It was perhaps the most insignificant play in the three weeks and 63 games that the college basketball tournament had, which ended last night with a 72-69 win by Kansas over North Carolina.
With just under a minute to go, North Carolina big man Armando Bacot, already hindered with a sprained ankle he suffered on Saturday against Duke, twisted the ankle yet again, turning the ball over as he fell to the floor in pain and his team down 70-69.
In a one point game – the national championship game – Kansas forward Jalen Wilson held the ball out, not taking advantage of the 5-on-4 situation that was presented to them as Bacot slowly limped down the floor. The officials blew the play dead, allowing North Carolina to sub out Bacot.
Not sure if I was a Jayhawk fan that I would have agreed with Wilson’s sportsmanship in the moment, but as an outsider looking in, I have to say I loved it. And I don’t think it was a coincidence that David McCormack hit a jump shot with 22 seconds left to secure the title for Kansas.
Injuries happen. Titles are won. Coaching careers end. All big stories that surrounded this tournament. But it will be that small, somewhat insignificant play by Jalen Wilson that will stick in my mind.