O'Neil: Hinkle Magic? Better believe it

January, 20, 2013
1/20/13
2:02
AM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- When they finally cleared the court, after the mayhem had ended and the shock had at least abated if not entirely wore off, the little kids started shooting. It was already after midnight, well past their bedtimes, but their parents weren't looking at their watches and the basket was beckoning.

So the kids scrounged up a few balls and pretended. They launched heaves and 3-pointers beyond their reach, occasionally mixing in a layup with the appropriate marionette arm-up, knee-bent form.

But none of the little mimics could quite duplicate what had just happened on the Hinkle Fieldhouse court.

Could anyone?

Well, yes, maybe one guy.

Maybe Bobby Plump.

Somewhere around its second consecutive trip to the Final Four, Butler stopped being the Milan High of college basketball and grew up into a national program.

And Roosevelt Jones does not own the textbook form of the originator of the last-shot miracle. "It's more of a push," is how Indianapolis Star reporter David Woods described Jones' unorthodox approach.

But if this wasn't Hoosiers redux, what was?

Hinkle packed to the point that people were standing around the edges of the upper deck. Gonzaga, the original Cinderella, taking on the team it had passed the glass slipper torch to.

Game all but over after Alex Barlow traveled on what should have been, by all accounts, Butler's last chance at a victory.

And then incredibly game won.

With 3.5 ticks on the clock, Jones intercepted David Stockton's errant inbounds pass, glanced at the clock, drove to the top of the key, into the lane and launched his very unorthodox textbook floater.

Butler 64, Gonzaga 63.

For Dana O'Neil's full story, click here.

Dana O'Neil | email

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