—We all love the improbable upset, and so does the NCAA Men’s basketball selection committee.
Friday’s action gave us that and more. More was a buzzer beater. What’s better than a March upset? A March Madness buzzer beater.
And what more could you ask for other than a matchup between a sixth-seeded Texas program whose logo is known throughout the college sports landscape and an eleventh-seeded Northern Iowa from the heartland whose expertise is to do just what we want them to do: upset and do it in a big way.
Texas, led by a coach by the name of Shaka Smart, who in years past has been the engine driver of great tourney upsets and alas Northern Iowa who just 11 days ago defeated Evansville to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament on yes, a buzzer beater.
We’re in Oklahoma City, the same place where “The Shot” happened Bryce Drew’s legendary heave from just beyond the 3-point line when Valparaiso shocked Mississippi State in the 1998 NCAA Tournament.
Friday night, four seconds remaining, Paul Jesperson standing six-foot-six and 24 years of age, a redshirt senior who grew up in Merril, Wisconsin about 330 miles from UNI’s campus in Cedar Rapids accepts the inbounds pass, one dribble and the lob off the backboard, it’s good!
It was set up by the masterminds of the NCAA selection committee but never scripted not for a moment.