Last Second Heroics
It doesn't take much to get fans excited about the NCAA Tournament. It is after all, the greatest sporting event.. ever. But just to get you even more pumped up, here's a rundown of this year's end of game buzzer-beating heroics.. a taste of what you should expect during March Madness.
Cedric Jackson (Cleveland State) over Syracuse
Quick play-by-play: Cleveland State hits a 3 to go up 5 with 24 seconds left to play. Syracuse comes right down the floor and Jonny Flynn buries a 3 in the corner, Orange down 2. The ensuing inbounds pass gets deflected, last touched by Cleveland State. Now there’s 15 seconds left and it’s ‘Cuse ball. Rautins misses a 3 to take the lead…Onuaku (his name gets butchered in this clip) grabs an uncontested rebound and puts it back to tie the game. Then the impossible happens…a 60 footer, yes sixty, by Cedric Jackson. An unreal shot. Cleveland State wouldn’t have been in that situation if they met my friend the ‘box out’ or could inbound the rock. Then again if they had done those things I guess I wouldn’t even be writing this paragraph right now.
Ty Lawson (UNC) over Florida State
Ty Lawson needs a nickname. I’d call him Flash but D-Wade’s got that. I’d call him Bolt, but then I think of Usain. Well after successfully Googling “Ty Lawson Nickname”, I found Teleport. I love it. I am now referring to him as the Teleport (maybe even T-Port??). Moving on…UNC and FSU are tied at 77 a piece with 3.2 seconds remaining. The inbounds pass comes into Teleport and living up to his nickname he blows by a defender and hits a running 3 as time expires to give the Tar Heels an 80-77 victory. "I just ran with it," Lawson said. "There wasn't enough time to get a pass off." That about sums it up.
James Johnson (Wake Forest) over Duke
Dick Vitale has been around the game a long time. He loves going to Cameron and crowd surfing. Let’s face it, he has a bias towards Duke. It was great to hear him literally call out exactly what was going to happen during this final play. The game is tied at 68 between Wake and Duke. Wake is inbounding the ball underneath their basket with 2.6 to play. James Johnson sets a screen then immediately slips it and cuts to the basket for the easy deuce. (fast forward to 3:25 for the play and to listen to Vitale). “Johnson’s the guy, watch Johnson with that size, throw the ball up top to Johnson.” If I am Dickie V, I am screaming I told you so! Johnson scored with .8 seconds left to win it for Wake.
Josh Carter (Texas A&M) over Nebraska
Texas A&M was down 18 at one point early on in the second half. Nebraska managed to score just 7 points in the final 14 minutes. Nebraska also struggled from the charity stripe late in the game. College basketball’s best name, Cookie Miller, clanked two freebies for Nebraska with 19.5 seconds left. After exchanging turnovers, Nebraska committed a foul to set up the final play of the game for the Aggies trailing 55-54. Josh Carter came off a down screen with 2.6 seconds left and hit a three as time expired. The Aggies won 57-55.
Antonio Anderson (Memphis) over Tulsa
Memphis was on the road and trailing by one to Tulsa. Antonio Anderson catches the ball at half-court and just goes the distance. There was no stopping him. The basket helped preserve the Tigers 45 game winning streak in Conference USA games. Great quote from John Calipari…When I saw Antonio had a lane to the rim, I just closed my eyes and hoped," Calipari said. "We practice that play a lot and the kids know there is plenty of time to get to the rim."
Anthony Brock (Alabama) over Tennessee
Anthony Brock wasn’t even supposed to be in Knoxville. "We had a flight for him ... and he missed it so he drove all night to get here," Alabama coach Philip Pearson said. Brock and his cousin hopped in a car and drove to the game after Brock attended his grandmother’s funeral. His grandmother was watching over him. With the game tied at 77, Tennessee had a chance to take the lead. The Volunteers missed a shot on what they hoped would be the last possession of the game and the ball went out of bounds to Alabama with about five seconds left to play. Anthony Brock picked a great time to his only shot in the second half. Brock pulled up from the second to last “E” in Tennessee and banked home the winner. Alabama 80 Tennessee 77.
Edgar Sosa (Louisville) over Kentucky
Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks tried to steal the show. He scored seven straight points on five free throws and a layup to tie the game at 71. Louisville now has the ball with 23 seconds left and ultimately the last possession in regulation. Who does Pitino turn to? Potential lottery pick Earl Clark? Maybe their do it all guy Terrence Williams? I would have expected the latter. They inbound the ball to Sosa and he calmly dribbles over half court. He then waves off a screen and buries a 25 footer with 2.8 seconds left. This was a huge win for the Cardinals. They had already lost to Western Kentucky, Minnesota, and UNLV. This game may have turned their season around.
Kaylon Williams (Evansville) over Drake
Weather played a factor here. How is weather a factor in an indoor sport? Well, this game was originally scheduled the day before, but due to inclement weather it was pushed back a day. Kaylon Williams used the day off to practice shooting running half court shots apparently. I mean, who wouldn’t? Williams’ three, from half court, as time expired lifted Evansville over Drake. A running half court shot at that.
Ben Woodside (ND State) over Oakland in Summit Championship
It’s no secret who North Dakota State’s go to guy is. That’s why North Dakota State coach Saul Phillips decided there was no need to call a timeout. Once he saw that Ben Woodside had the ball in his hands he figured if he called a timeout that Oakland would face guard him and not allow Woodside to touch the ball. "I've been working on my offense for a while," Phillips said. "It's called 'get the ball to Woodside and get out of the way.' It's been effective." Woodside hit an off-balanced 17 footer with 3 seconds left to give the Bison the win. North Dakota State was a D-II school last year and seemed to make an easy transition into being a D-I school.
Dallas Green (Robert Morris) over Mount St. Mary’s in NEC Championship
The score was tied at halftime and again tied with seconds to play. Robert Morris usually doesn’t look to Dallas Green to take the last shot or to shoot really ever for that matter. Robert Morris top scorer Jeremy Chappell, team high 15 points, originally planned on being the hero. Chappell began to make his move and got the ball knocked away from him. Dallas Green happened to be at the right spot at the right time. He may have even closed his eyes and then put up a jumper. The ball fell through the hoop with 2.5 seconds remaining to help punch Robert Morris’ ticket to the Big Dance.
Have another favorite from this year?? Post your comments or submit one below.
Also check out Battered & Bloodied: The Year in College Basketball, featuring foot stomps, taxicab confessions, mascot ejections and more!