B/R's March Madness Top Moments, No. 8: Mario Chalmers, for the Tie

Avi Wolfman-ArentCorrespondent IIMarch 14, 2013

Never in the long and distinguished history of Kansas basketball—from Naismith to Allen to Chamberlain to Manning—has there been a more celebrated shot than the one Mario Chalmers took, and hit, on April 7, 2008.

And the fact that he even had a chance to take it, well, that might be crazier than the shot itself.

With 2:12 remaining in their title-game tilt against Memphis, Chalmers' Jayhawks trailed 60-51. For the fifth time in the past 20 years, it appeared mighty Kansas would leave the Final Four empty-handed.

The comeback started innocently enough, with a two-point shot by forward Darrell Arthur. Guard Sherron Collins followed with a three. The lead still stood at four.

Then the collapse.

Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts missed one free throw. Then another. And another.

Kansas crawled closer. The capacity crowd in San Antonio grew tense.

Still up a pair with 10.8 seconds remaining, Memphis sent star freshman Derrick Rose to the line for two freebies. His first rattled out. His second went down.

The capacity crowd rumbled.

Kansas inbounded to Collins. After a moment's hesitation, the sophomore guard sprinted across half court—all the while veering toward Chalmers, who hovered in the right wing.

A bobble on the transfer carried Chalmers to the top of the key. With three seconds left, he let fly.

Quick release. Perfect rotation. Nylon.

The capacity crowd shook.

The teams went to overtime tied at 63. Five minutes later, Kansas was national champion.

After the game, Chalmers took full advantage of his newly acquired folk-hero status and all its revisionist latitude, telling Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl:

"As soon as it left my hand it felt good, and I knew it was going in. I just waited for it to hit the net."