March Madness is officially upon us. Conference championship play has begun across the nation, and Saturday marked one of the most exciting days of college basketball we have ever seen. Buzzer-beaters became the theme of the night, as four teams knocked off their opponents with dramatic last-second shots.
Let’s start with the Big East, which has always been known to provide us with some of the best drama in college hoops. On Saturday, Marquette’s Vander Blue helped his 15th-ranked Golden Eagles grab a share of the Big East regular season title with a last-second layup in overtime against St. John’s. The title is Marquette’s first since joining the Big East in 2005.
As usual, the smaller conferences were also filled with plenty of excitement as teams fought for an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament. In the Horizon League semifinal, Valparaiso’s Ryan Broekhoff drained an off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer against Green Bay to give his team a 70-69 win and punch a ticket to Tuesday night’s conference championship game against Wright State.
Did we mention Wright State? The Raiders knocked off Horizon League defending champs Detroit to earn a shot at facing Valparaiso for the conference crown. Naturally, they also did so in the form of a crazy shot at the buzzer. Check out Miles Dixon’s fadeaway jumper from the baseline:
And last, but most certainly not least, came the most exciting play of them all. Alabama kept its hopes alive for an at-large tournament bid with a 61-58 win over Georgia that also ended on a dramatic buzzer-beater. Unlike the others, this one grabbed nothing but the bottom of the net from half court and time expired. Here is Trevor Releford’s miraculous shot in a game that appeared destined for overtime:
If Saturday was any indication, we’re in for a wild ride this March and April. Unbelievable buzzer-beaters like the one we saw from BYU a few weeks ago are certainly not unheard of, but I can’t remember a time where we were treated to four in the same night with so much at stake in each game. Keep it coming.Google+