When Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis hit what’s easily the shot of the 2013-2014 college basketball season (so far) against Pitt Wednesday night, it got us thinking. There have been a number of unreal finishes over the past few years – some in the regular season, some in conference tournaments, and even a few in the NCAA Tournament. Here are the top eight most epic buzzer-beaters in the current decade – for our purposes, starting from 2010. You can probably guess our No. 1 pick.
8. Ben Brust vs. Michigan
Ben Brust’s ridiculous half-court shot may not have won the game for the Badgers, but his next made basket, the game-deciding 3-pointer in overtime, was enough to finish off No. 3 Michigan in 2013.
7. Roosevelt Jones vs. Gonzaga
Butler’s Alex Barlow’s travel had supposedly ended the Bulldogs’ chances at a game-winner. But on the ensuing inbound, Gonzaga turned the ball over to Roosevelt Jones, who hit a one-handed runner for an improbable win.
6. Korie Lucious vs. Maryland
In the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Maryland had Michigan State on the ropes. Greivis Vasquez had just given the Terrapins a one-point lead with just seconds remaining. Korie Lucious answered in the most dramatic fashion possible.
5. Evan Turner vs. Michigan
In what was one of the more baffling defensive decisions we’ve ever seen, Ohio State’s Evan Turner was allowed to advance up the court with no resistance before knocking down a bomb 3-pointer to beat Michigan in the 2010 Big Ten Tournament.
4. Kemba Walker vs. Pittsburgh
While the 2010-2011 regular season was forgettable for UConn, Kemba Walker and the Huskies turned it on in the postseason, sweeping through the Big East Tournament and the NCAA Tournament for their third national championship. Walker’s step-back jumper against Pitt in the Big East quarterfinals was one of the defining moments of the run.
3. Tyler Ennis vs. Pittsburgh
You knew it’d be on here – you just weren’t sure where. No. 1 Syracuse, sitting at 23-0 on the season, trailed Pittsburgh Wednesday night, 56-55, with 4.4 seconds to play. Tyler Ennis kept the Orange undefeated with a 40-foot heave that found the nylon.
2. Austin Rivers vs. North Carolina
No, Rivers’ shot wasn’t as difficult as some of the others on our list. But when you’ve got a finish like this in easily the country’s best college basketball rivalry, it’s going to be near the top of any list.
1. Christian Watford vs. Kentucky
It’s pretty amazing that a regular season game from December made this list – but hey, it’s undeniable that it should be No. 1. Christian Watford’s 3-pointer at the buzzer against No. 1 Kentucky back in 2010 put the Hoosiers back on the map. The shot, along with the epic court-storming, will live on as one of the greatest finishes in college basketball history.