Last Dance: Virginia Takes Texas Tech in OT; Their Past Is Now History
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As always, throughout the course of a big game so tightly fought that it coulda gone either way, there was a blocked dunk here and a rim-roller there that was just as fateful as anything at the end.
It was near the end of regulation, though, that one decisive shot stands above all others.
Because it rarely happened for the first 39 minutes, and it was shocking that it happened in crunch time.
The essence of the Red Raider defensive scheme is similar to hockey's 1-2-2 trapping system that North Americans term the left-wing lock. The purpose is to channel the ball handler into a situation where he has only one option to pursue, at which point the defense pressure's him into a rash decision.
As the Hoos brought the ball downcourt with under 20 seconds left and trailing by three, Tech's defense lost its shape.
In his zeal to stop a lay-in, Jarett Culver left his assignment in the corner, giving Ty Jerome two options:
A lifesaver. It can be argued this was the turning point.
Slightly more organized than Mamadi Diakite's short-range Hail Mary that put the Purdue game into overtime, and with the same ultimate result.
MARCH MADNESS IS THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD pic.twitter.com/TUQchKqswO— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 31, 2019
Maybe Culver tried to overcompensate on the return when he made another ill-advised decision to launch from afar with six seconds left.
Seems like it.
A game of INCHES 🥵 ball hits off Davide Moretti PINKY finger at da end 🤯 n Virginia gets da ball BACK pic.twitter.com/N7tf4q8qPz— BLACK SPORTSCENTER (@VersaceBoyEnt) April 9, 2019
Enter the rules of instant replay for college hoops:
- Referees can reverse an out-of-bounds call, but
- They're not allowed to retroactively call a foul.
So it is that the Cavaliers can figuratively bury a few ghosts.
And so it is that we've possibily seen another program on the rise for as long as Texas Tech can keep Chris Beard.