It took until March 6, but the madness has officially arrived.
Sunday afternoon, college basketball fans saw just about the coolest thing that can happen in March: a buzzer-beater in a win-or-go-home game.
Northern Iowa and Evansville were tied at 54 with only seconds to play in the Missouri Valley Conference title game and an NCAA Tournament bid on the line, when Panthers leading scorer Wes Washpun did this:
NORTHERN IOWA WINS AT THE BUZZER TO GO TO THE NCAA TOURNAMENT https://t.co/kLgo4dCDZb
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 6, 2016
It doesn’t get much better than a high bounce off the rim that falls through just as the buzzer sounds.
And so Northern Iowa heads to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, after being bounced in the Round of 32 last year. Of course, the Panthers’ most famous moment came in 2010, when Ali Farokhmanesh and company upset top-seeded Kansas to reach the Sweet 16.
Evansville, meanwhile, has not reached the big dance since 1999, despite several close calls in recent years.