Dec. 17, 2007
Utah and BYU have produced some of the greatest moments in college athletics and the Ute-Cougar basketball series is no different.
But no game created as much controversy as the game played in the "Big Mac" (Marriott Activity Center) on Jan. 24, 1976.
The score was tied with eight seconds remaining. Utah had the ball and the J.J.s went to work. Jeff Judkins comes off a screen and Jeff Jonas gets him the ball. Judkins is open for the shot. It's short.
But Buster Matheney is right there to put it in at the buzzer. Or did he?
This was the no-dunk era. Did Buster catch it and dunk it or did he tip it in? Did he beat the buzzer? Were his fingers over the rim?
Irv Brown, the official, signaled it was good. BYU Coach Frank Arnold went ballistic. Television replayed the shot over and over. Slow motion and stop-action replays were shown all week. KSL said it was no good. KUTV said it was. And, it was.
The ball was clearly out of Buster's hands when the light came on to signal the end of regulation time. But were his finger tips over the rim? Perhaps we'll never know. But nonetheless, his shot counted and Utah took a 76-74 victory in the rivalry.