Stanford Wins NIT

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

I was at the gym working out on an elliptical and I thought I saw a college basketball game going on. So I looked over carefully and I saw that Stanford was playing and I thought, oh, that must be the NIT championship game. And Stanford was winning 49-40 and for some odd reason I was pulling for Stanford to win so that the Pac-12 looks good (UCLA is my main tribe but I guess the PAC-12 conference is preferable over other tribal groupings..) There are about 10-11 minutes left in the game. So I am watching it, sort of, while watching forgettable shows on the other TVs.

I look over and Miami has just about caught up with about 4 minutes to go. And then Stefan Nastic, a senior, starts calling for the ball and tries to lead Stanford to victory. He's fighting for rebounds, scoring in the paint, just trying to lead Stanford to victory in his final game. But with two minutes to go he fouls out as a Miami player scores and has a chance to go ahead. Free-throw missed. But it was like Nastic handed the baton to Chaisson Randle, Stanford's other key senior. With a minute to go Randle drives and scores on a drive. Miami comes back and ties the game (rooted on by Michael Irvin who kept high-fiving middle-aged white guys sitting around him). Randle comes back and scores on another drive. Miami ties it again. So everyone in the arena knows Randle is going to take the last shot--including Miami who throw three guys at him, forcing Randle to get rid of the ball, ball was reversed, 3-pointer at the buzzer! Short. Overtime.

In overtime, Randle scores on a drive with about 4 minutes to give Stanford a 2-point lead and a little bit later he takes a three that would have put Stanford up five--just off. On another possession he drives and sets up a Stanford big for a dunk, but a Miami player strips the ball. The momentum turns in favor of Miami. Their dribble penetration has been slicing up Stanford's defense and a Miami player drives for a dunk; then from the top of the key a great pass to a player making a diagonal cut , Miami up 3. Time again for Randle to take over, as no other Stanford player seems capable of scoring. He makes two free-throws to cut it to one with about 40 seconds or so to go. Miami has the ball, with the game clock about 8 seconds more than the shot clock. Stanford holds! Randle gets one more chance. He drives to take about a 17 foot shot, he fakes and gets the defender leaning forward, jumps into him and shoots the ball about 3 feet short...foul! 3.8 seconds left, Randle's first one hits the back of the rim but rattles in but the second one is pure net. Ice.

Miami still has 3.8 seconds. They throw it away. Stanford almost can't get the ball in but Brown gets fouled. He hits one of two. 3.1 seconds. Miami throws a baseball pass when they in-bound, ala Grant Hill to Christian Laettner, but it goes off a Miami player. Game over. Wait! Official review--call reversed! (I don't know how-- the ball clearly was touched by Randle but it looked impossible to tell if the ball went off two near-by Miami players.) So Miami has 1.8 seconds, in-bounding the ball under Stanford's basket. Ball-inbounded in the corner, double-clutch three at the buzzer--no! Off the mark, Michael Irving saying (I think; I am not a certified lip-reader ) he thought it was going in...

Even the NIT can be riveting-- in a gym with a captive audience but still...

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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