March Madness is almost upon us and basketball fans everywhere are rejoicing. It is consistently some of the best basketball you’re likely to see all year and it puts the best of the best against each other on a national stage. Needless to say, this has made for quite a lot of close games. In fact, pretty much any year, you’re likely to see a nail-biter ending. With so many buzzer-beaters in the tournament’s history, what better time to countdown the best of all time?
1995- UCLA v. Missouri
This one is a bit atypical for the other moments on this list but no less impressive. Despite being the leagues top team, UCLA was facing early elimination. Though Tyus Edney was not going to have any of that. Down by one point with just under 5 seconds to go. Edney took the ball coast-to-coast, running like a mad man down the court and put the ball up inside the key.
1998- Valparaiso vs. Ole Miss
One of those underdog moments we all love so much. Ole Miss was expecting to bowl over this small town school early in the tournament but Valpo had other plans. Down by two with 2.5 seconds remaining, Valpo’s Jamie Sykes threw in one of those all important accurate long passes to Bill Jenkins who then dished it to Bryce Drew. Being the coach’s son, Drew has extra pressure on, but he didn’t disappoint, nailing the three.
1990- Connecticut vs. Clemson
An impossible moment. Down with only a second remaining on the clock, all hope of UCONN advancing seemed to be gone. But things turned quite quickly. While not the moment ever one remembers, the full court spot-on pass from Scott Burrell was so clutch. Then Tate George, surrounded by Clemson player spun and shot, with impressive awareness of where the basket was. Again, just impossible.
1983- Houston vs. NC State
An emotional rollercoaster this one. With the game tied, the coach for the underdog NC State team wasn’t taking any chances, he told them to run the clock out. As the seconds ticked away, NC’s Dereck Whittenburg nearly turned the ball over but it left him open to take a shot. The camera followed the ball through the air as it became clear it was going to fall short. Just as the regulation was about to end with an embarrassing air-ball, Lorenzo Charles leaped up for an unexpected alley-oop.
1992: Duke vs. Kentucky
One of those moments sports fans will remember forever. They’ll remember where they were and who they were with when “the shot” was made. With just over two seconds on the clock, Kentucky opted to focus their defence on the other end of the court rather than where the ball was inbounded—it proved to be the wrong choice. Duke’s Grant Hill through a pass normally seen in football right into the hands of Christian Laettner. He faked, pivoted and threw up a fade-away shot with 0.3 seconds remaining. Nothing but net. It’s the kind of moments that makes this tournament so memorable.