Top of the Morning, Feb. 4, 2018

Top of the Morning, Feb. 4, 2018

As part of our fifth "Whatever Happened To ..." installment in today's News-Gazette, Bob Asmussen did a fantastic job telling of one of the most memorable moments in UI basketball history.

What he failed to mention is the angst Andy Kaufmann's buzzer-beating heave caused The News-Gazette.

A closer look at the next day's Sports section cover (Feb. 5, 1993, above) shows a lead photo of Deon Thomas hugging Gene Cross — taken by a contributor named Rick Widmer. What's missing? Photos of Kaufmann during or after his game-winner by, well, us.

The N-G photographer assigned to the game — Delfina Colby — returned to our downtown Champaign office during the second half to begin what then was a tedious camera-to-newspaper process.

"It took a lot longer back then," said Darrell Hoemann, who in '93 was in the early stages of a long run as N-G photo editor. "There were times if we felt the game was in the bag, we'd try to beat traffic and get back to the office."

Fortunately, Mark Jones stayed put at the '93 game. Employed by UI sports information, he captured Kaufmann's clutch basket and the chaos that ensued. At news-gazette.com, there's a gallery of his best photographs, including today's cover shot in Sports.

"I knew I got the shot, but I didn't know whether or not it was in focus," Jones said. "That was a big deal in those days. You had to have some timing."

Our timing that night was only bad. The result: "We had a new rule," Hoemann said. "Stay until the end of the game, and we'll deal with deadline somehow.

"Even if you had been at the game, you're not guaranteed of getting the shot. A ref's butt could be in your face. Still, I was like 'What?' "

Reach Jim Rossow via email at jrossow@news-gazette.com

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