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Monday, March 16, 2009
ESPNTheMag.Com Presents: All-World Power Rankings


Wow.

BEST NCAA TOURNAMENT BUZZER BEATER? REALLY HARD TO GO AGAINST LAETTNER ON THIS ONE

[Ed's note: Not sure what All-World Power Rankings is? Please click here.]

This is one of the most exciting weeks of the year, we'd argue, and not just because Kelly Clarkson is dropping new songs. It's "March Madness!" As such, we're going to spend Monday to Thursday 'dis week ranking NCAA Tournament-related things. First up: buzzer beaters. This list has been made roughly 12, 761 times (give or take one we think we saw on yocohoops back when it was active), but we'll keep it interesting with sidebar bar topics and video links. (Here are two good resources to start: No. 1 and No. 2.) Here comes the funcooker.

TOP 5
RANK (YESTERDAY) WHAT WHY
1 (14) CHRISTIAN LAETTNER VS. KENTUCKY IN 1992 Here it is. Really doesn't need any discussion. Here's a sidebar, though: what gets you in more trouble, saying "skate in the crease" in a Buffalo bar or "Who doesn't guard the inbounder?" in a Lexington bar? Bonus: Chris Farley left us too soon.
2 (410) LORENZO CHARLES VS. HOUSTON IN 1983 The argument you hear sometimes is that Lo' Charles (ha, someone should get Charles and Lauren Conrad to do a "viral Internet skit" together) should be ahead of Laettner because it won a title game. That's somewhat valid, although the entire situation with Laettner is just so epic. Sidebar on this: how the heck did Houston never win a NCAA title? Egad.
3 (21) KEITH SMART VS. 'CUSE IN 1987 Here ya go. Sidebar: if this doesn't happen and Jim Boeheim has two rings as opposed to one, do you view him differently? And if Derrick Coleman had a college title, does it increase/decrease your view of him and of Carmelo Anthony's role in 'Cuse history?
4 (127) BRYCE DREW VS. OLE MISS IN 1998 Here ya go. Sidebar: if he wasn't the coach's son, would you have this as high? The play was pretty awesome, for sure, but if he was just the team's star with no familial connections, would you look at it as another 13 over 4 game a decade later?
5 (899) RICHARD HAMILTON VS. WASHINGTON IN 1998 You can get it as the first clip on this link. Honestly, we probably should have Vic Rouse (go to No. 21 on this list), but the tenacity of the Rip play is still pretty awesome. Sidebar: is Washington vs. UConn the most underrated Tournament rivalry of the last 10 years? Washington almost beat 'em twice: 1998 and 2006. Might happen in this year's Sweet 16, too!

HONORABLE MENTION
RANK (YESTERDAY) WHAT WHY
18 (144) TYUS EDNEY VS. MISSOURI IN 1995 Here you go. Sidebar for ya. Fastest dude end-to-end in college hoops among these four: Edney, fellow UCLA guard Darren Collison, former Wake standout Chris Paul, or 2009 ACC Player of the Year Ty Lawson? Hit us up.
28 (701) DANNY AINGE VS. NOTRE DAME IN 1981 Here ya go. Sidebar: where would you rank Ainge on a list of sports figures rising like a phoenix from the ashes? We'd say top ten easy, from where he was valued in '06 to where he's valued now.

RISING AND FALLING
MOVEMENT WHAT
DREW NICHOLAS IN 2003 (How do more people not value this? He was falling out of the gym!)
CHRISTIAN LAETTNER IN 1990 (This was a great shot, but because of what he did in '92, does anyone really remember it?)