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The basket was unguarded. Burgress, who wanted the ball in overtime, collected an easy layup.

As soon as the ball fell through and the Alamodome erupted, Rodriguez knew he had to scramble back on defense. FSU’s Chris Singleton already sank two critical shots to send the game to overtime and give the Seminoles a one-point lead in the extra period. Rodriguez didn’t want a third batch of heroics.

One last time Singleton got the ball. But freshman Rob Brandenberg swatted it away — though he was never credited with a block — as time expired.

The ball flew up in the air. VCU players ran a half-dozen different directions. Rodriguez stood in front of the press table and screamed. Dome security and police officers clogged the stands to keep VCU supporters from rushing the court.

“We’re not supposed to be here,” Rodriguez said. “But we’re having a good time and celebrating. We’re not used to being around all this.”

The seven seconds that seemed an eternity was over.