Who holds the record for most points scored in a March Madness game? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
March Madness is a home for shining moments, Cinderellas – and scoring.
The NCAA Tournament has been around since 1939, and there are some remarkable scoring records in the event’s history. The single-game points record has stood for over 50 years, and other scoring marks have been around nearly as long.
Ahead of the 2023 tournament, let’s look back at some of the greatest scoring performances in the history of March Madness.
Who holds the record for most points scored in an NCAA Tournament game?
Austin Carr went off to kick off the 1970 NCAA Tournament. The Notre Dame star scored a record-setting 61 points on 25-for-44 shooting in a rout against the University of Ohio, compiling the only 60-point game in tournament history.
Carr’s name is all over the NCAA Tournament record books. He has four of the top 10 individual scoring performances in the history of March Madness. Along with his 61-point game and two 52-point games, he scored 47 points in a regional third place game in 1971, the final contest of his collegiate career before he was selected No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the ensuing NBA draft.
Here is a full look at the 10 highest individual scoring totals from players in NCAA Tournament history:
1. Austin Carr, Notre Dame, 1970 first round: 61
2. Bill Bradley, Princeton, 1965 national third place game: 58
3. Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati, 1958 regional third place game: 56
T-4. Austin Carr, Notre Dame, 1971 first round: 52
T-4. Austin Carr, Notre Dame, 1970 regional semifinal: 52
6. David Robinson, Navy, 1987 first round: 50
7. Elvin Hayes, Houston, 1968 first round: 49
8. Hal Lear, Temple, 1956 national third place game: 48
9. Austin Carr, Notre Dame, 1971 regional third place game: 47
10. Dave Corzine, DePaul, 1978 regional semifinal: 46
Who holds the record for most points scored in a Final Four game?
Bill Bradley has the most points of any player at the Final Four, but it came in a game without championship stakes. Bradley dropped 58 points against Wichita State in the 1965 national third place game after Princeton fell to Michigan in the national semifinal.
When it comes to playing the best on the biggest stage, Bill Walton stands alone. The UCLA legend holds the national title game record with a 44-point eruption against Memphis in the 1973 final. Walton helped cap off a perfect season and gave the Bruins their seventh straight national championship.
Here are the top 11 individual scoring performances in Final Four history:
1. Bill Bradley, Princeton, 1965 national third place game: 58
2. Hal Lear, Temple, 1956 national third place game: 48
3. Bill Walton, UCLA, 1973 national championship: 44
T-4. Bob Houbregs, Washington, 1953 national third place game: 42
T-4. Gail Goodrich, UCLA, 1965 national championship: 42
6. Jack Givens, Kentucky, 1978 national championship: 41
T-7. Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati, 1959 national third place game: 39
T-7. Al Wood, North Carolina, 1981 Final Four: 39
T-9. Jerry West, West Virginia, 1959 Final Four: 38
T-9. Jerry Chambers, Utah, 1966 Final Four: 38
T-9. Freddie Banks, UNLV, 1987 Final Four: 38
Who holds the record for most points scored in a single NCAA Tournament?
When it comes to scoring throughout an entire tournament, Glen Rice had the best March Madness performance. The three-time NBA All-Star scored 184 points across Michigan’s national title run in 1989, including 31 in an overtime win against Seton Hall in the championship game.
Here is a look at how Rice compares to the rest of the top 10 when it comes to most points across an entire NCAA Tournament:
1. Glen Rice, Michigan, 1989: 184 (6 games)
2. Bill Bradley, Princeton, 1965: 177 (5 games)
3. Elvin Hayes, Houston, 1968: 167 (5 games)
4. Danny Manning, Kansas, 1988: 163 (6 games)
T-5. Jerry West, West Virginia, 1959: 160 (5 games)
T-5. Hal Lear, Temple, 1956: 160 (5 games)
T-7. Joe Barry Carroll, Purdue, 1980: 158 (6 games)
T-7. Austin Carr, Notre Dame, 1970: 158 (3 games)
9. Juan Dixon, Maryland, 2002: 155 (6 games)
10. Jay Williams, Duke, 2001: 154 (6 games)
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