Rambling to the Tourney: Donte and Loyola’s ‘One Shining Moment’

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DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15: Donte Ingram #0 of the Loyola (Il) Ramblers shoots the game winning shot over Sam Waardenburg #21 of the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at the American Airlines Center on March 15, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. Loyola defeats Miami 64-62. (Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

DALLAS – If you are watching the tournament and you see a play that stands out above the rest, a specific tune might pop into your head.

You might hum it,  you could whistle it, sometimes you’ll even break out into a verse.

“One Shining Moment…..It’s Frozen in Time.”

This is the song most associated with the NCAA Tournament, written by David Barrett in the 1986 and then used by CBS Sports for the ending montage for their coverage in 1987, following Indiana’s win over Syracuse in the National Championship Game.

It encapsulates the best from a given year’s games – the big slams, vibrant reactions, and, of course, the buzzer-beaters. It’s the mix of the song and the memorable moments that make it the lasting image of any edition of “March Madness.”

Highlights come from Day 1 of the tournament to the final horn of the title game – and with nine seconds left on Thursday, the song started dancing in the heads of those in the Maroon and Gold.

“One Shining Moment….There Frozen in Time.”

Many times the best plays in a game happen organically, without set plan. That’s how Loyola’s NCAA Tournament moment came to pass with just over nine seconds left in their first round game against sixth-seeded Miami.

Lonnie Walker IV was at the line for a one-and-one following a Ramblers’ foul, hoping to increase a one-point Hurricanes’ lead. He didn’t, but the rebound didn’t go as planned for Loyola, as the ball hung on the rim and eventually bounced to the left.

Instead of Cameron Krutwig, the Ramblers’ center, grabbing it, Ben Richardson was able to snag the ball. Instead of calling a timeout, which would have happened had the freshman center come down with it, Loyola raced down the court for the win.

“Well, if our five man would have got the rebound, we would have called a time-out. Since a guard got it, you know, Coach just had faith in us and said let’s go,” said guard Donte Ingram, who himself nearly got the rebound off the miss by Walker.  “We’re under attack. At that point, it is just up to us to make a play.”

“One Shining Moment….You reach Deep Inside.”

Richardson didn’t hang onto the ball long.

With no time out coming, he immediately passed the ball to the other side of the court for Marques Townes. He went down the court quickly to the left wing, stopped, dribbled, turned and spotted Ingram at the top of the key about 30 feet out.

He caught the ball with 2.8 seconds left, and immediately eyed the basket. With no time for a pass, this 30-footer would have to be it.

“I thank Marques for making that pass,” said Ingram. “Any one of us could have hit that shot, but I was just fortunate enough to be in the position. And when I seen the shot and I had space, I was confident.”

Such a play was emblematic of the entire game for the Ramblers, who at that point had 18 assists on the evening.

“There’s no quit in these guys. They believe. They share the ball. We had 19 assists. And a great example is that last pass to Donte with Marques to find it,” said Loyola head coach Porter Moser, who never got the chance to draw up the winning play, but watched his player create it.

“One Shining Moment…..You Knew You Were Alive.”

As with most plays in a tight situation, there was little time to pause to think. Ingram accepted the pass and immediately went into his shooting rotation, squaring up with the hoop and rising up for the try. Miami’s Sam Waardenburg leaped toward him to try to deflect it, but the ball got off in time and without interference.

“One Shining Moment…..You Reached for the Sky.”

The line drive shot by Ingram was true, hitting the net with enough strength that it picked up perfectly on a nearby microphone for the television audience to hear as well as see.

Ingram was immediately mobbed by those on the court and those on the bench, who charged the floor believing the game was over.

“It went through the net and then I just…I had a complete out-of-body experience on the court,” said guard Lucas Williamson, who also admitted that he felt like he ‘blacked out’ after the shot went in. “I didn’t know what I was doing. I was running, jumping around.

“One of the best moments of my life.”

It wasn’t actually over yet. Three-tenths of a second were put back on the clock, just enough for the Hurricanes to throw a desperation prayer that went unanswered.

Loyola 64 Miami 62  – and “One Shining Moment” had its first highlight of 2018.

“Find him and give him the biggest hug ever,” said Townes after the game, remembering the incredible moment. “Because, Jesus Christ, that was a big shot.”

“One Shining Moment….Your Were Willing to Try.”

The last shot was the 14th of the day for Ingram, who ended up making five of them including three behind the arc. None on this day, obviously, was bigger than the one he hit in the final seconds. It’s easily the most replayed moment of the still young tournament so far, delivering the school their first win in the “Big Dance” since March 16, 1985, nearly 33 years to the day of the shot heard across College Basketball.

“I think a lot of us blacked out. It’s still a crazy feeling now,” said Ingram of the shot. “You grow up as a kid seeing those moments, now for me to be apart of it is unreal.”

“One Shining Moment.”

It’s Donte’s and the Ramblers, now and forever.


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