Let’s give this a shot with a 1997 Tournament First Round edition of “Friday Foreshadowing.”
1997 NCAA Tournament First-Round Games
Played on Thursday, March 13, and Friday, March 14, 1997
1997 Tournament Heroes
Before he would go on to win the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) award of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, Miles Simon was scoring a modest 11 points during an Arizona victory against South Alabama.
En route to becoming one of the most unlikely scorers of the 1997 NCAA Tournament, Cameron Mills was scoring 19 points during a Kentucky victory against Montana.
Before he would be a full-court hero in the 1997 NCAA Tournament, Cameron Dollar was scoring 15 points during a UCLA victory against Charleston Southern.
Before leading his team to a surprise run to the 1997 Elite Eight, DeJuan Wheat was scoring 16 points during a Louisville victory against UMASS.
Before his name would be forever etched in my NCAA Tournament memory bank, Fang Mitchell was coaching Coppin State to victory against South Carolina.
En route to becoming a breakout star in the 1997 NCAA Tournament, Austin Croshere was scoring 39 points and hitting a near full-court shot during a Providence victory against Marquette.
Before he would be charged this week with a felony in a controversial short sale deal, Sam Jacobsen was scoring 12 points during a Minnesota victory against Texas State.
Future Tournament Heroes
A year before his team would reach the Elite Eight, Cuttino Mobley was scoring 18 points during a Rhode Island loss to Purdue.
A year before becoming breakout stars in the 1998 and 1999 NCAA Tournaments, respectively, Mark Madsen was contributing 12 points while Eduardo Najera was chipping in 5 points during a Stanford victory against Oklahoma.
A year before he would break the hearts of Ole Miss, Bryce Drew was scoring 27 points during a Valparaiso loss to Boston College.
A year before he would have his heart broken by Mr. Drew, Ansu Sesay was scoring 14 points during a Mississippi victory against Temple.
A year before he would help lead Utah to the 1998 championship game, Michael Doleac was scoring 19 points during a Utah victory against Navy.
A year before dueling North Carolina in a classic second round game, Sean Colson was scoring 24 points during a UNC-Charlotte victory against Georgetown.
A year before leading Kentucky to a national championship game in his first season, Tubby Smith was coaching his last game for Georgia during a shocking loss to UT-Chattanooga.
Two years before going off in the 1999 NCAA Tournament, Wally Szczerbiak was being held to 7 points during a Miami (OH) loss to Clemson.
Before he would engage in a famous war of words with Billy Packer prior to the 2004 NCAA Tournament, Phil Martelli was coaching St. Joseph’s to victory against Pacific.
Familiar Names in Old Places
Two days before he played his last collegiate game, and 19 years before he would play his final NBA game, Tim Duncan was scoring 22 points during a Wake Forest victory against St. Mary’s (CA).
Before he was deciding whether or not to play another season in the NBA, Paul Pierce was scoring 19 points during a first- round Kansas victory against Jackson State.
Before he would dunk on Frederic Weiss in the 2000 Olympics, Vince Carter was scoring 22 points during a North Carolina victory against Fairfield.
Before he would go on to become one of the greatest tight ends in NFL history, Tony Gonzalez was scoring 13 points during a California victory against Princeton.
Before he would win the MVP of the 2004 NBA Finals, Chauncey Billups was scoring 24 points during a Colorado victory against Indiana.
Before he would be entering an important third year as the head coach at Marquette University, Steve Wojciechowski was scoring 7 points in a Duke victory against Murray State.
Two days before he would play his last game as a Fighting Illini, Kiwane Garris was scoring 27 points during an Illinois victory against USC (see the game review here).
The Chicago Bulls Organizations Win Championships Tour
Before he would become a forgettable player on the awful 1998-1999 Chicago Bulls, Charles Jones was scoring 37 points during a Long Island University loss to Villanova.
Before he would become another forgettable Chicago Bull in the early years after the end of the Jordan dynasty, Dedric Willoughby was scoring 21 points in an Iowa State victory against Illinois State.
Before he would become another Bulls draft pick in the post-Jordan era, Michael Ruffin was scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds during a Tulsa victory against Boston University.
Two years before he would ruin the debut of Quentin Richardson at De Paul, Lamont Long was scoring 14 points during a New Mexico victory against Old Dominion.
Months become he would become a first round pick in the awful 1997 NBA Draft, Paul Grant was scoring 16 points during a Wisconsin loss to Texas.
Before he would become one of many players drafted in 1997 to have short NBA careers, Danny Fortson was scoring 24 points during a Cincinnati victory against Butler.
Before he would become an agitator in the NBA, James Posey was scoring 22 points during an Xavier victory against Vanderbilt
Before he would become an unlikely NBA journeyman, Ryan Bowen was scoring 15 points and grabbing 16 rebounds during an Iowa victory against Virginia.
Before he would have an unlikely and rather long NBA career, Anthony Johnson was scoring 17 points during a College of Charleston upset of Maryland.