The 25 greatest specific performances of the previous 25 years
Myron Medcalf, ESPN
- Personnel WriterAug 30, 2023, 07:00 AM ET Close Covers college basketball
- Signed up with ESPN.com in 2011
- Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato
The guys’s college basketball offseason provides a chance to reflect on the past, not simply last season, and examine the nostalgic minutes throughout the history of the sport. However in some cases, those discussions are complicated by a boundless time frame. How can you compare players or teams from the 1980s to players or teams from the last couple of years? The game has altered, dramatically, making it challenging to have any rewarding conversations.That’s why we’ve chosen to introduce a series that focuses just on the last 25 years of college basketball. Any team, player, coach or minute from 1998-99 through 2022-23 is qualified. The rest? That’s somebody else’s problem.After paring it down to the 25 finest players and the 25 greatest”What ifs?”moments, our next installment in this series is a list of the leading 25 private performances.Yeah, we know. You might dislike this list. Or you might like it. There’s probably no in-between. Let’s consider the criteria. It
‘s simple to discover a wide variety of extraordinary efficiencies throughout college basketball over the last 25 years. Our goal, however, was to recognize the best efforts based on the stakes of the game, the challenger, the minute, the numbers and the reactions.Some of the efficiencies on this list were viral before the word indicated what it does today. Some of the fantastic games you may keep in mind unfolded against subpar competitors(apologies to UT Martin’s Lester Hudson and his quadruple-double in 2007 versus Central Baptist College, an NAIA school). We omitted most of those efforts, unless they were simply too incredible to disregard. You’ll see a lot of NCAA competition games, too.If you believe your favorite player’s greatest game is missing and deserves inclusion, you might be right. However, we had just 25 spots.1. Carmelo Anthony gets hot versus Texas in the Final Four(2003)2 days prior to he led 3-seed Syracuse to its only nationwide title with a win over Kansas, Anthony assembled quite the performance in this upset win over the 1-seed Longhorns. That night in New Orleans, Anthony completed with 33 points
(12-for-19, 3-for-4 from the 3-point line, 6-for-7 from the charity stripe), 14 rebounds and 3 steals in the 95-84 victory.Buzz about the future NBA star moved to a new level when he led 10-seed Davidson to its 82-76 success over the 7-seed Bulldogs in the opening round of the 2008 NCAA competition. Gonzaga had corralled Curry in the first half, but the then-sophomore
scored 30 points in the 2nd half, struck the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:04 to play and sealed the win with late totally free tosses. 3. Eddie Home records 61 vs. California, his dream school( 2000)Originally from Berkeley, Home idolized former Cal point player Jason Kidd and
had hoped to bet the exact same school– just to not be recruited by the Bears.
So, at this road game throughout his senior season, the Arizona State guard exacted vengeance, scoring 44 of his 61 points after halftime in the Sun Devils ‘111-108 double-overtime victory. In doing so, he connected Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s then-Pac-10 record, finishing 18-for-30 from the field(7-for-10 from beyond the arc, a then-record 18-for-19 from the charity stripe).4. Jimmer Fredette takes down an unbeaten San Diego State(2011) On Jan. 26, 2011, San Diego State– an eventual 2-seed in the NCAA tournament, led by former star Kawhi Leonard– showed up in Provo, Utah for its match versus BYU(19-1 )with a perfect 20-0 record. The unblemished mark didn’t
remain. Fredette( 43 points, 14-for-24, 5-for-8 from the 3-point line)outplayed Leonard(22 points)in the 71-58 house win.5. JJ Redick seals Duke’s No. 1 ranking over Texas (2005) When Duke and Texas met in East Rutherford, N.J., on Dec. 10, 2005, they were the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in America, respectively. Redick’s 41-point effort (9-for-16 from the 3-point line )in the 97-66 success left no doubt as to which team had earned the right to call itself
the very best group in America at that juncture of the season.6. Mateen Cleaves ‘return to the nationwide title game after an ankle injury(2000)One Of The Most Exceptional Gamer of that year’s competition had already scored 18 points for his Michigan State group, which was up 8 points on Florida, when he hopped to the locker room after a collision early in the second
half of the championship game game. The injury looked severe, yet he would ultimately return to the floor, his scrappy playmaking helping the Spartans secure the 89-76 win, and the school’s second NCAA title.7. Javi Gonzales gathers 10 points in 23.3 seconds against Arizona( 2009 )With NC State down 70-64 with 36.4 seconds staying in an early-season non-conference matchup at Arizona, Gonzales kicked off an NCAA-record scoring barrage. In order, he scored on a shot off the backboard, a complimentary toss after a foul, a 3-pointer, a dive shot and a layup– all in 23.3 seconds precisely– to tie the game, 74-74. The staying 7.1 seconds would not respect the Wolfpack, nevertheless, who eventually lost, 76-74. 8. Jairus Lyles leads UMBC’s upset of Virginia (2018)Lyles was the catalyst for the first-ever win by a 16-seed over a 1-seed in NCAA competition history, scoring 28 points versus the Cavaliers in the preliminary.
