Mario's Miracle: April 7th, 2008
The referee hands Derrick Rose the ball for his second free throw. He pumps the ball above his head, then takes four dribbles. He looks at the rim, then hits the second free throw with 10.8 seconds left. The rest of the players go to the other side of the court beside Rose, Sherron Collins, and Darnell Jackson.
Nearly every fan, player, walk-on, coach, assistant coach, ball-boy, ball-girl, NBA scout, stadium worker, and the rest of the 43,257 people attending have stood up and turned to the court to watch this last play. Jackson inbounds the ball to Collins, who waits for Jackson to clear out of the way.
Sherron Collins then takes three left hand dribbles. Derrick Rose moves up on him as if he was going to attempt to foul. Collins fakes right then dribbles left leaving Rose chasing behind him. Collins takes five dribbles down the court with Rose right on his tail.
When Collins gets to about the NBA three-point line, Rose is body to body with him. Rose then holds up both his arms, which is the action players usually use to show they are not trying to foul.
Right now Mario Chalmers is finishing his right side curl up to the three point line with Antonio Anderson guarding him. Rose and Collins were going so fast down the court, and Rose was guarding Collins so heavily, that Collins loses control of the ball and almost turns it over. But he then grabs it and flips it to Chalmers while Collins is falling to the ground and sliding to the right corner of the court.
Chalmers receives Collins' shovel pass at his right shoulder with 4.9 seconds left in the game. Derrick Rose immediately comes off Collins and onto Chalmers. Robert Dozier leaves the lane and Darnell Jackson (who he was guarding) to come up and double team Chalmers with Rose.
6-foot-1 Chalmers takes one quick dribble with his left hand, then jumps from a little to the right of the top of the key, just high enough so the ball arcs over both 6-foot-3 Derrick Rose and 6-foot-9 Robert Dozier.
Sherron Collins is still sitting in the corner as if he was laying down watching a movie, waiting for the ball to go in or miss. Darnell Jackson, Brandon Rush, and Darrell Arthur are all in the lane during the shot. Derrick Rose turns around in the air as he is contesting the shot to see if it goes in.
The ball nearly touches Rose's and Dozier's fingertips before in falls in the net, not hitting any part of the rim. If you watch closely, you can see that Brandon Rush yells into Chris Douglas-Robert's face after Chalmers nails the three. At that time every Kansas fan in the Alamo Dome, and probably every single one watching that game on national television, go absolutely ballistic.
They do this for a very short period of time, because they now remember Memphis has 2.1 seconds to inbound the ball and possibly make a halfcourt shot to win the game. Antonio Anderson, who was guarding Mario Chalmers, gets the ball and looks for someone to inbound too. Derrick Rose calls for the ball as he is running up to the free throw line, but Anderson finds Dozier open on the left side just before half court.
Dozier gets the ball, takes one right handed dribble and shoots it from halfcourt with Collins and Chalmers slightly contesting it. The ball travels through the air, hits the top of the back board and the game is forced into overtime with the score tied 63 to 63. Kansas eventually wins the game 75 to 68.
Chalmers is named Final Four most outstanding player, and his shot will be remembered as one of the best, if not the best, shots ever in NCAA history.
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