Providence tops USC on stunning defensive error in closing seconds

Game-winning shots in March Madness often come about through amazing full-court plays or impossible buzzer-beaters under pressure. Sometimes, though, the defense does more to cause the play than any offensive player.

Down 69-68 to No. 9 seed USC with just three seconds left in regulation, Providence had one last chance to win following a fortunate carom out-of-bounds on a short shot attempt by star guard Kris Dunn. Freshman guard Drew Edwards searched for an open teammate on the inbound pass until sophomore Rodney Bullock showed up wide open under the basket. He did not blow his chance at sending the Friars into the next round:

USC's final heave on the final possession didn't draw iron, and Providence stayed alive to face top-seeded North Carolina in the second round of the East region on Saturday.

The lackluster defense on Bullock's layup stands out as the Trojans' biggest mistake, but head coach Andy Enfield and his team will rue several mistakes, including two misses on the front ends of one-and-one foul-shot attempts in the final 30 seconds. The USC bench understandably looked stunned:

The 70-69 result is Providence's first NCAA tournament victory since 1997, when Austin Croshere and God Shammgod led the school to the Elite Eight. USC remains winless in the tournament since 2009.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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