Moctoberfest is a month-long celebration of Chattanooga Mocs
men's basketball. It includes historical moments, social media interactions and
introduction to UTC's freshmen among the myriad of video tributes and stories.
Day 24 focuses on that magical NCAA Tourney Run of 1997 as
the Mocs magic extended to the Sweet 16. There were not many around the nation who
filled out their brackets with the Chattanooga Mocs going to the Sweet 16, but
Mocs Madness proved that those who had long runs for Georgia or Illinois would
have theirs turned upside down.
First up was No. 17 Georgia in Charlotte, N.C. The Bulldogs
came into the contest at 24-8 and was award the three seed in the Southeast
Regional. UGA was coming off a runner-up finish in the SEC Tourney. The Mocs
Johnny Taylor and company scored the first 15 points of the
game with his three-point play on slam over Lorenzo Hall staking UTC to a 15-0
advantage just three minutes into the game. The lead reached 20 as Willie Young
buried a three from way downtown, 34-14, with 8:53 to go in the half. Georgia
regrouped and limped into the locker room down 15, 46-31, at intermission.
It took a while, but Tubby Smith's smelling salts worked late
in the second half. UGA closed to within four, 65-61, at 4:12 for the first
time since Wes Moore's three-pointer dropped a little more than a minute into
the game to put the Mocs up 5-0. The lead got down to one before Young and
Marquis Collier closed out the win in the final minute. Game
No. 19 Illinois was next for Chattanooga and it was a much
tighter game at the start. The Mocs led by five early but trailed by six going
into the final minute of the first half. Collier and Isaac Conner combined for
five points in the last 40 seconds to make it a one-point game at the break.
The Illini led by four with 7:48 left in the game when UTC took
over. Mack McCarthy's charges closed the game with a 20-4 run for a 12-point
win, 75-63. The free throw line was kind as the Mocs hit nine of 10 from the charity
stripe in the final minutes. Game
The Sweet 16 was a short jaunt down I-59 to the Birmingham Jefferson
Civic Center for a matchup with 10-seed Providence. The Friars upset Marquette and Duke en route
to its date with the Mocs.
Providence was the first team to get a strong jump out of
the gate on the Mocs. It led by seven a couple of times in the first half
before taking that margin, 31-24, into halftime.
Austin Croshere made it a 10-point game with a three-pointer
to start the second half. It was a seven-point game, 42-35, when the Mocs got
hot. Taylor's layup capped a 9-0 run to put UTC up two, 44-42, with 11:33 to
The lead see-sawed from there until a 13-2 spurt gave the
Friars another 10-point lead, 61-51, at 5:41. It swelled to 13, 66-53, on Ruben
Garces' dunk inside two minutes. The Mocs feverishly worked get back into the
game but would get no closer than five. Game
It was a special week for Chattanooga - the team, school and
community. The Mocs graced the cover of local, regional and national outlets
and were front and center throughout. March Madness became Mocs Madness and the
program added a couple of more pages to its storied history.
- UTC was joined on the No. 14 line that
season by Butler, Old Dominion and St. Mary's...Mocs were the only 14 to advance...was
not the biggest first round upset as 1997 is the year Coppin State beat South
Carolina 78-65 in the East...Texas and Providence, both 10 seeds, were the only
other double upsets to advance to Sweet 16.
- Mocs are one of two No. 14 seeds to
reach Sweet 16 (Cleveland State - 1986)...at that time, it was just the fifth
time a 14th-seed topple a three.
- Chattanooga's 12-point win over the
Illini was the 6th largest margin of victory in the 16 round two matchups...Utah's
19-point triumph over Charlotte, (77-58) and Minnesota's 76-57 win over Temple
- UTC held the Illini to just one field
goal over the final 10 minutes...last dozen possessions: eight missed shots, five
turnovers and a meaningless three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining.
- The Mocs won 19 of last 23 games of
- Willie Young (Norfolk, Va.) led UTC
with 39 points in the two wins...24 came against the Bulldogs and 14 vs.
- Johnny Taylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.) had
the most for all three games combined averaging 17.7 points and 6.0 rebounds
Chattanooga opens the season Monday, November 12, against
Tennessee Temple in McKenzie Arena at 7 p.m. Season tickets for a
school-record 18-game home slate are available. Call 266-MOCS (6627), go online
at GoMocs.com or stop by the Gate One McKenzie Arena Ticket Office. Single-game
tickets are also on sale now.
GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs.
The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page
(ChattanoogaMocs), or on Twitter (@GoMocsMBB & @GoMocs).
Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300
student-athletes by clicking
1 - First NCAA DI Game
2 - Walter "Moose" McGary
3 - Stephen McDowell
4 - 1980 Recruiting Class
5 - Gerald Wilkins 4-point Play
6 - Social Media Factoid: UTC's 10 NCAA appearances
are the most in the SoCon since joining the league in 1977-78. Leaders:
Chattanooga 10, Davidson 7, ETSU 6, Marshall 3, App State 2, Furman 2, Wofford
2, Western Carolina 1, UNCG 1 and College of Charleston 1. Sources: http://twitter.com/GoMocsMBB & http://www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs
7 - LeVert Threats to Keith Nelson Buzzer-Beater
8 - 1st NCAA Tournament Win
9 - Social Media Factoid: Today's Moctoberfest Factoid is in honor of
tomorrow's 30 minutes or less ticket promotion. Derrick Kirce holds the UTC
record for career 30-point games with 5 in his 2 seasons (1990-91). He scored
1,113 points which is a school record for a two-year player averaging 19.5
points per contest, another all-time leading mark. Chad Copeland (1993-94) is
the only Moc with back-to-back 30-pt games. He scored 30 in a home win over
Southern Miss on Jan. 2, 1994 and followed with 33 keying a one-point road win
three nights later at Furman. Sources: http://twitter.com/GoMocsMBB & http://www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs
10 - Drazen Zlovaric
Makes ESPN Top 10 Plays
11 - TRIVIA GIVEAWAY: Who led the Mocs in scoring in the two 1997 NCAA
Tournament wins over Georgia and Illinois? Answer: Willie Young with 39 (24 vs.
UGa/15 vs. Illini).
12 - Meet Gee McGhee
13 - Ty Patterson Beats Shot Clock in 2009 SoCon
14 - Meet Alex Bran
15 - Meet Eric Robertson
16 - 1985 NIT Quarterfinalists
17 - Deal's Pass to Wilkins in 1985 NIT at Lamar
18 - TRIVIA GIVEAWAY: What Southern Conference opponent have the Mocs played
the most in their history? Answer: Samford, 83 games (48-35). Western Carolina
is second with 78 followed by Appalachian State (72) and The Citadel (70). The
Catamounts are the most frequent SoCon regular season opponent with 64 games
with UTC holding a 46-18 record in those league contests.
19 - Dontay Hampton Coast to Coast Game Winner
20 - Social Media Factoid: Today's Moctoberfest Factoid keys on the long list
of professional players that Chattanooga has produced over the years. There are
currently 16 former Mocs active in professional leagues all over the globe. Click here for a list of NBA
Draft Picks and recent UTC players in the pros. Sources: http://twitter.com/GoMocsMBB & http://www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs
21 - Chris Mims Game Winner in 1997 SoCon Championship
22 - Meet Farad Cobb
23 - Remembering the NCAA Sweet 16 Team
24 - Meet
25 - TRIVIA GIVEAWAY
26 - Mocs Top Moments
27 - 2009 Tourney Run Nets New Fanatic
28 - Championship Tradition
29 - Mocs Top Moments
30 - TRIVIA GIVEAWAY
31 - Mocs Top Moments