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Eddie Gill Article

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As Eddie Gill toed the free-throw line for each of four attempts during the last 40 seconds of Weber State’s first-round matchup with North Carolina in the 1997 NCAA Tournament, the junior guard let everything sink in.

Then he sank the foul shots.

“I was kind of overwhelmed with emotions,” Gill said. “Playing at a smaller school, I never knew if I’d have the opportunity to play against North Carolina. Late in the game when I realized we were going to win, I was extremely happy.”

Gill’s 14th-seeded Wildcats pulled off the biggest upset of the tourney that year, shocking the Tar Heels 76-74.

Gill and teammate Harold Arceneaux were a two-man wrecking crew against Carolina. Arceneaux and Gill combined for 56 of Weber State’s 76 total points.

Even though the win carried Weber State forward for a second-round showdown with Florida, the victory over UNC is what resonated with Gill.

“(Carolina) was my childhood team” Gill said. “So just playing them in the tournament was a pretty big deal for me. And then beating them, obviously, it was that much sweeter.”

After beating North Carolina, Weber State had a legitimate shot at a berth in the Sweet 16 against Florida.

Down only two late in the game, the Wildcats had a chance at another big upset when Gill’s backcourt mate Noel Jackson drew a three-shot foul with 8.2 seconds to play.

“We pretty much had them beat,” Gill said.

But when Jackson only converted two out of three, the game went into overtime where Florida squeezed out an 82-74 victory.

Still, the game was a thrill for Gill, who scored 19 points against the Gators.

“It was one of my fondest memories, for sure,” Gill said.
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