Down by two points with seven seconds remaining and without possession of the basketball, Missouri State was in need of a minor miracle just to force overtime against Illinois State on Sunday night. Best-case scenario would be a steal and a game-tying bucket, and the next best would be a quick foul, putting Illinois State at the free throw line. There, you'd have to hope they either missed one of two free throws or both, and two made free throws effectively ends the game. Even if they hit one, they could go with the foul strategy and not allow Missouri State to shoot a three. This was all a very long-winded way of saying the odds were not in Missouri State's favor.
What happened next? None of the above. Instead, one of the more chaotic seven-second sequences of basketball you'll ever witness happened. A steal from Missouri State, a steal back by Illinois State, a loose ball, bodies on the floor, men being thrown overboard, grenades flying everywhere. It absolute and utter insanity. Have a watch and you'll see what we mean:
To borrow a phrase from the great hockey commentator Doc Emrick, that was Helter Skelter action, all culminating with the desperation heave to end all desperation heaves by Missouri State guard Tyrik Dixon. You will not see a more ridiculous buzzer beater this season in college basketball. First, they got the steal with ample time to tie or go for the win, but then gave the ball right back. After a game of hot potato broke out, it somehow ended up in the hands of Dixon and the rest is history. What a wild win, and one that could be big for the Bears come March. The victory ties them with Illinois State for the second-best record in the Missouri Valley Conference, as both teams try to chase down last year's Cinderella team Loyola-Chicago for the first overall seed in the MVC tournament.