A college basketball game ended Monday on a play that looks like something Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay drew up.
It was a Division III game between two New York City schools — Baruch College and the College of Staten Island.
Staten Island had just tied the game at 74 on a 3-pointer by Christian Taylor.
With 4.7 seconds left and the game tied at 74, Baruch’s Bryler Paige took the ball out under his own basketball. But the four other Bearcats lined up alongside him like they were in formation for a football play.
— Zak Boisvert (@ZakBoisvert) February 23, 2019
The Staten Island defense wasn’t quite sure how to cover that formation, so all five defenders moved up into the forecourt.
When the ref gave the ball to Paige to inbound, the four other players broke like they were running pass routes.
The player on the far end, Jack Sixsmith, ran in front of Paige and took the pass while the three others fanned out on either side of the court.
Sixsmith dribbled up the middle of the confused Staten Island defense and saw his teammate, Benjamin Boateng, wide open at the foul line. He passed to Boateng, who turned and drilled a jumper at the buzzer for the win.
Did I mention that it was a championship game?
Andre Harris was named the MVP of the 2018-19 @CUNYAC Basketball Championship Tournament! #BaruchCollege #BaruchBasketball #cunyac #cuny #d3h #TheCityPlaysHere #nyc @BaruchHoops @BaruchBearcatAD pic.twitter.com/nJfnTLh6k2
— BaruchAthletics (@BaruchAthletics) February 23, 2019
With the victory, Baruch won the CUNYAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament, according to the Baruch College Athletic Department.
Baruch coach John Alesi said he was inspired by a similar play he saw done by another college team.
“It was so unique and I saw the value in it. We didn’t run the same play, but it was the same concept,” he said. We’re wide receivers, thinking about running your route, and breaking off your route and coming back to the ball. I had it in the back of my mind that in the right spot, it would be a great way to get the ball in bounds,” Alesi said, reported The Washington Post.
The play that inspired him might have been this one, done by Northern Kentucky earlier this year against Wright State:
How AWESOME was this inbounds play from Northern Kentucky last night. pic.twitter.com/uE5Yiz0i2E
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) January 12, 2019
There was an NBA game in 2013 in which George Karl drew up a play with two players out of bounds to throw off the defense, but the NBA made it illegal the next year, according to SB Nation.
One wonders if we’ll see it outlawed next year in the NCAA.
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