30 Days of Madness: Blake Hoffarber Channels LaettnerPosted by rtmsf on March 10th, 2010
We’ve been anxiously awaiting the next thirty days for the last eleven months. You have too. In fact, if this isn’t your favorite time of year by a healthy margin then you should probably click away from this site for a while. Because we plan on waterboarding you with March Madness coverage. Seriously, you’re going to feel like Dick Cheney himself is holding a Spalding-logoed towel over your face. Your intake will be so voluminous that you’ll be drooling Gus Johnson and bracket residue in your sleep. Or Seth Davis, if that’s more your style. The point is that we’re all locked in and ready to go. Are you? To help us all get into the mood, we like to click around a fancy little website called YouTube for a daily dose of notable events, happenings, finishes, ups and downs relating to the next month. We’re going to try to make this video compilation a little smarter, a little edgier, a little historical-er. Or whatever. Sure, you’ll see some old favorites that never lose their luster, but you’ll also see some that maybe you’ve forgotten or never knew to begin with. That’s the hope, at least. We’ll be matching the videos by the appropriate week, so for the next five days, we’ll be re-visiting some of the timeless moments from Championship Week. Enjoy.
Dateline: 2008 Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals – Indiana vs. Minnesota
Context: It was Kelvin Sampson’s imploding Indiana Hoosiers versus Tubby Smith’s bubble-worthy Minnesota Gophers in the quarterfinal round of the 2008 Big Ten Tournament. Indiana came into the game having lost two of three after a 24-4 start, while Minnesota was simply trying to accumulate wins to improve a 19-12 resume. After blowing a sixteen-point first half lead, Minnesota still appeared in decent shape when IU’s best player, Eric Gordon, was fouled with 3.4 seconds remaining and the Hoosiers down two points. Gordon could not convert the first, so he intentionally missed the second foul shot, leading to forward DJ White gathering the offensive board and laying it in… plus another foul. White then missed his FT attempt, yet amazingly he got his own rebound off the carom and was fouled again with two seconds left. He missed the first but converted the second. For those of you scoring at home, that was four missed FTs, two offensive rebounds and a 1-point IU lead, all in the span of about two seconds. On the ensuing inbounds play, Minnesota’s Travis Busch heaved a 75-foot pass to the other end of the court, where Blake Hoffarber caught, spun and shot the ball toward the rim before the horn. Swish. With the Laettner-esque shot, Minnesota moved on to the Big Ten semis where they lost to Illinois and ultimately were sent to the NIT, but the name Blake Hoffarber still resonates. What made this moment so particularly compelling was that Hoffarber was already in basketball lore at the high school level for his 2005 Minnesota state championship-winning shot while sitting on his rear at the high school level. We’ve added that one below just for good measure.