What Are The Most Memorable Plays In College Basketball The Last 10 Years?


So it’s August and this is somewhat the dead time in hoops. We’re a little bit away from the start of preseason in the NBA, we’re past the July recruiting period, so really all we have are some international trips and any surprise trades. So with that in mind I decided August will be the time to reflect on the past and get yelled at by putting out different blogs involving the best/worst/rankings/whatever. So if you have something in mind, let me know. I started this with the 10 best programs in college hoops from the last 10 seasons.

Today we’re moving on to memorable plays. Needless to say there have been many and a clear cut number 1, but it’s still been a fun exercise to go back through and look at the best plays in college hoops. It’s no surprise that most of these will take place during the NCAA Tournament as that’s what people remember. It’s rare to find a regular season play stick out.

So here’s the list. I’ve heard what some people wanted so we’ll go from 10-1 instead of 1-10. As always let me know what I forgot, what you’d change and any ideas on Twitter @barstoolreags. Hope this helps get everyone to regular season football.

10. Jalen Adams Is In The Mood For 4 Overtimes – March 11, 2016


The game was already fairly crazy with it being in the third overtime. You had Cincinnati wasting clock and ultimately hitting a three which looked to be the game winner. Hell, there’s even confusion on the inbound as Adams really didn’t want to inbound it. It’s a good thing he’s stubborn because he’s the one who drilled the 65-footer which ultimately led to UConn’s win in 4overtimes.

9. Christian Watford Says Indiana is Back (Kinda) – December 10, 2011

One of the best rivalries in the sport saw one of the most memorable regular season endings over this last decade. In a game where there was no massive lead, Kentucky had a 2-point lead with just a couple seconds left. What happened next was a lot like the Memphis/Kansas game. Suspect defense and a great play design. First, there’s the screen in the backcourt, which gives Indiana an extra second as Kentucky is scrambling in the frontcourt. MKG and Anthony Davis get mixed up as the ball crosses halfcourt as MKG runs to his man instead of staying on the trailing Watford. Watford is then able to step into a three and a clean look at the buzzer. Because they beat No. 1 Kentucky this shot got a statute, popcorn boxes and I’m pretty sure Watford is the mayor of Bloomington. It showed Indiana is back – kinda.

8. RJ Hunter Makes His Dad Fall Out of His Chair – March 19, 2015

In what was the worst day of basketball for the Big 12, RJ Hunter delivered the final nail in the coffin. After a missed free throw (yet another running theme here) Georgia State was able to get the ball in their best players hands in the backcourt. After calmly bringing the ball over the halfcourt line Georgia State set up a play where he had the option to use a screen on either side. As he went right, Baylor collapsed bringing three guys on him. He smartly passed it to the screener before cutting back behind him, using him as a screener again essentially. Hunter got the ball back on a touch pass and had a clean yet deep look at three. Swish.

7. Paul Jesperson sends Texas home from halfcourt – March 18, 2016


It’s rare to see a buzzer-beater in the NCAA Tournament. It’s even more rare to see a halfcourt buzzer beater, especially in the NCAA Tournament. UNI has been part of some wild NCAA Tournament games, whether it was beating Kansas, this shot or blowing a 12 point lead in a minute. If UNI is playing in the NCAA Tournament, expect something crazy to happen.

6. Trey Burke From Deep – March 29, 2013

One of the better Sweet 16 games I can remember, you had Kansas vs Michigan. You have everything here from the missed free throw to the huge screen by Mitch McGary taking both him and a defender out. Then you have Trey Burke. The National Player of the Year taking a bit of a stepback from 30 feet, legs kicked out and drilling to to send the game to overtime. Just an unbelievable shot.

5. Aaron Harrison From the Same Spot – April 5, 2014

One of the best games from last decade gives us an incredible game winner. Aaron Harrison, who hit the identical shot in the Elite Eight against Michigan sent home yet another Big 10 team with a deadly three. Trailing by two with 11 seconds to go, Kentucky had the ball and let Andrew Harrison drive the lane. After Dakari Johnson mishandled the original pass, he kicks it back out to Andrew Harrison in the corner. With Kaminsky closing on him, he quickly gets it to Aaron Harrison on the wing with about 9 seconds left. You can see in the video, Andrew telling his brother to shoot. After a little jab step to the right, Harrison pulled up from deep and delivered one of the best three game late-game shooting stretches we’ve seen.

4. Scottie Reynolds Sends Villanova to Final Four – March 28, 2009


Back when the Big East had everyone in it, March 28, 2009 was a day where Villanova fans thought they were going to see the best play of their time. Again, we saw a great play design by Jay Wright with just under six seconds to go. After the made free throw Nova almost looks as if they are panicking. However, the pass to Dante Cunningham sets it all up. The pass is high and to the outside, almost as if Cunningham is a wide receiver. He immediately touch passes it to a streaking Reynolds where he gets to go to work. Without hesitation he puts the ball on the ground and starts dribbling toward the top of the key. Once there he gets his crossover as the Pitt defender reaches. Knowing Pitt didn’t want to foul with no time left, he jumps into the last defender, getting him a couple inches closer to the basket. Pitt still hasn’t sniffed a Final Four.

3. Ali Farokhmanesh is Cold Blooded vs Kansas – March 20, 2010

A running theme here will be a lot of these plays are late in the game and in March. This play is by far what every diminutive white guy has practiced. The calm stutter step into a deadly three. But, let’s take a look at the press break by UNI. Kansas decides to go with a man on the ball and go man-to-man everywhere else. Morris goes to trap on the inbound and that’s where UNI is able to take advantage. They immediately pass it back to the inbounder, switching sides and forcing Kansas to scramble. After that, there’s the gamble on the steal letting UNI go 2v1. The Kansas defender actually does the right thing by faking at Farokhmanesh and playing the passing lane and protecting the hoop at the same time. However that jab step lets Farokhmanesh get comfortable and step into a wide open three. Tons of balls on that kid to shoot and drill that.

2. Kemba Dances with Gary McGhee – March 10, 2011


Ah, the days of the old Big East. Ah, the days of Pitt suffering another devastating play. This time it was Kemba Walker and one of the more famous crossover/stepbacks I’ve ever seen. For whatever reason Pitt switches Gary McGhee onto Kemba as you can see right off the bat they are trying to get a guard back on him. Seeing the lack of the switch, Kemba takes a couple dribbles to his right. At the same time you can see Jim Calhoun calling for everyone on UConn to get the hell away and run a spread offense. I can only imagine how big Kemba’s eyes got when he saw he had pretty much the whole lane to his advantage. He’s able to get a couple dribbles with McGhee playing off of him to set up his cross. That’s step 1. McGhee actually does a decent job on the first cross, getting put back a little but uses his length to keep his hand in Kemba’s face. Then it comes time to dance. The stepback dribble sends McGhee flying into New Jersey as Kemba, calmly pulls up and drills the game winner.

1. Kris Jenkins and #Bang – April 4, 2016

I mean an absolute no-brainer here. I’ve talked about this play quite a bit and some of the suspect defense by UNC and how they went under the handoff and stayed a bit too far in the lane, but this is all about Jenkins. Actually it’s a little bit about Jay Wright too because ‘bang’ is now a line that lives forever outside of Philly. It’s rare we get to see a buzzer-beater to win the title and I don’t know if we’ll ever see one like this again, especially considering the shot that Paige hit right before this. ‘Gives it to Jenkins …. for the championship!’ Just a great call to go with it.