If sport has taught us anything over time, it's that a game is never over until the final buzzer goes off - and even then, it might still not be over.
While every sports fan likes to watch a stress-free blowout win more often than not, there's nothing quite like the suspense and anxiety of a game that comes down to the final few ticks of the clock. Uncertainty lingers until the last second; can your team can snap victory from the jaws of defeat or will an opponent will stick a fatal dagger into the hearts of your entire fan base?
Buzzer beaters are arguably the most exhilarating and impressive feats in all of sports, and is one of the few things that almost every sport has in common. Basketball legends are often born or grow on the strength of a buzzer beater. Many a soccer game has been decided on a goal struck past a helpless keeper in the final moments of extra time. Even hockey games have ended on a bizarre last second bounce, leaving one side elated, while the other is left to stew under the crushing weight that was dropped on them.
The moments can define careers, as they have for so many of the great ones, but they can also be the fleeting moment of glory chased by journeymen athletes across all the major sports. One right move, one decisive finishing touch can turn a "blip on the radar" career into the incredible story of the unsung hero, who rose through adversity and doubt to make a significant mark on the history of his game.
Some are even more memorable for the way they happened - they may not have impacted a season, a playoff series, or the history of the game, but they'll remain etched in buzzer-beater lore for all of eternity.
20 Alex Hemsky (Oilers) Assisted by Patrik Stefan (Stars)
How can anyone forget the "shining" moment of former number one overall pick and perennial bust Patrik Stefan during his stint with the Dallas Stars? There's missing the net and then there's missing the net the way Stefan did, which ultimately allowed the Oilers to counter attack and tie the game.
19 The Muffed Monday Nighter
No one will ever forget the mess that was the NFL officials strike several seasons ago, which culminated in one of the most bizarre endings to a football game that any of us will likely ever witness in our lifetime.
18 Joel Ward Stuns the Rangers
17 LeBron Rules His Kingdom
16 Tyler Johnson Sinks the Habs
15 Mike Thomas' Hail Mary Catch
The two main characters in this story were barely blips on the NFL radar, but this moment will live on in league lore forever.
14 Jussi Jokinen's Miracle Tip
13 David Lee's Famous Tip
This buzzer-beater must own the world record for the buzzer-beater completed with the least amount of time on the clock - 0.1 seconds, to be exact.
The Knicks had one tenth of a second to inbound the ball and get it in the hoop for an improbable win, and with a clever "tip drill" style play, David Lee and the Knickerbockers got it done.
12 Mo Pete Won't be Beat
Morris Peterson, like most athletes, would prefer to be remembered for their body of work at the professional level, rather than by one moment - but if one moment is going to define your career, it might as well be this one.
11 Jordan's Finals Magic
10 John Stockton is no One-Trick Pony
9 Devin Harris' Miracle
It's hard enough to get a basketball to go through the hoop when you're standing at the free throw line. It's even harder as you back up, to the three-point arc, and then to half-court. So imagine the degree of difficulty of a shot that involves a clock seconds away from hitting zero and having to hit the game-winning shot while running full-speed with a defender breathing down your neck.
8 Why Does Everyone Hates Christian Laettner?
OK, there's more to the villain label Christian Laettner picked up during his basketball career, but he certainly didn't score any brownie points among Kentucky basketball fans after his near-miraculous fadeaway jumper propelled Duke to the Final Four during March Madness 1992.
7 Derek Fisher Silences the Spurs
The Spurs thought it was over. They were already celebrating. Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference semifinals was in the bag, right? ...right?
If you've watched even half a Lakers game over the past two decades, you would know even without me telling you that the play was drawn up for Kobe Bryant. It always is. It always will be.
6 D-Jax Slays the Giants
Say what you want about DeSean Jackson, but the man has a flair for the dramatic and he knows how to come through in the clutch. You could almost tell that if the ball came anywhere near him on the fateful play, he was going to bring it back. Then again, why on Earth would the Giants punt to him?
5 Jerry West's Long Bomb
4 Music City Miracle
It was perhaps, simply put, the craziest play in NFL history.
With 16 seconds on the clock and the Buffalo Bills up by one, the only option for the Titans seemed to be hoping for good field position, getting one, maybe two plays off, and trying for a game-winning field goal.
Instead, they pulled off the Music City Miracle.
3 Flutie's Hail Mary
Doug Flutie is one of the most interesting characters in the history of the sport. A guy who didn't look like he even belonged on a football field, let alone at the quarterback position, somehow managed to carve out a legacy at all levels of the sport - including in the National Football League.
2 Gar Heard's "Shot Heard Round the World"
Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals is arguably one of the greatest NBA playoff games of all-time, but it is most memorable for Gar Heard's buzzer-beating "Shot Heard Round the World".
1 The Ehlo Shot
You knew Michael Jordan would be No. 1. He's always number one. It was just a matter of choosing which shot would top the list.
The Ehlo Shot is iconic for it's significance in Jordan's legendary career - the way he hit the shot, the excitement during the celebration and, most of all, a sign of things to come for the man who transcended the sport and eventually solidified his status as the greatest of all time with moments just like this one.
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