The Barking Dog.
The Lay Down on A Part of the Field That Blends In With Your Jersey Play…
All legendary slight of hand distractions we have seen play out in sports.
Now, thanks to a heady play from the Kansas State Wildcats, we have another trick play to add to the catalogue:
The Fake Fight With Your Coach Over the Play Call Alley-Oop.
No. 3 seed Kansas State and No. 7 seed Michigan State squared off at Madison Square Garden for the first game of the Sweet 16, and boy-oh-boy was it an instant classic. The two teams traded buckets for the entire game, and the game went into overtime with both teams tied at 82 at the end of regulation.
The game continued to be back and forth in the overtime period, but then one of the most creative plays in the history of college basketball erupted.
With one minute remaining and both teams once again tied at 92, Senior guard Markquis Nowell (who has been on fire in the tournament) dribbled the ball across half court.
As guards often do in late game situations, Nowell looked over at his coach to get the play call for the possession. It appeared that Nowell and K-State Head Coach Jerome Tang were not on the same page, as they yelled at one another and waved each other off.
At the height of disagreement, with the clock ticking down and Michigan State’s defense frozen as they watched the verbal argument, Nowell suddenly turns and flicks the ball up to streaking teammate Keyontae Johnson, who finished the trick-play-alley-oop with an emphatic reverse slam dunk.
Markquis Nowell, who finished with 20 points and 19 assists, broke the NCAA tournament record for assists in the game. One of those assists was the result of this “Fake Argument” Alley-Oop:
Here is a zoomed in look that they showed on the broadcast of Nowell and Coach Tang “fake fighting” their way to a bucket:
The slam dunk only put K-State up two points, but the fashion of the play certainly swung the momentum in Kansas State’s favor. Considering the time and stakes of the game, it might go down as one of the best decoy plays in sports history.
What a call by Head Coach Jerome Tang. I would love to see how he drew it up on the white-board during the timeout. The execution of the play was perfection.
The Oscar goes to…Markquise Nowell
Kansas State went on to win the game 98 to 93 in overtime, sending Tom Izzo’s Michigan State home packing, and giving K-State a ticket to the Elite Eight.
It’s pretty obvious that we’ll be seeing that play in the “One Shining Moment” montage at the end of the NCAA tournament. If K-State continues their run as a 3 seed to a championship, the “fake argument play” could go down as one of the most memorable March Madness moments of all time.
Twitter couldn’t believe their eyes when the no look alley-oop occurred:
Man, I love March Madness.