CHATTANOOGA — The No. 1 Chattanooga Mocs have a huge weekend road game against No. 2 Furman this Saturday. The Mocs are two games up in the Southern Conference standings with five games remaining.
But that’s not from the perspective of the trip to Greenville. This story has more of a “back to the future” feel if you will. The following week is Legends Weekend with stars from the program’s past heading home starting with Thursday’s home game with UNC Greensboro.
The program focuses on Saturday when the alumni are celebrated in a 90s game against third-placed VMI with a 4 p.m. start time. It’s the 25th anniversary of the 1997 NCAA Sweet 16 team, one of the great Cinderella runs in the modern Big Dancing era.
Names like SoCon Player of the Year Johnny Taylor, SoCon Tournament Hero Chris Mims, Willie Young, Isaac Conner and Wes Moore spoke first in Charlotte for the 73-70 victory over Georgia led by the 24 Young’s points.
Mims led the way in Game 2 with a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double in the 75-63 triumph over Illinois. The Mocs outshot the Illini 39-21 with Mims, Taylor (7), Marquis Collier (6) and Conner (4) grabbing more boards than any Illinois player. In fact, these four alone outpaced their Big Ten competition by eight.
The run ended in a loss the following week to Providence. The 71-65 fight ended on the wrong side of the scoreboard, but this special group did something no other Mocs team did in the DI era.
While this team is the focus of the reunion, there are other anniversaries to celebrate. It is the 45th for the 1977 NCAA Division II National Champs. No. 40 is here for the 1982 SoCon Championship team that earned the first NCAA DI Tournament win at UTC by defeating 1983 national champion NC State in the first round before a narrow one-point loss to Minnesota.
We’re on year 30 for the 1992 SoCon Regular Season co-champions with a special mention for the 2002 SoCon South Division winners (20 years). In addition to the 90s theme, Mocs offers a limited supply of retro 90s t-shirts with old UTC and Dr Pepper branding. All basketball veterans will be celebrated during the evening.
Basketball alumni who are considering joining and have not yet responded for Legends Weekend tickets and event information can do so directly with AD Assistant for Marketing and Promotions Ashley Alletto by email ([email protected]) or by phone at (423) 425-2257.
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