Steve Merfeld recognized the final score instantly. He didn’t celebrate as he did 11 years ago, but he was elated nonetheless.
“Awesome,” the Creighton assistant coach said Friday after the Bluejays’ 58-57 NCAA tournament victory over Alabama. “At this time of year, there’s not a greater feeling.”
Merfeld knows. As Hampton University’s head coach in 2001, he guided the Pirates to a 58-57 first-round upset of Iowa State. Hampton’s victory is among only four in history by a No. 15 seed over a No. 2 seed.
“Same score,” Merfeld told me in a Greensboro Coliseum hallway. “Can you believe it?”
The symmetry wasn't lost on Bobby Collins, either. Collins was an assistant...