Few things are more exciting than a game-winning play with no time left on the clock.
Even fewer things are more exciting than a game-winning buzzer-beater in March Madness.
We got another fantastic shot for the buzzer-beater pantheon Saturday night as freshman Jalen Suggs sent unbeaten Gonzaga to the men’s national championship game with his deep 3-pointer as time expired against No. 11 UCLA.
The shot, which moves the Bulldogs’ one step closer to becoming the first undefeated men’s basketball team since Indiana in 1976, was a thrilling end to a thrilling game. But how does it compare to buzzer-beaters of the past?
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the most exciting moments in men’s NCAA Tournament history:
Kris Jenkins — Villanova vs. North Carolina, 2016 National Championship
What better place to start than 2016’s title game for the ages? The Wildcats and Tar Heels were going back and forth for the final few minutes of the game. UNC’s Marcus Paige hit an off-balance 3-pointer to tie the game at 74 with 4.7 seconds left. Then Ryan Arcidiacono made a perfect run to find an open Kris Jenkins for the win.
Paul Jesperson — Northern Iowa vs. Texas, 2016 Round of 64
Paul Jesperson’s half-court prayer in 2016 sealed the deal for a Northern Iowa upset of Texas. After the Panthers missed a free throw to go up three with 11.9 seconds left, the Longhorns ran the court to tie the game with 2.7 seconds left. Northern Iowa had a timeout, but neglected to use it. Good call, coach.
Richard Hamilton — Connecticut vs. Washington, 1998 Sweet 16
Rip Hamilton. Enough said.
Bryce Drew — Valparaiso vs. Ole Miss, 1998 Round of 64
What was better: the shot, the first pass or the second pass? Does it matter? Not really. This was incredible.
Tyus Edney — UCLA v. Missouri, 1995 Round of 32
The speed. The handle. The finish. Game. Blouses.
Christian Laettner — Duke vs. Kentucky, 1992 Elite Eight
It took one of the most iconic plays in the history of sports, but Laettner’s unforgettable shot helped propel the Blue Devils to the first back-to-back NCAA titles since UCLA’s 1967-1973 dynasty.
Christian Laettner — Duke vs. Connecticut, 1990 Elite Eight
Laettner’s 1992 shot was by far his most famous, but this 1990 shot to the heart — also in the Elite Eight — was no slouch.
Tate George — Connecticut vs. Clemson, 1990 Sweet 16
Lorenzo Charles — NC State vs. Houston, 1983 National Championship
Jim Valvano will forever be remembered for his “don’t give up” 1993 ESPYS speech, where he received the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award. Ten years before giving his iconic speech, Jimmy V led North Carolina State to an NCAA Tournament to remember, capped by a buzzer-beating dunk off an air-ball in the title game.
U.S. Reed – Arkansas vs. Louisville, 1981 Round of 32
With five seconds left, Reed dribbled and weaved up the court, throwing up a half-court prayer that hit nothing but net to knock off the defending-champion Cardinals.
This list could go on and on. If we didn’t highlight your favorite shot, it’s probably here.