USC Upstate hits incredible game-winning bank shot to advance in Big South tournament

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 03: Jordan Gainey (11) of the USC Upstate Spartans shoots the game winning shot during the Big South Tournament against the Gardner Webb Runnin Bulldogs on March 3, 2023 at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
March Madness isn't limited to the NCAA tournament. (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

We are officially in March.

USC Upstate defeated Gardner-Webb in the quarterfinal of the Big South tournament on Friday thanks to an absolutely bonkers sequence of events in the final 10 seconds of the game.

Down 76-71 after a pair of free throws from Gardner-Webb's Anthony Selden, USC Upstate narrowed the gap with a 3-pointer from Jordan Gainey with nine seconds left in the game. Still up two points, all Gardner-Webb had to do was inbound the ball and make a couple free throws to maintain control of the game.

Unfortunately, step 1 didn't go according to plan, and then things got even worse.

A bad pass after the inbound left the ball up for grabs, leading to a mad scramble that put the ball back in the hands of Gainey. With two defenders on him, Gainey pump-faked, dribbled a couple times to his right, then hit an off-balance, game-winning bank shot with 0.1 left on the clock.

One moment later, it was a 77-76 USC Upstate win.

The whole thing was even more frantic when observed from the sidelines:

Gainey finished with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting (3-of-8 from deep) with two rebounds, a steal and the memory of what is likely the best play of his life.

USC Upstate, now 16-14 on the season, will advance to face top seed UNC Asheville in the Big South semifinals on Saturday.