Arizona Basketball

Arizona Wildcats hoops countdown: Elliott downs Duke with three over Ferry in last minute

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This year’s countdown to tipoff includes an overall look at the best play in Arizona Wildcats history, which will be determined as the days leading up to tipoff comes to a close. Today marks 53 days until Arizona starts its 2014-15 season against Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 14 at McKale Center. Along with the mentioning of the top plays, the countdown will once again display the top players who wore the number that corresponds with the day.

Here’s the next top play (they will be listed randomly during the countdown until a determination is made in a bracket):

SEAN ELLIOTT’S GO-AHEAD THREE-POINTER AGAINST DUKE AT THE MEADOWLANDS IN 1989

Sean Elliott

The national TV game against Duke and Mike Krzyzewski did not faze senior Sean Elliott as he dribbled the ball up the court with one minute remaining and the game tied at 70.

The crowd of 18,196 at The Meadowlands in New Jersey stood in anticipation of what Elliott might do next isolated against fellow All-American Danny Ferry of Duke. Elliott made only 5 of 20 shots at that point. The immediate thought was Elliott will try to penetrate and try to draw the foul or attempt to draw defenders to pass to an open teammate.

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ARIZONA’S TOP PLAYS LISTED SO FAR

Miles Simon’s 65-foot bank shot as time expired to beat Cincinnati in Phoenix in 1996
Tom Tolbert’s no-look, twisting shot against North Carolina in the 1988 Elite Eight win over North Carolina.

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Instead, he pulled up for a three-point shot on top of the key, surprising Ferry, whose reaction to extend high toward Elliott’s release was too late. Elliott, a 6-foot-8-inch senior, shot the ball at his zenith. It swished in to put Arizona ahead 73-70 with 53 seconds remaining.

His two foul shots, in a one-and-one situation with 18 seconds left, gave the Wildcats the points that would make the difference in the 77-75 victory. Elliott finished with 24 points, including the heroic spurt of five of Arizona’s last seven.

“This is the kind of game you win to go to the Final Four,” Elliott was quoted as saying by the New York Times. ”This is the kind of game you win in the Final Four, or in the championship game.”

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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