Saturday, March 19, 2016

Warriors get first ever NCAA tournament win

SPOKANE, WASH. >> Eran Ganot sat by himself, folded against a table in a corner of his team’s deserted locker room. His shirt was soaked from a celebratory dousing. His phone buzzed incessantly on the tabletop.

“This thing’s going crazy,” Hawaii’s first-year head coach said. “What just happened here?”


Only the biggest victory in Rainbow Warriors basketball history.

***

When time had expired and confirming glances at the TV screen attested to the authenticity of the University of Hawaii’s opening-round NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament victory, the old coach went airborne.

Propelled by the exultation of a breakthrough triumph 44 long years in coming, 74-year-old Riley Wallace leaped out of his chair at the California Hotel &Casino in Las Vegas, where he had joined a gathering of Hawaii fans.

“I jumped 3 inches, I was so happy,” Wallace said in a phone call. “OK, maybe 2. My (vertical) isn’t what it used to be.”

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