March Madness is full of thrills, the most exhilarating of which is a buzzer-beater that puts your team through to the next round.
It is a moment of pure elation for anyone associated with the winning team -- the players, coaches, students, alumni, and fans -- and among the most deflating feelings in sports if you find yourself on the wrong end. For the fans with no allegiance, the more buzzer-beaters the better and there have been plenty of them over the last decade.
These ten NCAA Tournament buzzer-beaters from the past decade are the ones that stick out the most.
10) Jordan Poole, #3 Michigan vs. #6 Houston (2018 Second Round)
The Wolverines and Cougars traded blows all game. It was a tightly contested matchup in which neither team led by more than six at any point. Houston's Devin Davis was at the free throw line for two shots with four seconds remaining.
He made 68 percent of his free throws on the season, but he missed both of these to give Michigan a chance, though a bleak one at that. After a timeout, the Wolverines needed to go the length of the court with 3.6 seconds remaining. ESPN's win probability model was at 92.8 percent in favor of a Houston victory.
Jordan Poole had other ideas:
9) Korie Lucious, #5 Michigan State vs. #4 Maryland (2010 Second Round)
Michigan State-Maryland is a matchup we have seen on an annual basis ever since the Terps migrated to the Big Ten, but it was a rare treat back in 2010 and this game lived up to the hype. Greivis Vasquez scored 26 points for Maryland, but it was all for naught. Draymond Green found Lucious in transition with the clock ticking down, and he buried a triple.
The ball nearly did not find its way to Lucious. Watch the video closely -- Green almost decapitated a teammate with the pass that found Lucious.
8) R.J. Hunter, #14 Georgia State vs. #3 Baylor (2015 First Round)
Over the last few years, upsets by teams seeded 14th and 15th have become more commonplace and this one was the most exciting of the bunch. A missed free throw by Baylor kept their lead at just two points. With the announcers calling for Georgia State to go for a quick two, Hunter pulled up from well beyond the arc and splashed the game-winner.
The best part of this occurs at the top of the screen.
Keep an eye on his father, head coach Ron Hunter.
7) Aaron Harrison, #8 Kentucky vs. #2 Michigan (2014 Elite Eight)
A year after missing the NCAA Tournament for just the second time since 1991, Kentucky found itself in a familiar position just one game away from the Final Four. The teams were tied at 37 at halftime and again at 72 with under 10 seconds remaining.
Aaron Harrison finished the game with 12 points on four made three-pointers, the last of which sent the Wildcats to Houston (where they eventually lost to UCONN in the championship game).
6) Donte Ingram, #11 Loyola Chicago vs. #6 Miami (2018 First Round)
Sister Jean and the Loyola Chicago Ramblers won over the hearts of the nation a year ago with their Cinderella run to the Final Four (just the fifth double-digit seed to accomplish that feat). That run nearly never got started.
After a missed free throw by Miami with the Hurricanes up 62-61, Donte Ingram pulled up from the logo and the rest is history.
5) Bronson Koenig, #7 Wisconsin vs. #2 Xavier (2016 Second Round)
This buzzer beater seems to have gone by the wayside over the last couple of years since Wisconsin failed to advance any further and a higher profile buzzer beater has hogged all of the attention, but this shot from Koenig was a thing of beauty. Game tied at 63, 2.0 seconds remaining, fading away into his own bench...onions.
4) Chris Chiozza, #4 Florida vs. #8 Wisconsin (2017 Sweet 16)
The buzzer-beater gods giveth, and the buzzer-beater gods taketh away. Just 369 days after Koenig lifted the Badgers past Xavier, Chiozza broke the hearts of Badger fans everywhere.
Wisconsin hit a three at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime, and they held an 83-81 lead with 4.0 seconds remaining. The Gators got the ball into Chiozza who jumped from beyond the three-point line, hung in the air for what seemed an eternity, and nailed a floater from the free-throw line to lift the Gators to the 84-83 victory.
3) Paul Jesperson, #11 Northern Iowa vs. #6 Texas (2016 First Round)
Of all the games on this list, this might have been the most irrelevant. It was that first-round matchup that you really didn't have any interest in, but you would flip to it from a higher profile game if it was close in the last minute because it's March and crazy things happen.
Well, something crazy happened.
Texas drained a mid-range floater with 2.7 seconds remaining to knot things up at 72, then Paul Jesperson's prayer was answered from half court. It's rare that we get a buzzer-beater that's also a half-court shot.
That's why this buzzer-beater is so high on our list.
2) Luke Maye, #1 UNC vs. #2 Kentucky (2017 Elite Eight)
There is a lot to unpack regarding the last 40 seconds of this game. It was 71-67 Tar Heels before Malik Monk hit a three to cut the deficit to one. Justin Jackson made a quick layup the other way off a long ball on the inbound to get the lead back up to three.
Bam Adebayo lost the ball for the Wildcats underneath the basket which resulted in a pileup and a jump ball with the possession arrow in UNC's favor. They failed to make anything of the possession and Monk splashed another three to tie. The Tar Heels went quickly the other way, and Luke Maye was money on a mid-range jumper to give the Tar Heels the win after the crazy sequence.
They would ultimately go on to win the National Championship.
1) Kris Jenkins, #2 Villanova vs. #1 UNC (2016 Championship)
There are no words to do this one justice. Greatest NCAA Tournament buzzer-beater of the past decade, and the greatest NCAA Tournament buzzer-beater of all time. Just watch.
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