Each day, AllHoosiers.com has a new installment in “The Greatest” series that will chronicle some of the top players, teams and performances in Indiana basketball history.
The first top 10 countdown looked at some of the top individual performances in IU history. Beginning today, we’ll look at the best last-second shots in Indiana history. p>
NO. 10: Will Sheehey LIFTS IU INTO THE SWEET SIXTEEN
The subjective part of “last-second” shots is determining what that means. Does it mean a shot at the buzzer? A shot in the closing seconds? A big game winning shot?
For the most part, all of the shots in The Greatest Series over the next several days are shots at the buzzer of in the final second or two. This one is the exception.
That is in part because it was difficult to find 10 buzzer-beating game-winning shots for the Hoosiers and second because this was simply an important shot in the final seconds of a game in recent memory.
In the 2011-12 season, Indiana basketball was making a comeback. The Hoosiers had found their way back into the top 20 after Christian Watford’s game-winner against Kentucky and would ultimately receive a No. 4 seed in the NCAA South Region and would travel to Portland, Oregon to face No. 13 New Mexico State. Jordan Hulls had 22 points including four 3-pointers to lead IU to a 79-66 victory and a date with VCU.
VCU was a much more difficult opponent and led IU by nine at 57-48 with 12:28 to play. But IU rallied to tie the game in the final minute and VCU missed a 3-point shot with 23 seconds to play. The ball was rebounded by Victor Oladipo. Instead of holding on to the ball for the last shot though, Oladipo raced down the floor and tried to score on a drive.
He missed and the ball was deflected out to Will Sheehey on the baseline. Sheehey didn’t hesitate. He knocked down a 10-foot jumper with 12.7 seconds to play that was the game-winner in a 63-61 victory over VCU.
A last second shot? That may be stretching it. But it was a shot in the closing seconds that was huge in IU history and lifted the Hoosiers to the Sweet Sixteen where they would play the No. 1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats for the second time.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch