NCAA Tournament brackets won't be filled out for another week, but March Madness has already reached its peak in Ardsley, New York, thanks to its high school basketball team. On Saturday night, the Panthers won their first Section 1 championship in 60 years. And they did it on a play that may not be replicated anywhere again for at least that long.
With Ardsley trailing by two points and just 2.4 seconds left in the Class A final, Tappan Zee inbounded the ball underneath their own basket. A long pass was then stolen by Ardsley's Julian McGarvey some 70 feet away. It shouldn't have mattered, but unfortunately for the Dutchmen (Great mascot), McGarvey happens to be a star quarterback signed to play for Marist College's football team this fall. Check out what happened in the incredible footage captured by two of my friends and former colleagues, Josh Thomson and Kevin Devaney Jr., who were fortunate enough to see this sports miracle in person -- and smart enough to have their phones out.
The most incredible part of all of this is that it happened on the five-year anniversary of another New York State Section 1 title game buzzer-beater gone viral -- which is probably in part why Josh and Kevin whipped their phones out. There's a good chance you've seen a clip of the steal-and-heave of New Rochelle's Khalil Edney, who also happened to be a quarterback, to beat New York state power Mount Vernon in 2013:
In my opinion, that is still the craziest finish to a basketball game I've ever seen. However, McGarvey's shot had a higher degree of difficulty (Yes, he also just might have shuffled his feet, but shhh. . . Unless you're named Joey Crawford, you're not making that call in that spot.)
Anyway, Ardsley used to be a big rival when I played basketball for Pelham (Go Pelicans! Yes, our mascot was a pelican. . .) back in the day, but good for them for ending that title drought of six decades. Here are a couple other angles of the unbelievable play:
I love how you hear the guy just go "No!" as the shot is in the air in that last one. What a brutal loss.
This is the cool treatment The Journal News gave "THE HEAVE" for Sunday's sports section:
And here was the hero's interview on ESPN SportsCenter. Yep, this led off the 11 p.m. show of SportsCenter.
"It's hot, it hurts . . . but I wouldn't have traded it for the world," said McGarvey, who had missed two free throws with 3.9 seconds left, of being under the celebratory pile. "It's an unreal feeling, it's an unreal day to make that shot. It's changed my life in a matter of hours."
McGarvey's squad now heads to the state tournament. Regardless of that result, though, this is all anyone in the area is going to be talking about for awhile.