It’s been over 20 years since Bryce Drew’s game-winning three-pointer beat Ole Miss in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament, but it remains one of the most iconic shots in college basketball history.
Drew, a former Indiana Mr. Basketball and two-time MCC Player of the Year, hit the three right in front of the Valparaiso bench to shock the fourth-seeded Rebels, 70-69.
“It was such an unbelievable moment for our team, our program, the university, the city,” Drew said on The DA Show. “It was really unique that we had three seniors involved in the play, and the pieces were phenomenal.”
Jamie Sykes, the in-bounder, chucked the ball from his own baseline to well past mid-court. Bill Jenkins caught the ball and dished it in midair to a streaking Drew, who got the shot up with just over one second to play.
“We had a pro baseball player who was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks – he was the in-bounder – so he had a great arm,” Drew said of Sykes. “We had a forward [Jenkins] who had a 40-inch vertical jump who turned down volleyball offers [from] the Pac-12 to play basketball – so he was the best leaper on the floor.
“And so those guys had the hard part – making the pass, jumping, catching it high, throwing it in the air,” Drew continued. “I got to do the easy part: just run down the sidelines and catch and shoot it. It worked to perfection.”
The ball went through the net right as the clock struck zero.
“I actually thought the ball was going to be a little bit short when I shot it,” Drew said. “If you go back and play [the shot] in slow motion, it skims the front of the rim and goes in. But then I dove on the floor and I don’t even remember that. I saw it on TV, and I had no clue what I had done. It was truly being in the moment.”