One of the greatest moments in sports archives history, especially for the Syracuse Orange and Coach Jim Boeheim, occurred at the 2003 Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (March Madness) final between Syracuse and the Kansas Jayhawks.
Syracuse had to beat four Big 12 teams to get to the finals and probably faced some of the toughest competition in NCAA history. It was especially sweet for Coach Jim Boeheim to win his first national title in his 27 years at Syracuse having lost two previous bids. Perseverance pays off and his team would not let him down. Syracuse was up by 11 at the half, backed by six 3-point shots by Gerry McNamara; however Kansas closed the gap to 80-78 in the final minute of the game with a chance to even the score. There was 0.7 seconds left on the clock when Jayhawks’ Michael Lee attempted a 3-pointer which would’ve sent the Orange home wondering what if! That’s when Syracuse’s “Helicopter” Hakim Warrick hovered high and over Lee to thwart any thoughts Lee was having of being hero. The shot was blocked and Boeheim would have his title!
It seemed fitting for Warrick to block the attempt because he allowed Kansas the opportunity when he had missed two free throws just prior to the play. I guess he figured blocking the 3-point attempt had a better chance of making the highlight reel! Incidentally, Carmelo Anthony had an outstanding day for Syracuse with 21 points and was named Most Outstanding Player.