There are 67 total games in the current 68-team format for the NCAA Tournament. And as every game tips off, there’s a chance for something memorable to happen.

While the upsets and watching a game-winning 3-pointer swish through the net as the buzzer sounds are part of what makes March Madness so special, some college basketball games are over long before the final seconds tick off the clock.

Sometimes we get just a complete mismatch, and one team starts off hot and runs the other right out of the gym before the fans have even taken their seats. These may not carry the same level of excitement as a game that ends with a buzzer beater, but watching one team just annihilate another can be awe-inspiring, as well.

A complete blowout in the tourney is also far more rare than a game that comes down to the wire. There have been 214 tournament games in which the final score has been decided by just a single point, compared to only 11 tournament games that have ended by more than 45!

We’ll take a trip down memory lane and look back at those 11 games, as we examine the rankings of the most decisive victories in the history of the NCAA Tournament.

1. 69, Loyola Chicago (111) vs. Tennessee Tech (42), March 11, 1963

Before Loyola Chicago was the darling of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the Ramblers had only reached the Final Four one other year: 1963. That tournament run tipped off with a blowout of Tennessee Tech. The lead reached double digits early and the game was all but in the first half, as the Ramblers outscored the Golden Eagles 61-20. That 41-point advantage still stands as the largest halftime lead in NCAA Tournament history. Loyola scored 50 more points in the second half in the biggest rout in the tourney. All five Loyola starters scored in double figures, with Ron Miller leading the way with 21 points. The Ramblers rode this momentum and won their first and only men’s basketball national championship game, defeating Cincinnati 60-58 in overtime.

2. 58, Kansas (110) vs. Prairie View (52), March 13, 1998

Led by a pair of All Americans in Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz, top-seeded Kansas’ first-round matchup with a Prairie View team that entered the tournament with a 13-16 record played out exactly like you might’ve expected. The Jayhawks made their first five shots and led 20-5 by the time the Panthers made their first field goal. Pierce had 25 points in 25 minutes while LaFrentz had 20 points and 15 rebounds, as KU set program tournament records for points, as well as rebounds, as it held a 64-29 advantage on the boards. Playing it its first NCAA Tournament game, Prairie View showed some early jitters, as it missed its first nine shots and was just 4-of-25 shooting at one point. Kansas, however, was unable to build on its historic win, falling out of the tournament two days later with a surprising 80-75 loss to eighth-seeded Rhode Island.

3. 56, UConn (103) vs. Chattanooga (47), March 19, 2009

This 1-16 matchup actually started out somewhat competitive, until top-seeded Connecticut ultimately imposed its will over Chattanooga and rolled to a 103-47 trouncing. The Huskies led just 17-15 with 11:15 to go in the first half before scoring the game’s next 14 points to pull away. UConn closed the first half on a 31-5 run, and scored the first 15 points of the second half to put together a 46-5 stretch bridging halftime. The Huskies limited the Mocs to just 25.8% shooting and held a 58-34 rebounding advantage. Stanley Robinson was one of three 20-point scorers for the Huskies, with second-team All-American selection Hasheem Thabeet finishing with 20 points and 13 rebounds and A.J. Price adding 20 points. UConn rolled to the Final Four before falling to Michigan State 82-73 in the national semifinal.

T-4. 49, UCLA (109) vs. Wyoming (60), March 17, 1967

UCLA’s first tournament win in its unprecedented march to its first of seven consecutive national championships in 1967 stands as the largest margin of victory in a tourney game for the storied program. The Bruins took control early, leading Wyoming 55-18 at the end of one half and cruised to a 109-60 pummeling. In his first tournament game, sophomore center Lew Alcindor had 29 points and 10 rebounds for an UCLA team that shot 61.5%. The Bruins capped their perfect 30-0 season with a 79-64 win over Dayton in the national championship, with Alcindor scoring 20 points and grabbing 18 boards. In four tourney games, Alcindor averaged 26.5 points and 15.5 rebounds to win his first of three straight Most Outstanding Player awards.

national semifinals or later

T-4. 49, Syracuse (101) vs. Brown (52), March 14, 1986

Facing a Brown program making its first appearance in the tournament since the inaugural 1939 edition, second-seeded Syracuse rode a 31-4 run in the first half to demolish the Ivy League school 101-52. Pearl Washington had a game-high 21 points while Rony Seikaly had 12 points, seven rebounds and five blocks for an Orange team that dominated the glass with 63 rebounds – the most in program history in a tourney game. Wendell Alexis and Rodney Walker each had nine rebounds as Syracuse became the first team in a dozen years to have at least five players grab seven or more rebounds in a tournament game. There have only been four tourney games since then in which a team had at least five players get at least seven boards. Two days after this thrashing, however, Syracuse came crashing back down to earth with a 97-85 loss to seventh-seeded Navy with future No. 1 NBA Draft pick David Robinson leading the way with 35 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks.

