Three-point project: Big Sky
A 55-foot last-second shot by Ryan Hansen at Idaho State on Jan. 6, 2000, was judged as the "Compaq College Men's Basketball Play of the Year" by a nationwide panel of sports writers who convened in Indianapolis during the NCAA Final Four. The bank shot not only gave the Eagles a 70-69 win but turned their season around and helped them to a share of the Big Sky Conference title.
This season, the Bengals were picked last in the Big Sky Conference but shocked undefeated rival Weber State 64-62 thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Kenny McGowen. It was the first win in seven tries against Weber State.
Senior guard David Bell made a three-pointer with six seconds left in the 2002-03 season as Montana beat 17th-ranked and host Stanford 70-68.
In the 1996 Big Sky Conference championship against Weber State, Danny Sprinkle scored 30 points, including 7 of 9 three-pointers. His sixth three tied the game at 48 with 12:11 left and keyed a 13-2 run that gave the Bobcats control. He was a true freshman in 1995-96 tabbed to redshirt until right before the season opened.
Ross Land made national highlights in the 2000 Big Sky league tourney when he swished a one-handed 80-foot heave at the first-half buzzer against Cal State Northridge. The Lumberjacks went on to win 85-81 and advance to the NCAA tournament. He finished his career as the NCAA all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage.
Devon Beitzel's three against Montana in the 2011 Big Sky Conference championship punctuated a back-and-forth game, put the Bears ahead 57-50 and had them on their way to their first NCAA tournament appearance.
On Nov. 24, 1997, Portland State upset Oregon 56-54 in the school's 28th game since reinstating its basketball program for the 1996-97 season. Derek Nesland's three-pointer with three seconds left was the difference. The victory legitimized Portland State as a Division I basketball program after a long absence — no basketball from 1981 to '96 — and led the Vikings to a stunning 15-12 record (10-6 in conference) in just its second season. It was also Portland State's first win against a Pac-10 school.
On Dec. 19, 1987, Sacramento State's Robert Martin buried a three-pointer with 51 seconds left to break an 82-82 tie with Texas A&M, and the Hornets would eventually win 87-84. What made the three-pointer and the victory special was the fact that Sacramento State was a Division II team at the time, and the victory came over a Division I Texas A&M squad that had reached the NCAA tournament the year before. That 1987-88 Sacramento State team eventually reached the NCAA Division II Tournament, the fourth appearance in school history.
On Dec. 7, 1993, Jimmy Degraffenried capped a 20-point comeback in the second half. with a buzzer-beating halfcourter to beat Utah State 87-86.