Game Time: Ten Historically Significant March Madness Buzzer Beaters

In my effort to help everyone prepare for March Madness, I bring you the second installment of the March Madness Preview. (Click here for yesterday's first installment -- you know the part with my picks and what not.) Today, we look at some of the most historical buzzer beaters in tournament history. Without further ado....

10. U.S. REED, Arkansas vs Louisville, 1981 (Second Round)

FINAL SCORE: Arkansas 74, Louisville 73
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Aside from being the first buzzer beater ever (and to my knowledge, to this day still the only) hit by a person named after our country, this half-court gem from Reed was a just part of a tournament that included Danny Ainge's buzzer beater against Notre Dame, St. Joe's knocking off DePaul (and number-one overall NBA draft choice that year Mark Aguirre) in the waning seconds, and Kansas State (and future Aguirre NBA teammate Rolando Blackman) making a deep run in the tourney, including knocking off one-seed Oregon State.


UNDERRATED COMEDY:
Reed became the first and only player to ever get off a half court buzzer beater after dribbling the ball like Stanley Hudson from The Office.


9. DANNY AINGE, BYU vs Notre Dame, 1981 (Sweet Sixteen)

FINAL SCORE: BYU 51, Notre Dame 50
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Encapsulated perfectly the underachievement of Digger Phelps as a head basketball coach, as he somehow managed to parlay a team with two high first-round picks (Orlando Woolridge and Kelly Tripucka) and the future point guard of multiple NBA championship teams (John Paxson) into a Sweet 16 loss. Ainge would go on to play baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays for about three innings, and decide maybe basketball would suit him better. The Boston Celtics approved.
UNDERRATED COMEDY: Check out the BYU players already celebrating, arms in the air after Ainge's shot when there is still time left on the clock. Hell, Notre Dame actually gets a decent look at a half-court heave. If said heave had gone in it would have been one of the all time "counting your chickens" moment. Instead, the BYU players all celebrated by hitting the town to find their fourth wives.



8. JAMES FORREST Georgia Tech vs USC, 1992 (Second Round)

FINAL SCORE:
Georgia Tech 79, USC 78
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This was the appropriate ending to the college career of one of the most overrated players of our generation, Harold Miner. The completely inappropriately nicknamed "Baby Jordan" will best be remembered for some really cool dunks, and...well, looking maybe 10 percent like Michael Jordan. Oh, and for being the reason Rockets fans were pissed off after the team took Robert Horry in the 1992 draft and passed on Miner. It worked out all right for the Rockets.
UNDERRATED COMEDY: Al Maguire's color commentary is an easy choice. After begging Tech to throw it "undah the basket, UNDAH THE BASKET!!" (ignoring the fact that if they put someone in that open space, USC probably would have covered them), he then gives us a primal scream after the shot followed by a memorable barrage of "HOLY MACKAREL"'s. Great stuff.



7. BRYCE DREW (Valparaiso) vs Ole Miss, 1998 (First Round)

FINAL SCORE:
Valpo 70, Ole Miss 69
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Before this shot, most people had no idea who Bryce Drew was nor where Valparaiso was. Hell, most people still don't know the latter. (For the record, it's in Northwest Indiana about 45 minutes outside Chicago.) As for Drew, he rode the fame from this shot all the way to the Sweet Sixteen -- as in round of sixteen in the tournament and the 16th overall selection by the Rockets, where he stole money for a few years and has the dubious distinction of being one third of the answer to "Name the players the Rockets selected instead of Rashard Lewis in 1998?" (Michael Dickerson and Mirsad Turkcan being the other two, but you already knew that.)
UNDERRATED COMEDY: None. There's nothing funny about a story that winds up with the Rockets royally fucking up a first round in which they have three draft choices for a roster that had multiple future Hall of Famers. Nothing.


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