The 2012 Paradise Jam may not be the most loaded field in comparison to some of the other early-season tournaments, but in terms of excitement, it may have certainly took that prize this weekend.
Late Sunday night, UConn survived a double overtime thriller against Quinnipiac to advance to the championship game. Shabazz Napier led the Huskies’ charge, as UConn erased a late deficit in regulation. The Bobcats’ Dave Johnson buried a three-pointer late in the first overtime frame before the Huskies eventually sealed victory in the second added session.
Believe it or not, that in-state “rivalry” down in the U.S. Virgin Island wasn’t even the most exciting part of yesterday’s semifinal action.
That tile goes to Kendall Williams, Tony Snell and the New Mexico Lobos.
Trailing by five with just under 16 seconds to play, Williams dribbled up and launched a ridiculous three from way outside the arc. The junior pulled the Lobos within two and stopped play with a timeout.
Out of the break, George Mason threw away the inbounds pass. Seconds later, it was Snell who converted on a three-ball of his own.
The Lobos held on and shocked the Patriots by a final score of 70-69. With the late heroics, New Mexico advances to play UConn in the Paradise Jam title game.
Snell, also a junior, scored a career-high 27 points in the win, breaking his previous mark of 25 which he set during the Lobos’ thrilling come-from-behind season opening win against Davidson.
Take a look at the final seconds below:
New Mexico and UConn will close out the tournament on Monday night. Tip-off from the championship game is scheduled for 10:00pm (EST).
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse