The Madness is officially underway. The first round–or “First Four”–is done and over with and we now have a set field of 64 teams who one way or another have proven they are worthy to be part of the NCAA tournament.
It’s every basketball fan’s dream to hit a shot as the clock ticks down to zero. Just look at any kid playing in their driveway or a park and you’ll hear a kid counting down as they dribble “three…two…one” and then launch a shot and once it’s through the net, the mock celebration begins.
One of the great things about the Big Dance is that we are almost guaranteed to see multiple buzzer-beaters occur within the tournament’s first 32 games. Game after game will go down to the wire and it will fall on the shoulders of one player, no matter if they are the biggest name or a player you never heard of before. When it goes in, it’s complete euphoria (unless you are either on the losing team or a fan of that school).
Let’s take a look at the ten best and most memorable buzzer-beaters in NCAA tournament history.
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10. Tate George, UConn
1990 NCAA tournament, Sweet 16
We start this list off with a shot that might not have actually counted. The Huskies were down one with only a second remaining and had to go the full length of the court. Easy to say, about 99 percent of the Meadowlands crowd thought Elden Campbell and Clemson were going to move on. However, the ball was launched all the way to George in the short corner, who jumped to catch the pass, spun, and launched a jumper (I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way that all happened in one second) that found it’s way into the hoop and was ruled good.
9. Drew Nicholas, Maryland
2003 NCAA Tournament, Round of 64
UMD, a six seed, trailed UNC-Wilmington, an 11 seed, by one with five seconds left. Nicholas caught the inbound pass, took a few dribbles to the wing and tossed up a fadeaway three as his body carried itself towards the sidelines and the next thing we knew that ball had gone through the net. SWISH.