UCLA overcomes 9-point deficit in final minute, dooms Ducks in OT

UCLA overcame a nine-point deficit in the final minute Thursday night to beat Oregon in overtime, 87-84. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, it tied for the sixth-largest final-minute comeback in Division I history. Texas A&M’s 12-point comeback to beat Northern Iowa in the 2016 NCAA tournament remains the biggest deficit overcome with less than a minute remaining. The visiting Bruins had a chance to win the game in regulation, after Oregon fouled Jaylen Hands in the final seconds to protect its three-point lead. Hands made the first free throw and missed the second on purpose, but UCLA’s Chris Smith picked up the loose ball and laid it in to tie the game while getting fouled. He missed the potential winning free throw. The Ducks led by as many as 17 points in the final seven minutes, and also had a 13-point lead with 2 minutes, 30 seconds remaining. A Prince Ali 3-pointer with 2:21 remaining ignited a 21-8 run to…
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Barack Obama Got an Emphatic Endorsement to Be the New UCLA Basketball Coach

President Obama’s most recent mention came from a less than likely place: ESPN.

ESPN analyst Bill Walton—who played for the Portland Trail Blazers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics throughout his career—told ESPN’s Dave Pasch that President Obama was the best option to coach the UCLA Bruins. Walton knows a little something about the Bruins’ expectations, considering the basketball legend led the team to two national championship wins in the 1970s.

“What type of characteristics should UCLA look for in the next coach?” Pasch asked the retired NBA player. “Barack Obama,” Walton replied.

Pasch seemed skeptical about the suggestion, saying, “I don’t think he’s gonna coach.” But Walton, who was inducted into the Basketball of Fame in 1993, did not back down, characterizing Pasch’s hesitation as “negative.”

“I’m sticking with Barack Obama until he says no,” Walton asserted.

President Obama has always loved the sport, and even had the White House’s tennis court converted to be used as a full basketball court, too. His brother-in-law, Craig Robinson, who is Michelle Obama‘s older brother, has coached professionally since 1999.

It’s not Walton’s first time bringing politics to the court. He made headlines in the ’70s when he played for Portland while using his celebrity for political and social advocacy, speaking out in opposition of nuclear power plants and raising money for Native Americans.

The permanent UCLA head coach position is yet to be filled.

Watch the full video of Walton’s Obama endorsement, and see some reactions, below.

 

Sports – TIME

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