Whenever something incredible happens in life, the common saying goes "you couldn't have scripted it any better".
I don't think this has applied to anything that I have ever seen more than the Arizona Wildcats' final home game of the 2015-16 season.
Having been to Arizona games for the better part of nine years, I've seen some pretty incredible stuff. Just the past couple of years, there's been the Hill Mary game, the Gonzaga overtime game, the domination of Michigan with Rich Rodriguez in the house, the Utah OT win this year. Hell, even the basketball game against Cal just two short days ago.
But what happened in McKale Center on Saturday, even if it was a 32-point blowout of a mediocre Stanford team, was something unlike I had ever seen before.
The fact that Sean Miller had five seniors on this year's team is a rarity not only for this program, but the upper-tier of college basketball in general.
After Gabe York's game-winning three on Thursday, I had a feeling that there would be something a little extra not just from him, but the entire team. And he came out firing, knocking down his first four threes of the game.
From there, it was all magic.
Kaleb Tarczewski was slamming home powerful dunks, and even threw a guy down to the floor going for a loose ball. Ryan Anderson was doing Ryan Anderson things. Mark Tollefsen was draining threes with Gabe York holding up the three fingers running back on defense.
Then at the under-8 media timeout, we got what we wanted.
An all-senior lineup.
This was Jacob Hazzard's first action of the game. While there was some thought on the outside that the walk-on could start, Sean Miller said afterwards that the thought was never really in play, but getting him in as early as possible was the priority.
With a nearly 40-point lead, Hazzard got in, and stayed in.
The walk-on's first of three makes from beyond the arc came right away. His second would tie the school record for threes made in a game. His third would set the new mark of 18.
In between those, Sean Miller was able to pull one senior off the court at a time, each receiving a standing ovation. First up was Anderson, who took the time to wave to all corners of McKale, blowing a kiss to the ZonaZoo, then gave the first of four lengthy hugs to Miller.
Tollefsen was next, but then it was Gabe York's turn, and man did it get misty in the historic Tucson arena when he channeled his inner T.J. McConnell.
As they say in Tucson, This. Is. Arizona. #Pac12Hoops— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) March 5, 2016
Gabe York goes out on Senior Day with a FLOURISH. pic.twitter.com/H4wsZ87ECQ
York had already tied the school record for nine made threes in the game, now sharing that mark with Salim Stoudamire. Both were 9-for-14 in those particular games. Both will go down as two of the great shooters in Arizona history.
Everyone that knew the record was in play wanted the record, and Miller admitted that if he had known Gabe had been tied for the school record, he would have left York in the game a little longer to try and get that tenth three.
Last, but certainly not least, to come off the court was Tarczewski in the contest that would make him tied with Matt Muehlebach as Arizona's winningest player of all-time. One win in the postseason will give Zeus the record.
After a big hug for Sean Miller, the team played out the last three or so minutes for a 94-62 win, leading up to a great ceremony after the game.
Each of the players were honored after the game with their framed jersey ceremony, and one last send off from the ZonaZoo. The vast majority of the 14,644 people in attendance for the game were still there. It was just amazing.
The storybook ending didn't stop there though. Walking back to my car, I was trailing behind Parker Jackson-Cartwright and his parents. Suddenly, you hear a high-pitched scream from behind us down the sidewalk "Parker, Parker, sign my ball."
This adorable little kid runs up with a basketball that looked like it was signed by many players on the team. Parker and his parents turned around, met the kid on the sidewalk, signed the ball, and gave him a nice little hug.
It was the perfect ending to what was a storybook afternoon at McKale Center.