Skip to main content

Walk-Off Madness

The history of walk-off shots in the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's basketball tournaments is extraordinarily well documented to the point where we're quite familiar with the likes of Christian Laettener's unbelievable shots for Duke against Connecticut and Kentucky, Tyus Edney's end-to-end dash for UCLA against Missouri, Charlotte Smith's 3-point buzzer beater that won a championship for North Carolina's women and now Kenton Paulino's amazing trifecta that enabled now-eliminated Texas to knock out West Virginia a few days ago.

Those who know me know that my affinity for basketball goes well beyond the Division I level to the Division III game, having been weaned on such during my collegiate years and though I rarely intermix my appreciations, I felt it would be worthwhile to do so here, right during the heart of tourney time. So, in brief, here's a small sample of historic and memorable walk-offs from "The Little Dance," as it was referred on a national TV network a week ago.

The Sherminator- The 2000 West Sectional championship game was a battle between Wisconsin league rivals Eau Claire and Stevens Point. Those who remember Bryce Drew's miracle shot for Valparaiso would probably appreciate the walk-off shot that won this epic clash. Stevens Point went ahead by a point with 2.5 seconds left, but Eau Claire was able to execute a miraculous play to win. Dave Mellenthin threw a baseball pass ahead to Eric Gardow who tipped it to Sherm Carstensen whose 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key was good for a walk-off winner and a trip to Salem, Va. for the national semis.

Bryan's Song- Speaking of 2000, the national semis that year between Calvin and Franklin & Marshall provided a heart-stopping finish. Calvin led for most of the last 15 minutes of the second half, but Franklin & Marshall was able to tie on a late tip-in. Calvin's freshman point guard, Bryan Foltice, in a rather gutsy move, told his teammates after the ensuing timeout that if he saw an opening, he was going to take advantage. The opening came when an F&M player went for the steal of Foltice's dribble and Foltice made him pay, draining a 10-foot floater in the lane for victory at the buzzer. Calvin went on to defeat UW-Eau Clair for the national title and walk-off supremacy.

Doubting Thomas- The final 30 seconds of the 2005 Sweet 16 game between Albion and John Carroll had to rate among the most amazing in the history of college basketball at any level. Albion led by seven with 75 seconds remaining and was still up four with just under half-a-minute left when all sorts of craziness occurred.

John Carroll scored eight points in a 22-second span, taking advantage of a couple of Albion mistakes to take a four-point lead in the final seconds. Albion's Mike Thomas drove the length of the floor for a layup with 3.6 seconds remaining and the Britons fouled almost immediately, trailing 79-77. John Carroll missed both free throws. Albion controlled the rebound, whipped the ball ahead to Thomas, who quickly flung a 35-footer over two defenders. The ball appeared to be going long, but banked in off glass and rim for a remarkable, 80-79, walk-off triumph.

On the Case- In the first round of the 2002 tournament, Case Western Reserve made the trip to Newburgh N.Y. to face Mount St. Mary. The game was close throughout and Mount St. Mary tied it late on a running shot. Case Western rushed the ball upcourt and missed a shot, which all but appeared to send the game into overtime. However, the officials determined that a timeout had been called with 1.2 seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Case's Jasmine Rowan flung a hail mary from the sideline and her prayer was answered via the bank shot, making the visiting Spartans walk-off winners.

Hope Spring Eternal- The 1990 women's championship game between Hope and St. John Fisher turned into a rout late, as visiting St. John Fisher reeled off 20 straight points to lead by 20 with 11 minutes remaining. Hope clawed back, though it still trailed by 13 with 4:15 remaining, then staged a remarkable rally. The Dutch, who won the 2006 crown as well, came all the way back to tie on a 3-pointer by Dina Disney with 13 seconds remaining. St. John Fisher turned the ball over, committing an offensive foul with five seconds remaining giving Hope a crack at a winning shot. Hope's inbounds pass got knocked away, and there was a scramble for a loose ball as whistle and buzzer sounded concurrently. After conferring, the officials deemed that St. John Fisher fouled, before the buzzer, but with no time showing on the clock. Disney went to the free throw line and made both. Though not a true "walk-off" championship win (St. John Fisher was allowed to inbound the ball), it's close enough that we'll count it for our purposes.

Anyways, enjoy the rest of the college basketball season, what little is left of it. We'll return to our regularly scheduled Metsblogging in the next day or two.


Popular posts from this blog

Best Games I Know: Phillies (Updated)

  The best wins against the Phillies in Mets history …   May 5, 2022 – Mets 8, Phillies 7 The Mets score 7 runs in the 9 th inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit and win in Philadelphia.   April 29, 2022 – Mets 3, Phillies 0 Tylor Megill and 4 Mets relievers combine on the second no-hitter in franchise history.   September 22, 2016 – Mets 9, Phillies 8 (11) The Mets tie it in the 9 th on a Jose Reyes home run and win it in the 11 th on a 3-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.   July 17, 2016 - Mets 5, Phillies 0 Jacob deGrom pitches a one-hitter. Only hit is a single by Zach Eflin in the 5 th inning.   August 24, 2015 – Mets 16, Phillies 7 David Wright homers in his first at-bat in more than 4 months. The Mets hit a team-record 8 home runs.   July 5, 2012 – Mets 6, Phillies 5 The Mets score 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9 th to beat Jonathan Papelbon. The winning run scores on David Wright’s bloop down the right field line.   August 13

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls Profess