Freshman catapults school to 1st 'March Madness' berth since '09 on buzzer beater


It’s not officially March Madness yet, but the madness has already begun.

On Sunday, Radford University secured its first berth in the NCAA tournament since 2009 in the most dramatic fashion possible.

With just seconds left and the score tied at 52, Radford freshman Carlik Jones caught the inbounds pass with orders to take the last shot.

Jones looked for a pick but didn’t get one, so he dribbled to his spot and drained a three-pointer as time expired to give Radford a 55-52 win over Liberty University.

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With that shot, Radford (22-12) won the Big South Conference and punched its ticket to the big dance.

And the home crowd went wild.

Here it is from courtside.

Do you think Radford will make it far in the NCAA tournament?

It was a heartbreak for Liberty, who finished 20-14.

“I had to let it go,” Jones said after the game, as reported by The Associated Press.  ”You shoot it, and I looked at it after a while and I was like, ‘That’s good.”’

”It’s one of the greatest feelings ever.”

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To get to the conference title game, Radford first had to defeat Longwood and Winthrop.

“Everybody’s shocked because nobody believed in us but Radford,” said forward Ed Polite Jr. “We played with that chip on our shoulder the whole year.”

Now they will take that chip into the NCAA tournament.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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