Short Nerd Chief

Final Thoughts on KU-Memphis: On The Shot and The Steal

Posted by Fred on April 9, 2008

ESPN Classic reran the 2008 NCAA Championship Game again last night as one of their Instant Classics (one that actually fit the moniker this time), and watching the last 2:12 over and over on the DVR, I became even more convinced that the key sequence isn’t at 0:10.8, although Super Mario’s three-pointer will live on in KU lore forever as The Shot.  It was the sequence from 2:12 to 1:54 that made The Shot possible.

2:12 — KU implements the Whack-A-Tiger strategy by fouling CDR out near half court.  Douglas-Roberts sinks both free throws, making the game 60-51.

2:12-1:54 — On the ensuing possession, Memphis extends the defense aggressively, and KU has clear trouble finding a shot.  Sherron Collins, Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers all get touches and Self’s offense runs a series of ball screens, to no avail.  Finally, Darrell Arthur hits a jumper just inside the arc to make it 60-53.  Arthur was, to little fanfare outside Lawrence, the Hawks’ second-leading scorer at 12.8 PPG.  Billy Packer called the shot the worst shot in basketball at that moment, given that it was a foot away from a three-pointer.  Packer’s wrong, as usual – Arthur only tried 12 three-pointers all year and made but 2.  At that point, you need a hoop, not necessarily a 3.  A busted KU possession, and it may have been 62-51, moving the game essentially out of reach.

1:54 — in what I still maintain was the cornerstone of the entire comeback, Sherron Collins steals the inbound pass and, three passes later, drains a 3 from the deep corner, making the game 60-56.  The steal and J completely changed the complexion of the game, putting significantly more pressure on the Tigers.  With that 3, the game was suddenly a two-possession game even without three-pointers.

The rest of the game has been told and retold incessantly. Collins and CDR both missed layups following a block and foul, respectively.  Memphis made the next two free throws, but then CDR and Rose combined to go 1-for-5 from the line.  Meanwhile, Arthur made another basket, Joey Dorsey committed a stupid foul, leading to his disqualification and two points for KU, all setting up Collins and Chalmers for their 8 seconds of fame.

So Chalmers has The Shot, but I’m going to make it my personal mission to get people to refer to The Steal.


One Response to “Final Thoughts on KU-Memphis: On The Shot and The Steal”

  1. Agree completely on that steal by Collins. Amazing play, steals the ball, somehow finds a man under the basket while falling out of bounds and then nailing the shot.

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