Had Minnesota’s Blake Hoffarber made his legal middle name “Miracle Shot” following his heroics against Indiana in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament, Gophers fans would have more than understood.
Trailing the Hoosiers, 58–57, with 1.5 seconds remaining in the quarterfinals, coach Tubby Smith drew up a length-of-the-court pass play akin to a Hail Mary in football. Hoffarber came down with the pass before turning and shooting in one motion. When the shot went in, Hoffarber and his Gophers teammates went nuts.
It was déjà vu all over again for the Minnesota freshman. Roughly three years earlier, as a sophomore at Hopkins (MN) High, Hoffarber’s seat-of-his-pants buzzer-beater — later awarded the 2005 Best Play ESPY Award — sent the state championship game into double OT, where his team would prevail.
Hoffarber enjoyed a fine career at Minnesota, setting school records for 3-pointers made in a game (8), season (85) and career (200). He is now back in his home state working as an interventional cardiology representative for Boston Scientific.
Facing top-ranked Indiana on Tuesday night at Williams Arena, Minnesota will take all the good fortune it can get — including another miracle shot. Blake Hoffarber profile