March Madness: 9 more of the most dramatic finishes this decade
You can never have enough March Madness drama.
Last week we released our list of the 11 most dramatic NCAA tournament finishes from this decade (2010-15). But, why stop there when there have been so many incredible March moments?
Here are a few more special tourney moments from the past six years.
2010 Round of 64: (13) Murray State vs. (4) Vanderbilt
Huge upset plus buzzer beater equals 'March Madness perfection.' The 2010 Murray State Racers achieved that perfection when they toppled Vanderbilt in 2010. Murray State trailed by one and inbounded the ball from the baseline with 4.2 seconds left. The Racers appeared to be in trouble with those precious few seconds winding down, before the ball found the hands of Danero Thomas. The senior forward created just enough space to let go a mid-range jumper with a second left. I’m sure you can guess how this one ended.
2010 Round of 32: (5) Michigan State vs. (4) Maryland
During March Madness you can be a hero one moment and heading home the next. Former Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez sure knows that feeling after his team’s 2010 Round of 32 game against Michigan State. The current Milwaukee Buck put Maryland up a point on a layup with six seconds left, and it appeared the Terps would head to the Sweet 16. However, the Spartans’ Korie Lucious had other ideas. The sophomore guard banged home a straight away 3 to propel Michigan State as time expired. The Spartans would ultimately make a Final Four run.
2011 Sweet 16: (4) Kentucky vs. (1) Ohio State
Brandon Knight certainly established himself as Mr. Clutch during Kentucky’s 2011 March Madness run. After hitting a game-winning layup with two seconds left against Princeton in the first round, Knight again had the ball in a tie game with the clock winding down against Ohio State in the Sweet 16. This time, Knight drilled a well-contested mid-range jumper with a few seconds left. The No. 1 seeded Buckeyes would have a good look at the game-winning 3 as time expired, but it fell short and Calipari’s Cats continued on.
2011 Round of 64: (7) Temple vs. Penn State (10)
Sometimes you need a little luck to advance in March. Juan Fernandez’s game-winning jumper against Penn State in 2011 can serve as proof of that. The Temple guard gave up his dribble while being well defended late in the tie game, making overtime seem imminent. But Fernandez didn’t give up on the play. He used his pivot foot to find an opening and hoisted up an off-balance jumper. The shot fell, sending the Nittany Lions back to Happy Valley not so happy.
2012 Round of 64: (15) Norfolk State vs. (2) Missouri
As a No. 2 seed, Missouri entered the 2012 tournament as a true championship contender. However, the Tigers wouldn’t even make it out of the first round thanks to Kyle O’Quinn and Norfolk State. The final minute of the game was epic, with O’Quinn taking over and leading the charge in one of the most incredible upsets in NCAA tournament history. Still, the Tigers fought back and had a chance at the win as time expired, but Phill Pressey’s desperation 3 just wasn’t meant to be.
2013 Round of 32: (2) Ohio State vs. (10) Iowa State
It’s a bold move to wave off your team’s leading scorer in a tie game with a Sweet 16 appearance on the line. But that’s exactly what Ohio State guard Aaron Craft (10.0 PPG) did to Deshaun Thomas (19.8 PPG) against Iowa State. And the decision worked to perfection. Craft kept the ball, sized up Georges Niang and sunk one from beyond the arc with .2 seconds left. That shot, among many other reasons, is why Craft will go down as one of the most memorable players in Ohio State basketball history.
2013 Round of 64: (3) Marquette vs. (14) Davidson
Insanity. That’s the best way to describe the end to No. 3 Marquete and No. 14 Davidson's first-round matchup in 2013. After being ice-cold from long range the entire game, Marquette drilled all three of its 3-point attempts in the game’s final 1:01 to claw their way back into it. Still, Davidson led by one and had possession with 10.9 seconds left, putting themselves in great position to pull off the ultimate upset. However, inexplicably, the Wildcats threw the ball away, giving Vander Blue and Marquette one last chance to break their hearts.
2014 Round of 64: (7) Texas vs. (10) Arizona State
It’s always nice to see great effort being rewarded, and that’s exactly what happened here with Cameron Ridley’s first-round buzzer beater against Arizona State. First, he chased down a rebound he had no business getting. Then, he won a fight for the loose ball on the court. Lastly, he put in a close shot with multiple leaping defenders around him. That’s the type of heart that wins NCAA tournament games. Well done, Cameron Ridley.
2015 Round of 64: (9) NC State vs. (8) LSU
The 2014 NC State Wolfpack had multiple elite offensive talents; BeeJay Anya wasn’t one of them. The sophomore forward averaged just 4.5 points per game during that season. But the great thing about March is that anyone can become a hero. With his team trailing by one in the first round against LSU, Anya dropped in a turnaround jumper with .1 seconds left to keep NC State’s season alive. The Wolfpack's Sweet 16 run would not have been possible without Anya's amazing shot.