Relive the madness of these NCAA tournament buzzer beaters from the past. 

By Jeremy Woo
March 16, 2017

March Madness is about the moments, so we’ve rounded up a bunch of the best ones here in one convenient place as this year’s tourney gets going.

We stuck to buzzer beaters, so plenty of big shots were left by the wayside (hey, Ali Farohkmanesh and T.J. Sorrentine), but this is pretty subjective and not even a ranking—after all, the beauty of the buzzer beater is in the eye of the beholder. It's simple impossible to choose which buzzer beater is objectively the best, but you're welcome to go on that fool's errand. 

Here are a bunch of the best NCAA tournament buzzer beaters ever, with video. 

U.S. Reed, 1980

Ulysses “U.S.” Reed not only had a great name, but he also sank Louisville by rumbling and fumbling his way into a bizarre halfcourt game-winner for Arkansas.

Lorenzo Charles, 1983

Charles won the tournament for N.C. State against Houston with this legendary and timely dunk at the buzzer. Dereck Whittenburg is all of us, every time we airball in pickup hoops and it turns out fine. “That was a pass!”

Tate George, 1990

No. 1 UConn survived No. 5 Clemson in the Sweet 16 on this Hail Mary of a throw, catch and hoist.

Christian Laettner, 1992

You’ve seen this a million times: Laettner sends Duke past Kentucky and into the Final Four.

James Forrest, 1992

No. 7 Georgia Tech over No. 2 USC in the Round of 32.

Tyus Edney, 1995

Edney’s mad dash saved top seed UCLA against No. 8 Missouri in the Round of 32, and kept them alive on the run to an NCAA title.

Bryce Drew, 1998

Tiny 13-seed Valparaiso inked a first-round upset of Ole Miss thanks to a heroic shot by Drew — the son of Valpo coach Homer Drew and a future college head coach himself.

Rip Hamilton, 1998

On his way to NBA stardom, Richard Hamilton bailed out UConn with this improbable shot off an offensive rebound that sent them to the Elite 8. No. 11 Washington was left to watch in agony. Husky-on-husky violence.

Mike Miller, 2000

Safe to say, Florida would not have made it to the NCAA final without Miller’s double-clutch layup in the first round against No. 12 Butler.

Drew Nicholas, 2003


This wild running three saved Maryland from an upset against UNC-Wilmington.

Jermaine Wallace, 2006

This is how Northwestern State won a game in the NCAA tournament before Northwestern did.

Kenton Paulino, 2006

After Kevin Pittsnogle (!) tied the game for West Virginia with a three, LaMarcus Aldridge-led Texas pushed quickly and punched a ticket to the Elite 8 with this wild winner.

Ty Rogers, 2008

Tiny Western Kentucky knocked off Drake in the first round with Rogers’ clutch three over multiple defenders.

Mario Chalmers, 2008

This didn’t win the game, but it sent Kansas to overtime against Derrick Rose and Memphis, where they’d comfortably become NCAA champions with a commanding final stretch.

Scottie Reynolds, 2009

Villanova knocked off conference rival Pitt and went to the Final Four thanks to this incredible full-court effort and finish from the scrappy Reynolds.

Kris Jenkins, 2016

Fast forward, and here we are.

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