Sports Reference Blog

Every Buzzer-Beater in NCAA Tournament History

Posted by Mike Lynch on February 6, 2020

We have compiled every game-winning buzzer-beater in NCAA Tournament history. Since you cannot advance the ball to half-court with a timeout in college basketball, we have been lenient with how we define "buzzer-beating game-winner" and included all shots in the final 2.0 seconds of a game that put the winning team in the lead (so either tied or trailing at time of shot, and leading afterwards). However, it wasn't until the 1993-94 season that the clock automatically stopped on makes in late-game situations. Consequently, we have included some shots from 1993 and earlier that were made with more than 2 seconds left, but which left the opponent with 2 seconds or fewer left to respond by the time they chased down the make to inbound or call a timeout. An additional wrinkle is that the NCAA added tenths of a second to the clock for the 1990-91 season, but just had whole numbers for earlier seasons. One notable exception is Tate George's buzzer-beater against Clemson, since that was played in an NBA arena (The Meadowlands).

A few notes about how this data was compiled:

        • We read recaps or watched video of every NCAA Tournament game decided by three points or fewer. It's possible there was a game with free throws shot after time expired due to a technical foul (or something else) that we missed because the final margin ended up being 4+ points. Same with a three-pointer made at the buzzer on which the player was also fouled or a team that scored multiple times in the final two seconds.
        • The distances and assists listed are unofficial, gathered from play-by-plays, video review and newspaper accounts. Distances sometimes varied in different accounts, so we used the distances listed in the most comprehensive game stories we could find.

      If you have any additions to this data, please
      let us know

One Response to “Every Buzzer-Beater in NCAA Tournament History”

  1. Mark Says:

    Awesome feature.  The NCAA tourney is the best sporting event in the world.  Never disappoints, can always count on buzzer beaters and Davids taking down Goliaths. Now if the selection committee would only do what is right by adding more mid-majors and less middle of the pack power 5 schools everything would be perfect.  

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