A reminder to mark the date, March 2, when the University of Arkansas will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Razorbacks' national championship in basketball.
The game that day is against Ole Miss, but the team will be honored most of the weekend, and they should be.
In a three-year span -- that's how long Corliss Williamson, Scotty Thurman, Corey Beck and Dwight Stewart were there (Clint McDaniel arrived one year earlier) -- that primary starting five were a combined 85-19 overall and was 11-1 in the NCAA Tournament their final two seasons.
They scored more than 100 points 18 times, and they were known for their lockdown defense.
In 1994, their final three wins in the NCAA Tournament were against No. 11 Michigan, No. 9 Arizona and No. 6 Duke. The Razorbacks were a No. 1 seed. Williamson was named MVP of the Final Four but one of the biggest plays of that game -- just prior to Thurman's three-pointer -- was when Duke's Chris Collins drove in for a lay-up with 17 seconds to play and missed, Beck, the point guard who had already logged 35 minutes found a way to get the rebound.
The next season, as a No. 2 seed, the Razorbacks made the championship game but were beaten by UCLA, a No. 1 seed.
This year's team will be wearing throwback uniforms against Ole Miss to honor the champions.
. . .
When Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy the talk immediately turned to he may switch from baseball to football and try his luck in the NFL.
Murray, who quarterbacked Oklahoma, had been drafted in the first round by the Oakland A's and was given a $4.6 million signing bonus, but he could make substantially more if he was drafted in the NFL's first round.
Last season, quarterback Josh Rosen was the 10th pick of the NFL draft first round and he signed a four-year deal worth $17.5 million including a $10.8 million signing bonus. He made about $480,000 in salary last season.
Rosen, out of UCLA, passed for more than 2,000 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he also had 14 interceptions. He is 6-4, 225 pounds.
Murray is listed at 5-10, 195 pounds, which means he's 5-8 or maybe 5-9.
He will wow the scouts at the scouting combine with his speed and agility, but as for playing in the NFL he'll have to be drafted by a team that doesn't expect its quarterback to stay in the pocket.
Murray made some nice throws out of the pocket, but that was in the Big 12 not the NFL. The Big 12 is not known for defense, and the NFL has the best defensive players in the world.
Hope he does well, but he might have played 12-15 years in the major leagues, and he'll be lucky to play 5-6 years in the NFL.
. . .
Golf headlines this week have brought up Matt Kuchar's $1.3 million win in last fall's Mayakoba Golf Classic, and the guy is taking time to justify that he tipped caddie David "El Tucan" Ortiz $5,000.
The going rate is 10 percent or $130,000 for a regular caddie, but Ortiz was filling in, and they had a previous agreement that was $4,000, but come on, Kuchar, who is in his 10th season and has earnings of $46 million.
Kuchar even said he thought a $5,0o0 payday was good for a guy who made $200 a day.
Kuchar needs to quit defending his stinginess and send the guy a check and call it a day. Maybe not another $125,000 but something more substantial than the less than the 0.5 percent he gave Ortiz.
Caddies have bills, too.
. . .
North Carolina won the national championship in 1982 and were not the defending champions when Arkansas beat the Tar Heels in 1984. Meant to fix that in Thursday's column.
Sports on 02/15/2019
Print Headline: WALLY HALL: National championship 25th anniversary set