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Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Big DancePosted Monday, March 16, 2009, at 10:54 PM
"The Shot" made by Valpo's Bryce Drew.
What a great month or so for college basketball. The conference tournaments have been played, champs crowned, and the seedings are in for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.
Each year seems to bring more and more upsets and with the parity in college basketball, this year should be no different.
Will this be the year a number 16 seed finally knocks off a one seed? What about cinderella teams? Who will they be this year? Can there be another version of Jim Valvano's NC State Wolfpack team lurking in the field? Oh, and how about those buzzer beaters? This is the best time of the year to be a basketball fan!
March Madness does not only get fans all geared up, but players as well. I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Bryce Drew in Chicago in July of 1998. Drew will forever be known as the guy who took "the shot." When we started talking about the tournament, his eyes lit up and he was on top of the world all over again!
Drew's senior year in the 1998 NCAA Tournament. In the Midwest Region, 13-seed Valparaiso was facing 4-seed Ole Miss in the first round. Valparaiso was down 67-69 with 4.1 seconds remaining in the game and Mississippi's Ansu Sesay at the free throw line. After Sesay missed both shots, the Crusaders came up with possession -- 94 feet from their basket, and with only 2.5 seconds remaining in the game. On the inbound, the Crusaders used a play known as the Pacer. Jamie Sykes inbounded to Bill Jenkins, who passed the ball to a practically unguarded Bryce Drew. Then, as time expired, Drew released a 23-foot 3-point shot, giving him his 22nd point of the night, and clinching the Crusaders' 70-69 upset and advancing them in the tournament. "The Shot" is seen each year on CBS during "March Madness" and is considered one of the top moments in NCAA history. Drew proceeded to lead the defeat of 12-seeded Florida State University 83-77 in overtime, with a 22-point game. Drew and the Crusaders finally fell to 8-seeded University of Rhode Island by a score of 74-68, with Drew scoring only 18 points. Sports Illustrated would rank it the #5 sports moment of 1998, and Drew secured his place as a Valparaiso, Indiana celebrity along with popcorn guru Orville Redenbacher.
What are some of your favorite moments from the tournament? Any upset predictors out there? Who will be crowned "champion" this year?
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Bobby is currently the General Manager and Assistant Publisher at the Daily Statesman after serving his term as Managing Editor. He wears many hats in the office, including coordinator of all things online, but his real passion is sports.