The senior guard finished 9-for-11 (3-for-4 from
the 3-point line) and 7-for-9 from the charity stripe in the historic 74-54 triumph.9. Dwyane Wade’s triple-double against Kentucky in the Final 4(2003) The recent Basketball Hall of Fame conscript’s 2003 NCAA tournament performance for 3-seed Marquette deserves its own”30 for 30″documentary.
The best scene in that theoretical film would be Wade’s ridiculous 29 points, 11 helps,
11 rebounds stat-line in the Golden Eagles’83-69 win over the 1-seed, preferred Wildcats in Minneapolis, strengthening his status as a college legend.10. Anthony Davis dominates the national title game, in spite of poor shooting(2012 )If you take a look at package rating of the national championship game between Kentucky and Kansas in 2012, you’ll see that Davis finished a dismal 1-for-10 and scored just 6 points total in the 67-59 win. But that just tells part of the story. Davis controlled in other methods: he had 16 rebounds, six blocks, 5 helps and 3 steals, and developed enough of a protective gridlock that Kansas made simply 33.3 %of its shots inside the arc.Editor’s Picks 2 Related 11. Markus Howard hits 11 3s in win over Providence(2018 )Howard’s résumé at Marquette had plenty of elite scoring efforts. However his 52-point explosion(he completed 11-for-19 from beyond the arc )in a 95-90 overtime win over the Friars– consisting of four consecutive baskets toward the end of policy– was
a Big East and a school record.12. Darius Lee scores 52 points in a quadruple-overtime thriller (2022)The 6-foot-6 Houston Christian standout had a remarkable getaway last season when he scored 52 points(16-for-30 from the field, 20-for-27 from the charity stripe), consisting of the containers that sent out the game into the second and 3rd overtime durations in the 149-144
win over McNeese. Regretfully, Lee was eliminated in a shooting three months after this efficiency.13. Ja Morant’s triple-double guides Murray State to upset over Marquette in NCAA competition( 2019)By the time Morant and the 12-seed Racers entered their first-round matchup versus the 5-seed Golden Eagles in Hartford, Conn., he ‘d already end up being a popular player and a forecasted lottery choice. After the 17-point, 11-rebound, 16-assist efficiency, that included a viral dunk over former Marquette forward Joey Hauser, Morant became a home name. 14. Thomas Robinson ratings 28 points in Kansas’come-from-behind win over Missouri(2012)Down 19 points against a top competitor, the Jayhawks were caused an incredible comeback by Robinson, who capped his 28-point, 12-rebound efficiency with among the best blocks in current college basketball history, against Phil Pressey at the end of regulation.15. Zion Williamson debuts with a huge game over Kentucky(2018)The 2018-19 Wooden Award winner made his college
debut at the Champions Classic, No. 4 Duke’s season opener against a No. 2 Kentucky group led by future NBA standout Tyler Herro. He was nearly perfect. Williamson finished the 118-84 takedown of the Wildcats with 28 points( 11-for-13), 7 rebounds, two assists and a block.16. Shabazz Napier leads UConn to a national title(2014) Napier averaged 21.2 PPG as he led
the 7-seed Huskies to their fourth national championship, which punctuated one
