By 2005, the One Shining Moment formula had been modified in some ways. First, the video quality was much better than it had been earlier. The song itself, which was composed and originally sung by David Barrett, had been sung by Teddy Pendergrass and also by Luther Vandross. Apparently it was his last recording before a stroke destroyed his health and ability to perform.
The 2005 version starts with some fists raised and united in purpose. There are about 17 shots of fans, cheerleaders and bands before Duke’s Shelden Williams vies for the tip-off against Delaware State’s Terrance Hunter. Daniel Ewing is in the shot too.
We can’t identify the guy who gets the “running for your life” spot...but we like him.
Then Daniel Ewing gets another shot, this time with his face visible.
UNC’s Rashad McCants - get ready, Tar Heels, he’s all over this video so brace yourselves - gets the “shooting star” spot and one more in a rare back-to-back pairing. Keep in mind that this was during the period where the Tar Heels were committing systematic academic fraud.
Serious question: why isn’t Billy Cunningham’s number retired?
Bob Knight gets a cameo and he’s unhappy. Remember how a few years earlier he was playful, if not downright goofy? Having fun? That’s not here. Not at all. The man is stressed.
UNC’s Sean May gets the “now it shows” spot with a dunk and shortly thereafter, Marvin Williams celebrates an accomplishment of some sort, perhaps mastering Swahili well enough to pass a paper class.
Then there are two unusual shots: one of a guy who is trying to use his cell phone which we think is the first time we see this in any One Shining Moment and then a shot of Bill Murray. He’s become a fixture as he follows son Luke through the twists of an assistant coach’s career, but Luke was in school at this point and not in the tournament.
Some guy has a glass slipper to suggest Cinderella but we’re not sure it works. Sean Dockery gets a good fist pump before Dee Brown kisses a basketball and then Bruce Pearl kisses his adorable daughter.
There is one player who urges the fans on followed by some shots of guys who are just about eliminated including one kid from Niagara who is in tears and a kid from Nevada who is touchingly consoled by the mascot. Who’s in there? Are they close? Anyway, it was a nice job by the editors to include that. SIU’s bench is devastated and then two more players and a coach are saddened. Then two guys weep on their bench followed by a close up of Wake Forest’s Trent Strickland pulling his jersey over his face. Then UNC’s (we think) David Noel urges the fans on.
West Virginia gets the traditional bench-dancing shot then Vermont rushes the court after a spectacular upset of Syracuse. A Bucknell kid pops his jersey and before too long, it’s McCants again.
Michigan State’s Maurice Ager gets the “beat of your heart” line then Bruce Weber takes the court, clearly in a competitive trance.
UNC’s Marvin Williams gets a big dunk before Arizona’s Mustafa Shakur exults on the floor after a big play.
Utah’s Andrew Bogut, who would have a significant NBA and international career, gets a dunk and then two Michigan State players connect on an alley-oop as Vandross hits the high note on “more than a race.”
Then we get a nifty Spartan layup followed by two long-distance threes.
Salim Stoudamire - Damon’s cousin, who got to Arizona first - beats his chest then someone penetrates the KU defense for an easy layup. Patrick Sparks hits a jumper for Kentucky and then we get a Cute Kid Shot followed by a Cincinnati player on the floor, presumably after losing since he’s paired with the “win or lose” line.
Two guys we can’t recognize but who might be from Louisville (it’s hard to tell) exult and then player and coach embrace before Wisconsin’s Sharif Chambliss shows off his jersey in a moment of sheer happiness.
A Milwaukee player is thrilled and then we see NC State’s Julius Hodge reacts to a great play. Williams dunks again for UNC and shortly thereafter we see Sean May get one of his own. UNC #34 gets a breakaway slam.
Roy Williams greets Jackie Manuel as he leaves the court. May gets the finger raise of victory before, very strangely, a Bald Eagle shows up. What the hell?
Then Williams gets a dunk, Weber’s in a funk, and May gets one more slam as UNC secures the first post-Dean Smith title. McCants shows off his jersey, a shot that Tar Heel fans may not appreciate as much today, given his antics since leaving UNC.
And after the victory, it was back to class for the Tar Heels - oh, wait. This was 2005.
In 2006, the brief era of Gator dominance begins. We’ll get into that next time.