Tarence Kinsey’s memorable 22-foot three-pointer with 0.9 seconds left gave Carolina its first NIT Championship, edging St. Joseph’s 60-57 at Madison Square Garden.
Carolina struggled with its shooting for much of the night (only 37%), but solid defense and clutch shooting ultimately saved the day for USC.
After trailing by as many as six in the second half, the Gamecocks took a 56-51 lead when Kinsey canned two free throws with 27 seconds remaining. But, the Hawks wouldn’t go away easily. A three-pointer cut the lead to only two (56-54) with 20 seconds left. After a USC free throw, Hawks’ star player Pat Carroll tied the score at 57 with a clutch 3 with 7.5 seconds left. Ironically, Carroll had made the most three’s in the country during the season. Undaunted, Tarence Kinsey raced into the front court, and launched the memorable buzzer-beater which gave USC the NIT championship trophy.