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HBS Basketball Club Wins MBA World Championships

The MBA World Championship basketball tournament is a spectacle like no other. Business schools from around the world (well, okay, mainly the east coast) gather at Georgetown University every year to do battle at Yates Fieldhouse to decide which school is truly the best. Forget US News & World Report’s MBA rankings (although we’re #1 in that), forget data on highest average salaries post grad school (oops, again, #1) replica watches, this basketball tournament truly gives a school bragging rights. So in an attempt to bring Harvard Business School some much needed recognition in the business school community, eight fearless basketball players (and this embedded journalist) flew down to DC to represent Harvard at the highest level.

Pre-Game
The other business schools were scared. This was the first time that HBS had entered the tournament and they were obviously colluding to try and stop us from getting to Georgetown. How else could you explain the ridiculously small plane? Where was the HBS private jet? Why couldn’t I get a full can of soda from the stewardess instead of two drops in a small cup full of ice? One word: collusion. After finally arriving at BWI with parched throats and stiff legs, stage two of their devious plan was set in motion. On the limo ride (yes, limo, we’re big time, we know) to Georgetown, the back tire literally fell off the car, almost sending this talented squad fishtailing to our deaths //www.replicaforbest.co.uk/replica-breitling-watches-sale-for-uk.html. After coming to a teetering stop on a bridge, John Pavelski (NG) showed the leadership that HBS is famous for by leading the charge out of the limo (yes, limo) after noticing that the car – and specifically the area next to the gas tank – was on fire.
So there we were, a group of hoopers abandoned on the side of the road with virtually no means to make it to Georgetown. It almost appeared that the other business schools’ plan had succeeded – if you can’t stop us on the court, stop us from getting there. But what they hadn’t counted on was our savior, and our savior was a 5’6″ 220 pound man driving a mini-van and bumping YoungBloodz. Thanks to his willingness to drive random strangers to an unknown location and his creative driving skills (“It says no left hand turn, but it don’t say nuttin’ about bustin’ a U”), the HBS basketball team was able to make it to Georgetown ready to play.

Game 1: Wharton
The first game was a clash of titans: Wharton vs. HBS. Considering Wharton’s size, we thought that they would give us the biggest challenge in the tournament. The key to this game was preparation: while they showed up two minutes to tip-off smelling like the Hong Kong on a late Saturday night, we showed up at 6 a.m. in order to get loose and mentally prepare for our first battle. The game was close, but our intensity overwhelmed them, frustrating them to the point where they were tackling our players in order to try and stop us from scoring. But they were unsuccessful, and HBS rolled to victory 68-57 behind Dave Tompkins’ (NA) dominating play down low, Pavelski’s clutch free throws, and Jason Phillips’ 360 reverse tomahawk dunk. Or maybe that happened while I was playing Playstation 2, tough to remember.

Game 2: Georgetown
Considering they were the hosts of the tournament, we expected GUMBA to play tough on their home court. They didn’t. Maybe it was our raw talent, maybe it was too many Costco muffins, but Georgetown came out playing soft and we took advantage of them. Billy Rahm (OD) lit them up from the outside while Eli Cohen (OH) overwhelmed them in the post. HBS 77, Georgetown 42.

Game 3: UNC
When you think about the Tar Heels, names like Michael Jordan and Dean Smith are evoked, visions of nets being cut down are remembered, and championship banners are pictured hanging on the wall. With the aura of historical excellence surrounding them, we thought this game would be the hardest of the tournament. It was also the most important, with the winner getting the right to advance to the playoffs. One of our team members, Scott Schweitzer (NE), was also conflicted. He was and still is a Tar Heel through and through, occasionally even bleeding baby blue. How could he beat a team that he had rooted for all his life? While I don’t know how he resolved that internal conflict, he led us to victory on the court with his dominating play down low and was assisted by Jim Carlisle’s (OF) deft 3-point shooting from the outside. HBS 82, UNC 50.

Game 4: Virginia
This game came down to heart. And not many players have ever shown more heart on a basketball court than Dave Tompkins and Chris Long (NJ). Diving after loose balls, banging inside to grab rebounds, and playing hard-nosed defense are their specialties, and HBS needed all of their hustle in order to beat a very strong Virginia team. This game came down to the wire and was decided by Chase Chavin’s (ND) clutch free throws. HBS 65, Virginia 56.

Game 5: Duke
Playing Duke in a championship game is always tough. The preparation that Mike Krzyzewski puts into a big game makes them a difficult opponent regardless of his team’s talent on the floor. Luckily, he isn’t involved in Fuqua’s basketball program, so HBS was able to win this championship game with relative ease. Dave Tompkins and John Pavelski led the way in the championship game with continued dominant play. HBS 65, Duke 43.

Although a tear didn’t necessarily fall from my eyes, I was moved by the trophy presentation ceremony. The large crowd, the jealous onlookers, and the enormous trophy made the trip worthwhile. Oh, and the right to say that we have the best MBA basketball team in the country for an entire year is also quite nice. Next year we’ll find out if Stanford has the courage to show up and we’ll decide which school truly is number one.

March 1, 2004
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