The best buzzer hitters are the ones where the play-by-play guy’s reaction is our whole reaction, when he yells just because, like the rest of us, yelling is the only reaction.
We had a Thursday night when Rutgers upset No. 1 Purdue in a wild game that featured three lead changes in the final 15 seconds and Ron Harper Jr. – the latter son of a former Bull to hit a big buzzer-beater this week – take the ball into the backcourt, take four dribbles, take a euro pass between two Boilermakers in a runner one pass through half court who entered jingling with the honking of the horn while the ball was still in mid-flight.
He points to the bench running on the pitch to assault Harper, and the fans rushing into a frenzy on the pitch, with the Scarlet Knight’s head swinging in the midst of it all.
It was Rutgers’ first win over a No.1 team, and it came against a Purdue team that just hit the top spot in the AP poll for the first time in the program’s history. Here is another view.
In case you were wondering, yes, Ron Harper Jr. is Ron Harper’s son. Yes, Purdue has an expected pick in the top 10. His name is Jaden Ivey, he’s a second-year shooting guard, and he went 5-9 for 15 points in the defeat.
Here’s Harper on the final shot (via the AP):
“I picked up these guys and said, God forbid they score, give me the ball and I’ll send them home. Mawot [Mag] he found me quickly and I was able to cut the field in about three seconds and I threw up one. “
Obviously, not a super fun night for Boilermaker fans, who lost on that shot to a team that is now 5-4. Fans crying over the clock operator should know that a small delay from the home team is standard, and even just listen to your manager, Matt Painter.
“When you go away, you have to be 10 points better than someone, because if you let them get close, crazy things can happen. Obviously, it was a once-in-a-lifetime shot, but we allowed it to come close. “
It was crazy, it was once in a lifetime, but better yet, it was college basketball at its best.
Pandemonium in Piscataway… Still!