FARGO — Former North Dakota State point guard Ben Woodside had already imagined the moment in his head, and he delivered when it counted.
Woodside’s 18-foot jumper in the closing seconds of the 2009 Summit League men’s basketball championship game is one of the defining moments in NDSU’s NCAA Division I lore.
The shot, with three seconds to play in the game, gave the Bison a 66-64 victory against Oakland (Mich.) and gave NDSU a berth to the NCAA tournament in the program’s first season in Division I.
“It’s everything a kid could hope in that moment and more,” said Woodside, from Albert Lea, Minn. “I dreamt about that since I was a little kid. It was quite the moment.”
The shot was five years in the making for Woodside, who played for the Bison from 2005-2009. He redshirted in 2004-05, his first season in the program.
The Bison played No. 3-seeded Kansas in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Woodside scored 37 points against the Jayhawks.
“After I hit a few, I was feeling pretty good,” Woodside said.
Kansas held off the Bison for an 84-74 victory, ending NDSU’s magical season.
Brett Winkleman, Mike Nelson and Lucas Moormann were also seniors on that 2008-09 team that came into the program with Woodside. Some referred to that group as the Fab Four.
That group made program history. Woodside won’t forget the Bison fans storming the court at the Sioux Falls Arena after he made the shot vaulted NDSU into its first trip to the Big Dance.
“It’s mayhem,” Woodside said. “I’m just running around and Freddy Coleman, who is an unbelievable athlete, football player, basketball, all that, he tackles me."