Left: the shot that almost won the game; courtesy Jeff Haynes/Reuters
Modern American sporting events occur in a world in which hyperbole is the norm, and I frequently hear commentators extolling a rather ordinary game in the most superfluous of rhetoric. Yet last night's incredible 61-59 Duke victory over Butler surely must rate as one of the best college basketball games in recent memory, and perhaps of all time.
This was one of those games in which a viewer is afraid to step away from the television for fear of missing an important moment. The lead changed 15 times, and neither team was able to create more than a six-point separation from the other squad.
And that Hoosiers-esque ending? Gordon Hayward with two chances to win the game for Butler, each of which landed mere millimeters away from making Butler the national champions. I was riveted to my television screen, and it almost seemed like a cruel joke when WTOL momentarily lost the signal with about thirty seconds left in the game. Yet the broadcast resumed in time for Hayward's desperation midcourt shot that almost... almost made history.
Congratulations to both teams, and the real winners last night were basketball fans like me.