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.