Bruce Pearl’s Auburn basketball team had the ball out of bounds with 1.4 seconds left to pull off a miracle and beat Mercer.
The Tigers’ prayers were answered when T.J. Dunans got the ball, turned, spun and got the best look the Tigers probably could have hoped for.
T.J. Dunans wins it for Auburn at the buzzer. pic.twitter.com/nxG7xuHudb
— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) December 18, 2016
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl had the highest of hopes it would go in, as you can tell from the photo below. Pearl’s fists are fully clenched and it looks like his gut is about to burst. An out-of-conference loss to Mercer wouldn’t have looked good on the Tigers’ NCAA tournament resume, so it’s an understandable reaction with victory or defeat hanging in the balance.
BRUCE PEARL'S FACE AS THAT SHOT WENT UP pic.twitter.com/W79ND9Yy6T
— College And Magnolia (@CollegeAndMag) December 18, 2016
It looks like he’s absolutely just willing the ball to go through the hoop, as if it’s all happening in slow motion. He and the Tigers got their wish after praying for the play to work.
It also was a pretty great way for 5-star center Austin Wiley to start his Auburn career, but it almost ended in catastrophe.