of the most memorable NCAA tournament runs over the last 25 years. In the title game against 8-seed Kentucky, Napier’s radiance continued with 26 points(4-for-7 from the 3-point line), 6 rebounds, 3 helps and 3 steals.17. Jodie Meeks sets a Kentucky record with 54 points versus Tennessee (2009)Meeks had among the most explosive seasons in recent history, ending 2008-09 eighth in the country in scoring (23.7 PPG). In specific, his school-record 54 points (10-for-15 from beyond the arc, an ideal 15-for-15 from the free throw line )in the 90-72 road win stood apart. Former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl stated his guards”couldn’t protect [Meeks] following the game.18. Kemba Walker ratings 36 in the Sweet 16 vs. San Diego State( 2011)UConn’s wonderful run to the 2011 championship game– the Huskies had entered their conference tournament with a 4-7 record– was sustained by Walker, who won Many Impressive Gamer. After the game versus the 2-seed Aztecs, it was clear that Walker and 3-seed UConn would not be obstructed from their goal of winning a national title.19. Pal Hield drops 46 at Allen Fieldhouse (2016) Hield finished the 2015-16 season with a collection of nationwide awards, consisting of the Wooden Award, after 13 efficiencies with 30 points or more for No. 2 Oklahoma. None were more remarkable, however, than this one, a 109-106 triple-overtime loss to No. 1 Kansas on the road. He was
so good( he was 8-for-15 from the 3-point line) he even had Jayhawks fans cheering for him after the game.20. Greg Oden leaves his mark with one hand in the national title game(2007)The Ohio State big male had actually suffered a wrist injury that affected his entire freshman season, and remained through to the national title game, against safeguarding champ Florida.
However it didn’t matter that he was only having fun with one great hand. Oden finished with 25 points (10-for-15), 12 rebounds and four blocks in the 84-75 loss to among the greatest college basketball groups of the last 25 years. play 0:56 Trae Young finishes roller-coaster freshman season Oklahoma’s Trae Young went from being under-recruited in high school to being the first
guy to ever lead the country in scoring and assists in just one year with the Sooners.21.
Trae Young flirts with a triple-double against TCU (2018) Young was so electrical throughout his lone season at Oklahoma in 2017-18 that NBA players would send him text messages after games. He had numerous trips that necessitated his status as a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA draft. However his biggest game, perhaps, came the night he led No. 9 Oklahoma to a 102-97 overtime win versus No. 16 TCU, with 43 points(10-for-18 from beyond the arc), 11 rebounds and 7 helps.22. Kevin Durant records 37 points, 23 rebounds in Lubbock(2007)In his only college season, Durant won every national honor,
consisting of the Wood Award(he was the first freshman in NCAA history to win the honor ). His efficiency against Texas Tech– the broadened statline in the 76-64 roadway win consists of 15-for-29 shooting, 3 takes and one block– was likewise the first time a Texas player
had taped a 30-20 game.23. Ben Woodside signs up 60 points for North Dakota State( 2008 )This effort in a 112-111 triple-overtime loss to Stephen F. Austin, rivals any private efficiency on this list. There were a great deal of unbelievable numbers connected to that effort: Woodside just made two 3s that night, however finished 30-for-35 from the complimentary toss line.24. Richard Hamilton leads UConn in a nationwide title upset of Duke( 1999)The Blue Devils entered the 1999 nationwide title match after winning 32 consecutive games, and were almost a double-digit preferred over the Huskies. Then Hamilton dropped 27 points, seven rebounds, 3 helps and two takes, to assist the Huskies win, 77-74. He also won Many Impressive Gamer.25. Carsen Edwards ratings 42 against Virginia in the NCAA competition( 2019)A week after scoring 42 points and leading Purdue to a win over safeguarding national champion Villanova