NCAA Arizona St TCU Basketball

Arizona State forward Alonzo Gaffney sits on the court after the team's first-round college basketball game against TCU in the men's NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17, 2023, in Denver.

Only when the desperation heave from three-quarters court sailed high over Arizona State’s basket did Bobby Hurley consider the option he didn’t use.

Of all the people to not consider a timeout, Christian Laettner’s former teammate is the unlikeliest suspect.

The Sun Devils still had a timeout in its pocket when TCU's JaKobe Coles hit a runner in the lane with 1.5 seconds left to put the Horned Frogs up 72-70 in a thrilling conclusion to the action at Ball Arena late Friday night.

“I thought about it as the ball was flying through the air," Hurley said. "That one you can put on me because I knew I had a timeout, and maybe we could have threw it to half court and flipped it to a guard and they would have taken a dribble and gotten about 20 feet closer.”

That Hurley, of all people, would have neglected to use his final timeout was puzzling. After all, he was an All-American for a Duke team that on March 28, 1992, called a timeout with 2.1 seconds remaining after Kentucky scored to go ahead by one. The Blue Devils’ Grant Hill threw a long inbounds pass to Laettner, who dribbled, spun and hit one of the most iconic shots in basketball history.

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Hurley, the point-guard-turned-coach, had less time to work with than his former mentor Mike Krzyzewski, but the Sun Devils surely could have come up with a plan with higher percentages than the Hail Mary they launched.

“Yeah, that's certainly something I'll think about,” Hurley said.

The game was the lone thriller from Friday’s four games at Ball Arena. The first three — wins by No. 3 seeds Baylor and Gonzaga and No. 6 Creighton — came by an average margin of 13 points.