by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, September 10, 2012
Forty years ago yesterday, the USSR beat the USA 51-50 in the 1972 Olympic gold medal game, handing the Americans their first loss in Olympic competition. From a global perspective, it’s the most famous basketball game ever played. The contest is notorious not only for the outcome, but for the series of game management errors that caused the controversial finish.
(For those unfamiliar with the game, it was re-aired during a 2002 special on ESPN Classic and can be viewed here. If you don’t have an hour to spend on this, see this 15-minute piece narrated by Jim McKay 20 years ago. It has a couple of minor factual errors, but is the most accurate portrayal of events that I’ve seen.)