- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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There is a decent chance you were sleeping when Saint Mary's guard Matthew Dellavedova hit the buzzer-beater of the season to knock off BYU in Provo on Wednesday night. If that is the case, you should watch the video now:
I mean … what a shot, and what a play. Dellavedova somehow creates enough momentum with the catch and dribble to get to 40-ish feet within 2.5 seconds, at which point he euro-steps a defender, hops, double-clutches, hangs, and hits, followed by what must have been the single most ecstatic few seconds of his life. That celebration! Delly marches down the opposing team's floor, screaming and fist-pumping in a gym full of wailing white-shirted souls, not at all unlike that classic Michael Jordan-Cleveland Cavaliers finish. If heaven is real, and you get to choose your own adventure, I think most basketball players would sign up for this portion of the festivities.
But I have to say, watching the final few possessions of that game, I feel especially bad for BYU forward Tyler Haws. Because his might have been better.
Of course, Haws' shot wasn't actually the game-winner. But as you saw on the video, on the penultimate possession, the Cougars got the ball to Haws on the wing with about 7 seconds left. He probably caught the ball too far away from the hoop, honestly, especially with his back to the basket. Instead of panicking, though,he doesn't hesitate for more than a second. He doesn't even try to face up. Instead, he brings his right leg through, which gets him close enough to the lane to make his first step with his left. He does, and then Haws lands again on his right -- the wrong foot for the shot, by the way -- then starts falling away and twisting in midair while two Gaels defenders reach out in desperation. And the thing is just … buckets.
When you make a shot like that with 2.5 seconds left, nine times out of 10 you win the game. Actually, correction: According to Ken Pomeroy's math (his win probability scores track these sorts of things, naturally) you win that game *9.5* times out of 10. Plus, I'd guess that given the type of shot Dellevadova took, it might even be higher than that. You simply don't see too many double-clutch 40-footers go down.
Haws' shot was clinical and polished and just like, have this -- honestly, it reminded me of Dirk Nowitzki. Dellevadova's, mind-blowing though it was, was a kiss from the basketball gods.
I like them both equally. Considering what Dellevadova did Wednesday night ... yeah. What a finish.