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Mar. 28: Yellow Jackets are Champs

GA Tech Hoops went all the way to the Men's Final Four in 1990 and 2004.
GA Tech Hoops went all the way to the Men's Final Four in 1990 and 2004.
Image by Zik Armstrong

Here’s what happened.

On March 28, 2004, Georgia Institute of Technology’s Men’s Basketball Team won a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Regional Basketball Tournament. The Yellow Jackets earned a spot in The Final Four, the climatic round of what is known as “March Madness.”

Here’s why it matters.

The Men’s 2004 Final Four berth was only their second in history. Tech joined Oklahoma State University, its opponent in the Semi-Final Round, Duke University, and the University of Connecticut. Oklahoma State fell to a team that had already dispatched Northern Iowa, Boston College, Nevada, and Kansas. Head Coach Paul Hewitt’s Jackets had also won the Preseason National Invitational Tournament (NIT).

Tech faced Connecticut in the National Championship Game on April 5, 2004, at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas. UConn (“Yukon”) displays Huskies as its mascot. The 82-73 score brought a second NCAA Championship to UConn’s men and their head coach, Jim Calhoun. The UConn women also won the National Championship in 2004, their fourth in five years.

As was the case during the Bobby Cremins era, Tech’s men never repeated that Cinderella season. In 2005 they lost to Louisville in the Second Round. The 2013-14 team lost in the Second Round of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Tournament.

Here’s an interesting fact!

Other Georgia college teams have fared well in 2014. Mercer went as far as the Division I Third Round after upsetting Duke. UGA and Georgia State will both play in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).