Rules today could have given Syracuse one last shot vs. Indiana

Keith Smart's shot beat Syracuse for the 1987 national title.

Keith Smart’s shot beat Syracuse for the 1987 national title.


Syracuse meets Indiana tonight in the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen.

Thoughts of those of us old enough to have sat on the edge of chairs all over Central New York as Keith Smart’s corner jumper went through the net must go back to the matchup of the Orange and Hoosiers for the 1987 national championship.

Have you watched the clip on CBS or closed your eyes?

Me, I just viewed it again on YouTube. My eyes were glued to the bottom right corner of the screen.

I tried to figure the exact time left in the game when Smart’s shot exited the net. My best estimate puts somewhere very close to four as the Syracuse players look stricken. The clock goes down to one second before a timeout is called. Pretty much, game over.

But if today’s technology and rules had applied:

The clock would have shown tenths of a second. And the clock-keeper would have stopped the clock without the need of a timeout after the shot cleared the net. Afterward, officials would have watched a replay monitor to gauge the exact time left.

Best I can figure, Syracuse would have had the chance to inbound the ball with, oh, 4.1 seconds remaining.

Would Derrick Coleman, Sherman Douglas, Howard Triche or another Orange player been able to hit a reasonable-range shot to put Syracuse back ahead?

We’ll never know. But I’ll wonder again as the ball goes up for the starting tap tonight.

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3 thoughts on “Rules today could have given Syracuse one last shot vs. Indiana

  1. History is written in stone. Unchangeable unless you subscribe to the Democratic revisionist history story.

    What I remember in that game was Derrick Coleman being a beast on the boards. 19 rebounds. Yet he only took 7 shots. It seemed that Sherman Douglas monopolized the ball too much. That Indiana’s bench scored ZERO. And yes that the Syracuse players looked helpless as the ball passed through net.

    Tonight; like you and I; Syracuse and Indiana have a chance to write history. The Orange with their zone is just the type of team that could give IU fits. We’ll see what history is written. The greatest knowledge is that sports always was and always will be the ultimate reality TV show.

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  2. Yes, indeed, MC, history is carved on the old, stone tablet and googled on the new iPad and other new-fangled tablets. This what-if, though, surely should be mulled over on the day of this particular matchup. I picked Syracuse on my bracket tonight. Who do you have?

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  3. IU my Orangeblooded Turtle. Sorry. Here’s some tidbits for consumption on the Sweet 16.

    12 of the 16 remaining have won National Championships (Oregon won in 1939)

    First time ever Michigan and Michigan State have been in the Sweet 16 together

    At least 5 Players are playing whose Dad’s have played in the NCAA. Can you name them?

    Talk about Cinderella? Fourth year in a row at least three double-digit seeds have reached the Sweet 16.

    3 teams from Florida in Sweet 16

    6 Sweet 16 coaches have won National Championships including Jim Boeheim

    Enjoy the weekend Mark

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