Earlier this week, I was talking with my boys’ friend Preston and we were discussing college basketball. I looked at the TV lineup and saw that Duke was on and he wanted to watch it, but I won’t write what I said about Duke.
However, it did remind me about the 2016 NCAA basketball national championship game between Villanova and North Carolina.
I have been a fan of UNC basketball since Michael Jordan was a Tar Heel and, at some point in our upbringing, my little brother Sam decided to be a Duke fan. Like a good Tar Heel … I hate Duke basketball — always have, always will.
If Duke played Ole Miss I would wish that the arena would just sink into the depths of the never lands. But, actually, if it really came down to it, I would pull for Duke in any sport if the Blue Devils were playing the Black Sharks.
Anyway, I went on YouTube and watched the ending of the Nova-UNC title game from ’16 when Nova hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a walk-off win for a national championship.
It’s the only time that has happened in college basketball, and it is still so very awesome … even though UNC came out on the short end that night.
Walkoffs in baseball are probably the most common. And, for me, two stick out in my mind. Kirk Gibson hit a walkoff homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series against Oakland that is forever entrenched in MLB lore. And LSU’s Warren Morris hit the only walkoff home run to win the College World Series in 1996 as the Tigers toppled Miami for the title.
Walkoffs in football are also very exciting and typically are capped off with a Hail Mary. Well, outside of the Tennessee Titans “Music City Miracle” in January of 2000 in the NFL playoffs. (If you aren’t familiar with it, then look it up on YouTube.)
LSU had a walkoff “miracle” in football in 2002 at Kentucky that is known as the “Bluegrass Miracle.” And, yes, it is a favorite of mine.
However, Alabama pulled off one of the top walkoff moments last year when QB Tua Tagovailoa hit DeVonta Smith on a 41-yard scoring strike to beat Georgia in overtime for the title on the final play of the game.
Sure, there have been many great walkoff wins in college football (see Boston College vs. Miami in 1984. Maybe even Colorado vs. Michigan in 1994.) And many others that could make the list, but Bama’s walkoff is at the top in college football because it secured a national championship.
Bama’s walkoff in football, Villanova’s walkoff in basketball and LSU’s walkoff in baseball with a homer are the only times that each of those three college sports championships have ended in such fashion.
I find it very hard to decide which sport can produce the most exciting walkoff win. Each is so very exciting in its own way.
In 2003, a pair of former LSU walk-on basketball players opened their first bistreaux and bar in Baton Rouge in the shadows of Tiger Stadium.
Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar has become a gameday tradition for many generations of Tiger fans over the course of the past 15 years.
In 2015, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees invested in the company and became a part owner.
There are currently 24 Walk-On’s in four states (Alabama, Louisiana (17), Mississippi and Texas). The one in the Magnolia State opened up earlier this year right down the road in the Hub City. It is at 4400 Hardy Street, just off I-59 in front of Georgia Blue.
I recommend trying the Hick Chick sandwich, or the Boom Boom shrimp. The burgers are all legit and if you have any room left, you HAVE to try the Krispy Kreme bread pudding.
Also, if you are in the mood, try the Bloody Mary. Three thumbs up for it.
Walk-On’s is a great place to watch football, and any other sporting events that you might be inclined to watch. The food is way better than typical bar food and the atmosphere is better than pretty much any other sports bar.
And, who knows, while you are there, maybe you will catch the next best walkoff while you are chowing down on some solid grub at Walk-On’s.
Guru Nichols is former sports editor of the Leader-Call.