Belmont Backdoor Play
9.5 seconds. Murray State 75. Belmont 74. Belmont ball.
Ohio Valley Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
What are the Bruins going to draw up coming out of the timeout?
Murray State had just hit two free throws to take a one-point lead with about ten seconds remaining. After a series of timeouts, Belmont drew up a game-winning bucket in very Belmont fashion. We call it the Belmont Backdoor Play.
The BACKDOOR CUT
Belmont on top LATE pic.twitter.com/WtYxJrTCGG
— Sad Reporter Liam 🦖 (@Blutman27) March 8, 2020
First-year coach, Casey Alexander, drew up a beauty and his players executed it to perfection. Belmont scored the game-winning basket off a set-up backdoor play with 3 seconds remaining. The win gave Belmont the OVC Championship and punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
Here’s courtside video, which captures just how freaking loud it was in that arena!
— Michael Grant (@MichaelGrant_CJ) March 8, 2020
This wasn’t the first time Belmont has won a big game using a backdoor play out of a timeout. As soon as I saw the play from the OVC Championship game, I thought of their win at UCLA in 2018-19. It was much of the same situation. 20 seconds left. UCLA 72. Belmont 71. Belmont ball. No timeout called this time, but the same result. The Belmont players executed a “panic” backdoor set play where it looks like the ball handler is stuck and the play is thrown into chaos. Instead, it is all smoke to set-up the defense. Belmont took the lead as they laid the ball in with 2 seconds left and went on to win the game.
A well-executed backdoor play is a beauty, especially when it is done in crunch time. That is what the Belmont Backdoor Play did today. Belmont has pulled off two of the best I have seen since the great Princeton teams under Pete Carril.
After Belmont stopped Murray State’s desperation attempt to answer, their NCAA trip was officially booked with a 76-75.
Both basketball schools have both been fairly elite programs over the years, and it’s kind of a shame that the loser is probably not in line for an at-large bid this year. Mid-major life isn’t really fair at all.