MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It was 1984, the night before the biggest game of Bill Bayno’s college career, and the junior forward at Sacred Heart was sitting quietly in the hotel bar.
Suddenly, a drink was sent his way. Then another. Then another.
An assistant coach and a group of boosters with American International College — Sacred Heart’s opponent in the NCAA regional semifinal the next day — were at the bar as well, and they recognized the future All-American. A smile crept across Bayno’s face as the drinks kept coming.
“They were thinking, ‘Let’s get Bayno drunk,'” he said.
Everyone knew Bayno could play. He was a starter after transferring from UMass, a confident, do-everything kind of player who was a key to the Pioneers’ chances against future NBA standout Mario Elie and AIC. What those boosters didn’t know was that Bayno could also drink.
“I probably had seven or…
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