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For week ended March 19, 2000 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 17Mar00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Ainge's Clutch Shot Remembered For March Madness
Los Angeles Times 15Mar00 S2
By Robyn Norwood: Times Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- With College basketball's fabled "March Madness" upon us, the Times remembers several players who came through in clutch situations, winning games for their teams. Included among the memories is former basketball coach Danny Ainge's game-winning basket to win a March Madness game against Notre Dame in 1981.

"Probably more than anything else in my career, that still comes up," said Ainge, 40, now working as a Turner NBA television analyst. "People remember where they were. They either love me for beating Notre Dame, or hate me for beating Notre Dame." In the game, Ainge drove the length of the court and made a buzzer-beating basket to win the game for BYU 51 - 50.

Remembering the game, Ainge said he hadn't expected Notre Dame to make it as hard as they did, "I actually had anticipated some sort of zone or half-court trap," he said. "But they picked me up full court. As long as I've watched basketball, coaches think by picking up full court they'll make you use up the clock. It actually lets you get up speed."

AInge went on to a career with the Boston Celtics, during which the Celtics won two NBA titles. He then became coach of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, quitting late last year to spend more time with his family. His son Austin Ainge has signed on to play for BYU starting in 2002, after he returns from an LDS mission.

When he does, get ready to see his father's highlight again. "I hope not. It's been played enough," Ainge said. "They need to put it to rest and start the new millennium."


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