I won't compare Wake Forest's comeback win against Richmond that concluded with a Devin Thomas tip-in as time expired to be on the same tier in terms of difficulty as Duke's improbable 10-point comeback victory over Maryland in 2001 (Gone in 60 Seconds), but that doesn't mean the moment was any less jubilant for Demon Deacon players and fans. This is a fan base who had seen Wake Forest go just 5-37 in road games, including 2-32 in ACC road games, under previous head coach Jeff Bzdelik.
Let's break down the key plays in the final minute of Wake's thrilling victory.
With 1:38 seconds remaining, Richmond's Kendall Anthony drains a mid-range jump shot that gives the Spiders a 59-57 lead over the Demon Deacons. Late into Wake Forest's next possession, Greg McClinton turns the ball over while attacking the basket and looking to pass. With 48 seconds remaining, Kendall Anthony fires a 3-pointer that would have given Richmond a 5-point lead, but he missed and Devin Thomas (who else?) secured the rebound and hit Codi Miller-McIntyre with an excellent outlet pass. CMM attacked the basket, but missed a potential game-tying layup. Richmond's Terry Allen got away with a push off on Greg McClinton and grabbed the rebound. McClinton then immediately fouled Allen, who knocked down a pair of free throws to give Richmond a 4-point lead with 40 seconds remaining. At this point, I thought we were done. Spoiler alert: I was incorrect.
FYI: The videos have the same cover, but I promise they are different clips of the final minute.Wake Forest comes down the court, and within six seconds, Kontantinos Mitoglou a.k.a. the Greek Deac knocks down a three-pointer to bring the Deacs within one. Danny Manning quickly called a timeout to bring in Grant O'Brien of "Black Ice" fame to foul and/or trap in a full-court press. This idea quickly faded when Richmond hit an over-the-top pass to a streaking Terry Allen for the dunk to put Richmond up by three.
Wake Forest elected not to take a timeout and let Richmond set up its defense. Instead, Wake quickly inbounded the ball and Codi Miller-McIntyre banked in a three (not sure if he called it) and then tied the game at 63. You can see Manning signalling for a timeout after the made basket, but it was not granted. Manning presumably wanted to take out Grant O'Brien for the defensive possession which did not require fouling.
Richmond's ShawnDre' Jones inexplicably takes an ill-advised shot with more than 5 seconds remaining. Codi Miller-McIntyre grabbed his fourth, and most important rebound of the game, then immediately pushed the ball up the court. With a shade over 2 seconds remaining he was greeted by Richmond double team. He pump faked, stepped through and then released the ball (you all can decide if it was a shot or a pass). Devin Thomas, who had been running the middle of the lane and calling for the ball, quickly found the ball and dexterously tipped it into the basket for the game-winner. That may not have been "how they drew it up," but Codi did an excellent job of pushing the ball and getting the ball in the air around the basket, and Devin did an outstanding job of running the floor, filling his lane, and then pursuing the basketball once he found it.