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“The game-winning jump shot framed perfectly for me as my position was downcourt”

ESPN Images photographer Allen Kee recalls his greatest Final Four moment, capturing Arike Ogunbowale's Notre Dame 2018 championship game-winner

Arike Ogunbowale rose to the occasion and lifted Notre Dame to the 2018 NCAA Women’s National Championship over Mississippi State. (Allen Kee/ESPN Images)

Tonight and Monday night, the women’s and men’s 2020 NCAA Division I basketball national championships would have been decided. With sports on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Front Row revisits some classic Final Four moments as captured by ESPN Images photographers.

Today we celebrate the work of Allen Kee. On April 1, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio, Kee captured Arike Ogunbowale’s second buzzer-beating shot in three days in Nationwide Arena.

That shot, depicted in the .GIF above, lifted Notre Dame over Mississippi State 61-58 for the national title.

Tonight at 9 ET, ESPN re-airs that classic game as the finale of the slate of nine Women’s Final Four Matchups that were presented this weekend on ESPN platforms.

Kee writes:

In more than 25 years of covering March Madness, both men’s and women’s tournaments, I’ve witnessed many incredible moments. Without a doubt, the greatest moment came in 2018 at the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio.

Coach Muffet McGraw’s Notre Dame team was led by junior guard Ogunbowale, who had been dominant. In the national semifinal, she beat previously undefeated UCONN with a last-second jumper with her idol, Kobe Bryant, watching in the stands.

Two nights later against Mississippi State, she was clutch again.

Ogunbowale hit a 3-pointer as time expired to give Notre Dame its second-ever women’s basketball NCAA championship. The shot framed perfectly for me as my position was downcourt.

Ogunbowale turned toward me in celebration. The sequence that followed was truly memorable.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Watch commentators Adam Amin, Rebecca Lobo and Kara Lawson’s call of – and reaction to – Ogunbowale’s heroics.

Monday, ESPN Images’ Phil Ellsworth shares his most cherished Final Four photographs.

Arike Ogunbowale (24) and Jessica Shepard (23) of Notre Dame celebrate.
(Allen Kee/ESPN Images)
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