T-6. 47, Duke (101) vs. UConn (54), March 14, 1964

While most of the entries on this list involve first-round matchups between a blue blood and an overmatched team from a small conference, this one features two of the winningest programs in men’s history with a trip to the Final Four on the line. Squaring off in the regional finals, Duke dismantled UConn in the first matchup between these hoops stalwarts. The Blue Devils matched a then-tournament record with 62 first-half points as they went into the break up by 35. Jeff Mullins, who was named to the all-tournament team, paced Duke with 30 points while Hack Tison and Steve Vacendak scored 14 apiece. The Blue Devils then beat Michigan in the national semifinals before losing 98-83 to UCLA in the championship – the first of 11 titles for the Bruins.

T-6. 47, DePaul (99) vs. Eastern Kentucky (52), March 9, 1965

Of all the entries on this list, this one was actually close at the half, as DePaul led Eastern Kentucky 44-33 at the break. The second half was a completely different story, however, as the Blue Demons blew by the Colonels, outscoring them 56-19 en route to a 99-52 pounding. DePaul’s second-half scoring differential of plus-37 points is an NCAA Tournament record, which has since been matched by Florida in its 112-69 first-round win over Jackson State in 2007 – its first victory on its way to winning a second straight national title. The Blue Demons’ season ended in the next round with an 83-78 overtime loss to Vanderbilt.

T-6. 47, Duke (84) vs. Winthrop (37), March 14, 2002

Fresh off winning the 2001 national championship, Duke began its title defense as the top seed of the South Region, and the Blue Devils had their way with Winthrop. Duke made 12 of its first 13 shots to build a 30-point lead just 12 minutes into the game and ended up taking a 52-15 lead into the locker room. First-team All-American Jason Williams finished the game with 19 points in 20 minutes, Carlos Boozer also scored 19 and Mike Dunleavy Jr. added 18, as the trio combined for 45 first-half points. The Eagles misfired on 24 of 30 first-half shots and missed all 13 3-point shots they attempted in the game. Duke’s bid for a second consecutive title ended in the Sweet 16 with fifth-seeded Indiana rallying from 17 points down to eke out a 74-73 win.

T-6. 47, Syracuse (81) vs. Montana (34), March 21, 2013

Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone regularly stymied opponents, and Montana was no exception, as fourth-seeded Syracuse steamrolled the Grizzlies 81-34. The Orange made seven of their first nine shots while the Grizz missed seven of their first eight as this first-round matchup quickly turned into a rout with Syracuse jumping out to a 20-4 lead. The Orange led 38-15 at halftime and then scored 17 of the first 19 points of the second half to go up by 38. That lead grew to as much as 50 as Syracuse allowed the fewest points in program history in a tourney game. Brandon Triche led the Orange with 20 points while the Grizzlies didn’t have a player score more than five as they made just 4 of 31 3-pointers (12.9%). The five points scored by four Montana players is the lowest for a team leader in an NCAA Tournament game. The Orange later permitted 39 points in a win over Marquette in the regional finals to become the only team since 1950 to yield fewer than 40 points twice in a single NCAA Tournament. Syracuse’s season ended in the Final Four with a 61-56 loss to Michigan State.

T-10. 46, Kentucky (113) vs. Mount St. Mary’s (67), March 16, 1995

Kentucky’s 130 NCAA Tournament victories are one fewer than North Carolina for the most by any program. And the Wildcats’ 39 wins by at least 20 points in the NCAA Tournament are four more than Duke for the most by any team. But their 46-point obliteration of Mount St. Mary’s in the first round of the 1995 tournament will go down as the largest margin of victory in the program’s illustrious history. Facing a Mountaineers team playing in its first NCAA Tournament game, top-seeded Kentucky went on an early 13-0 run to take control and never looked back. The Wildcats were red hot from long range, draining 13 of 25 3-pointers (52.0%). Tony Delk and Walter McCarty each hit three 3-pointers, with Delk leading the Wildcats with 20 points and McCarty scoring 17. Kentucky beat Tulane by 22 in the next round and Arizona State by 24 in the Sweet 16 before losing to second-seeded North Carolina 74-61 in the regional finals.

T-10. 46, VCU (88) vs. Akron (42), March 21, 2013

Hours before Syracuse blitzed Montana by 47 points in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, fifth-seeded VCU thumped Akron by 46 in an 88-42 beatdown. The Rams’ margin-of-victory is the largest by a team seeded lower than fourth. VCU scored 16 of the game’s first 20 points and closed the first half on a 16-3 run to head into the break doubling up the Zips with a 50-25 lead. Shaka Smart’s press flummoxed Akron into 22 turnovers and the Rams limited the Zips to just 1-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc. VCU’s Troy Daniels, meanwhile, made six 3-pointers and tallied a game-high 23 points while Juvonte Reddic added 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Two years after stunning the nation by reaching the Final Four as an 11 seed, the Rams’ season ended in the second round with a 78-53 loss to fourth-seeded Michigan.

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