestly, about what they must be going through right now, something they probably never could have imagined. We have imagined it, and we've done it. But they could never have imagined that."
This has to be one of the great sports upsets in modern history. What else even comes close?
NC State beats Houston? Maybe. It was a title game, which makes it a bigger stage; but the Wolfpack was an ACC school.
Jets beat Indy? No way. They're both professional teams. At the professional level, any team should have at least a theoretical chance at beating any other. I don't know that that's true at the individual level. Which brings us to . . .
Buster Douglas beats Mike Tyson? Maybe. As they noted on ESPN this morning, Tyson has become such a clown that it's hard to remember that before Douglas knocked him out, we all assumed he would be heavyweight champion of the world for years and years and years. He was invincible.
Villanova beats Georgetown? My pick, if only because of what Villanova had to do to win that game. Remember, if Nova had shot only 75% from the field for the night, they would have lost! They shot 78.6% from the freakin' floor. And the game was still whisker-close. And it was a title game. That's pretty hard to top.
Red Sox beat Yankees? I include this in the discussion only because the Sox were down 0 games to 3 and no matter how evenly matched the two teams were, a 4-game comeback had never been done before. That's enough to put it on the short list.