This is probably the most memorable SEC tournament in my mind that UK didn’t win. A tornado that onlookers said sounded like a freight train ripped through the Georgia Dome while Mississippi State was playing Alabama in overtime, forcing the rest of the tournament to be played at Georgia Tech. I remember watching the game; suddenly everyone had a panicked look on their faces and cameramen were moving and zooming in every direction.
As if Mother Nature having her way with man-made structures mid-game wasn’t bizarre enough, the Bulldogs’ Sundiata Gaines and Dave Bliss led (and maybe Dennis Felton coached?) their team to four victories in four days, including, because of the circumstances brought on by the twister, two wins in one day. The first game of their doubleheader included a win over Kentucky in Billy Gillispie’s first season, a year that seems to have graced us with its presence much longer ago than is actually true. The Dogs were the 6-seed in the East and came into the tournament with an astoundingly bad losing record of 13-16. They shocked everyone by beating John Pelphrey’s Razorbacks in the championship game, 66-57. Looking back, it almost seems like it was meant to be — there’s no other way to explain it. And I must say, it was fun to watch. I pulled a little harder for Georgia in the NCAA tournament too. I’d be willing to venture a guess that that weekend was the most positive press the Georgia Bulldogs basketball team had ever received.