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NCAA Tournament: Looking back on Bryce Drew's buzzer-beater

The Oklahoman's Mike Baldwin looks back on Valparaiso's win on Bryce Drew's buzzer-beater in Oklahoma City.
by Michael Baldwin Modified: March 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm •  Published: March 11, 2013
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photo - NCAA MIDWEST REGIONAL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AT THE MYRIAD: Valparaiso players smother the player who scored at the buzzer, Bryce Drew, to defeat the University of Mississippi in basketball.
NCAA MIDWEST REGIONAL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AT THE MYRIAD: Valparaiso players smother the player who scored at the buzzer, Bryce Drew, to defeat the University of Mississippi in basketball.

Some plays you instantly know are highlights that will be replayed for decades.

Valparaiso winning on Bryce Drew's buzzer-beater 15 years ago in Oklahoma City is one of the most famous plays in NCAA Tournament history. It's a classic example of a Cinderella story that represents March Madness.

Drew draining an on-the-run 3-pointer off a 60-foot pass to upset Mississippi was a play everyone inside the Myriad — now the Cox Center — will remember the rest of their lives.

Valpo probably had around 1,000 fans make the trip from Indiana for the afternoon session. It wasn't a capacity crowd. Still, after Drew drained the shot, a unique roar filled the Myriad. The arena buzzed long after the final horn.

“Did-you-see-that?” moments are special.

Reporters discovered in postgame interviews the play was called Pacer. Drew talked about how he practiced making that type of shot since he was a young boy.

A veteran sports writer inevitably witnesses buzzer-beaters, game-winning touchdowns, etc. Several games stand out whether my beat was the Thunder, OU, OSU, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers or high schools.

My personal list includes: John Elway's helicopter-spin run in the Broncos' first Super Bowl win; Don Dinkinger's missed call in the 1985 World Series; John Lucas' shot that helped lift Oklahoma State to the Final Four; the Sooners dogpiling after winning the College World Series.

But for one individual play, Bryce Drew's shot off a perfectly executed play called Pacer will always top my list.

by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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