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March 14, 1988 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-14

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Page 10 -The Michigan Daily-Monday, March 14, 1988

Golden Words

BY GREG MOLZON

Gary grants Tait
chance to shine
It was hard to believe, but someone actually stole the show from
Michigan's Gary Grant in his final game at Crisler Arena.
With 1:28 remaining in the Wolverines' 95-76 romp over Ohio State
Saturday, the Crisler fans were booing loudly as Grant stepped to the free
throw line to shoot two technical foul shots.
Don't get this wrong. The fans were not booing their favorite All-
American guard. They were disappointed with head coach Bill Frieder for
not sending another senior, Bob Tait, to the charity stripe.
Even Grant tried to motion the coach to let Tait take the shots, but
Frieder wanted his star on the line. So while Grant was finishing off a
brilliant career by hitting two free throws for his final points at Crisler,
Tait would have to wait for his opportunity.
That was OK with Tait, though. He had been waiting for his moment
to shine for quite a while. He had come to Ann Arbor four years ago as a
highly touted football player, but a severe neck injury before his first
game had ended a promising football career.
HE JOINED the basketball team last season and spent most of his
time on the bench, only seeing action in the waning seconds of Wolver-
ine blowouts. His major duty for the team was to guard, and beat on,
Glen Rice every day in practice.
He's never been one to complain, though, so while Grant was shoot-
ing the technical, Tait was at midcourt giving a thumbs up sign to Bo
Schembechler in the stands. He wanted to let the football coach know that
everything was all right, and Bo waved back to acknowledge the player he
had recruited four years ago.
"I just wanted to let (Bo) know that I didn't forget why I came here,"
Tait said.
The fans had started chanting for Tait with four minutes left and when
he replaced Rice with 1:51 to play, they wanted to see him score. The
Dansboro, Pa. native had only scored one basket in his career (vs. Central
Michigan this season) and this would be his final chance to add to his ca-
reer scoring total. His parents had even flown in from Pennsylvania to see
him in his last home contest.
Tait hustled around the court, diving for loose balls, crashing into op-
posing players, and picked up a foul with one minute to play. "He was
all over the place," fellow senior Steve Stoyko said. "He was worse than
me- diving into cameras and the bench."
Tait said his aggressive play wasn't meant to imitate Stoyko's style,
but had another purpose. "That was for Bo- to show him that I'm still
tough. Basketball hasn't softened me," he said.
HOWEVER, the hustle seemed for naught as he had missed one
shot and still hadn't scored as time was winding down.
Then, it happened.
Standing in the corner, Tait took a pass from Stoyko and launched a
15-foot jumper with 17 seconds left. The shot went in and Tait went
wild. While the fans were going crazy, Tait jumped up and down like his
basket had just won the national championship.
For good measure, Tait added another basket on a driving layup at the
buzzer to give him a career-high four points.
The 6-7, 225 pound Tait was mobbed by Stoyko and other players as
the game ended. After the players picked themselves up, the team's three
seniors- Grant, Stoyko, and Tait- huddled together and raised their fists
in the air.
THE CHEERING FANS showed their appreciation for four great
years as the three walked off the court and into the tunnel toward the
dressing room for the final time.
For Tait, a business school student, it was his best game and a great
way to end his playing career.
"It's been such a frustrating four years for (Bob),"'Stoyko said. "It's
good to see him end on such a high note. It's sopething he's always go-
ing to remember."
Tait agrees with his good friend, Stoyko.
"It was tough to handle giving up football," Tait said. "So to do this
in my last game, with my parents here from Philadelphia, is gratifying. It
really is.
"I couldn't have planned a better ending."
NCAA announces basketball
tournament pairings

Daily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Michigan coach Bill Frieder hugs Gary Grant after Saturday's game. The All-American guard was playing his last home game in a
Michigan uniform. He finished the regular season by scoring 15 points and dishing out 12 assists.

Grant
Wolverines head
to NCAA's on
positive note
Continued from Page 1
made only six of 19 shots on the
day.
Grant, who is Michigan's all-
time assist leader and second on the
all-time scoring list behind Mike
McGee, battled his groin and
abdominal injuries all day, but still
managed to finish up with 15 points
and 12 assists in his final home
game at Crisler Arena. Glen Rice
picked up most of the slack, leading
all players with 29 points and 14 re-
bounds.
Leaving the Crisler court for the
last time with 11 seconds left, he
hugged coach Bill Frieder and his
brother Mike, a graduate assistant
coach.
"I wanted to hug everybody that
got me where I'm at today. It's hard
to explain how I feel but it's a big
feeling," said the All-American
Grant in the lockerroom after the
game.
BEFORE HE made his last trip
to the lockerroom, Grant spoke to
thecrowd on the public address sys-
tem, thanking them for their sup-

