They were down by four points with just seconds to play. They are a 12-seed in the NCAA tournament. They are the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks, and they are this year’s Cinderellas in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament.
In their matchup with the No. 5 seed VCU Rams, the Lumberjacks trailed by 10 points with just over three minutes left to play, and they slowly crept back into the game. With just 3.6 seconds left, Desmond Haymon of SFA hit a three-pointer to draw his team within one. Worse than that, he was fouled on the play. Haymon knocked down the free throw and tied the game on an epic four-point play.
VCU missed the potential half-court shot to win the game in regulation, which sent the game to OT. By the time the final second ticked off the clock, the Lumberjacks had pulled off a highly improbable 77-75 upset. After this suspenseful comeback win, SFA is this year’s Cinderella.
It’s not like SFA isn’t a good team, as they have now won 29 games in a row. That is precisely why the Lumberjacks are legitimate threats to take down big name programs over the next week and a half. They are likely to play No. 4 seed UCLA in the second round, which will be a challenge. However, with this win, the Lumberjacks should be playing loose.
Should they further their unlikely run by defeating UCLA, they would likely play the No. 1 overall seed Florida Gators. While it would be extremely difficult for them to pull that game off, Cinderellas pick up steam as they push further into the tournament, and they could be the team to topple the top-seeded Gators.
They snuck away with a win tonight, but they will have to improve as they continue on in the tournament this season. Only time will tell if the glass slipper fits on these Lumberjacks in 2014.