What's better than one NCAA buzzer beater? Two.
It's not every regular-season day that college basketball gives fans two thrilling finishes in less than a 20-minute span. Between the Texas Longhorns' win against Baylor and Syracuse's victory over Miami, Saturday was action-packed.
Texas won on the strength of senior guard Tyrese Hunter's big-time drive late, while Syracuse secured the win on a major bucket from sophomore guard Quadir Copeland. It's hard to say who did it better since there are plenty of ways to rank winning shots.
That said, here's all the context you need on the exciting closes.
Tyrese Hunter helps Texas beat No. 9 Baylor
Hunter's shining moment came when his team needed it most, sealing a crucial 75-73 win for Texas after a 1-3 start in Big 12 play.
The win, which improved the Longhorns' overall record to 13-5, was tightly contested all the way through. The game saw 10 ties and 21 lead changes. The Longhorns showed they meant business on offense in the first half, going 9-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half. Despite the stellar shooting, Texas only led 42-41 at halftime.
It was all about the Longhorns' defense in the second half, which held Baylor to an almost eight-minute scoring drought to end the game. Baylor finally got on the board again when forward Jalen Bridges hit a tying 3-pointer with 5.1 seconds left, setting the stage for Hunter to take over.
Hunter drove the ball from the opposite end of the court and laid it in for the victory as the crowd erupted.
— Texas Men’s Basketball (@TexasMBB) January 20, 2024
Hunter led Texas to the win in the standings and in the box score with 21 points and three assists. He was followed by Dylan Disu, who recorded 19 points.
The loss dropped the Bears to 14-4. They were led by freshman Ja'kobe Walter, who notched a game-high 22 points and seven rebounds.
Syracuse's Quadir Copeland's game-winning bucket over Miami
Quadir Copeland's 3-pointer at the buzzer came as the Orange's undefeated streak at home was at stake. They had the fan section on the edge of its seats before they pulled off the 72-69 win over Miami.
The victory improved Syracuse's record to 13-5 overall and 4-3 in ACC play. They were neck-and-neck in the first half, until Miami went on a 9-0 run to seemingly take control of the game. But the Orange answered with a 9-2 run to enter halftime down by just one point.
Sophomore guard JJ Starling interrupted Syracuse's offensive issues with a few buckets to get the team back in contention in the second half. It was back-and-forth from there, leading to a 69-69 tie with less than a minute left. Once Syracuse could get a stop, it called a timeout and decided on the winning play.
Judah Mintz, another sophomore guard, drove to his right and dished the ball across the court to Copeland for the 3. Copeland fell to the ground as he landed, but the crowd rose to their feet in excitement.
QUADIR FOR THE WIN!!! pic.twitter.com/0stb0NXajK
— Syracuse Men’s Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) January 20, 2024
Mintz finished with 10 points and a career-high 13 assists, adding eight rebounds and two steals. Copeland had 11 points, six rebounds and two steals. They were part of a group of five Syracuse players to record double figures, led by Starling's 22 points and career-high six 3-pointers.
Miami was constricted in the loss, having entered the game averaging 83 points per game. They were led by Nijel Pack's 19 points.
Both teams were missing a starting center. Norchad Omier of Miami missed the contest with a sprained ankle, while Naheem McLeod is out for the season for Syracuse.