Posted March 25, 2013 on AP on Fox
Tyrone Garland calls it the ''Southwest Philly Floater.'' Just a little scoop layup crafted on the Philadelphia playgrounds and perfected in Kansas City. Garland's shot with the catchy nickname has the La Salle Explorers floating all the way to the NCAA tournament's round of 16. The Explorers may not be the most unlikely team to advance to the second weekend - hello, Florida Gulf Coast - but they are clearly in the best position to make a deeper run. The Explorers haven't been this far in the tournament in five decades. May as well stick around and see how far the fun lasts. No one wants the tournament to stop at La Salle. Students at the small Catholic university rushed the court at Tom Gola Arena where they watched the 13th-seeded Explorers beat Mississippi 76-74 on the big screen, then hit the streets outside campus where the partying, moshing, and hollering continued for hours. Can you blame them? None of Philadelphia's six Division-I basketball programs had a longer tournament drought than the Explorers. The last time the upstart Explorers got this far, the NCAA tournament didn't even have a round of 16. Tom Gola, a three-time All-America, led the program to consecutive trips to the NCAA championship game in 1954 and 1955. The Explorers won the 1954 national championship and then, almost nothing after `55. They won a single tournament game in 1983 and in 1990 and hadn't returned for a dose of March Madness since 1992. All of that futility has been forgotten, if not forgiven, during this three-game tournament winning streak that has them playing ninth-seeded Wichita State on Thursday night in Los Angeles. The Shockers took out top-seeded Gonzaga to form this unlikely pairing in the West Regional. The Shockers, however, are in the round of 16 for the first time since 2006. The Explorers have won more tournament games in the last week than they have in the last 58 years combined. ''We talked all week about the great La Salle tradition,'' coach John Giannini said. ''When you come in, you want to bring that back. These guys are doing it right before our eyes.'' With one giant thrill along the way. Ole Miss led 74-72 with 1:58 left and enough time to pad their lead, it just didn't happen. On their last possession, the Explorers brought the ball up court, with most everybody expecting Ramon Galloway to take the shot. Garland instead took a pass from just above the 3-point arc, split two defenders on a drive down the lane, and scooped the ball in off the glass for the winner. The Rebels' last-gasp heave was short and hundreds of La Salle fans at the Sprint Center went wild. And a catchphrase was born. Garland causally mentioned the name of his shot in the postgame TV interview and it took off on Twitter. ''They call it on the playground, when you see a big defender, just lay the ball up and they call it a Southwest Floater,'' he said. ''I just was hearing that as I was growing up playing in the playgrounds.'' He later tweeted, ''Thanks for the love everybody love y'all and thanks for making the SW floater famous.'' With his wide smile, headband and dreadlocks, Garland has been one of the early stars of a tournament stuffed with upsets and new faces. Galloway also tweeted a link to buy a yellow T-shirt with dreads over a basketball and the ''Southwest Philly Floater'' name. He had an outstanding career at Philadelphia's John Bartram High and was a two-time, first team, Class AAAA All-State selection. He decided to leave home and attend Virginia Tech. But he barely played and decided to transfer back to his home city. Because of Garland and Galloway, the Explorers have defeated Boise State 80-71 in the First Four and followed that up with a 63-61 win over No. 4 seed Kansas State. ''It's a wonderful story,'' Galloway said. ''It's just great to play for La Salle, uplift the La Salle community again.'' With Villanova and Temple eliminated on the first weekend, it's up to the Explorers to continue to represent a city with deep basketball roots. The signs were there they could pull this off when they beat Butler and VCU just days apart. Who knew, that was just the beginning. ''I don't know how to feel because I never been here,'' Galloway said. ''I can say it's the greatest feeling, but I don't know right now.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

La Salle’s Tyrone Garland Dubs Game Winner The Southwest Philly Floater (Video)

Tyrone Garland is a prep legend in the city of Philadelphia, but to those who may not be as familiar, he’s known for spending two seasons at Virginia Tech before returning home to attend La Salle. What a decision that has been for the explorers, who are now in the sweet 16 with a legitimate shot to reach the Elite 8 if they can defeat Wichita State. Garland who hit the game winning...

Video: 13-Seed La Salle Defeats Ole Miss With Last-Second “Southwest Philly Floater”

Is this the Year of the Bracket-Busters? First Florida Gulf Coast became the first 15-seed in history to make the Sweet 16, and now the Eagles will be joined by the 13-seed La Salle Explorers. Tied at 74-74, La Salle had the ball and the ability to hold for the last shot of the game. With less than ten seconds remaining on the clock, Tyrone Garland drove into the lane and hit his...

La Salle enjoying historic tourney run

Tyrone Garland calls it the ''Southwest Philly Floater.'' Just a little scoop layup crafted on the Philadelphia playgrounds and perfected in Kansas City. Garland's shot with the catchy nickname has the La Salle Explorers floating all the way to the NCAA tournament's round of 16. The Explorers may not be the most unlikely team to advance to the second weekend...

LaSalle Beats Ole Miss On A Late “Floater”

Categories: BREAKING NEWS College NCAAB NewsTags: LaSalle ExplorersRamon GallowayTyreek DurenTyrone GarlandIt was an amazing shot that Tyrone Garland hit which was over 6’9″ Reginald Buckner and sent LaSalle to the next round of the NCAA tournament.  In Philadelphia, it’s a shot that’s seen commonly on the playgrounds of the city of Brotherly Love. “I’m not scared...

Garland's late shot sends Mississippi home

Marshall Henderson says if Mississippi fans want to take it out on anybody, they can take it out on him. Mississippi's swaggering shooting guard, who draws about as much attention as anyone else in college basketball, said he's to blame for La Salle's 76-74 victory in the third round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday. ''We should still be playing. I'm not...

La Salle on run 58 years in making

Tyrone Garland banked home a scooping layup with 2 seconds left and 13th-seeded La Salle beat Mississippi 76-74 on Sunday, vaulting the Explorers to their deepest run in the NCAA tournament since they played for the championship in 1955. Ramon Galloway had 24 points for La Salle (24-9), which was playing its third game in five days. No. 12 Ole Miss (27-9) led 74-72 with 1:58 left...

Tyrone Garland, Aaron Craft, Khalif Wyatt Shine, But Hold Off on NBA Draft Talk for NCAA Tournament Heroes

For a good part of Sunday afternoon, Khalif Wyatt was trending hard on Twitter. The senior guard from Temple got shout-outs from a wide range of followers, from Nets guard Joe Johnson to Raiders fullback Marcel Reece. Wyatt scored 31 points against Indiana, and although the Owls lost, he boosted himself from anonymity to a household name among hoops fans. Yet it did not amount to...
Explorers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.