Tuesday, April 05, 2016

That One Will Be Replayed Forever

After Northern Iowa's amazing buzzer-beater from halfcourt beat Texas, Nails and I were talking about the greatest buzzer-beaters in tournament history.

We discussed some amazing early-round shots, like Bryce Drew vs. Mississippi, but decided that for the best ever the stakes needed to be higher.
NC State's Lorenzo Charles won the title with a buzzer beat in 1983, but it was a weird dunk, putback type of thing.
So we decided the best might be Christian Laettner vs. Kentucky.
Until tonight!

The first 2395 seconds of this game were fun and well-played. Some of those moments would have been memorable and remarkable, were it not for what happened in the final 5 seconds.

First Marcus Paige (who got his team to this point with an amazing steal under the basket, which I still don't understand how he was able to pull off) nailed an amazing off-balance, double-pump, closely-guarded 3, to tie it.

But Villanova was able to remain calm and execute a perfect play, Ryan Arcidiacono, with a dribble up the court and the dish to Kris Jenkins, who calmly stepped into the shot and nailed the game-winner as time expired.

It's hard to criticize because Villanova just made the perfect play, and because the game was tied so UNC had to defend the paint too, but I don't think Berry did a good enough job of slowing down Arcidiacono, and I think Isaiah Hicks made a terrible mistake by backing up, giving Jenkins the space he needed to get the shot off.

Normally, I reject the instant-classification of games and players, as I try my best to remember what happened in the past, but there is no doubt, zero doubt, that this is the best ending in the history of the National Championship game.


ton said...

I'm bummed about this. I couldn't watch the game live, but recorded it. Yes, you are right...there is no way that plan works out with a game of this magnitude. My effort to keep everything in the dark until I got home did not work. I can still manage this with UFC fights, but not this.

On the bright side, E-train has been getting into b-ball, even declaring "I want to be a basketball player when I grow up" to his Kindergarten class. While I was at work the next day, he wound up watching the game, and Special K said he was cheering and super into it. He was going for 'Nova, which was the appropriate choice in this case, and told me all about it when I got home.

So while I didn't get to see the action, or actually get thrilled by the game itself, seeing the first real excitement and connection with a sports event in my kid is kind of awesome. That is, unless this event turns him into a lifetime Villanova fan.

Paul said...

Even though there were no titles won, in the past 6 months, the Mets made the World Series, the Redskins made the playoffs and Syracuse made the Final Four.
Add in Chase's love for Steph Curry and he has become a real sports fan.
And of course because Chase and I are watching, Julian wants to also.
It's always great to share something you love with your kids and have them love it back.
Especially sports because I understand how important is to to play and talk about them as a boy growing up.