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Ray Allen and Allen Iverson headlined the 1996 Big East Men’s Final, and kinda played like crap

An exciting final minute has a way of eclipsing everything that preceded it

Making this episode of Rewinder really took me back to the show’s original purpose. Some sports moments have been so thoroughly highlight-ified that you can lose track of their context, and how narratives may have changed if that moment broke the other way.

The end of the 1996 Big East Men’s Tournament is a big one of those. I won’t spoil exactly how it went, in case you don’t know, but suffice to say that the game was a big deal because it pitted Connecticut’s Ray Allen against Georgetown’s Allen Iverson in a tournament final, the outcome is best remembered for a tight finish starring both those guys, and ... well, both Iverson and Allen kinda played like shit.

As someone who didn’t watch the game when it happened, and who only knew of its importance from highlights I’d seen of the ending, I did not know that last thing. Iverson and Allen (whose name overlap makes talking about them really confusing) both missed most of their shots. Allen bricked FOURTEEN straight field goal attempts after a hot start. Georgetown played its best minutes with Iverson benched because of foul trouble.

That’s why Rewinder exists! To remind you of those details buried by the final score. Not just bad details, either. Both the Huskies (Ricky Moore, Kirk King) and the Hoyas (Victor Page) got critical performances from younger and less-heralded players than the two superstars, but those performances linger in the shadows of those glowing final moments.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this somewhat unusual Rewinder. I enjoyed researching it!