Welcome to March, where some NCAA Tournament dreams are realized while other NCAA Tournament dreams go to die.
That very principle was on display in the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Tournament on Sunday. No. 8 Northern Arizona promptly showed No. 1 Eastern Washington the door by way of a classic buzzer beater. Oakland Fort, take the stage.
THERE ARE NO WORDS.— Big Sky Conference (@BigSkyConf) March 6, 2023
THERE ARE NO WORDS. @NAUBasketball MOVES ON. pic.twitter.com/rOQXbGPrq6
This is what this time of year is all about.
The Eagles actually had a six-point lead with just under a minute left and were seemingly just a score or two away from icing the game and moving on to the next round in Boise. But the Lumberjacks had other plans. A Jalen Cone layup and a Trenton McLaughlin three pulled Northern Arizona to within one with just under 30 seconds left, making this a game again. Stepping to the line at the other end with six seconds left, EWU’s Steele Venters had a chance to put the Eagles up by three. He missed one free throw and well, the rest is history.
Eastern Washington entered the Big Sky Tournament with +250 odds to win at DraftKings Sportsbook while Northern Arizona was a +3500 longshot.