As soon as Kris Jenkins made his shot at the buzzer to give Villanova the national championship on Monday night, people were asking if it could be the most memorable game-winner in NCAA Tournament history.
You can make a good case for Jenkins because his shot was actually at the buzzer. Michael Jordan’s game-winning jumper for North Carolina in 1982 came with 16 seconds left. There were five seconds left when Keith Smart’s shot lifted Indiana over Syracuse in 1987.
Lorenzo Charles dunked at the buzzer to give NC State its upset of Houston for the 1983 title. But it was more good fortune than great shot. Charles retrieved a 30-footer by Dereck Whittenburg that was two feet short.
I’ll go with Jordan’s shot as the most memorable in an NCAA title game. But the greatest shot in any NCAA tourney game was Christian Laettner’s buzzer-beater to give Duke a 104-103 OT win over Kentucky in the 1992 regional final. That game is considered the best in college hoop history, which elevates Laettner’s shot to the top of the list.