Last night, the 13-seed La Salle Explorers advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, by taking down 12-seed Ole Miss in a nail-biter 76-74. The game came down to the final seconds, with the score tied at 74 and La Salle had a chance to hit a game-winning shot. After running the clock down to under eight seconds, guard Tyrone Garland received the ball near the top of the key and drove toward the basket and right at Ole Miss’ all-time leading shot blocker, where Garland let fly what he has since famously dubbed a “Southwest Philly Floater.” The ball bounced off the backboard and rattled home through the rim with 2.5 seconds left in the game to give La Salle a two-point victory. Click here to watch a quick video of the big shot.
As for the name of the shot, in a post-game interview, Garland was asked what was the name of his game-winning shot. Garland called it the “Southwest Philly Floater,” referring to where he grew up playing basketball and went to high school at Bartram High. It caught on: “Southwest Philly Floater” was trending on Twitter nationally shortly after the game.
The win by La Salle advanced the school to its first Sweet 16 in 58 years — since 1955 (!). The Explorers will look to continue their run on Thursday night, when they take on a fellow tournament Cinderella, 9-seed Wichita State.
Overall, it was a pretty solid weekend for Philly college hoops. In addition to La Salle’s two wins (and a third last Wednesday), 9-seed Temple beat NC State on Friday and nearly upset 1-seed Indiana on Sunday, in another hard-fought game.
So now it’s time to for Philadelphia to get behind La Salle. The Explorers are a very fun team to watch and we can’t wait for their Sweet-16 showdown on Thursday. Hopefully they have a few more Philly neighborhood-themed shots in their arsenal…
Let’s go Explorers!
Sweet Sixteen: La Salle vs. Wichita State
When: Thursday, March 25 at 10:17 p.m. on TBS
More info: www.ncaa.com