Eleven days ago, Oakland throttled Youngstown State 101-72. The Grizzlies shot 52 percent, forced 17 turnovers and recorded assists on 29 of their 39 field goals in the blowout. The outcome further pushed Greg Kampe's team to the top of the Horizon League standings and the Penguins to the bottom.
Oakland finished the regular season 14-4 to earn the top seed in the conference tournament, where they hosted ninth-seeded Youngstown State (5-13) in Saturday's quarterfinals. That's when the 29-point demolition on February 21 didn't matter, nor did the Grizzlies' nine more conference wins or all the favorable stats.
All that mattered was paint defense in the closing seconds of a one-point game. And Oakland, in search of their fourth NCAA Tournament bid since 2005, did not cover it adequately. In fact, they didn't cover it at all.
Trailing 80-79 with 3.3 seconds remaining, Youngstown State guard Cameron Morse took the inbounds pass and found Jordan Kaufman under the bucket for the game winner. At the time of Morse's pass, not a single Oakland player was inside the paint. Not one.
Youngstown State just upset No 1 seed Oakland in the Horizon semis on this beautiful play. pic.twitter.com/3xVL79pr2s
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) March 5, 2017