Georgetown could avenge legends’ pain

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.

He walked.

Jeff Green took a hop, skip and jump before delivering the game-winning basket with 2.5 seconds left.

The audacity of it all apparently froze the brains of Dick Cartmell, Verne Harris and Rawny McCall, the three referees who up until then had been quick to cite players for breathing too closely on each other.

Green waltzed to the basket, as if he were auditioning to appear on “Dancing With the Stars,” and the Hoyas survived to play another day in the NCAA tournament.

Did Green, with a night to ponder it, think he had committed a violation?

“I knew that question was coming soon,” he said yesterday. “I don’t think I traveled. I let the referees make the call, and they didn’t make the call.”

Green said he skipped the replays of the sequence that aired a zillion times on ESPN following the game and instead to went bed.

Luck, good or bad, is a pervasive element of the single-elimination tournament.

The luck of a call or non-call is subject to human error, as the Hoyas could note.

Before Green was allowed the creative freedom that is usually associated with LeBron James, the Hoyas ran afoul of the three pairs of faulty eyes.

Two calls against Green — his body odor apparently deemed excessive in each instance — put the Commodores on the free throw line and led to three points.

Coach John Thompson III mentioned the blood, sweat, tears and luck of the tournament. He was talking of the North Carolina-Georgetown meeting 25 years ago in the Superdome.

He was talking of the sinking realization after the Fred Brown pass to James Worthy and the game-winning shot of Michael Jordan.

He was there, sitting across from the bench of the Hoyas, wondering if his father ever would have another opportunity to coach in a game with the national championship at stake.

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