basketball-men-d1 flag

Brenden Welper | NCAA.com | November 18, 2020

15 of the best March Madness assists since 2015

Best March Madness assists in the last five seasons (2015-19)

A vicious slam dunk or a wide-open 3-pointer are usually the results of an assist. 

NCAA.com has compiled some of the best March Madness assists from the last five seasons. You can see all of them in the video above. Below, we broke down each one of those 15 dimes.

Demetrius Jackson to Zach Auguste — 2015 Second Round

Jared Wickerham | Getty Images Notre Dame's Zach Auguste

How it happened: Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson secures a loose ball on defense. He pushes it down the floor, spins away from a Northeastern defender near center court and then uses a behind-the-back dribble to protect the ball. After he completes the behind-the-back crossover, Jackson fires a no-look bounce pass from the free-throw line to a cutting Zach Auguste. The pass hits Auguste stride on the right block, who finishes with a two-handed slam.

 

Alex Young to Travis Souza — 2015 Second Round

How it happened: UC Irvine is pushing the ball in transition. Alex Young receives a pass on the left wing from Travis Souza. Young catches it and then immediately lobs the ball to Will Davis II, who has his defender beat on a backdoor cut. The pass is on target, which allows Davis to complete an uncontested alley-oop. 

 

Bryce Alford to Tony Parker — 2015 Third Round

How it happened: UCLA guard Bryce Alford receives a pass from Isaac Hamilton on the left wing. Alford catches the ball, pump fakes and attacks the basket — beating two defenders in the process. This forces UAB forward Chris Cokley to step into the lane, while simultaneously turning away from UCLA's Tony Parker, in order to cut off Alford's penetration. Alford then picks up his dribble and jumps underneath the basket to get Cokley off his feet. It works, and Alford hits Parker with a wrap-around pass. Parker throws down a wide-open dunk.

 

Devonte' Graham to Wayne Selden Jr. — 2016 First Round

How it happened: Devonte' Graham is leading a three-on-two fast break for Kansas. With teammates open to his left and to his right, Graham rises at the foul line and lobs the ball to Wayne Selden Jr. near the right side of the basket. Graham's pass, which appears to be a field-goal attempt until the release, finds Selden Jr. mid-air, who flushes it home.

 

Jalen Brunson to Darryl Reynolds — 2016 Sweet 16

How it happened: With seven seconds left on the shot clock, Jalen Brunson has the ball near half-court. He uses a high screen from Darryl Reynolds to create some separation and drives to the right wing. Reynolds, whose man switched onto Brunson after the pick, is now unguarded and rolls to the basket. While facing a weak double team, Brunson hesitates and uses a between-the-legs crossover dribble to get the ball from his right hand to his left. As soon as the move is complete, he fires a one-handed bounce pass to a cutting Reynolds. The 6-8 forward finishes with a wide-open slam dunk.

 

Kyron Cartwright to Rodney Bullock — 2017 First Four

Brian Spurlock | USA TODAY Sports Images Providence's Rodney Bullock

How it happened: Kyron Cartwright was credited with the assist, but four Providence Friars touched the ball in less than four seconds on this possession. Jalen Lindsay receives an entry pass from Alpha Diallo at the top of the key. Lindsay finds Cartwright on a basket cut in the paint. Cartwright catches the ball, turns his body and passes it (all in mid-air) to Rodney Bullock, who delivers a thunderous dunk from the left block.

 

Anthony Lamb to Trae Bell-Haynes — 2017 First Round

How it happened: Following a Purdue miss at the rim, Vermont's Anthony Lamb grabs the defensive rebound. His point guard, Trae Bell-Haynes, is sprinting down the floor in transition. Lamb doesn't take a dribble and instead throws a one-handed outlet pass over the heads of eight players. The ball hits Bell-Haynes in stride, who is just steps away from the basket. He finishes with an uncontested layup off the glass. 

