Often considered by many the best college basketball played in the modern era, Christian Laettner hit a game-winning turnaround shot, courtesy of a full-court inbounds pass from Grant Hill, in the old Spectrum to lift the Duke Blue Devils over the Kentucky Wildcats, in what was then considered “The Game of The Century”. The Blue Devils would go on to claim the national title that year.
Fast forward almost 30 years later, and Suggs, following a UCLA layup tying the game at 90-90, would pull up from near mid court to hit a game-winning bank shot with 3.3 seconds left, lifting the Bulldogs into the national title game to face Baylor, in arguably an instant classic, that will be replayed for years to come.
In what was a thrilling back-and-forth game that had more subplots than a reality show, as Zags still had bitter memories of losing to UCLA, after blowing a double-digit lead in what would be future NBA bust Adam Morrisson’s last game, were not in the mode for a “Heartbreak City” sequel.
In what proved to be their toughest test all tournament, Zags aced the test thrown at them by the scrappy 11th-seeded Bruins, who came into the Final Four with consecutive wins over No.1 Michigan and No.2 Alabama. For a while, it looked as if the Bruins were going to deny Gonzaga once again in the tournament and have a chance to play the program’s 12th NCAA title.
Suggs and the undefeated Bulldogs has other plans.
In a tournament that has exceeded expectations in a series of upsets, quality play and new unsung heroes emerging daily, Gonzaga–thanks to Suggs–are 40 minutes away from their one shining moment, as well as a shot of perfect immortality.