Ann Arbor — At halftime of Saturday's Michigan-SMU matchup at Crisler Center, Mike Miller was a long shot in a contest to make four shots in less than half a minute.
Miller, a sophomore from Saginaw, was vying for a prize of $10,000 for making a layup, a free throw, a 3-pointer and a half-court shot in 25 seconds. After corralling his own rebounds Miller completed the feat — in five attempts, after only missing a free-throw attempt.
But not in time.
He hit the 3-pointer with about four seconds remaining, hurrying to try to attempt the half-court heave before time expired. Miller ran beyond the half-court line and took a few steps up as time expired and swished the shot — to an array of cheers from the Crisler Center crowd.
"My feeling at the start was that after hearing the rules, I really didn't think there was any shot of winning — much less getting to the half-court shot," Miller said. "My primary goal was to make a couple of shots and have a good showing for myself.
"Once I made the 3-pointer and realized I had even a chance to get that shot off, that's when it hit me that I had a shot to really win that. Of course, the shot went through and my mind was racing at a million miles a second — I really didn't know what to think at that point."
Replays shown on the big Crisler scoreboards showed that Miller had not released the final shot in time and it was ruled that he wouldn't receive the $10,000 prize money. The crowd at Crisler booed the decision heavily and Miller returned to his seat with nothing to show for his effort.
"They told me to give them my information and that they were going to send me some gifts as a consolation," Miller said. "Then they announced over the PA that I was going to get $1,000.
"It was definitely better than getting nothing for that."
It was a whirlwind of emotion for Miller, who wasn't expecting the $1,000 but was happy to get it. After the replays were on ESPN, there was a groundswell of support for Miller to get the whole $10,000, even if the shot was a little late.
But Miller said he didn't have immediate plans to pursue getting the whole prize.
"I may send an email to the person involved just to ask that question and get an answer," he said.
No matter how the prize money turns out, Miller had a memorable experience that he and his friends will remember for a long time.
"It's been pretty cool. A lot of my friends have been posting the video on Facebook and tagging me in it," Miller said. "A lot of people on Twitter that I know and I don't know have been tweeting about it, so it's a pretty cool experience."