In any sport, conference championships are the times where teams come up with unorthodox plays to win games. Baruch College would know all about that as the Bearcats used a football-themed inbounds play to knock off the College of Staten Island in the City University of New York Athletic Conference(CUNYAC) Championship game, according to the Washington Post.
The play starts with the inbounder on the left side of the basket and the four other players on the baseline. They are grouped in a bunch formation, similar to what people would see in a football game. Staten Island was confused at the formation as no one on Baruch College was on the floor at the start of the play.
The confusion allowed for Baruch College to execute a perfect length of the court game-winning play with only 4.7 seconds on the clock. After the referee gave the inbounder the ball, three Baruch players ran directly up the floor. The players essentially cleared out the floor for point guard Jack Smith to get the ball.
Smith pushed the ball up to half court, where he found center Benjamin Boateng wide open at the free throw line for the game-winning jumper. The court was so spaced out because of the confusion created at the start of the game. This was not the first time that a bunch formation inbounds play was used to great success.
While Northern Kentucky used the play to run time off the clock, the bunch formation caused confusion at the end of the game. The circumstances of Baruch’s play were vastly different to Northern Kentucky as the play decided the CUNYAC Championship game. Head coach John Alesi picked the perfect time to come up with this play as no one would expect a football formation to be an inbounds play.
The play was executed to perfection as the Bearcats easily broke down the College of Staten Island’s defense for the winning shot. The NCAA may change its rule on how many players can be out of bounds before the start of a play, but all that matter for Baruch College is being named CUNYAC champions.