The 20 Best Basketball Games of 2016

We did this last year, but stopped at only 10 games. This year had wayyyyy to many great games to cap at only 10. This year, we’ll double down and countdown the 20 best games of the calendar year in both the NBA and NCAA.

20. The Return

He’s here.

19. Hield From Half-Court…?

Buddy Hield hits a half-court shot for the win…but can’t beat the buzzer.

18. Providence With A Prayer

Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil keep the Friars in the game, but Rodney Bullock wins it.

17. The Hield-Simmons Duel

America’s two best players face off, and it ends with a bang.

16. Warriors-Cavs, Christmas Day

Just happened. Already a classic.

15. Warriors-Thunder, Game 1 (Western Conference Finals)

Setting the tone for a seven game series.

14. Duke Wins At Carolina

A hobbled Blue Devil squad steals one on the road.

13. The Luck of the Irish

Notre Dame gives Stephen F. Austin the axe.

12. The Blizzard Game

A game that was almost postponed was an instant classic. Dunn’s 14 assists and Bentil’s 31 points win it for the Friars.

11. Arkansas-Little Rock Upsets Purdue in Double Overtime

Three wild endings, one great game.

10. Monk Sinks North Carolina

The only college game on this list from this season. Absolutely worthy. 

9. Villanova Tops Kansas

Many on this list have buzzer-beaters or overtime. This was just a fantastic game. Two great teams battled for 40 minutes. 

8. Bronson. F%@$-ing. Koenig.

Speaking of buzzer-beaters…

7. The Weirdest Ending I’ve Ever Seen

He pushed him? 

6. Hello, Northern Iowa

From half-court for the win!

5. Goodbye, Northern Iowa

Up by 12, with only 34 seconds left. 

4. The Triple OT Classic

When the opposing fans give you a standing ovation, you played a great game. 

3. Wardell Stephen Curry, MVP

46 points. 12 threes. Game-winner.

2. Game Seven

Come at the King, you best not miss.

1. National Championship?



Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and writer at He has also contributed to, Rush The Court,, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain. If you have any suggestions, tips, ideas, or questions, email them to

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