Here's How Oakland Squandered A Late 11-Point Lead And Was Upset By Southern Utah

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"The Badlands Conference" is my favorite nickname for the Summit League, and it's an apt name given the conference tournament takes place in South Dakota, home to Badlands National Park. Last night's Summit quarterfinal between sixth-seed Southern Utah and third-seeded Oakland left the Golden Grizzlies in a very Bad place indeed, as they watched their 11-point lead disappear in the final minutes leading to an 84-82 Thunderbirds upset win. (This is the same Oakland team that beat Tennessee earlier in the season—a Tennessee team that ended up finishing 2nd in the SEC behind Kentucky.)

Especially Bad was the nation's leading scorer Reggie Hamilton. Here's a play-by-play of Hamilton in those final 153 seconds:

2:33 72-81 Reggie Hamilton Turnover.
2:22 74-81 Reggie Hamilton missed Jumper.
1:28 76-81 Reggie Hamilton missed Free Throw.
1:28 76-81 Reggie Hamilton missed Free Throw.
1:16 79-81 Reggie Hamilton missed Free Throw.
1:16 79-82 Reggie Hamilton made Free Throw.
0:05 84-82 Reggie Hamilton missed Jumper.


Hamilton averaged 87.4% from the line this season, so it's astonishing he went cold so quickly. He wasn't exactly smart with the ball, either—shooting with 32 seconds left on the shot clock while up late casts real doubt on his decision-making ability.

Reggie's a senior, and if the NBA doesn't come calling he's certainly got a long career waiting for him overseas. But it's sad to see a star player go out on such a disturbingly bad—sorry, Bad—note. That's not to take any credit away from Southern Utah, which hit all the right shots (if somehow missing the two free throws that would have put it away in the final seconds) and moves on to face South Dakota State in the Summit semis.