Weird. I wasn't aware that I had fallen asleep for four months and woken up in the middle of March.
Or at least that's what Butler's Rotnei Clarke's game-winner against Marquette made the start of the Maui Invitational feel like. It felt like madness. It felt like it was March already.
More importantly, it feels like we're in for an insane season of college basketball.
After the Golden Eagles' Junior Cadougan, who had been so good all game, made just one of his two free throws, Clarke took the ball down the court with Butler trailing 71-69 with just 10 seconds left.
It looked like disaster at first.
Clarke, an Arkansas transfer in his first year with Butler, had trouble simply getting the ball past half court. He was cut off on every move he made, but you would be crazy to think one of the best shooters in college basketball was about to give the ball up.
Even if it probably would have been the smart move.
Clarke, while hounded by multiple Marquette defenders, heaved up a shot-put type thing from about 30 feet away and absolutely drilled it.
The sharpshooting senior, who is no stranger to threes from that distance, was pressured by the Golden Eagles all day, and ended up with an inefficient 20 points on 7-of-21 shooting (4-of-14 from long distance).
Nonetheless, he made the shot that mattered.
This instantly goes down as a top nominee for play of the year, and it's going to be tough to beat, but knowing college basketball—heck, knowing the Maui Invitational—it's going to soon have some competition.