B/R's March Madness Top Moments, No. 6: Michael Jordan, a Legend in Spring

Avi Wolfman-ArentCorrespondent IIMarch 16, 2013

Even if Michael Jordan never became Michael Jordan, we'd still be talking about the 1982 NCAA championship game between the Georgetown Hoyas and North Carolina Tar Heels.

Only it's Fred Brown we'd be talking about.

Brown was the sophomore guard who, with his Georgetown team down 63-62 in the closing seconds, threw a panicked pass directly to North Carolina forward James Worthy. The turnover sealed Georgetown's fate, much the same way Chris Webber's timeout would seal Michigan's a decade later.

Thank god, then, for the Jumpman. Thank god for all the other egos he'd someday crush—the Craig Ehlos and Patrick Ewings and Byron Russells of the world.

If Jordan never became Jordan, it's hard to imagine anyone outside Chapel Hill talking about the string-bean freshman whose 14-foot jumper put Carolina ahead with 15 seconds left to play. Even then, they might be partial to the gorgeous skip pass by Jimmy Black that made the shot possible.

Instead, the shot became scene one in the Jordan epic—and paragraph No. 7 of a Wikipedia entry that runs 8,300 words long.

It's not as if Fred Brown went away entirely. Even after captaining the 1984 Georgetown team to an NCAA title, the Bronx-born guard still answers questions about his title-game miscue—usually during years that end in "7" or "2."

The reporters show up at Brown's house in suburban Maryland. He relives the nightmare, fills them in on his new life in finance, brags about his kids a bit—the usual where-are-they-now pap.

A few years back, Brown made minor waves with some accusatory comments directed at former Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. (per Mike Wise of the Washington Post). Mostly, though, the reporters are happy to collect their 1,000 words and leave.

As of present, Brown has no Wikipedia entry.