Friday, July 30, 2010

Flashback Friday: 'The Shot' Featuring Mario Chalmers and The Kansas Jayhawks

Posted by CoHoops DeAnte Mitchell
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Back in 2008' the Memphis Tigers landed Derrick Rose. Coming out of high school, Rose was considered to be one of the best athletes in his recruiting class. Once he landed in Memphis, people foresaw a huge turnaround in for the program.

With Rose, Memphis climbed to the No. 1 overall ranking that year. Along with Chris Douglas-Roberts, Joey Dorsey and Robert Dozier, the Tigers were poised to win the National Championship.

In fact, once Selection Sunday came around, the Memphis Tigers were slapped with a No. 1 seed.

A few weeks later, they were in the National Championship game facing off against the Kansas Jayhawks.

The Kansas Jayhawks impressed a lot of people with their play that season. They came in with 30-plus wins and a blowout win against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the game before.

It almost seemed like their depth and talent would come away with the win. But Memphis and their talented athletes thought otherwise.

Once the game started, Memphis jumped out to an early (3-9) lead. But Kansas quickly matched that and knotted the score up.

From then on, the Tigers would get down and claw back into the lead; same with the Jayhawks.

This was exactly the game we wanted to see in the National Championship.

At the half, the Jayhawks held a slight five point advantage over the Tigers. Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush found there sweet spots in the first half. 

However, coming out in the second, Douglas-Roberts limited the production of Rush.

That allowed the Tigers room for error. Once they took Rush out the game, the other players were forced to step up. But that also helped Memphis because they took the lead late in the second half.

With the score (47-46) Rose scored five straight points to push the lead out to (47-51). Soon after that, Memphis had the momentum and it looked like the Jayhawks were ready to give up. 

The lead was as high as (51-60) before the Jayhawks finally made plays.

With 1:39 seconds left on the clock, Douglas-Roberts nailed a free-throw that put the Tigers up by six.

However, Dorsey fouled Chalmers and he nailed the free-throws that brought the lead to four. 

Soon after, Chalmers sent Douglas-Roberts to the line where he missed the front-in of the one-and-one.

Then Kansas' Darrell Arthur came down and hit a jumper to pull within two.

That's when free-throws started to become crucial for the Tigers. With 16 seconds left on the clock and a chance to ice the game, Douglas-Roberts missed both free-throws.

However, Memphis gathered the offensive rebound and sent freshman Rose to the line. He missed the first one but made the second.

The first one would have put him in good company and gave the Tigers a four-point lead—the company that leads their teams to National Championship victories as a true freshman.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
However, his miss would be Chalmers gain. With the clock ticking down, the Jayhawks ran a play; got Chalmers the ball and he nailed the three-point shot.

It wasn't a great look but it was decent; a very tough shot but Chalmers nailed it.

With no answer, the game went into overtime. 

Now, before we get into the overtime period its beneficial to know that Dorsey fouled out in the second period. He displayed good defense against Darnell Jackson.

Following the shot by Chalmers, Memphis reached overtime holding on by a strand. They weren't able to hold the league or knock down free-throws.

Now with the Jayhawks having the momentum heading into overtime, the game was over.

The Jayhawks scored, grabbed almost every rebound and didn't need a miracle to sink the Tigers in overtime. In fact, the Jayhawks grabbed seven rebounds versus the two acquired by the Tigers—one of which came from the possession arrow.

Overall, the Tigers couldn't capitalize at the line, on defense or secure the lead—that all spelled defeat and the Jayhawks marched home as the winner.

As for Chalmers shot that sent the game into overtime; classic. "It'll probably be the biggest shot ever made in Kansas history," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "I had a good look at it," Chalmers said. "When it left my hands it felt like it was good, and it just went in."

(Flashback Friday is a segment CoHoops does every week. If you missed last weeks segment of Flashback Friday, click here to read. To review the series click here)

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