The Oregon State Beavers entered their season finale needing some serious help to get in the NCAA tournament. Getting a victory over UCLA would certainly help their case, and the Beavers got said help in most of the most emphatic and dramatic ways possible.

All of it courtesy of a very famous name — Gary Payton. No, not the glove, but GP2…a.k.a Gary Payton II.

With Oregon State up just two (84-82) and the Bruins with the ball for what should’ve been the last play of the game. Instead, GP2 had other ideas and got the steal and the pass from a teammate for what can only be described as the most emphatic ending to a college basketball game this season.

Payton II’s last-second dunk clinched an 86-82 victory and put Oregon State firmly on the NCAA tournament bubble. The Beavers finished the regular season with an 18-11 record overall, while putting up a 9-9 record in Pac-12 play.

He is averaging 15.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season and is likely in line for all-conference honors at the end of this season. Payton II is also top 10 in steals nationally and is shooting 52 percent on his two-point attempts on the year.

As for what his exclamation-point dunk and subsequent victory for the Beavers does to their NCAA tournament hopes — things are apparently looking up.

Currently ESPN’s bracketology expert, Joe Lunardi, has the Beavers in the NCAA tournament. However, they are likely to face a play-in game and Lunardi has them facing off with UConn for a No. 11 seed and a date with 6th-seeded Wisconsin.

More of these types of clutch plays from Gary Payton II in the upcoming Pac-12 tournament and the Beavers may be squarely off the bubble and in the tournament.


About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a contributor to The Comeback as well as Publisher of Big Ten site talking10. He also is a member of the FWAA and has been covering college sports since 2011. Andy is an avid soccer fan and runs the Celtic FC site The Celtic Bhoys. If he's not writing about sports, you can find him enjoying them in front of the TV with a good beer!