We are officially in March.
USC Upstate defeated Gardner-Webb in the quarterfinal of the Big South tournament on Friday thanks to an absolutely bonkers sequence of events in the final 10 seconds of the game.
Down 76-71 after a pair of free throws from Gardner-Webb's Anthony Selden, USC Upstate narrowed the gap with a 3-pointer from Jordan Gainey with nine seconds left in the game. Still up two points, all Gardner-Webb had to do was inbound the ball and make a couple free throws to maintain control of the game.
Unfortunately, step 1 didn't go according to plan, and then things got even worse.
A bad pass after the inbound left the ball up for grabs, leading to a mad scramble that put the ball back in the hands of Gainey. With two defenders on him, Gainey pump-faked, dribbled a couple times to his right, then hit an off-balance, game-winning bank shot with 0.1 left on the clock.
One moment later, it was a 77-76 USC Upstate win.
— Big South Conference (@BigSouthSports) March 3, 2023
The whole thing was even more frantic when observed from the sidelines:
HOLY COW. THE BANK IS OPEN.
— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 3, 2023
Gainey finished with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting (3-of-8 from deep) with two rebounds, a steal and the memory of what is likely the best play of his life.
USC Upstate, now 16-14 on the season, will advance to face top seed UNC Asheville in the Big South semifinals on Saturday.