The Top 10 College Basketball Games Of All Time

Fans have been flocking to watch college basketball games since 1896, when the first game was played. There are over 358 teams today, but there are some teams that are far more well known and successful than others. Since there are so many trams, this means there have been plenty of intense matches to watch over the years. 

At the moment it is 2023 March Madness, due to the range of entertaining college basketball games to watch. Although, you may wish to know what are the best basketball games that have ever happened throughout history.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 best college basketball games of all time. 

1. Syracuse (127) vs UConn (117) - 2009

In the longest college basketball match ever played at Madison Square Garden, Syracuse defeated UConn in the East tournament semifinals after six overtimes. The competition ended at 1:22 in the morning after nearly four hours of play. 

Later that evening, Syracuse came back to defeat Pittsburgh in the Big East Championship.

2. Notre Dame (71) vs UCLA (70) - 1974

In one of the most unlikely comebacks in history, Notre Dame defeated UCLA and ended the Bruins' 88-game winning streak by scoring the game's last 12 points. With 29 seconds remaining, Dwight Clay's jumper from the right-hand corner gave them the lead. They held off multiple UCLA efforts in the waning seconds before celebrating.

3. Duke (104) vs Kentucky (103) - 1992

During the game's final five possessions, Duke and Kentucky were constantly trading the lead, as they competed in a regional final for a place to the Final Four. 

With 2.9 seconds left, Kentucky took the lead 103–102 thanks to a crazy 10-foot bank shot by Sean Woods. Grant Hill then passed the ball to Christian Laettner, who spun and made the go-ahead basket at the final second. 

Laettner ended with a 10-for-10 field and a 10-for-10 foul shooting percentage.

4. North Carolina (63) vs Georgetown (62) - 1982

With 15 seconds left, rookie Michael Jordan made the game-winning jump shot from 16 feet down below. This gave North Carolina coach Dean Smith his first championship game title. This is the game that propelled Michael Jordan to becoming one of the greatest basketball players. 

5. Gonzaga (93) vs UCLA (90) - 2021

With less than a minute left in overtime, UCLA was down by five points. Johnny Juzang unleashed a game-winning jumper with less than five seconds remaining on the clock. Then, at the last second, Jalen Suggs sank a 33-foot three-pointer to help Gonzaga progress to the NCAA Finals and maintain its hopes of having its first perfect season since 1976. 

Check out FanDuel March Madness for all the upcoming odds for the latest college basketball games.

6. NC State (103) vs Maryland (100) - 1974

To win the ACC Tournament, the top-ranked NC State recovered a 13-point disadvantage in the first half and persevered in overtime. At the time, the winner from this match would progress in the competition. Thus, the fourth ranked Maryland just missed their spot to go to the NCAA tournament. 

Five All-American players—Tom Burleson and David Thompson of NC State, John Lucas, Tom McMillen, and Len Elmore of Maryland—as well as 11 NBA Draft picks, participated in this game.

7. Houston (71) vs UCLA (69) - 1969

This game was labeled as the ‘Game of the Century.’ It was a match between two undefeated teams and was played in front of an audience of 52,693 fans. Which was considered the biggest crowd to attend a college basketball game at the time. 

Elvin Hayes and second-ranked Houston outperformed Lew Alcindor and top-ranked UCLA, breaking the Bruins' 47-game winning run. 

8. Villanova (77) vs Kentucky (74) - 2016

In one of the greatest endings in NCAA tournament history, with 4.7 seconds left in the game, Marcus Paige from Kentucky hit a double-clutch three-pointer to level it at 74.  Then, Kris Jenkins made the go-ahead three-pointer as time ran out to give Villanova the title.

9. North Carolina (54) vs Kansas (53) - 1957

In another of the longest games ever played in an NCAA championship game, the undefeated North Carolina Tar Heels prevailed against Wilt Chamberlain and the Jayhawks. With six seconds left, Joe Quigg sank two free throws that decided the game. In the semifinals, North Carolina also required three overtimes to defeat Michigan State.

10. NC State (54) vs Houston (52) - 1983

The NC State Wolfpack, the sixth-seeded team with 10 defeats during the season, defeated Houston's strongly favored Phi Slama Jama with a basket at the final buzzer. Few people will ever forget seeing NC State coach Jim Valvano rushing around the court after the closing buzzer looking for someone to hug.


There are a lot of great past college basketball games to enjoy. We have spoken about the top 10 greatest college basketball games of all time. All of these games have produced jaw dropping moments, with top quality players that will never be forgotten. 

We hope you have found this article interesting. Now you know the top 10 college basketball games of all time.