Stanford, Arizona both missed chances on their head-scratching final possessions

The possession entered the official play-by-play as a "Stanford turnover: shot-clock violation." 

The Cardinal, thanks to a lackadaisical final 30 seconds of possession, gave the Arizona Wildcats the ball back with 6.1 seconds left. Down one, 54-53, they were one shot (or two free throws) from snatching a championship from the Cardinal in the women's NCAA Tournament on Sunday. 

That obviously did not happen. Stanford survived, thanks to strong initial defense on the inbound pass to Arizona superstar Aari McDonald, who caught the ball with her back to the basket. Stanford's Anna Wilson didn't allow McDonald to penetrate and find a lane to the basket. A triple-team consisting of the Cardinal's Cameron Brink and Lexie Hull swarmed her from both sides, and McDonald heaved a prayer over them. 

The ball hit the back of the rim and fell out of the cylinder as the buzzer sounded. McDonald sprawled on the floor in despair. Stanford was jubilant. 

Unfortunately for Arizona and McDonald, everybody – especially Stanford – knew she would have the ball in her hands.

Celebrate Cardinal!!!#NationalChampionship x @StanfordWBBpic.twitter.com/h45HWHRDn6


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