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10/21/2022 2:24 pm  #1

Hall of Fame Induction, The Sweet 16 Team

30th anniversary and Hall of Fame induction this February:

The 1992-93 GW men's basketball team earned its shot at March Madness and made the most of it with a historic run that brought national acclaim to Foggy Bottom.

After earning an at-large bid into the NCAA field, the Buff and Blue rolled through the opening weekend of the tournament to advance to the Sweet 16, where they went toe-to-toe with Michigan's famed Fab Five.

Together, a group that mixed veterans who'd spent years building toward something special with talented youngsters eager to make their mark, put together an unforgettable season. On Homecoming Weekend in February, the squad, led by Head Coach Mike Jarvis, will fittingly enter the GW Athletics Hall of Fame together in celebration of a postseason push that remains unmatched in program history.

"We experienced something very few people get to experience in their lives," said Sonni Holland, a senior forward on that squad who was inducted into the GW Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003. "Not only did we play college basketball, but we went to the NCAA Tournament and made it to the Sweet 16.

"It's really a rare experience. To go through it with a group of guys that you genuinely liked/loved was really special."
Sonni Holland is defended by Michigan's Chris Webber in the 1993 Sweet 16.
"Man, that's an experience that you can't get back," added senior guard Dirkk Surles, an All-Conference Second Team pick that season and also a Hall of Famer. "I think lots of guys take it for granted, but for us, to get there once was pretty, pretty awesome."

After going 10-1 through its non-conference schedule, GW had to battle back from an 0-3 start to Atlantic 10 play to build its NCAA resume amid a conference loaded with quality competition.

Rookie center Yinka Dare was sensational in averaging a double-double en route to National Freshman of the Year honors from Sports Illustrated, and Surles, Holland and Bill Brigham were seniors who provided steady scoring as well as veteran leadership.

A quick exit in the A-10 Tournament left the group sweating out Selection Sunday, before they ultimately celebrated the program's first national tournament bid in three decades during a watch party in the University Student Center.

Just earning an invitation to the Big Dance was a major breakthrough for a program that had gone 1-27 only four seasons before.
"I think there's some footage of me bursting into tears when that announcement was made," Holland remembered. "To come from signing a Letter of Intent to a team that finished 1-27 that year to getting invited to go play in the NCAA Tournament my senior year and then all of those experiences in between, that kind of all came together at that moment and just got released out of me. I was overwhelmed at that particular moment."

As the No. 12 seed in the West Region, GW squared off with No. 5 New Mexico in the opening round at Arizona's McKale Center. The Buff and Blue, led by 19 points off the bench from Kwame Evans, swiftly proved they belonged with an 82-68 victory.

"As the ball was tipped and we started playing, I think we all looked at each other and were like, 'We can beat these guys,'" Holland said. "I think that's exactly what happened. We went out there and played our game and were confident and really felt like the moment wasn't going to be too big for us."

Two days later, GW kept the good times going with a 90-80 defeat of SWAC champ Southern. Holland scored 19 points to pace five double-figure scorers for the victors.

The Buff and Blue were in the Sweet 16 and garnering headlines across the country for their Cinderella run.

Last edited by The Dude (10/21/2022 2:26 pm)


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