Flamboyant and controversial Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson was on the court but he wasn't playing when La Salle knocked the Rebels out of the NCAA tournament Sunday night.
In the final moments of a tight game, the Ole Miss star was kneeling in front of his bench when La Salle guard Tyrone Garland drove through three Rebels to score on what he called a 'Southwest Philly Floater' with just 2.5 seconds remaining. The bucket gave the Explorers a 76-74 win.
Henderson watched helplessly as a teammate heaved a shot from beyond half court in an attempt to tie, and when that shot missed, his forearms and forehead sunk to the floor in front of his knees before he stood to shake hands.
Henderson led the Rebels with 21 points, but he needed 21 shots to get there.
La Salle's magic moment ended a memorable season from Henderson, who led the Southeastern Conference in scoring and led the Rebels into the tournament by winning the SEC tournament.
Henderson also created plenty of controversy along the way by taunting opposing fans and teams at times on the court and a care-free attitude off it. He added one final chapter to his season in the spotlight by giving the finger (with both hands) to someone in the crowd as he headed to the locker room after the game. Here is some amateur video:
Reporters asked him about it afterward.
I asked Marshall Henderson why he flipped off the crowd: "someone yelled that my sister is a whore and said something about cocaine."
— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) March 25, 2013
Meanwhile, Garland and his teammates were dancing - make that still dancing - winning their third game in the tournament. After starting in the First Four, the Explorers have advanced to the Sweet 16.
Garland, who scored 17 points off the bench, was asked what he calls the game-winning shot in a television interview with Tru TV immediately after the game.
"Southwest Philly Floater man," he said. "Shout out to my cousin, Vern. Shout out to my mom."
It was a tight game throughout between two of the surprise teams in the tournament - Ole Miss a No. 12 seed and La Salle a No. 13.
Ole Miss had its chances down the stretch but couldn't convert when it needed to most. Henderson missed a driving jumper along the baseline with :31.8 seconds remaining. The possession ended in a shot clock violation and set up La Salle's final play.
The Explorers wisely held the ball and waited for time to tick away assuring themselves of the last shot or nothing more than a desperation attempt from the Rebels. Garland came through with his confident drive through the Rebels' defense and into history.
This is the first time since 1955 the Explorers have advanced to the Sweet 16. The 1955 team eventually lost to San Francisco in the national championship game. La Salle will meet Wichita State in the next round next week, assuring the nation of at least one Cinderella making it to the Elite Eight.