March Madness is officially upon us, which means big plays, magical moments, and dashed dreams lie ahead. Many future NBA stars will take the court during the tourney, but all eyes will be on Oklahoma’s Trae Young, who’s absolutely owned the 2017-18 college basketball season. With four 40-point games under his belt, the Sooners freshman is going bacon, eggs, and ham on his opponents. While Young has looked rather human as of late, and his team is sputtering into the tournament, March is the month where legends are born. He can (once again) transform into the second coming of Steph Curry.
Inspired by Young’s ridiculous statistical output, and our favorite collegiate hoopers of recent memory, we’re looking back at the best single-game performances from the last decade of college basketball.
With so many iconic performances to choose from, it’s nearly impossible to place them into a coherent order. Who’s to say if Steph was better than Kemba? Was Jimmermania really as insane as we remember? What about women’s hoops?
It’s a subjective scale. But our final rankings are based on five factors:
1) Stats. Pure numbers represent a crucial element here, but this isn’t a list of top scorers. Production in other areas matters a whole lot too. Besides, not all 50-point games are created equal.
2) Efficiency. It’s better to shoot 20-for-25 than to shoot 20-for-40. Plain and simple.
3) Caliber of opponent. Naturally, a player receives more props if he or she hangs a triple-double on Duke as opposed to Appalachian State. Ranked opponents play better defense, and therefore, are tougher to dominate.
4) Stage. A 40-point game in the NCAA Tournament may outweigh a 50-point night in December.
5) Memorability. Emotion counts. Impact on the sports world at large really matters. Any game that turns a college player into water-cooler material merits extra consideration. If it earns you a nickname, that’s something to consider. If your heroics lead off SportsCenter, there’s a good chance you’re at the top of this list.
Alright, enough talk. Let’s dive in: