Stephen F. Austin State University became the third 12-seed to upset the 5-seed in the opening round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament when an incredible four-point play by Desmond Haymon tied the game with 3.6 seconds left, before SF Austin took the game in overtime, 77-75. It was an incredible win over Virginia Commonwealth on Friday night, so watch all the craziness ensue after the jump.
“Well, miracles truly do happen,” SFA coach Brad Underwood said.
After some chaotic defense forced a lot of turnovers in the second half, VCU was firmly in control, or so they thought. SF Austin, the Lumberjacks (God, isn’t March Madness awesome), stuck around and after VCU’s Jordan Burgess missed a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining, it still didn’t matter because VCU held a 4-point lead. Think again.
Haymon unleashed a 3-pointer from the right wing and was fouled by JaQuan Lewis just before the ball fell through the nylon.
“I just tried to get out and contest it,” Lewis said. “(I) jumped to the side a little bit and kind of fell into him. The ref called a foul.”
VCU coach Shaka Smart smartly called a timeout to ice Haymon, but it didn’t work. Haymon came back out of the timeout and tied the score by nailing the free throw, completing the four-point play and sending it to overtime.
“I was struggling shooting the ball and I knew to get it going, I was going to have to continue to try to find it (his touch),” Haymon said. “I guess I found that groove with the last shot.”
In OT, Haymon hit another three-pointer to put the Lumberjacks up three with two minutes to play. After SFA’s Thomas Walkup connected on one-of-two free throws, though, they only led by two with 10 seconds remaining and VCU’s turn to end it with a three.
Lewis, the man who had inadvertently fallen into Haymon for the four-point play, had an opportunity to redeem himself with an open three-pointer on the wing.
It went long and SF Austin stormed the court after the upset. Awesome. Just awesome.
Earlier in the first round, two other 12-seeds, Harvard and North Dakota, also advanced after upsetting another pair of 5-seeds, Cincinnati and Oklahoma, respectively.
March Madness indeed.
(vid and quotes via CBS Sports)
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