Top 10 College Tournament Game Winning Buzzer Beaters

Get excited for the NCAA tournament with a few of history’s most amazing game-winning shots from the tourney. It’s the kind of game-changing happiness that GEICO wants to provide for everyone!

10. Jermaine Wallace: Northwestern State vs Iowa, 2006 (First Round)

Jermaine Wallace stuck the three from the corner to upset the #3 seed Iowa Hawkeyes. Oddly enough, “Northwestern State” is actually in the South East — Louisiana.

9. U.S. Reed: Arkansas vs Louisville, 1981 (Second Round)

U.S. Reed throws a prayer from half-court as time expires and hits the first tourney buzzer beater ever, giving announcers everywhere the opportunity to FINALLY TOTALLY LOSE IT AND YELL AND STUFF. Arkansas triumphs over Louisville, 74-73.

8. Richard “Rip” Hamilton: UConn vs Washington, 1998 (Sweet Sixteen)

After a few missed layups, with both teams grappling at the rim, Rip Hamilton takes the fadeaway final shot and sinks it. UConn beats the number 11 seed Washington to advance. UConn-y be kidding me!

7. Drew Nicholas: Maryland vs UNC-Wilmington, 2003 (First Round)

Ol’ St. Nick gave his team an awesome present: he ran the length of the court for a last minute three-pointer that lifted Maryland over UNC Wilmington, 75-73.

6. Tyus Edney: UCLA vs Missouri, 1995 (Second Round)

Tyus Edney hit the game-winner over Missouri in what could have been an early loss. The rest is history — the Bruins would go on to win it all that year.

5. Kenton Paulino: Texas vs WVU, 2006 (Atlanta Regional Semifinal)

Kenton Paulino put one up at the buzzer to topple the Mountaineers at their own game: draining threes. Don’t mess with Texas.

4. Christian Laettner: Duke vs Kentucky, 1992 (Eastern Regional Final)

Christian Laettner’s dribble-and-shoot buzzer beater in the Eastern Regional Finals in 1992 is one of the most iconic final shots of the tournament’s history, and it solidified Duke as the future supervillians of the NCAA. They’re the team you love to hate (unless you went to Duke. Did you? DID YOU? STOP SMIRKING!).

3. Bryce Drew: Valparaiso vs. Ole Miss, 1998 (First Round)

Bryce Drew was an incredible player who could have went to any of the major collegiate teams, but opted to play for small-time Valparaiso to play for their coach — his dad. After a half-court inbound, Drew hit a three pointer at the buzzer to send #13 Valparaiso to the next round over the #4 ranked team, and father and son hugged it out on national TV. Coach really Drew up an awesome play.

2. James Forrest: Georgia Tech vs USC, 1992 (Second Round)

James Forrest’s shot with 0.8 seconds left lifted Georgia Tech over USC and led to one of the best announcer freak-outs of all time from Al McGuire. “Holy Mackerel!”

1. Lorenzo Charles: NC State vs Houston, 1983 (NCAA Finals)

Scrappy NC State wasn’t even supposed to be in this game. It was supposed to be a blowout, with the heavily favored Houston Cougars (led by Akeem Olajuwon, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler and the rest of Phi Slama Jama) crushing the Wolfpack. Dereck Whittenburg tossed an airball and it looked like all was lost until Lorenzo Charles casually alley-oops it in as time expires. NOW THAT’S HOW YOU WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP.

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