Changes in the game -- notably one-and-done and the shot clock -- have made some NCAA tournament records practically unbreakable. For example, it is difficult to imagine any team in the modern era that would manage to score fewer points than North Carolina did in a 26-20 loss to Pittsburgh in the 1941 tournament.
Never say never, but here are seven marks that would require an astonishing turn of events to be broken:
In 1990, Bo Kimble led the No. 11 seed Lions to a 149-115 win over No. 3 seed and defending national champion Michigan Wolverines in the second round. Four LMU starters scored more than 20 points. Kimble and Jeff Fryer combined for 78 points. The Lions drained 27
three-pointers in the game (another tournament record) and the
264 combined points is still the most scored in a tournament
game. The second most points scored by a team in a tournament game came later that year when UNLV beat LMU 131-101 in the regional finals.
Laettner was an integral part of Duke's dominance in late 80s and early-90 when it made it to the Final four seven times in nine years. Although his mainstream legacy is "The Shot," Laettner also made his mark at the foul line. In his 23 games in the NCAA tournament,
Laettner shot 167 free throws and hit 142 of them, both tournament records. The next highest member on both lists (much to the chagrin of North Carolina fans) is Tyler Hansbrough, who hit 105 of his 148 free throws.
In 1997, Arizona did something that no other team is mathematically capable of besting. The fourth-seeded Wildcats, led by current NBA vets Mike Bibby and Jason Terry, beat three No. 1 seeds en route to winning the championship. The Wildcats beat Kansas, trounced North Carolina in the Final Four, and then topped it all off by defeating Kentucky in the championship game.
As ESPN's 22nd ranked college basketball player of all- time, Austin Carr has set some records. None are more impressive than his scoring averages during the NCAA tournament. In 1970, Carr scored 158 points in three games for an average of 52.7. The next year Carr averaged 41.7 points per game in the tournament (second highest in tournament
history), finishing his career with a scoring average of 41.3 points. The next highest career scoring average is Bill Bradley, averaging 33.7 points for Princeton from 1963-1965.
From 1967 to 1973, John Wooden's Bruins won seven consecutive NCAA championships, setting a record that truly epitomizes the label "unbreakable." During this streak, UCLA won a staggering 38 straight NCAA tournament games and hosted a number of future NBA greats including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then known as Lew Alcindor) and Bill Walton. The only other relevant number: Two. The second-most consecutive titles held by six other teams.
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