Any time less than five points separate two Big East teams with four minutes to go, anything can happen, positive or negative, anything but passive.
Fans lose all sense of control, forced to accept whatever fate chooses to throw in their collective lap that day. The frantic finishes are so wild, so unpredictable and so commonplace no one is shocked or surprised by any outcome.
UConn playing its best basketball of the season since the return of Jim Calhoun, looking good winning its last three games, ready to exact revenge, senior night, pumped, having its way, drumming Louisville 39-26 late in the first half.
But wait. One knows what happens more often than not in Louisville games. The team with the lead eases up a bit, the team behind turns on the defensive pressure. A couple of unexpected three-pointers from a surprising source, a turnover or two, and a bank shot at the halftime buzzer and Rick Pitino’s team trails by only five points.
Game on again, despite having thrown in the proverbial tower at the big screen just a few minutes earlier, having perceived no chance, no prayer of surviving the UConn onslaught.
Fast forward to midway in the second half, Louisville leading by six points at some point, knowing all the while the game will be decided at the horn.
Edgar Sosa, with all his ups and downs, indicating the game will be in his hands. At 29 seconds, it is obvious: He will make the move, and he does with 11 seconds to go. Running the gauntlet with all the swiping hands beneath the basket. Throwing up a shot between all the bodies and outstretched hands. Swish.
Too early, eight seconds left. Kemba Walker, with 28 points from all kinds of shots, with the ball, making the mad dash. Hello, Kemba, I’m Samardo Samuels, get that thing out of here. Hey ball, I’m Preston Knowles, boom, get out of here.
Louisville wins 78-76. Back in the NCAA tournament chase for a couple of days.
The one thing certain is the Louisville-Marquette game Tuesday will be decided on a buzzer beater.