Michigan State recorded a very normal victory over Penn State on Wednesday night, in an otherwise normal night of basketball. But there was this weird moment at the end of the game, when Penn State sophomore Lamar Stevens drove through a relaxed Michigan State defense and finished with a one-handed dunk. But as Twitter user @WorldofIsaac pointed out, it’s a little more complicated than that:
The more you look at it, there’s a good chance Stevens missed this dunk. He even hesitates when he regains his balance, then plays along when everyone seems to think it’s a basket.
Debate (lightly) raged on Twitter, where some people were determined to defend the basket’s legitimacy. But closer examination revealed that the ball definitely hit the front of the rim.
The “dunk” came in garbage time, when Penn State trailed by eight with 24 seconds left. With the crowd and the noise of the rim, it gives off all the ambience of a completed dunk. The referee is behind the basket, so he has no chance to see the front side of the rim.
Stevens finished with 18 points on 7-19 shooting, but he should have 16 points on 6-19 shooting. Penn State should have lost by ten instead of losing 76-68. You get it.
Here’s where it gets really fun: while the basket would’ve had no impact on the spread, the over/under for this game closed, in some places, at 143. Michigan State won 76-68 (144), making our Phantom Basket the deciding bucket in our betting total.
Bad. Beat. Nation.
Here’s a closer look:
Definitely missed it. By the way, did you know that Michigan State guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn Jr. gets his nickname from the classic film 3 Ninjas? That movie had one of the most underrated basketball games in movie history.