The 11 Greatest Last-Minute Comebacks in College Basketball History

by 8 years ago

Solo Comebacks

Duke vs. Maryland, 2001 Regular Season Game

Jason Williams (Duke): 8 points, 13 seconds

With Duke down 10 points with 53 seconds to go, Jason Williams scored a lay up and two straight 3s in 13 seconds to cut it to a 2-point game. Duke later tied the game and won 98-96 in overtime.

Anderson vs. Lees-McRae, 2009 Division II Regular Season Game

Brandon Young (Anderson): 12 points, 22 seconds

Down 87-80 with 22 seconds left, Brandon Young made it rain with four straight 3s on four straight Anderson possessions, including the winner at the buzzer, to lead the Trojans to a shocking 92-91 victory. Watching this was easily the most excited I've ever been about Division II regular season basketball.

Vanderbilt vs. Pittsburgh, 1988 NCAA Regional 2nd Round Game

Barry Goheen (Vanderbilt): 6 points, 5 seconds

Pittsburgh took a 67-63 lead after hitting two free throws to make it 4-point game with 12 seconds left. Goheen then hit his first three with 5 seconds left to cut the lead to one. Then, after two more made freethrows for Pitt, Goheen hit an off balance 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to send the game to overtime. My 'Dores would go on to win 80-74 and advance to the Sweet 16.

USC vs. Oregon, 1999 Regular Season Game

Adam Spanich (USC): 6 points, 2.8 seconds

Oregon had a 5-point lead with 2.8 seconds left until Spanichjust took over the game. He hit his first 3 right away, and then, with .8 seconds left, Oregon's inbounds pass went straight to Spanich at half court, who sank a prayer shotfor the win. USC 85-Oregon 84. 

*I was mistaken in saying before that the shooter was Brian Scalabrine, who was on the USC team in this game. And I was also wrong in saying this was the only highlight of Scalabrine's basketball career. There are no highlights after this revelation.

Barton vs. Winona St., 2007 Division II Championship Game

Anthony Atkinson (Barton): 10 points, 38 seconds

With the championship all but wrapped up for Winona St., they just had to make their free throws and take care of the ball. Anthony Atkinson and Barton had other plans. Atkinson went on a tear, scoring his team's final 10 points to win the game. Shout out to Bobby Buffalo for having a sick name and making the big steal that got Atkinson the ball for the game-winning layup as time expired. Final score: 77-75.

On the next page, the top 5 team comebacks…{pagebreak}

Team Comebacks

Louisville vs. Tennessee, 2001 Regular Season Game

Louisville: 9 points in 31 seconds

Down 6, Louisville hit three straight 3-pointers in the last 30 seconds to win over Tennessee. Reece Gaines put in a strong solo effort with two of the three pointers, including the game winner with 1.8 seconds left. If you slow it down, you can probably hear Gaines call bank on the first trey he nailed.

Chicago St. vs. UMKC, 2005 Regular Season Game

Chicago St.: 6 points in 2 seconds

Chicago St. hit two of the more ridiculous shots you will ever see, let alone back to back, to stun the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After sinking a one-handed, fall-away 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game at 69, Chicago State caught UMKC's long inbounds pass two thirds of the way down the court and sunk a last-second heave to win 72-69.

Start at :50 second mark.

Miami vs. Virginia, 2011 ACC Tournament Game

Miami: 10 points in 37 seconds

If you missed this game two weeks ago, then you missed one of the craziest finishes to a game that I've ever seen. Not only did Miami manage to come back in this game, it looked like Virginia had no intention of winning it in the first place. Here's the sequence that ended the game after Virginia led by 10 points with 31 seconds left: Miami 3, Virginia two missed FTs, Miami 3, Virginia turnover, easy Miami 2 off the inbounds, Virginia turnover, Miami 2, Virginia turnover, Miami misses shot at the buzzer. It must be seen to believed. And as you can guess, Miami went on to win in OT, 69-62.

UNC vs. Duke, 1974 Regular Season Finale

UNC: 8 Points, 17 Seconds

This comeback must be considered in the context of the time when it was played. Unlike every other comeback on this list, it did not involve 3-pointers because the 3-point line was not yet a rule. UNC, with the help of two Duke inbounds turnovers and a missed 1-and-1, scored 8 points in 17 seconds to tie the game at 86 and take it to overtime. UNC would go on to win easily in the extra session, 96-92. Good thing AG wasn't around for this one.

Start at 5:00 mark then go to next video.

NC State vs. Pepperdine, 1983 NCAA Tournament 1st Round Game

NC State: 6 points in 53 seconds

This was also before the 3-point-line era. Six-seeded NC State managed to score six straight to send the game to double overtime, where they finished off the 11 seed, Pepperdine, 69-67. This game sparked one of the most improbable NCAA Championship runs for Coach Valvano and the Wolfpack, culminating in the upset of heavily favored Houston and Phi Slama Jama.

Illinois vs. Arizona, 2005 NCAA Championship Elite 8

Illinois: 8 points, 20 seconds

Illinois was down 15 with 4 minutes left but staged a furious comeback lead by stars Luther Head, Dee Brown, and Deron Williams to cut the lead to 8 with a minute left. Head then hit a three, and on the ensuing Arizona possession, Brown stole the ball and took it in for a lay up. Down by 3, the Illini then stole the inbounds and Williams nailed a 3 to tie the game with 40 seconds left. The game went to overtime and Illinois advanced to the Final 4, 90-89.

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