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This NCAA Tournament has developed a terrible habit: Teams keep losing at the end of games because of hero ball or botched sequences. It’s cost everyone from Princeton to Vanderbilt, Villanova to SMU, Wichita State to Rhode Island.

We haven’t had a buzzer-beater yet because nobody’s getting the chance to put up a high-quality shot as time expires. And on Thursday night, in the Sweet 16, the coup de grâce: West Virginia’s mind-bogglingly bad final possession against Gonzaga cost the Mountaineers a shot at overtime. 

Gonzaga won 61-58 after WVU star Jevon Carter threw up two ill-advised 3-pointers — after way too much dribbling — and then WVU’s Daxter Miles Jr. couldn’t even get his prayer attempt off in time before the clock hit triple zeroes. 

With no timeouts left to use, Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins was left to watch, and yell, and look on in helpless dismay. Gonzaga point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, who had four fouls, managed to put on some fairly good defense against Carter. WVU needed the 3 and Gonzaga, the No. 1-rated defensive team in the country, did not allow the Mountaineers to get off a clean look. 

Here’s a sped-up version of the play. It’s something else. 

The irony for Carter — West Virginia’s best player; he had 21 points and seven rebounds — is that he’ll be remembered for going hero ball on the final possession after being largely responsible for putting the ’Eers in position to win the game in the first place. And, amazingly, Williams-Goss comes up huge on defense after putting up one of the worst games of his season. Maybe the worst. But he was there when it counted. 

As usual, Twitter FTW.

The game was a frustrating but fun watch. I’m all in on Chris Webber as a commentator. Love his enthusiasm. This win puts Gonzaga into the Elite Eight for the third time in program history.