College Basketball

College Hoops' Best Buzzer-Beaters

September 24

If there's one thing that's been in ample supply during the 2020 NBA playoffs, it's drama.

That drama includes buzzer-beaters, like the one that Los Angeles Lakers big man Anthony Davis hit in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets.

That shot got Mark Titus and Tate Frazier thinking: what are the best buzzer-beaters in college basketball history?

The duo did a draft-style list to pick their most iconic moments on the latest episode of Titus & Tate, with Frazier getting the No. 1 overall pick. 

To Tate, the biggest buzzer-beater in college hoops history belongs to ...

No. 1 ⁠— Villanova's Kris Jenkins vs. UNC (2016)

The stage: Tied in the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game, Jay Wright and No. 2 seeded Villanova were looking for their first NCAA title since 1985.

Staring at overtime with 4.7 seconds left, all that stood in Nova's way was No. 1 seed North Carolina.

With no timeouts and the length of the floor to go, Jenkins inbounded to guard Ryan Arcidiacono, who pushed the ball across midcourt, drawing the attention of both UNC's Joel Berry II and Isaiah Hicks.

That left the trailing Jenkins open to grab the short dish from Arcidiacono, elevate, and bury the buzzer-beating triple. Grant Hill, who was on CBS's call and is no stranger to big shots himself, spotted the play as it unfolded, saying simply, "Jenkins" as the Villanova forward stamped his name in the history books. 

Here's what the guys had to say about the shot:

Tate take: "It is definitively the greatest shot in history because it is a walk-off. There's a big factor to that, the fact that it can be a walk-off. ... This is in the National Championship game, after Marcus Paige hit the craziest double-pump three that you've ever seen that should never have gone in."

Titus' take: "The only thing keeping it from being un-toppable is that if Jenkins misses it goes to overtime and Villanova could still win the title. It wasn't like you had to make the shot to win the title. There's still a chance Villanova could've still won even if he missed. So, that leaves the door slightly open that it could someday be topped."

With Jenkins' shot off the board first, it came time for Titus to make his first overall pick. 

No. 1 ⁠— Duke's Christian Laettner vs. Kentucky (1992)

The stage: Duke vs. Kentucky in the Elite Eight couldn't be decided in regulation, and both teams continued trading punches ⁠— and the lead ⁠— in overtime before clearing the decks for what's just known as "The Shot."

Following Sean Woods' improbable runner off the glass to give Kentucky a 103-102 lead with 2.1 seconds left on the clock, Duke's quest to repeat as NCAA champions looked to be thwarted.

Enter Hill-to-Laettner.

Hill launched a pin-perfect pass three-quarters the length of the court to the looming Laettner, who had a game-high 31 points when all was said and done.

But his biggest two points came on the heels of Hill's pass, with a quick dribble and pivot into a jumper to beat the buzzer and send Duke to the Final Four.

Ultimately, Duke would go on to repeat as NCAA Champions, a feat that hadn't been accomplished since UCLA did it in 1973.

Here's what the guys had to say about Laettner's shot:

Titus' take: "It was a situation where if it doesn't go in, Duke loses. It came in overtime. It came in the Elite Eight. Not quite the National Championship but there's still stakes, Tate. This wasn't the first round. ... I still think it's the most famous shot in college basketball history, even though Jenkins' was better."

Tate's take: "Grant Hill's pass is the real winner here. I mean, obviously, Christian Laettner had to make the little turnaround shot ... but Grant Hill, that pass that he made. He's probably the best quarterback in Duke history at this point."

Check out both Titus and Tate's complete top 5 lists and the full discussion in the video below:


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