Lucky 11: Canisius ties NCAA mark for greatest last-minute comeback

After blowing an 11-point lead in the final minute of regulation, then failing to close the game out in TWO different overtimes, Jamaal Samuel and his Louisiana-Monroe teammates couldn't even look up at the scoreboard following their loss to Canisius on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Ethan Miller

Top-ranked Michigan State fended off Oakland in overtime to avoid a stunning upset. Second-ranked Kansas avenged a stunning loss at home two seasons ago with an easy win at San Diego State. And No. 5 Virginia took down California in Charlottesville with a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of overtime.

But the most notable Tuesday night game took place in Las Vegas. And the historical impact will certainly NOT be staying in Vegas. Canisius and Louisiana-Monroe played one of the most historic endings of all time. But only one of them is happy about it.

Canisius topped ULM 108-96 in triple overtime in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, but it was what the Golden Griffins did to even force the first overtime before pulling out the win: They tied the NCAA record for largest deficit overcome in the final minute of a game — 11 points.

ELEVEN!

Canisius was actually down 13 points with 62 seconds to play — meaning the Golden Griffins were two seconds from owning the record all on their own. Freshman Chris Atkinson was the big star of the comeback, with eight of his career-high 13 points in the final 1:02, including the tying 3 with 12 seconds left, according to the recap posted on the Canisius website.

What’s more, Canisius pulled off its own choke job in the second overtime when sophomore Kassius Robertson missed both free throws with the game tied and one second to play.

Ultimately, Canisius went on a 12-0 run in the third OT to get the win.

Here is a play-by-play of the last-minute magic which set up the miracle win.

For the record, the only other team to lead by 11 points with a minute to play and lose is San Diego State in a 2005 loss to UNLV. And here is the list atop which Canisius — and Louisiana-Monroe — now share the top spot.

H/t: Sporting News