You probably know by now that Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes knocked the No. 1 overall seed out of the NCAA tournament. The senior forward drove baseline with under 15 seconds to play and beat Villanova with a game-winning layup:
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 18, 2017
What you might not have known is that Hayes’ move, the one that sent Wisconsin to the Sweet 16, was inspired by the most accomplished basketball player ever.
“They had been crowding me, so I knew I would have the baseline,” Hayes said of the isolation play that got him the ball on the right side of the court. “I drove baseline, and if you guys are familiar with the Michael Jordan highlight, the fake spin back, I did my fake spin back, got to my left hand, and fortunately it went in.”
Here’s the full interview:
— March Madness TV (@MarchMadnessTV) March 18, 2017
The play Hayes referenced is Jordan’s drive against the New York Knicks in the 1991 playoffs. Jordan, who had been double-teamed, met a help defender on the left baseline, turned back toward the sideline, then spun back toward the rim and posterized Patrick Ewing:
Hayes’ play wasn’t quite as explosive, but with the trap coming from Villanova defender Donte DiVincenzo, the moves really are pretty similar.