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.
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.
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.”
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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