The best buzzer beaters are the ones when the play-by-play guy’s reaction is all our reactions, when he just screams because, like the rest of us, yelling is the only reaction.
We had one Thursday night as Rutgers upset No. 1 Purdue in a wild game that featured three lead changes in the final 15 seconds, and Ron Harper Jr. — the second son of a former Bull to hit a big buzzer-beater this week — getting the ball in the backcourt, taking four dribbles, euro-stepping between two Boilermakers into a runner a step across half court that rattled in with the horn sounding as the ball was still mid-flight.
Cue the bench running on the court to mob Harper, and the fans rushing the court in delirium, with the bobbing head of the Scarlet Knight amid it all.
It was Rutgers’ first win over a No. 1-ranked team, and it came against a Purdue team who just reached No. 1 in the AP Poll for the first time in program history. Here’s another view.
In case you were wondering, yes, Ron Harper Jr. is that Ron Harper’s son. Yes, Purdue has a projected top-10 pick. His name is Jaden Ivey, he’s a sophomore shooting guard, and he went 5-9 for 15 points in the loss.
Here’s Harper on the final shot (via the AP):
“I huddled these guys up, and I’m like, God forbid they score, give me the ball, and I’m going to send them home. Mawot [Mag] found me quickly and I was able to cut up the court in like three seconds and I threw one up.”
Obviously, not a super fun night for Boilermaker fans, who lost on that shot to a team that’s now 5-4. The fans crying about the clock operator should know a little lag from the home crew is standard, and also just listen to your coach, Matt Painter.
“When you go on the road, you gotta be 10 points better than somebody, because if you allow it to be close, crazy things can happen. Obviously, that was a once-in-a-lifetime shot, but we allowed it to be close.”
That was crazy, that was once-in-a-lifetime, but better yet, that was college basketball at it’s finest.
Pandemonium in Piscataway… Again!