Posted on: March 22, 2009 7:54 pm

Most exciting finish in the tournament

His name is Lazar Hayward and he just took the place of Tyus Edney in the minds of Missouri fans.

In perhaps the most exciting finish to a tournament game to date, Marquette's Hayward stepped over the line while inbounding the ball against Missouri with his team trailing by two with 5.5 seconds left.

Marquette looked like it had completed a furious comeback from 16 down in the first half by taking a late lead, but Missouri's Kim English came off the bench to sink two free throws with 5.5 left. Guard J.T. Tiller had been fouled on the play but was too injured to shoot. Marquette was forced to foul, Missouri went ahead by four and that was that.

Who is Tyus Edney? He's the UCLA guard who beat Missouri in the same city (Boise) 14 years ago with an end-to-end rush. It looked like something similar was going to happen again as Hayward tried to inbound. Missouri was pressing in the backcourt but, just like 14 years ago, it failed to put a man on the ball. It didn't matter. Hayward didn't have a man open, hesitated, and let his right foot step over the line.

Missouri will take it as it heads to Glendale, Ariz. to play a Sweet 16 game. That West Regional final still shapes up to be UConn vs. Memphis, but Purdue and Missouri will have something to say about that. See you there.  


Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Thank you Greg Shaheen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This is why we love the tournament:

About 1:45 pm. CT in the bowels of the Sprint Center. Three games, all close, in the final seconds. We, the media, get to watch all three simultaneously -- Kansas-North Dakota State, Tennessee-Oklahoma State, Utah State-Marquette. All we needed was a bar, a couple of taps and a waitress asking, "May I help you guys?"

Believe it or not it wasn't always this way for us media urchins. We used to feel like we were out of touch at these sites. The bowels of these arenas can be just that -- bowels of arenas. Damp, cold, forbidding.

But right now I'm looking around at eight flat screens in the media work room. Every game that's being played is on. The NCAA has a heart. I don't know this for sure but I'm guessing Greg Shaheen is responsible. Shaheen oversees the day-to-day operation of the tournament for the NCAA. I consider him a friend of the media who helps us get our work done. Thank goodness, the Pac-10 wasn't successful. The league tried twice to hire Shaheen to become its new commissioner recently.

There, that's my private thank you to the man responsible for making our insulated little world a bit more comfortable. 

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