Here marks the beginning of the new tradition here at Pressing Coverage. Every Friday one of our authors will reflect on a big/famous play that stood out to them. There will be a video of the play followed by a brief reflection on that play from the author. Considering that we are right in the middle of March Madness, what better play to start this tradition off than…
Kemba Walker’s Buzzer Beater Against Pitt
Dirtiest. Step back. Ever. Kemba Walker was one of those players that just took over for his team in the month of March. He helped guide the UCONN Huskies to a national championship in 2011. I’m sorry coach Dixon, I love you, but cardiac Kemba was one of the greatest tournament stories of my life time.
UCONN had slipped to 9th in the Big East, but they battled their way all the way through to the 3rd round where they faced #1 seed Pittsburgh. The game went back and forth the entire time…and then Kemba stepped in and stepped back.
If Walker didn’t have your attention before, he certainly did from this moment on. He would lead the Huskies to win the Big East tournament, securing the tournament’s MVP award. Next stop the tournament. The big dance. March madness.
Walker put on performance after performance, leading the Huskies to a comfortable elite eight appearance. Then came the Wildcats of Arizona. In a game that almost had me bouncing off the walls of my house. Till this day when I see the missed 3 buzzer beater by ‘Zona, my heart stops every time.
Then the Final Four game against Kentucky, where they won 56-55. The white and blue came back from down by 10 at half to give the Huskies quite the scare, but they couldn’t out beat cardiac Kemba at his own game. The Huskies would go on to win the championship game against Butler, and UCONN would hoist up its 4th men’s basketball national championship.
Walker may not have been the greatest college player of all time, but he was one of the best tournament players of the decade. In fact, I wouldn’t even call Kemba a Cinderella story, more of a crime story, because Kemba Walker was an ice cold killer in the month of March.