With 3.6 seconds left, he could not ice the game, but nonetheless drained the first free throw. 'Twas a two point lead. His second attempt intentionally doinked off the iron, landing in the arms of — oh, guess who — Heyward.
He began dribbling around some stationary Duke players, none of whom wanted to be the guy eternally ostracized for fouling at this juncture. (Replays showed Howard completely laying out Singler on a pick-bodyslam hybrid during this series of events.)
Heyward traversed halfcourt and heaved up a 40-foot prayer for the win. Buzzer. Off the backboard. Off the rim.
It was the gut punch I needed to properly begin using my lungs.
In the end Heyward had two incredibly tough shots to capture a national championship for Butler. With higher stakes than merely upsetting a 1-seed or reaching the Final Four, such baskets need to be converted. And nobody faults Heyward for not making them, although, given how the tournament went, nobody would've been surprised if his last-second heave would have swished through the twine.
The despised superior team wins most of the time for a reason. In that regard, one could say that this was the final "upset" in a bevy of strange games over the past three weeks. While millions of casual sports fans may be dejected over who won, the fact that the tournament is finally over will be very healthy for their tracheae.