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26 Seconds, Six Shots, Panic & Go Home & A Trip Down 2013 March Madness Memory Lane

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  • 26 Seconds, Six Shots, Panic & Go Home & A Trip Down 2013 March Madness Memory Lane

    Watching the Syracuse/North Carolina State game Friday, and that last 26 second flurry of failed three-pointers and near panic on the part of the Orangemen got me thinking about the Gonzaga/Wichita State game in the 3rd round of last year's dance. Nobody on SU's team could hit a thing and they were really just tossing up those shots because they were down by three. How did the Shox come back from that eight point deficit to knock off numero uno?

    The Shox held a 15 point lead at one point in the game but fell behind by 8 in the second half. But at the 6:18 mark in that game, the Shox started one of the most unbelievable stretches of offense seen in college basketball, let alone the tournament. With Gonzaga leading 58-51 at the 6:18 mark, the Shox offense took over the game. With an assist by Baker, Tekele Cotton nailed a three-pointer with 16 left on the shot clock to make it 58-54.

    Kevin Pangos shot a three of his own at the 5:25 mark and with 4 on the shot clock. WSU brought the ball up court and with 23 left on the shot clock, Cotton found Early at the top of the arc for another all-net three-pointer making the score 64-57. Kelly Olynyk tried to score at the basket but was soundly rejected by Carl Hall (watching it a few times, I'm pretty sure Carl got away with a foul) with 4:30 left to go.

    The Shockers wasted no time heading up court where Cle found Ron Baker for yet another all net three-point shot with 27 left on the shot clock setting the score at 61-60. The Zags got the ball inside to Olynyk again and with 2 seconds on the shot clock, he was fouled trying to shoot from under the basket. Not only did he not get the basket but he missed both FTs. 3:45 left.

    With 3:29, Freddy brought the ball down, found Carl with 22 seconds on the shot clock for a sweet 16 foot jumper for two and the Shox had the lead again, 62-61. The Shox fouled Harris who got into the lane and missed his shot but hit both FTs to retake the lead, 63-62 and 3:17 left to play.

    On the next play and with 28 to go on the shot clock, the Zags fouled Ron Baker as he tried to move around a screen. He cooly iced both FTs and the lead, 64-63. What happened next will probably haunt David Stockton for the rest of his life. A bit of miscommunication and a lane violation by the Zags as Stockton takes the inbound pass and jumps out of bounds. Shocker ball.

    Once again, Fred is running the point and he finds Baker with 19 to go on the shot clock and 2:52 to go in the game. Baker's smooth stroke results in another all-net three-pointer. Shox up 67-63. The Zags come down and put up two shots, miss but get the offensive rebounds (they got 17 for the game. Ouch.) and finally Olynyk hits a short jumper to make it 67-65 with 2:08 to go.

    The next play will go down in FVV lore (until he does something equally spectacular as he's still got a few years to go for the Shox). With the shot clock winding down and Fred not able to find anybody open, he briefly loses the ball until he gets control and shoots from waaaaay downtown and hits a monster three-pointer that clearly took whatever wind was left in the Zags sails. One second is left on the shot clock and only 1:28 remains of the game and the game is now 70-65 Shox.

    Olynyk misses a lob and Armstead brings the ball down the court, makes dribble penetration and finds Hall under the basket and Carl misses the shot. First Shocker miss in more than six minutes. But Cle grabs the rebound and is tied up but the arrow point our way. Fred gets fouled with 38.6 to go and he calmly (is there any other way he plays?) hits the one-and-one. Shox up 72-65.

    Stockton runs the ball all the way down the other end and hits a layup. 72-67 with 33.3 to go. Carl gets fouled on the next Shocker offensive set and misses both FTs. Then the Zags start throwing up the threes. First Olynyk, then Pangos and the Zags keep getting the rebound but just can't get a good shot. Panic really sets in.

    Tekele then fouls Drew Barham at the 16.1 mark but Barham misses both FTs. Armstead is fouled with 15.2 and hits both FT. Shox up 74-67. Baker fouls Pangos who misses both FTs with 12.8 to go. At 11.2 Fred gets fouled and, again, calmly drops both FTs through the hoop. Shox up 76-68. Stockton then gets another layup for the final score 76-70 and the Shockers have beaten the number one seed of the tournament.

    What strikes me about that game is that 1) when the Shockers are behind in the game, especially by more than two baskets, it's pretty clear 3G wants to get good, open shots, but to take them as soon as they get that open shot. This can only bode well for us in the next few weeks as it is pretty clear that our top four offensive shooters have increased their 3Pt percentage as well as overall FG%.

    The other thing was the fact that FVV was playing the 1 during most of this stretch. Armstead was out there as well but for most of the above-mentioned plays, Fred was running the point. And he was cool. Steady. And found open shooters for two key assists. Not to mention his FT shooting. A freshman. In one of the biggest games of the season up to that point. He has only improved as this year as progressed.

    Four of the key players on the court during that stretch of six minutes return on Friday night. Cle, Tekele, Ron and Fred. To think that last year was a flash in the pan is absurd. And remember how we were all worried about playing Pitt, Gonzaga, Ohio State and Louisville? I think this team has solid leadership but plays as a team better than just about everybody else in the tourney, let alone the Midwest bracket.

    Lets go do this Shox!

  • #2
    Great write up. That got my blood flowing, I am ready for the madness to begin.

    What a game.

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    • #3
      I've listened to the whole Gonzaga game twice in the last six months and that stretch probably an additional five times. One of the most memorable final stretches to a game I can think of. Vs. CU in 2006 is one that compares but not at the same stakes (though we did take over first in the Valley that night en route to the regular season championship and the sweet 16).
      Shocker Nation, NYC

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MadaboutWu View Post
        I've listened to the whole Gonzaga game twice in the last six months and that stretch probably an additional five times. One of the most memorable final stretches to a game I can think of. Vs. CU in 2006 is one that compares but not at the same stakes (though we did take over first in the Valley that night en route to the regular season championship and the sweet 16).
        I've got the game on DVD and have watched it three times now. It's definitely a keeper.

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        • #5
          One word:

          Surreal.
          Deuces Valley.
          ... No really, deuces.
          ________________
          "Enjoy the ride."

          - a smart man

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          • #6
            Speaking of FVV, the entirety of what "not satisfied" means to this team was, in my mind, summed up by a tweet from Fred after the Louisville game. I don't recall the exact wording, but he lamented how poor he played. This back-up freshman point guard who had been instrumental in the two biggest victories this program has seen in decades (Gonzaga, Ohio St) was not basking in the Final Four accomplishment. He wanted more. He wanted a national title.

            And now here he and his team stands, undefeated since that loss to Louisville, with a solid chance to pull it off.

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