How many times have you watched Jalen Adams' 70-foot buzzer-beater to force quadruple overtime between UConn and Cincinnati? Whatever the answer, it is one too few. Watch it again.
This is one of the most amazing finishes imaginable. Not just a 70-footer, but a 70-footer in triple overtime executed in 0.8 seconds instants after a go-ahead three-pointer the other way. One team went from sure victory to shock in an instant, the other went from certain defeat to complete jubilation. And then they played five more minutes. By the way, Adams isn't even a good shooter -- he's hit just 19.4 percent of threes in his freshman year. Every aspect of the game was ridiculous.
But I think it's even more ridiculous when we think about the context of the situation. Connecticut entered Friday on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, and as the last at-large team in the field in the Bracket Matrix, a site that weighs where every available bracketologist on the Internet places every team.
(The teams in bold are expected to win conference tournaments, hypothetically taking their tourney destiny out of the selection committee's hands.)
Joe Lunardi, the world's most prominent bracketologist, had the Huskies among his First Four Out.
If UConn lost in triple overtime, their NCAA Tournament hopes would've taken a huge hit. Selection committee members who thought the Huskies were worth a tourney spot before Friday would've bumped them down after a loss to a fellow bubble team, and they'd never have a chance to change the minds of those who thought they didn't deserve a spot.
This win might be enough to put them in the tournament. For what it's worth, Cincinnati is probably safe. Only two of the many, many brackets in the Bracket Matrix didn't list the Bearcats in the field.
This is one of the weird things about college basketball. What gets you into the tournament is how the NCAA Tournament committee interprets your resume. Although they look at some advanced metrics, it generally comes down to who you played and whether you won or lost. In the eyes of the committee, UConn's miracle win is just a win, and Cincinnati's absurd loss is just a loss.
Except it's even more important for UConn. Because not only do they get another quality win under their belts, they stay alive and get to continue adding to their resume. Maybe they can even win the dang tournament and take it out of the selection committee's hands entirely.
March is weird and wonderful.