Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Raymar Morgan Clutch Dunk

One of the great things about sports is the opportunities it presents for great plays.

Every game, from beginners (what parent isn't thrilled to see his/her young kid running around out on the field and making a nice catch or kick?) to pros, offers these moments. ESPN has its highly entertaining top ten plays of the day which highlight some of the best examples of pure athleticism of the day, regardless of the game context.

There's another kind of great play that's even more impressive - one that combines a feat of great athleticism (or great thinking) at a highly crucial moment in a contest. Recent prominent examples in pro football are the last two Super Bowls, with Santonio Holmes' catch on 3rd down with less than a minute left to win the game against the Arizona Cardinals; and David Tyree's last-minute 3rd down catch in last year's game to keep alive the Giants' game-winning drive. From the 2008 college football season the highlight was Michael Crabtree's (Texas Tech) last-second touchdown against Texas, which entirely changed the complexion of the college football season (by knocking Texas out of the No. 1 spot, and ultimately denying them the chance to play in the national championship game).

Raymar Morgan of the Michigan State basketball team made such a jump-out-of-your-chair clutch play in last night's Big Ten basketball game that sealed a victory guaranteeing the Spartans outright Big Ten championship.

Setting the stage: MSU had led against Indiana by 13 points with 9 minutes left, but then it failed to score another field goal for another 8 minutes, allowing Indiana to cut the lead to 2, with several chances to tie. Then, with less than a minute left, Morgan made his play, snatching a rebound with one hand and in one motion dunking it to give MSU a virtually insurmountable 4-point lead. Check it out.