Tuesday, April 08, 2008


In honor of Mario Chalmers and his game-tying three-pointer last night that forced overtime in the national championship, here's a rundown of some of the more memorable buzzer-beating shots over the past three decades in the NCAA Tournament.

Hey, start with the best for us IU fans...Daryl Thomas throwing a solid shot fake, then having the presence of mind to find Keith Smart for the shot to give the Hoosiers a 74-73 lead late. Why again didn't Syracuse call a timeout for four seconds???

The legend started here, with then relative unknown Michael Jordan dropping a shot from the wing to give North Carolina a one point lead. But what's bigger; Jordan's winner or Fred Brown's errant pass to James Worthy?

Let's go old school on ya...defending national champ Louisville gets knocked out of the 1981 tournament on U.S. Reed's midcourt shot as Arkansas moves on.

Same year, one round later...Danny Ainge goes 1-on-5 length of the court to bounce Notre Dame.

Around these parts, us Indiana folks are a little partial to homegrown product Bryce Drew pulling off the miracle. Great pass downcourt, phenomenal airborne touch pass to the sideline, and a beautiful stroke.

I missed overtime of the 1992 Indiana high school state championship game to stand in the Hoosier Dome concourse and watch this finish. Not a big Kentucky fan, but I really loved this group of seniors and it was devestating to see Christian Laettner's shot fall through.

I don't rate this one as high as the others because it was a layup, but there was no denying the drama of Tyus Edney going all the way in less than five seconds. Early round game, but it kept UCLA alive on their way to an eventual national championship.

The terribly anti-climactic championship game notwithstanding, the 1990 NCAA Tournament was easily the most exciting start to finish I've ever seen. This Sweet Sixteen thriller between Connecticut and Clemson, with Stanley Burrell firing a 90 foot bullet downcourt for Tate George's turnaround might be the most improbable of any on this list.

This is probably the most memorable, because of Jim Valvano sprinting around the court and the sheer magnitude of the upset of a phenomenal Houston team with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. A complete broken play with Derek Wittenberg's airball getting dunked in by Lorenzo Charles. I watched a replay of this game last week...what in the hell was Drexler still doing in to get his fourth foul in the first half?

James Forrest hadn't hit a three-pointer all year if I remember correctly. Nice time to hit a twenty foot turnaround with less than a second left on the catch.

With all due respect to Chalmers, was that even the most exciting buzzer beater in this tournament? There was still 2.1 seconds left after he made it, and it merely tied the game. How about Ty Rogers for Western Kentucky knocking Drake out in the first round?

Any I'm missing? I couldn't find a clip of Laettner double-pumping from seventeen to beat Connecticut and go to the Final Four in '90.

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