Hell yeah it’s Buzzer-Beater season

Do you feel it? There is something in the air. The NCAA tournament kicks off next week, which means we’re definitely in the Buzzer-Beater zone. It all worked out Sunday in Kentucky when Dreuna Edwards hit a three-pointer on his last breath to win the SEC tournament in the dying seconds. However, Chattanooga surpassed him on Monday night when the Southern Conference top seed team beat him as close to the wire as possible to defeat Furman and secure a place in the Da Big Dance:

However, a hell of a game was played before the buzzer, and Chattanooga and Furman delivered on the promise of mid-major conference tournament drama. First, Furman came back from the sixth loss and equalized with about two minutes left. The two teams traded baskets and Fuhrman equalized and sent the game into overtime with three-pointer Mike Bothwell with four seconds left:

Then, in overtime, the real madness began. With Fuhrman on a three with 45 seconds left, Chattanooga defenseman A.J. Caldwell hit a huge three to tie the game at 61. This set the stage again for Bothwell, who drove past Darius Banks to score with 4.3 seconds left. Although Chattanooga had a time-out, they decided to push the ball up without stopping for play play, and David Jean-Baptiste dribbled as far as he could before plucking a desperate jumper from about 35 feet. It was nothing but a network.

I have to admit: I am a fan of college basketball in good weather. I’ve watched maybe two games all season and most of my knowledge came from my friends in the football group chat who actually follow college hoops. That’s the only reason I tuned in to the SoCon championship last night; I’ve seen some of them go crazy as the game gets close to overtime and that’s enough for me. I will watch any knockout game in just about any sport – I’m not a hockey fan, but I will always try to watch all 7 games – and this is doubly true for college basketball. There’s a reason why March Madness is so popular.

While the real fun begins with the tournament, conference tournaments, especially smaller conference tournaments where winning is the only chance for many teams to succeed, always have some wild endings. They are like entertainment with a buzzer before the main course. You too can see them approaching; once the teams start swapping baskets, as Chattanooga and Furman did on Monday, it becomes obvious that it all comes down to the last shot. Do or miss, it’s always assigned TV.

We still have a ton of talks at the conference until qualifying Sunday March 13th, and it would be shocking and unprecedented if there weren’t even a handful of buzzers in between. It will be hard to beat Jean-Baptiste, but it’s the best part of post-season college basketball: it’s always possible.