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Andy Wittry | | March 14, 2023

The 9 longest game-winning buzzer beaters in March Madness history

The deepest game-winning buzzer beaters in March Madness history

The game-winning 3-pointer that Gonzaga's Jalen Suggs hit on the final play of the Bulldogs' win over the UCLA Bruins in the Final Four not only sent the then-undefeated Zags to the national championship game, but was immediately etched into March Madness lore.

Given the stakes, the school and, especially, the shot distance, Suggs' buzzer beater had all the makings of a "Where were you when?" moment. But where does it rank among the longest, game-winning buzzer beaters in NCAA men's basketball tournament history? We have the answers.

Sports Reference has compiled a list of every game-winning buzzer beater in tournament history. Here they are:

T8. Donte Ingram, Loyola Chicago

Date: March 15, 2018
Round: First round
Opponent: No. 6 seed Miami (FL)
Final score: 64-62
Shot distance: 26 feet

Loyola Chicago's Final Four run never would've materialized without the Ramblers' first win in the 2018 NCAA tournament over No. 6 seed Miami (FL). Loyola Chicago guard Marques Townes dribbled down the court with a head full of steam, crossing midcourt with about 5.2 seconds left and was cut off at the 3-point line on the left wing by two defenders. He pulled back and found an open Donte Ingram, who was standing on the edge of the March Madness logo. Ingram caught the ball with about 2.8 seconds left, squared up, then took a smooth, left-handed jumper that went through the net with about 0.5 seconds left.The clock expired before Miami could even begin to think about a final offensive possession of its own.

T8. Ty Rogers, Western Kentucky

Date: March 21, 2008
Round: First round
Opponent: No. 5 seed Drake
Final score: 101-99
Shot distance: 26 feet

Ty Rogers' 26-footer marked the 198th, 199th and 200th points scored in No. 12 seed Western Kentucky's first-round upset over No. 5 seed Drake in the 2008 NCAA tournament, where the Hilltoppers won by two points in overtime. Rogers played 35 minutes, scoring 11 points, including three at the final buzzer in overtime from the right wing, just beside the sideline.

With Western Kentucky trailing by one, Rogers inbounded the ball to Tyrone Brazelton and Rogers then trailed Brazelton down the court and when Brazelton met resistance from Drake defenders, he turned and dumped the ball off to Rogers, who sent Western Kentucky to the second round with a memorable upset victory.

7. Kenton Paulino, Texas

Date: March 23, 2006
Round: Sweet 16
Opponent: No. 6 seed West Virginia
Final score: 74-71
Shot distance: 27 feet

After West Virginia tied the game at 71 with a 3-pointer with exactly five seconds left, Texas' A.J. Abrams received the inbounds pass and took four dribbles to get to the top of the key on the other side of the floor. He was walled off by two defenders, so he found Kenton Paulino, who had waved his arm to indicate he was open. Paulino stretched his left arm to corral the pass, then took an off-balance three from the left wing that went through the hoop as time expired.

T5. Jordan Poole, Michigan

Date: March 17, 2018
Round: Second round
Opponent: No. 6 seed Houston
Final score: 64-63
Shot distance: 28 feet

With 3.6 seconds remaining and Michigan inbounding the ball 90 feet from the basket, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman received the inbounds pass and took two dribbles to get across midcourt. He pulled off a jump pass to Jordan Poole, who was deep on the right wing. Poole caught the pass with about 1.5 seconds left and immediately put the ball back up for a game-winning 3-point attempt that swished through to give Michigan a 64-63 victory over No. 6 seed Houston.

T5. Maurice Newby, Northern Iowa

Date: March 16, 1990
Round: First round
Opponent: No. 3 seed Missouri
Final score: 74-71
Shot distance: 28 feet

Twenty-six years prior to Paul Jesperson's ultimate March Madness moment (more on that soon), Maurice Newby sank a 28-footer to upset No. 3 seed Missouri in the first round. Northern Iowa inbounded the ball from the sideline with roughly 10 seconds remaining and after Missouri stifled Northern Iowa's initial action, Newby curled around a dribble hand-off with about five seconds remaining. He took one dribble and shimmied a little bit, before putting up a three from the left wing and sank it with roughly two seconds remaining to break a 71-all tie and help Northern Iowa pull off the upset.

4. Elgin Baylor, Seattle

Date: March 14, 1958
Round: Sweet 16
Opponent: San Francisco
Final score: 69-67
Shot distance: 30 feet

With the game tied at 67, Baylor received a pass on the right wing extended, faced up, then took several dribbles to his left before pulling up for a 30-foot jumper, which was then worth two points — and more importantly, a trip to the regional final.

3. Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga

Date: April 3, 2021
Round: Final Four
Opponent: No. 11 seed UCLA
Final score: 93-90
Shot distance: 37 feet

Suggs' buzzer beater doesn't need much of an introduction, but in case you weren't in front of a TV on April 3 (or April 4, or April 5, or April 6, or any day since), here's what happened. UCLA's Johnny Juzang missed a floater in the lane, grabbed his own miss and then put the ball back up to tie the game at 90 with 3.3 seconds remaining in the Final Four.

Gonzaga's Corey Kispert then inbounded the ball to Suggs as many of UCLA's players were facing their own basket to get back on defense. Suggs took three dribbles before stopping near one of the stars that was part of the Final Four logo at midcourt. He pulled up and took a long-range three, which ranked in after time expired. Suggs took a few steps, jumped in the air in celebration, then leapt onto a table on press row in jubilation.

2. U.S. Reed, Arkansas

Date: March 14, 1981
Round: Second round
Opponent: No. 4 seed Louisville
Final score: 74-73
Shot distance: 49 feet

Louisville took a 73-72 lead with about five seconds left in its second-round matchup against Arkansas. After a timeout, U.S. Reed received the inbounds pass and he was met by two Louisville defenders in the backcourt. He changed directions twice and heaved a final shot from midcourt, complete with a little hop, which hit nothing but net for a 49-foot 2-pointer — this was prior to the 3-point line, after all.

1. Paul Jesperson, Northern Iowa

Date: March 18, 2016
Round: First round
Opponent: No. 6 seed Texas
Final score: 75-72
Shot distance: 50 feet

Paul Jesperson made a game-high four 3-pointers in the first round of the 2016 NCAA tournament against Texas, but none bigger than the half-court shot he made after time expired to give Northern Iowa a 75-72 victory. Texas tied the game at 72 with 2.7 seconds left and Jesperson received the inbounds pass and he was soon met by two Texas defenders. Jesperson took one right-handed dribble to his left, gathered the ball near the March Madness logo, then fired a half-court heave with about 1.5 seconds left, which banked in after the clock expired.


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