3/8/86: ST. JOHN’S TOPS SYRACUSE IN EPIC FINAL

The stage was set for an epic tournament final in 1986: Louie Carnesecca’s fourth-ranked St. John’s Redmen against Jimmy Boheim’s ninth-ranked Syracuse Orange.

Fittingly, the game centered around two New York City kids: St. John’s Walter Berry and Syracuse’s Pearl Washington. Both men were friends from their early days battling each other before college, but they would be forever linked after the final.

Down by one, Washington — who would be named Tourney MVP — put the game on his shoulders. With eight seconds left, he steamed towards the basket, looking to put an emphatic end on an Orange Big East Tourney title. There was no way he was going to be denied … except he was.

Out of nowhere, Berry swooped in from behind and blocked Washington’s shot to give St. John’s a 70-69 victory. To this day, Washington says that the play was his only regret.