There have been countless buzzer beaters, upsets and unforgettable performances that wouldn’t have been possible without the implementation of the 3-point line. We’re taking a moment to honor those with the most 3-pointers made in an NCAA Tournament game.

College basketball changed forever on April 2, 1986.

That’s when the NCAA officially adopted a 3-point line at 19 feet, 9 inches. And Stephen Curry is forever grateful.

However, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Indiana’s Bobby Knight were among those who were vocally opposed to the monumental change. But they certainly weren’t alone as teams attempted just 9.2 3s per game during the shot’s first full season in NCAA Division I men’s college hoops. 

How much has the game changed since then? In the 2022-23 season, the Big West Conference averaged the fewest 3-point attempts in the nation – with each team averaging 18.3 per game.

Over the years, there have been countless buzzer beaters, upsets, comebacks and epic performances in the men’s basketball tournament that wouldn’t have been possible without the 3-point arc. We’re taking a look at the players who have knocked the most in a single game during March Madness.

But be sure to take note of the dates in the rankings below. After the 2007-08 season, the NCAA voted to move the 3-point field goal line back one foot to 20-9. It was moved back again ahead of the 2019-20 season, this time more than a foot.

It didn’t make a difference for some of these guys.

1. 11, Jeff Fryer, Loyola Marymount vs. Michigan (March 18, 1990)

This is not the only time you will see a record set from Loyola Marymount’s 149-115 win over Michigan. Head coach Paul Westhead’s “System” took college basketball by storm and led Loyola Marymount to the best era of men’s basketball in school history. Fryer hit 11 of 15 3-pointers (73.3%), scoring a game-high 41 points. In four tournament games against New Mexico State, Michigan, Alabama and UNLV, Fryer hit 23 3-pointers on 43.3% shooting.

T-2. 10, Freddie Banks, UNLV vs. Indiana (March 28, 1987)

In his previous three games, Banks had shot a combined 9 for 33 (27.3%) from beyond the arc. But in one historic Final Four performance against the Hoosiers, Banks drilled 10 of his 19 attempts on the way to a game-high 38 points. Teammates Armon Gilliam finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds and Mark Wade dished out a then tournament-record 18 assists. But remarkably, it wasn’t enough as Steve Alford scored 33 points to lead Indiana to a 97-93 victory. The Hoosiers went on to win the national championship.

T-2. 10, Roburt Sallie, Memphis vs. Cal St. Northridge (March 19, 2009)

There was no questioning whether Sallie could shoot. After all, he wrapped up his college career with a 43.8 3-point percentage over 70 games. But he had never hit more than four in a game until the Tigers’ first-round contest in 2009. He came off the bench and made 10 of his 15 attempts on the way to 35 points in an 81-70 win. It remains the record for the most 3s by a player off the bench.

T-2. 10, Carsen Edwards, Purdue vs. Virginia (March 30, 2019)

Edwards played like a man possessed for the Boilermakers during the 2019 tournament. He finished with 42 points with nine 3s in a second-round matchup against Villanova, 29 points in a Sweet 16 win over Tennessee and another 42 points with 10 3s in a loss to Virginia in the Elite Eight. In four tournament games, the 6-1 guard made 45.9% from long range and 80.6% on free throws. His 34.8-point scoring average is tied for ninth-most points per game over an entire tournament.

T-2. Jack Gohlke, Oakland vs. Kentucky (March 21, 2024)

Gohlke didn’t bother messing around with 2-point field goal attempts in the 14th-seeded Golden Grizzlies’ first-round matchup with heavily favored third-seeded Kentucky in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. All 20 of his shots in the contest were from 3-point range, including some with an extremely high degree of difficulty. He knocked down 10 of them, finishing with a career-high 32 points (he hit two free throws) in Oakland’s 80-76 upset win.

The Best of the Rest

  • T-5. 9, Garde Thompson, Michigan vs. Navy (March 12, 1987)
  • T-5. 9, Johnny Miller, Temple vs. Cincinnati (March 16, 1995)
  • T-5. 9, Johnny Hemsley, Miami (FL) vs. Lafayette (March 12, 1999)
  • T-5. 9, Ricky Paulding, Missouri vs. Marquette, OT (March 22, 2003)
  • T-5. 9, Gerry McNamara, Syracuse vs. BYU (March 18, 2004)
  • T-5. 9, Brady Heslip, Baylor vs. Colorado (March 17, 2012)
  • T-5. 9, Bryce Alford, UCLA vs. SMU (March 19, 2015)
  • T-5. 9, Carsen Edwards, Purdue vs. Villanova (March 23, 2019)

1. 8, John Goldsberry, UNCW vs. Maryland (March 21, 2003)

Goldsberry brought his shooting stroke into the NCAA Tournament in both his appearances with North Carolina-Wilmington in 2003 and 2006. He totaled 40 points while going a combined 12 for 14 from long range in losses to Maryland and George Washington. His 26-point effort on 8-of-8 shooting from 3 nearly helped the Seahawks upset the sixth-seeded Terrapins (75-73) in the opening round of the 2003 tourney.

1. 21, Loyola Marymount vs. Michigan (March 18, 1990)

The Lions connected on 21 3-pointers against Michigan. Yes, Fryer contributed 11 of those, but Per Stumer hit five 3s, Terrell Lowery made three, and Bo Kimble and Marcellus Lee each added a 3 of their own. As a team, LMU shot 52.5% from behind the arc in a 149-115 victory.

The Best of the Rest

  • T-2. 18, Duke vs. Monmouth (March 15, 2001)
  • T-2. 18, West Virginia vs. Louisville, OT (March 26, 2005)
  • T-2. 18, Villanova vs. Kansas (March 31, 2018)
  • T-5. 17, LMU (CA) vs. UNLV (March 25, 1990)
  • T-5. 17, Villanova vs. Alabama (March 17, 2018)
  • T-5, 17, Auburn vs. North Carolina (March 29, 2019)

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