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59 Days to B1G Basketball: Blake Hoffarber Saves the Day

Today we continue our daily countdown towards the tipoff of the Big Ten basketball season.

Andy Lyons

I wasn't lying when I mentioned that our countdown to the Big Ten season would feature another buzzer beater today, this time coming from the 2008 Big Ten Tournament (and something that won't make Michigan fans cringe).

Anyway, back in 2008 the Gophers and Hoosiers squared off in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament, a game I actually remember watching live on BTN. The Hoosiers had started the season 22-4 before forcing out then head coach Kelvin Sampson because of recruiting violations. The team was turned over to assistant Dan Dakich, who would go 3-4 as the teams coach and end the season on our three game skid.

Enter March 14, 2008. Down by two points with 03.4 seconds left and at the free throw line, the Hoosiers would go on to miss the first free throw. Then things got weird.

After intentionally missing the second free throw the Hoosiers managed to pick up an offensive rebound and make an easy basket under the rim. They also managed to draw a foul on the shot. With the game now tied and the Hoosiers at the line for an additional free throw, D.J White would go on to miss the free throw. However, White would get his rebound and draw another foul with 01.5 seconds remaining. This time around White ended up making the second free throw, giving the Hoosiers the lead and, presumably, the win.

Then Blake Hoffarber happened:

Signs of Christian Laettner.

That being said, it wasn't the first miracle shot Hoffarber had made at the end of a game:

I'm not sure what's more amazing, the buzzer beater by Hoffarber to knock off the Hoosiers or the fact that it wouldn't have happened if Indiana could have made free throws (or if Minnesota wouldn't have inexplicably fouled the Hoosiers in the closing seconds). Indiana would go on to get bounced in the first round of the NCAA Tournament before hiring current head coach Tom Crean. The Gophers would end up losing in the Big Ten semis and opening round of the NIT before Tubby Smith got them back to the NCAA Tournament the following season.