Death, taxes and the University of Northern Iowa hitting miraculous buzzer-beaters in the NCAA tournament.

Five years after school legend Ali Farokmanesh drilled a three to upset top-seeded Kansas in a second-round game in Oklahoma City, UNI added a major dose of Madness to March with yet another buzzer-beater (also in Oklahoma City) - this one far more of the "I don't believe what I just saw" variety.

After Texas tied the game on a floater with 2.7 seconds left, UNI senior Paul Jesperson took the inbound pass near the sideline, dribbled once to his left and then launched a half-court Hail Mary. It looked long the whole way, likely making everyone on the floor, in the crowd and at home think the same thing: overtime. Well, the ball was long. Perfectly long.

There have been better game-winning plays (Tyus Edney going the distance, the throw to Bryce Drew) and in bigger moments (Christian Laettner and N.C. State), but in terms of straight buzzer-beating shots with context thrown out, Jesperson's immediately goes down as one of the greatest in tournament history, if not the best.


A contested, half-court, banked buzzer-beater? Insta-history is a plague on sports analysis, but in the frantic minutes after the shot, it really does seem to be one of the best buzzer-beaters the NCAA tournament has ever seen.

That was a sentiment repeated on the CBS/Turner post-game show by a number of panellists, as well as the masses on Twitter who all reacted with similar shock and awe.