In a tie game with 4.7 seconds left, the City University of New York Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship game hung in the balance Friday.

Baruch College had the ball under its own basket and was set to inbound against College of Staten Island, hoping to get a good look at a game-winning shot.

To achieve that objective, Baruch head coach John Alesi reached into his playbook and found … a football play?

Yeah, that’s more or less what it looked like. All five players started out of bounds behind their own end line, and when the whistle signaled the start of play, four of them sprinted forward in what essentially looked like pass patterns while the inbounder acted like the quarterback.

Alesi said he lifted the concept for the play from something he saw on social media.

It was so unique and I saw the value in it. We didn’t run the same play, but it was the same concept,” he said. We’re wide receivers, thinking about running your route, and breaking off your route and coming back to the ball. I had it in the back of my mind that in the right spot, it would be a great way to get the ball in bounds.”

It worked beautifully. Staten Island players looked thoroughly confused, allowing for an easy inbound pass to a teammate (running back?) and a low-risk pass up the court for the game-winning shot and a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament for Baruch.

Here’s the video:

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