Ali Farokhmanesh approves of Florida Gulf Coast’s alley-oop

With just two minutes separating Florida Gulf Coast and a historic upset, the Eagles clinging to a seven-point lead over No. 2 Georgetown that never really felt safe, point guard Brett Comer broke the Hoyas’ full-court press and streaked down the right wing.

Two defenders converged near the low block. By all accounts, Comer should have spun to his right, backed the ball out and preserved the precious lead.

But among this madness of March, conservation does not a hero make.

So Comer picked up his dribble. He took one step forward. He put both hands on the ball. and flung it skyward, like a steaming potato fresh out of the microwave.

Out of the frame streaked Chase Fieler, soaring straight to the rim and instant fame. It happened in a flash, but before anyone knew, Fieler had jumped so high, all he had to do was tap the basketball through the net.


Within the realm of stone-cold hubris, Comer’s pass felt all too familiar. Nearly three years ago to the date (March 20, 2010), an Iranian senior of volleyball pedigree named Ali Farokhmanesh found himself all alone on the right wing, with no defenders in sight. His Northern Iowa squad, seeded ninth in that year’s NCAA tournament, was leading top-seeded Kansas 63-62. There were 35 seconds left. All Farokhmanesh needed to do was back out and kill clock.

Or launch the three-pointer that at once busted brackets and endeared himself to the nation.

“If you know Ali, you know that shot is going up at the end of a game like that,” Northern Iowa guard Johnny Moran said, via the New York Times.

“”I’ve thrown crazier ones to him,” Comer told Yahoo! Sports.

Yawn. Just another day at the office.

 

Farokhmanesh’s shot instantly etched himself into NCAA tournament folklore. Comer, with a far more spellable name yet equally icy veins, should too. The former currently plays in Europe, while the latter has his Eagles surviving another day. Comer won’t have any trouble finding fans these days, but one more won’t hurt.

MORE ON THE NCAA TOURNAMENT

Florida Gulf Coast stuns Georgetown | Hoyas look for answers

Wife of Florida Gulf Coast coach was a supermodel | Welcome to Dunk City, Fla.

Somebody’s perfect: It’s the Atlantic 10

La Salle upsets Kansas State. Bill Snyder does some emotional eating.

Jim Larranaga and Bob Thomason, 63 years young, square off | Boeheim sticks around

Marshall Henderson: Love him or hate him? | He passes!

Interactive bracket and NCAA tournament history database

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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