West Texas A&M Hits Wild Buzzer Beater in Division-II Men’s Final Four

In Friday’s Hot Clicks: a frantic finish in the men's D-II Final Four, a very angry NHL general manager and more.
Author:
Publish date:

March is mad at all levels of the NCAA

As hectic as this year’s edition of March Madness has been, buzzer beaters have been in short supply. We haven’t seen any in the Division-I men’s tournament (although Virginia Tech’s Naheim Alleyne hit a game-tying shot with 1.4 seconds left against Florida) and Jordan Nixon’s coast-to-coast game-winner on Wednesday was the only one of the D-I women’s tourney. But there are other NCAA tournaments going on, and the smaller schools are providing memorable moments as well.

In the D-II men’s Final Four on Thursday, West Texas A&M advanced to the title game by defeating Lincoln Memorial on a buzzer beater following a frantic sequence in the final seconds.

West Texas trailed by as many as 11 in the second half, and hadn’t led since it was 4–2 less than two minutes into the game. But the Buffaloes clawed back and were in position to try to win it with the ball under their own basket, trailing by two and 7.5 seconds on the clock.

Qua Grant’s driving layup went begging but in the ensuing scramble for the rebound, the ball magically floated out beyond the arc and into the hands of Zach Toussaint who calmly buried a high-arcing three. (Do not overlook Toussaint’s dramatic follow-through.)

The basket was Toussaint’s only make of the game. He’s the team’s three-point specialist, shooting 44.1% from three while taking nearly all of his shots from behind the arc, but he was 0-for-4 until the game-winner.

With the win, West Texas, a No. 1 seed, advanced to face Northwest Missouri State in the title game at noon ET Saturday on CBS. The Buffaloes have been to the Elite Eight in each of the past three tournaments, but have never won a national championship.

Northwest Missouri State was on the wrong side of another unbelievable buzzer beater just a few weeks ago in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championship game when Washburn’s Tyler Geiman pulled up from well behind midcourt and ended the Bearcats’ streak of five straight conference titles.

And whenever something ridiculous happens in a lower-level tournament game, it’s a good excuse to revisit the unbelievable ending to the 2007 Winona State-Barton D-II championship game.

The best of SI

Porter Moser is the best fit for Indiana’s coaching vacancy, as long as he wants to leave Loyola Chicago. ... Who are the dark horses to reach the men’s Final Four? ... The biggest winners and losers of the NBA trade deadline

Around the sports world

Broadcaster Dick Stockton is retiring after a 55-year career. ... Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills told a story about getting in a fight with Kevin Bacon at a barbershop. ... Brett Favre said he had suicidal thoughts at the low point of his painkiller addiction. ... White Sox slugger Eloy Jiménez will be out as long as six months after tearing a pectoral muscle while trying to rob a home run during a spring training game

You think the GM of a last-place team would be used to losing heartbreakers

Very cool

The Sounders have new purple uniforms in honor of Seattle’s own Jimi Hendrix

He thought he was being reunited with Frank Ntilikina, but...

Unbelievable

Aaron Judge’s first homer of the spring was a monster

I had not considered this logistical hurdle

Pablo Torre was the Drake to Darryl Morey’s Kyle Lowry

Not sports

Bo Burnham is going to play Larry Bird in the HBO series about the Showtime Lakers. ... The Maine state legislature is considering a proposal to allow Viking-style funeral pyres. ... A Toronto subway station was closed after a beaver walked in. ... A Georgia man got his final paycheck from his employer in the form of 91,500 greasy pennies. ... A weatherman in Alabama learned live on the air that his house had been hit by a tornado and kept broadcasting

Two people and two dogs were rescued from a truck dangling from a bridge

I must have the Dorito cake

Like trying to empty the ocean with a spoon

A good song

Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.