7. Tyus Edney going coast-to-coast
UCLA ended up winning the title in 1995 and finished 32-1, but they almost didn’t make it out of the second round.
The top-ranked Bruins trailed eighth seed Missouri with just 4.8 seconds left and the ball 94 feet from the bucket. Point guard Tyus Edney took the inbounds pass and raced up the floor.
The key move was the behind-the-back dribble that allowed him to avoid a Missouri defender trying to cut off his path to the basket.
He finished the play by banking home a shot in the lane with 6-foot-9 Missouri forward Derek Grim all over him, giving the Bruins a 75-74 win and keeping their championship dreams alive.
6. Mario Chalmers forcing OT
Kansas trailed Memphis by nine points with 2:12 to play, but five quick points cut the lead to four. Over the final 1:15, the Tigers made just 1-of-5 from the line, while Mario Chalmers and forward Darrell Arthur combined to score seven points, including Chalmers’ game-tying three to force overtime.
With about 10 seconds left, the Jayhawks rushed the ball up the floor, and Sherron Collins got the ball to Chalmers at the top of the key while stumbling and falling down in the process. Chalmers rose up and drilled the shot with 2.1 seconds left to complete the late-game comeback.
Memphis missed a desperation three at the buzzer, and Kansas took control in overtime, eventually winning by seven for Bill Self’s first National Championship.
As a side note, this might rank number one for my wife, who won a NCAA Tournament pool as a result of KU’s victory. Obviously for entertainment purposes only.
5. Michael Jordan beating Georgetown and Fred Brown’s passing gaffe
The 1982 Championship game featured Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Patrick Ewing, Sam Perkins, and Sleepy Floyd, so from a pure talent standpoint, it was as good as any game in recent memory.
Neither teams was able to create separation, and Sleepy Floyd gave the Hoyas a one-point lead with around one minute remaining. The game’s fifteenth and final lead change came when Jordan, a freshman at the time, hit a wing jumper with 17 seconds left to give him 16 points for the game. But the memorable moments didn’t stop there.
Georgetown eschewed a timeout and brought the ball up the floor, where guard Fred Brown mistakenly believed Worthy (who was well out of position on defense) was a teammate and threw the ball directly to him.
Worthy scored a game-high 28 points but missed both free throws. John Thompson used his final timeout before the second free throw, so the Hoyas could only attempt a desperation heave as the clock ran out and Dean Smith won his first National Title.
A quick personal note: In high school I worked at JCPenney’s selling athletic shoes, and a video that we had on continuous loop played out the final seconds of this game among other historical sports moments. Consequently, I may have seen this sequence more than any other game in history, and I still have no idea what Worthy was doing on defense or how Brown didn’t realize he wasn’t on his team.
4. Chris Webber calling timeout
In a game filled with impressive runs by each team, North Carolina led Michigan’s Fab Five by five points with a minute left in the 1993 National Championship game.
The Wolverines reeled off four straight points to close the gap to one point and fouled UNC’s Pat Sullivan with 20 seconds left. After Sullivan missed the second free throw, Chris Webber got away with a blatant travel and proceeded to dribble toward the sideline, where he was trapped in front of the Michigan bench and called a timeout the Wolverines didn’t have.
The Tar Heels converted the technical free throws and wound up winning by six points.
Lost in the mental error is the fact that Webber was outstanding in the game, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. It’s also worth noting that multiple people on the Michigan bench can be seen screaming for the timeout, but he took the brunt of the criticism for a moment he can never live down and basketball fans can never forget.
Click continue to see the three most memorable plays in March Madness history. This trifecta of moments includes the three most clutch shots ever in the NCAA Tournament, even though one of them was an airball…