Best buzzer beaters in NCAA men’s basketball championship history


One of the most exhilarating feelings of March Madness is when your favorite team seals the win with a buzzer-beater. 

Although it does not happen every year, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship has had numerous games over the decades that were either tied up or won because of a clutch shot made at the buzzer.

Here we take a look at some of the greatest buzzer-beater moments in March Madness history: 

1977 - Marquette 51, UNC Charlotte 49 

In the Final Four game, Marquette defeated UNC Charlotte by two points after a full-court inbounds heave set up the game-winning bucket by Jerome Whitehead. Marquette went on to win its first-ever NCAA championship under Al McGuire. 

1983 - N.C. State 54, Houston 52 

In the NCAA championship game, NC State defeated top-seeded Houston by two points. Tied at 52 with 44 seconds remaining in the game, Dereck Whittenburg launched a shot from nearly 30 feet from the basket, narrowly missing the rim. Without hesitation, Lorenzo Charles grabbed the ball and dunked it in to seal the win. 

1990 - Duke 79, UConn 78 

In the Elite Eight, Duke defeated top-seeded Connecticut by a point in overtime to advance in the tournament. Christian Laettner hit a double-pump, 15-foot jumper to send the Blue Devils to the Final Four.


1992 - Duke 104, Kentucky 103

In the Elite Eight, Duke defeated Kentucky by one point to give the defending champs a spot in the Final Four. With 2.1 seconds left in overtime, the Blue Devils trailed 103-102. Grant Hill launched the ball the length of the court to Christian Laettner, who faked right, dribbled once and sealed the win with a jumper. 

1998 - Valparaiso 70, Ole Miss 69

In the first round of the NCAA championship, Valparaiso defeated fourth-seeded Ole Miss by a point. Jamie Sykes threw the inbounds pass across the court to find Bill Jenkins jumping for the ball and quickly passing it to Bryce Drew, who hit the three for the win. 

2000 - Florida 69, Butler 68

In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Florida defeated Butler by a point in overtime. Mike Miller scored a layup with 0.8 seconds left in the game to seal the win. Florida went on to make the national championship game that year before falling to Michigan State.

2008 - Kansas 75, Memphis 68

In the NCAA championship game, Kansas defeated Memphis by seven points after a clutch shot sent the game to overtime. Kansas guard Mario Chalmers drained a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds to tie the game at 63, and the Jayhawks went on to win in overtime to capture the national championship.

2016 - Northern Iowa 73, Texas 72

In the first round of the NCAA championship, Northern Iowa defeated Texas with a crazy finish that gave the Panthers a one-point victory. Senior guard Paul Jesperson banked in a half-court shot at the buzzer to upset No. 6 seed Texas. 

2016 - Villanova 77, North Carolina 74

In the national championship game, Villanova defeated North Carolina by three to give the Wildcats its first championship since 1985. Keis Jenkins scored a three-pointer at the buzzer to seal the win and avoid overtime. 

2019 - Virginia 80, Purdue 75 

In the Elite Eight, Virginia defeated Purdue by five after the Cavaliers made a buzzer-beater to send the game to overtime. After Ty Jerome missed a free throw, Mamadi Diakite tapped the rebound over to Kihei Clark, who passed it back to Diakite for the game-tying two-pointer. Virginia went on to win the 2019 national championship.