Matthew Dellavedova’s sterling career ends with errant buzzer beater against Memphis

Kyle Ringo
The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Be honest, when Memphis inexplicably allowed Matthew Dellavedova to get the ball in his hands in the final seconds today, you thought the senior point guard had at least one more dagger in him.

Dellavedova's desperate 3-point attempt from right in front of the Saint Mary's bench went wildly long instead and Memphis survived 54-52, robbing the Gaels of a chance to wear the glass slipper in this year's tournament.

[Related: DJ Stephens of Memphis becomes NCAA tourney's first star with dunks]

It would have been the first magic moment of the tournament, not just because it would have been a No. 11 seed beating a No. 6, but because the Gaels trailed by five points with fewer than 20 seconds remaining.

Dellavedova immediately buried his face inside his jersey with the realization that he had just badly missed the final shot in a brilliant career with Gaels. The Australian point guard leaves Saint Mary's as its all-time leader in scoring, assists and 3-pointers made and attempted.

No one outside Saint Mary's in the West Coast Conference will be sad to see him go, but his opponents won't soon forget him.

[Photo gallery: Best photos of the NCAA tournament]

It was gutty effort for Saint Mary's, which wasn't exactly on its game and played from behind most of the day. The Gaels had to beat Middle Tennessee in a First Four game less than 48 hours before today's game with the Tigers tipped off.

We should note there were plenty of questions about Memphis entering the tournament because of the Tigers' relatively weak schedule and resume. Give the Tigers credit for outlasting a good team and advancing despite those doubts.

Memphis coach Josh Pastner finally secured his first NCAA tournament win after two previous tries. That takes a little ammunition away from some of his critics. Not sure how far it will carry him, but it's something to build on for sure.

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