Last summer, Jordan Crawford made headlines for dunking on LeBron James during a Nike basketball camp. This summer, he may make headlines as a high pick in the NBA draft and his performance in the NCAA West Regional semifinals at Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, March 25 demonstrated why many believe he may be snapped up quickly.
Crawford scored a career-high 32 points, despite his Xavier Musketeers falling to No. 2 Kansas State Wildcats, 101-96, in double-overtime.
No. 6 Xavier (26-9) sought its third regional finals appearance in seven years, and came very close after Crawford nailed a 35-foot three-pointer to tie the game at the end of the first overtime. He went on to make additional tough baskets in double-overtime, causing one ESPN Sportscenter to characterize the game as one of the most exciting basketball games in recent tournament history.
“When you make a couple of those shots, you…kind of start to think that it’s meant to be,” Crawford said.
But he wasn’t the only player who brought his A-game to the “big dance”. Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen drilled a pair of deep three-pointers late in the final minutes of the game, helping his team hold off a persistent Xavier.
“It was two teams that didn’t want their season to end,” said Pullen, who led KSU with 28 points. “It was an emotional roller-coaster.”
Kansas State (29-7) will now play No. 5 Butler on Saturday, in hopes of making their first Final Four appearance since 1964.