Tyler Ennis' 35-footer against Pitt and more of the best buzzer-beaters of the year
Two of the most dramatic shots of the college basketball season belonged to Kentucky's Aaron Harrison: Consecutive last-second three-pointers in the NCAA tournament, one against Michigan to push the Wildcats into the Final Four and the next against Wisconsin to earn a berth in the national title game.
But buzzer beaters? Not precisely. Both teams had chances to answer after Harrison's bombs. So with that in mind, we took a look at the best true buzzer-beaters of the 2013-14 season. These were the top walk-off winners, or at minimum the shots that didn't provide a realistic chance to answer.
Points earned for starting the season off with a bang -- and also the madcap nature of the buzzer-beater itself. In the Flyers' season opener, freshman Kyle Davis tipped a long inbounds pass, scrambled to the floor to scoop it up, passed it along to teammate Khari Price, who then passed to Jordan Sibert for a three-pointer and an 81-80 victory.
Dec. 2: Shabazz Napier's jumper pushes Connecticut past Florida
In what no one expected to be a prelude to a Final Four rematch, Napier's first game-winning shot went askew. But DeAndre Daniels tipped the offensive rebound back, Napier retrieved it and nailed a jumper for the 65-64 win. It was the last Gators loss before the rematch in North Texas.
Dec. 7: Colorado's Askia Booker hits three-pointer to upset Kansas
Colorado had lost 20 games in a row to Kansas entering this non-conference tilt between former Big 12 members. And the Buffaloes blew a six-point lead in the last two minutes. But Booker's heave from a few steps inside of center court rescued them and produced a 75-72 win.
Jan. 14: Arkansas' Michael Qualls dunks Kentucky's chances
Buzzer-beaters are naturally gut-punches. Qualls' was more like a sledgehammer to the midsection. In a tie game in overtime, Qualls crashed the offensive glass to snare a Ky Madden miss and emphatically dunk it home with 0.2 seconds left for what became an 87-85 win.
Feb. 1: Sacramento State's desperation heave downs Weber State
First, it was overtime. Second, Sacramento State was facing the Big Sky leaders at the time. Third, Weber State's Davion Berry had just hit a tying three-pointer fractions of a second earlier. Fourth, Hornets guard Dylan Garrity wasn't within a ZIP code of the rim. But Garrity took an inbounds pass, heaved it from about 75 feet away and nailed it for a 78-75 win.
Feb. 5: VMI hits buzzer-beater triple play against Gardner-Webb
Three buzzer-beaters! Three! In one game! How delightfully absurd. But VMI kept them coming. Brian Brown hit a three-pointer to force the first overtime. D.J. Covington drained a jumper to for a second overtime. Then a Tim Marshall layup in the third extra session pushed the game into a fourth, after which VMI prevailed 108-104.
Feb. 12: Tyler Ennis keeps Syracuse's streak intact at Pitt
Just 4.4 seconds left, his team trying to extend a 23-0 start, on the road and down by one. And Tyler Ennis continued to convince everyone he was magic. The freshman took an inbounds pass, dribbled up court and nailed a 35-footer at the horn for a 58-56 win and a 24th straight win. The Orange would fall, finally, two games later. At the time it seemed like they were fated never to lose again.
Feb. 26: Michigan's Glenn Robinson III beats his father's alma mater, Purdue
Actually, it's not that the Little Dog beat the Big Dog's former team or that it happened in overtime. And it was a fairly unspectacular shot in and of itself, a drive to the rim and a tough finish in traffic. But the mad-genius call by John Beilein to have Caris Levert lob a cross-court inbounds pass to Robinson III and start the whole sequence means this merits inclusion.
March 6: St. Peter's Desi Washington floors his own bench
The shot itself was terrific: Fairfield had just tied the game in overtime. Then St. Peter's rushed down the floor and found Washington for the three-pointer at the horn in a 65-62 first-round MAAC tournament win. But the celebration capped it: Washington untucked his shirt and stomped down the court while, basically, the entire St. Peter's bench fell all over itself and to the floor after the shot.
March 20: Cameron Ridley saves Texas in NCAA tournament
The Longhorns already blew a 14-point second-half lead against Arizona State. And they were down in the final minute, too, before recovering and having one last shot to win. A Jonathan Holmes three-pointer missed badly, but Holmes was there to snatch the loose rebound from a scrum on the floor and flip-in a follow for an 87-85 win.