Top 10 NCAA Tournament Buzzer Beaters of All Time
The NCAA tournament is a time of memorable plays, incredible shots and heartbreaking endings. The Davids are pitted against the Goliaths, with only one coming out on top.
At the conclusion of the 2012 tournament, with Kentucky winning it all on Monday night, let's look back at the most outstanding buzzer-beating shots in the history of the tourney. These are the plays that change the course of the entire tournament, and even a program's history.
The reasons that Bynum's drive didn't make the cut are:
1) It wasn't all that impressive; it was a layup.
2) There isn't enough room on the slideshow.
10. Danny Ainge Takes It Coast-to-Coast
In a 1981 Elite Eight game, No. 6 seed BYU took on the No. 2 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The contest went back and forth the entire game, with Notre Dame leading 50-49 with eight seconds to go. Danny Ainge received a pass, took the ball coast-to-coast and made a layup as time expired.
9. Drew Nicholas' Off-Balance Three
Although they were heavily favored to win, No. 6 seed Maryland struggled to find their shot early against 11th-seeded UNC-Wilmington in 2003.
With less than five seconds left, the Seahawks prevented Maryland playmaker Steve Blake from getting the ball. Instead, Drew Nicholas took the ball down the court and drilled an off-balance three-pointer to steal the win.
8. "The Shot"
In the 1987 NCAA championship game, Indiana was pitted against the powerful Syracuse Orange. The contest was back and forth, and the Hoosiers received the ball with about 20 seconds remaining. Indiana slowed down and waited for a good shot.
Keith Smart got the ball in the wing and drove to the corner. He threw up a prayer and made it to declare Indiana as 1987 national champions.
7. Rip Hamilton's Fade-Away Jumper
Either Rip Hamilton is a magnet to the ball or everyone else can't get a rebound.
Hamilton snagged two boards in less than three seconds, and then turned around and nailed the game-winning jumper against Washington.
Watch the video; even UConn coach Jim Calhoun agrees with me.
6. Jermaine Wallace's Corner Trey
In a tournament matchup against Iowa, Jermaine Wallace snagged a rebound and took the ball out to the three-point line. After a brief hesitation, he launched up a three from the corner that sent Northwestern State past Iowa to the next round.
5. "Hot Potato"
In a second-round game, Georgia Tech found itself trailing USC by two with 0.8 seconds remaining. James Forrest got the ball and wasted no time throwing up a three, which went in and secured the upset.
4. Lorenzo Charles' Putback
3. Mario Chalmers' Overtime-Enforcing Three-Pointer
In the 2008 national championship game, Derrick Rose's Memphis squad and Mario Chalmers' Kansas Jayhawks battled in a nail-biter. With less than four seconds remaining and the Jayhawks down by three, Chalmers picked up a loose ball and made a three from the top of the key to send the game to overtime.
Kansas went on to win the game, 75-68.
2. U.S. Reed's Half Court Heave
In a tournament contest against Louisville and Arkansas, U.S. Reed drove down the court with time winding down. He threw up a prayer from half court and led Arkansas to the next round.
1. Christian Laettner's Turn-Around Jump Shot
In perhaps the most famous shot in NCAA history, Duke's Christian Laettner received the ball after a long pass from the baseline with precious seconds remaining. He turned to the basket and knocked down the famed shot that every basketball fan has seen over and over again.
It may be predictable, but it's hardly beatable as the No. 1 entry on this list.