Fran McCaffery had to wait all season for his veteran team to defeat a high-profile opponent, but his Saints finally won a big game. Behind the clutch shooting of Ronald Moore, they knocked off the eighth seeded Ohio State Buckeyes in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
After Evan Turner's layup gave Ohio State a 72-71 lead with 19 seconds left in the second overtime, Moore pushed the ball up the court so the Saints could get a quick shot.
Moore sent the ball to the left wing, but Edwin Ubiles was unable to drive by his defender and passed it back to Moore. Seeing he was wide open, and remembering that he forced the second overtime with a game-tying three, Moore set himself, cocked the ball, and shot it.
Time stopped as the ball was released from Moore's unconventional, but effective, shooting motion. Both benches were on their feet. Of course, the Buckeyes were clutching one another by the arms, praying for a miss.
On the other end, the Saints stood, hoping that Moore's clutch hand would not fail them. That's what March Madness is all about, right?
The ball went through the net with 12 seconds left and Thad Matta called timeout. Matta was incapable of designing a play that would give Ohio State a chance to win. Turner was forced to shoot a contested leaning two which rimmed out, giving Siena a Sunday match with top-ranked Louisville.
Although the Cardinals won the Big East and routed Morehead State in the first round, don't expect the Saints to go down easily.
While Siena has struggled against strong defensive teams, they have been able to stay in every game with their own defense and balanced scoring attack. They may not have a match for Samardo Samuels, but it's March Madness, anything can happen.