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Final Four, Plus 20
March Madness 1979. Collage
by Robert Oringer
in 1979, Penn freshman Robert Oringer, W'82, created the collage
that appears right to commemorate the Penn men's basketball team's appearance
-- 20 years ago this month -- in the final four of the NCAA Championship.
To get there, the team, which had never been ranked in the top 20, shocked
North Carolina (ranked number three), then went on to beat eighth-ranked
Syracuse and St. John's before falling to Michigan State in the national
semifinals in Salt Lake City.
"This lightly regarded basketball team, led by
seniors Tony Price, Tim Smith, Matt White, and Bobby Willis, and junior
'Booney' Salters, would do what no other Penn team ... had done: reach
the final four," wrote Frank Dolson, W'54, then the sports
editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, in a piece that appeared in
the April 1979 Gazette. "It was an incredible accomplishment."
Asked how he came to make the collage, Oringer recalls
traveling in a rented car with a group of friends to North Carolina and
witnessing the team's surprise victory. Returning home to a campus fired
up with basketball fever, and being a budding entrepreneur as well as
sports fan, he started selling T-shirts on Locust Walk printed with the
words Show No Pity in Salt Lake City. When the slogan was picked
up by an Inquirer headline, he saved it, then started saving other
articles from The Daily Pennsylvanian and the Daily News
as well as the Inquirer, and added photos from his trip to North
lives in Montreal and is the president of Can-Am Care, a leading provider
of store brand diabetes-care products to chain and independent pharmacies.
The original of the collage hangs, framed, on the wall of his home office.
It measures about three feet by four feet, Oringer says. When Penn friends
see it, "the reaction is incredible."
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1999 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 2/17/99