VIDEO: A classic look at Long Beach State’s last dance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament

In this installment of The562.org’s Classics video series, we look back at the Long Beach State’s men’s basketball team’s 2012 trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The opening game against New Mexico in Portland’s Rose Garden came 1,217 days after Casper Ware, Larry Anderson, TJ Robinson and Eugene Phelps played their first game for coach Dan Monson and LBSU. The “Fab Four” had gotten close to winning the Big West Conference and finally completed the task in their senior season.

After a relatively sloppy but exciting contest, the No. 5 Lobos edged No. 12 LBSU  75-68 to end a very successful era of Beach basketball.

“They just made more plays, more free throws, and did the little things down the stretch better than we did,” LBSU coach Dan Monson said.

The game featured more than a handful of future NBA players and overseas professionals with LBSU’s Casper Ware leading the way. The two-time Big West Player of the Year went on to play a few games with the Philadelphia 76ers and helped Melbourne United win a championship in the Australian pro basketball league.

“We’re here because of Casper Ware, so when we leave it’s going to be because of him,” Monson said of giving Ware the last big shot of the game. “Casper is our team and how he played at the end was indicative of us. We just didn’t have enough gas to finish.”

This recalled highlight also includes footage of the road trip that JJ Fiddler and Tyler Hendrickson took to Portland for the game— with proof that a Red Bull headache almost took down JJ before even reaching Oregon.

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Mike and JJ go together like mac and cheese: they’re best friends, business partners and Long Beach sports experts. They’ve been working together for over a decade covering Long Beach local sports and now run the562.org, a community-funded nonprofit media outlet.
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