port, but leaving them with a joke.
"If I had to do it all over again, I'd
have gone to UCLA," the 6-3 guard
said.
But UCLA is not NCAA-tour-
nament bound, and the Wolverines
are for the fourth straight year. They
finished the season 24-7 overall, 13-
5 and in second place in the Big Ten.
Grant's Michigan finale may have
been sad for some, but the perfor-
mance of the other two seniors on
the squad, Bob Tait and Steve
Stoyko, resulted in absolute joy
tinged with comic relief.
The game's final minute took on
a circus-like atmosphere as the
Wolverines practically tripped over
themselves in an attempt to get Tait
scoring opportunities.
When he finally did get the ball,
Tait did not disappoint the crowd. He
provided the game's most exciting
moment with his wild celebration
after sinking a 15-foot jump shot
that Stoyko assisted on.
Originally on football scholar-
ship, Tait also hit a lay-up at the fi-
nal buzzer to finish with four points,
two more than he had scored in the
rest of his two-year basketball career.
He and Stoyko then crashed to the
floor in an embrace as the entire
team poured onto the court.
WHILE TAIT'S points were
the most celebrated, it was Loy
Vaught who provided the most
spectacular tally. Dribbling the ball
on a three-on-none fast break, he
slowed to a walk to execute a slow-
motion, reverse dunk.

1

Michigan's Mark Hughes soars to
State.
While the Wolverines' afternoon
was filled with hugs, high-fives and
standing O's, it was pure frustration
for the 16-12 Buckeyes.
Coming off an upset of Big Ten
champion Purdue, Ohio State needed
a win to have a chance for a spot in
the NCAA tournament. They played
Michigan close for the first 17 min-
utes, but began to slip when Michi-
gan closed the first half by scoring
eight straight points..
Buckeye coach Gary Williams

block a shot Saturday against Ohio
ranted and raved. He berated the offi-
cials, and even applauded them sar-
castically when a foul was called on
Michigan. He screamed at his team
during a timeout, his face cherry-red
with anger.
But Williams, whose team is
headed for the NIT tournament, ex-
pressed no hard feelings after the
game. "I don't feel ashamed about
our game today. I'm proud of the
way the team played all year," he
said.

March
Madness Sale
20 % -40% OFF:
U of M: shirts, sweats
shorts, jackets, sweaters
night shirts, pins
suspenders, posters
rugby & sport shirts ra
infant & toddler wear n
Crazy Shirts
Champion football jerseys...
And Much, Much More!
sorry, excludes graduation cap & gowns
Now through
Saturday, March 19th
8:30-5:30 Monday-Friday
9:30-5:00 Saturday

TUESDAY LUNCH FORUM

at the
INTERNATIONAL CENTER - 603 E. MADISON
March 15 at 12 noon: "The Politics of Graduate
Education for International Students"
Speaker: Dr. Bunyan Bryant, Professor of
Natural Resources
for additional information - please call 662-5529

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -
Temple, Purdue, Oklahoma, and Ari-
zona - the top four teams in the
Associated Press poll - were made
No. 1 seeds in the four regionals,
yesterday, for the NCAA basketball
tournament.
"In my five years on the
committee, this is the toughest
bracket we've ever put together be-
cause of parity," said Arnie Ferrin,
chair of the nine-man selection com-
mittee which emerged from a four-
day meeting yesterday afternoon.
Teams left out included Ohio
State, Georgia Southern, Marshall,
and the one-time king of college
basketball, UCLA.
FIRST-ROUND play on
Thursday in the East Regional at
Chapel Hill, N.C., has Missouri,
meeting Rhode Island, and Syracuse
meeting North Carolina A&T and
seeking to break a seven-game tour-
nament losing streak. Also at
Chapel Hill on Thursday, Southern
Methodist meets Notre Dame, and
second-seeded Duke goes against
Boston University.
In the Midwest Regional o n
Thursday at South Bend, Ind., Pur-
due, meets Farleigh Dickinson, and
Baylor duels Memphis State. Also
De Paul goes against Wichita State,
and Kansas State plays La Salle.
In the West Regional on Thurs-
day at Salt Lake City, Florida meets

St. John's, and Michigan plays
Boise State. Wyoming meets Loyola
Marymount, and second-seeded North
Carolina battles North Texas State
in the other games.
At Atlanta on Thursday in the
Southeast Regional, Oklahoma
meets 16th-seeded Tennessee-Chat-
.tanooga; Auburn battles Bradley;
Louisville meets Oregon State; and
Brigham Young meets North Car-
olina Charlotte.
IN THE EAST on Friday,
Temple meets Lehigh at Hartford,
Conn; Georgetown duels Louisiana
State; Georgia Tech meets Iowa
State; and Indiana meets Richmond.
In the Midwest Regional at Lin-
coln, Neb., on Friday, Kansas meets
Xavier; North Carolina State meets
Murray State; Vanderbilt plays Utah
State; and Pitt. takes on Eastern,
Michigan.
In the West Regional on Friday at
Los Angeles, Arizona meets Cor-
nell; Seton Hall plays Texas-El Pa-
so; Iowa battles Florida State; and
UNLV plays Southwest Missouri
State.
At Cincinnati on Friday in the
Southeast Regional, first-round ac-
tion will conclude with Villanova
against Arkansas; Illinois against
Texas-San Antonio; Maryland
against Cal-Santa Barbara; and Ken-
tucky against Southern-Baton
Rouge.

Sponsored by:
The Ecumenical Campus Center
and the International Center

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$1.50 (others)

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