Donahue’s blunder leads to Ga. Tech’s miracle cover
Published on Friday, 2/14/14, at 7:15 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
I’ll be filing away Thursday’s finish of Boston College at Ga. Tech into the Top 10 of my rankings for miracle covers.
At the same time, those backing BC will add it to their list of bad beats. Hopefully those of you on the Eagles got a push, as Ga. Tech was favored by 2.5 early Thursday but eventually moved to three.
Since the game was postponed due to weather issues Wednesday night, these ACC rivals squared off in a rare afternoon game in the middle of week. Therefore, most avid bettors were tuned in because the otherwise unattractive matchup stood alone in its time slot.
BC took a one-point lead with 3.4 seconds remaining on a baseline jumper from Olivier Hanlan. Ga. Tech had no timeouts remaining, but it caught a monster break when Steve Donahue inexplicably decided to call a timeout.
Why, you ask? Well, of course, to make sure his defense was so prepared for the play the Yellow Jackets now had time to draw up. Donahue did such a good job of prepping his players that they committed the most cardinal sin possible –fouling a 3-point shooter — in this scenario.
Marcus Georges-Hunt buried the trey with 0.7 seconds remaining to put Ga. Tech up by two. In this situation, especially when given the amount of time that was available since the refs had to go to the monitor and review where the clock should’ve been stopped after Georges-Hunt’s 3-ball, Ga. Tech head coach Brian Gregory should have advised Georges-Hunt to miss the free throw on purpose.
As long as he hit the rim, this would’ve resulted in BC having to attempt a heave from 80-plus feet. This is an absolute no-brainer coaching move, but Gregory and his staff fell asleep at the wheel.
Therefore, when Georges-Hunt made the free throw, Ga. Tech backers were able to cash the miracle winner. Also, BC had a decent look at a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was off the mark.
I’m glad it didn’t go in, but it sure would’ve been fitting because Donahue and Gregory both did an abysmal job of handling the clock and their timeouts at crunch time of this scrub game that I’ll never forget.