 

Quinton Hooker to Carson Shanks — 2017 First Round

How it happened: Vermont guard Quinton Hooker has the ball on the right wing. He gets a screen from Carson Shanks, who rolls with an open lane to the basket. Hooker makes a quick pocket pass in between two defenders and hits Shanks on the roll. Arizona's help defense is caught watching as Shanks throws down a bunny.

 

Jaylen Adams to LaDarien Griffin — 2018 First Four

How it happened: Jaylen Adams loses his defender up top with a little hesitation and a behind-the-back dribble. With his man out of position, Adams resets and attacks the basket. As he picks up the ball during his gather step, the St. Bonaventure guard throws a no-look, behind-the-back bounce pass to LaDarien Griffin near the left block. Griffin finishes with a reverse layup. 

 

Marcquise Reed to David Skara — 2018 Sweet 16

How it happened: Clemson forward David Skara has the ball at the top of the key. He passes it to Marcquise Reed on the right wing, who holds the ball to scan the floor. Meanwhile, Skara appears to be setting a pick for a teammate near the foul line. But he slips the screen and calls for the ball on a basket cut. Reed rifles it to Skara, who finishes with a layup.

 

Jalen Brunson to Mikal Bridges — 2018 Final Four

Robert Deutsch | USA TODAY Sports Images Villanova's Mikal Bridges

How it happened: Villanova's Jalen Brunson is backing down his man in the post. He brings the ball to the middle of the lane. After picking up his dribble, Brunson's teammate Mikal Bridges uses a back cut to shed his defender near the baseline. Bridges crashes the basket, and Brunson hits him with a two-handed bounce pass. It's on the money and Bridges scores with a reverse layup. 

 

Darnell Cowart to Ja Morant — 2019 First Round

How it happened: Murray State is running a half-court set. Shaq Buchanan has the ball near center court, when Darnell Cowart calls for it at the foul line. As Buchanan makes the entry pass to Cowart, Ja Morant bolts by his defender on the left wing. Cowart catches the ball and instantly throws a bounce a pass toward the cutting Morant, who gets the ball, takes one dribble and elevates for an emphatic two-handed flush.

 

Killian Tillie to Brandon Clarke —2019 Second Round

How it happened: In an epic display of ball movement and floor spacing, all five Gonzaga Bulldogs touch the ball on this possession. It starts with Geno Crandall making a quick dribble hand-off to Zach Norvell, who immediately passes it to Corey Kispert on the opposite wing. Kispert catches the ball and passes it to Killian Tillie, who is just beneath the free-throw line. Tillie receives the bounce pass, jumps and then lobs it to Brandon Clarke for an alley-oop. 

 

Kyle Guy to De'Andre Hunter — 2019 Second Round

How it happened: Ty Jerome is driving to the basket when he encounters a help defender cutting off his penetration. He makes a chest pass off the dribble to a spotting up Kyle Guy on the right wing. Guy catches the ball in mid-air and instantly makes a no-look tip pass to De'Andre Hunter in the right corner. Hunter buries an uncontested 3-pointer with ease. 

 

Davide Moretti to Tariq Owens — 2019 Sweet 16

Robert Hanashiro | USA TODAY Sports Images Texas Tech's Tariq Owens

How it happened: Texas Tech guard Davide Moretti has the ball up top. He receives a high screen from Tariq Owens, which puts a double team onto Moretti but leaves Owens wide open. As Moretti dribbles to the right wing, he sees Owens rolling to the basket unguarded. He launches a pass over the heads of three Michigan defenders. Owens jumps, secures it and throws down the alley-oop.

 

The college careers of the last 10 No. 1 overall NBA Draft picks, ranked

These are the college careers of the last 10 No. 1 overall NBA Draft picks, ranked by NCAA.com's Andy Katz.
READ MORE

What it takes to win the Bob Cousy Award as college basketball's best point guard

Here's what to look for when trying to identify the next Bob Cousy Award winner, which is given to the nation's top point guard.
READ MORE

13 best clutch March Madness shots since 2008

Here are 13 of the most clutch shots in the NCAA men's basketball tournament since the 2008 season.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners