March Madness has been around in its modern format since 1985. Since then, 2,079 games have been played in the NCAA tournament (not counting the First Four). That’s a lot of basketball. And with a lot of basketball comes a lot of points: 295,980 to be exact.

But which of those 2,079 games are responsible for the most of those 295,980 points? In other words, what are the highest scoring games in modern NCAA tournament history?

Here’s all 19 that have surpassed 200 total points:

Rank Total Winning team Score Losing team Score Year Round
1 264 11-seed Loyola Marymount 149 3-seed Michigan 115 1990 Second round
2 234 10-seed Loyola Marymount 119 7-seed Wyoming 115 1988 First round
3 232 1-seed UNLV 131 11-seed Loyola Marymount 101 1990 Elite Eight
4 221 5-seed Arkansas 120 12-seed Loyola Marymount 101 1989 First round
5 220 2-seed UNC 123 10-seed Loyola Marymount 97 1988 Second round
6 216 7-seed West Virginia 111 2-seed Wake Forest 105 2005 Second round
7 214 12-seed Tulsa 112 5-seed UCLA 102 1994 First round
T8 207 1-seed Duke 104 2-seed Kentucky 103 1992 Elite Eight
T8 207 5-seed Tennessee 121 12-seed Long Beach State 86 2007 First round
T10 206 1-seed UNC 109 9-seed Michigan 97 1987 Second round
T10 206 1-seed Oklahoma 108 5-seed Louisville 98 1988 Sweet 16
T10 206 8-seed UCLA 105 1-seed Cincinnati 101 2002 Second round
T13 205 1-seed Oklahoma 124 9-seed Louisiana Tech 81 1989 Second round
T13 205 1-seed Missouri 109 9-seed Wisconsin 96 1994 Second round
15 204 2-seed Kentucky 106 10-seed Iowa State 98 1992 Second round
16 203 11-seed Loyola Marymount 111 10-seed Iowa State 98 1990 First round
17 202 9-seed UAB 102 8-seed Washington 100 2004 First round
T18 200 5-seed Iowa 102 12-seed Florida State 98 1988 First round
T18 200 12-seed Western Kentucky 101 5-seed Drake 99 2008 First round

Yes, we see it too. Somehow, Loyola Marymount is involved in all five of the highest scoring games, and six of the top 16. Why?

In the three-year span from 1988-1990, the Lions led the NCAA in points scored per game AND points allowed per game each year. And it wasn't close:

  Loyola Marymount P/G Runner-up P/G Difference Loyola Marymount PA/G Runner-up PA/G Difference
1988 110.3 102.9 7.4 97.2 93.6 3.6
1989 112.5 102.2 10.3 107.3 96.2 11.1
1990 122.4 101.3 21.1 108.1 102 6.1

In 1990, when two of the top three highest-scoring NCAAT games were recorded, the Lions' games were averaging 230.5 total points — 30.7 more than the next highest team. That's about as perfect a recipe for record-breaking box scores as you can get.

During that three-year span, Loyola Marymount combined with its opponent to score more than 200 points in a game 62 times. The other five teams in the top five did that a total of just 12 times.

MARCH MADNESS SHOP
But the Lions were masters of getting other teams to play at their pace. Of the teams the Lions combined with to set the top five highest scoring games, all averaged fewer than 80 points allowed per game.

What's more, only one averaged more than 90 points per game — 1990 UNLV at 93.5. The Running Rebels would go on to beat Duke in the national championship that year, 103-73 — a game that happens to be the highest scoring championship game in modern tournament history. 

Related: Hank Gathers' son remembers his father

To see exactly how these records took shape, take a look at these absurd box scores for each of the top five:

No. 1) 1990 second round: 11-seed Loyola Marymount 149, 3-seed Michigan 115

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Bo Kimble 11 29 37.9% 10 21 47.6% 1 8 12.5% 14 17 82.4% 7 4 37
Jeff Fryer 15 20 75% 4 5 80% 11 15 73.3% 0 0 - 4 3 41
Per Stumer 6 9 66.7% 1 1 100% 5 8 62.5% 4 4 100% 8 2 21
Tony Walker 0 2 0% 0 2 0% 0 0 - 5 7 71.4% 3 9 5
Chris Knight 2 5 40% 2 5 40% 0 0 - 0 0 - 6 3 4
Terrell Lowery 10 17 58.8% 7 9 77.8% 3 8 37.5% 0 0 - 3 6 23
Tom Peabody 4 5 80% 4 5 80% 0 0 - 6 6 100% 3 5 14
Marcellus Lee 1 1 100% 0 0 - 1 1 100% 0 0 - 2 0 3
Greg Walker 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 2 50% 0 0 1
John O'Connell 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
Jeff Roscoe 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
Marcus Slater 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
Christian Scott 0 1 0% 0 1 0% 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 1 0
TEAM 49 89 55.1% 28 49 57.1% 21 40 52.5% 30 36 83.3% 38 33 149
MICHIGAN FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Rumeal Robinson 7 14 50% 5 8 62.5% 2 6 33.3% 7 10 70% 3 8 23
Terry Mills 11 16 68.8% 11 16 68.8% 0 0 - 1 2 50% 10 1 23
Demetrius Calip 2 8 25% 2 8 25% 0 0 - 6 8 75% 5 3 10
Loy Vaught 9 15 60% 9 15 60% 0 0 - 1 3 33.3% 17 0 19
Mike Griffin 2 4 50% 2 4 50% 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 5 4
Sean Higgins 5 13 38.5% 4 9 44.4% 1 4 25% 4 4 100% 3 2 15
Michael Talley 1 3 33.3% 1 2 50% 0 1 0% 1 2 50% 2 1 3
Tony Tolbert 7 11 63.6% 6 9 66.7% 1 2 50% 1 1 100% 2 1 16
Eric Riley 1 1 100% 1 1 100% 0 0 - 0 0 - 3 0 2
Chris Seter 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
James Voskuil 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
TEAM 45 85 52.9% 41 72 56.9% 4 13 30.8% 21 30 70% 46 21 115

 

No. 2) 1988 first round: 10-seed Loyola Marymount 119, 7-seed Wyoming 115

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Mike Yoest 5 9 55.6% 5 9 55.6% 0 0 - 15 17 88.2% 9 2 25
Hank Gathers 9 15 60% 9 15 60% 0 0 - 1 4 25% 12 2 19
Bo Kimble 12 22 54.5% 8 13 61.5% 4 9 44.4% 1 3 33.3% 2 3 29
Mark Armstrong 6 8 75% 6 8 75% 0 0 - 3 5 60% 8 2 15
Corey Gaines 3 9 33.3% 3 7 42.9% 0 2 0% 3 4 75% 2 10 9
Jeff Fryer 5 11 45.5% 2 5 40% 3 6 50% 4 4 100% 3 1 17
Enoch Simmons 2 8 25% 1 5 20% 1 3 33.3% 0 0 - 4 3 5
John Veargason 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
TEAM 42 82 51.2% 34 62 54.8% 8 20 40% 27 37 73% 40 23 119
WYOMING FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Eric Leckner 10 17 58.8% 10 17 58.8% 0 0 - 3 4 75% 8 2 23
Fennis Dembo 5 11 45.5% 5 8 62.5% 0 3 0% 4 6 66.7% 7 8 14
Robyn Davis 9 15 60% 8 13 61.5% 1 2 50% 0 0 - 6 1 19
Willie Jones 4 7 57.1% 4 7 57.1% 0 0 - 4 6 66.7% 10 5 12
Turk Boyd 4 11 36.4% 4 8 50% 0 3 0% 1 1 100% 5 3 9
Sean Dent 2 3 66.7% 2 3 66.7% 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 6 4
Reggie Fox 7 9 77.8% 5 5 100% 2 4 50% 0 0 - 2 3 16
Clauzell Williams 3 4 75% 1 2 50% 2 2 100% 3 4 75% 3 0 11
Jonathan Sommers 2 2 100% 2 2 100% 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 1 4
David Lodgins 0 1 0% 0 1 0% 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
Rod Tyson 1 2 50% 0 0 - 1 2 50% 0 0 - 1 0 3
Kurt Samuels 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
TEAM 47 82 57.3% 41 66 62.1% 6 16 37.5% 15 21 71.4% 44 29 115

 

No. 3) 1990 Elite Eight: 1-seed UNLV 131, 11-seed Loyola Marymount 101

UNLV FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Anderson Hunt 11 23 47.8% 7 11 63.6% 4 12 33.3% 4 6 66.7% 4 13 30
Larry Johnson 10 14 71.4% 10 14 71.4% 0 0 - 0 1 0% 18 5 20
Stacey Augmon 13 20 65% 13 20 65% 0 0 - 7 7 100% 11 6 33
Greg Anthony 8 10 80% 5 6 83.3% 3 4 75% 2 3 66.7% 1 8 21
David Butler 4 7 57.1% 4 7 57.1% 0 0 - 1 5 20% 8 2 9
Moses Scurry 3 4 75% 3 4 75% 0 0 - 2 2 100% 4 0 8
Stacey Cvijanovich 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 2 100% 2 0 2
James Jones 2 3 66.7% 2 3 66.7% 0 0 - 3 4 75% 3 0 7
Barry Young 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 0 0
Travis Bice 0 4 0% 0 2 0% 0 2 0% 1 2 50% 1 1 1
Dave Rice 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 0 0
Chris Jeter 0 1 0% 0 1 0% 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 0 0
TEAM 51 86 59.3% 44 68 64.7% 7 18 38.9% 22 32 68.8% 56 35 131
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Bo Kimble 14 32 43.8% 6 21 28.6% 8 11 72.7% 6 6 100% 11 3 42
Jeff Fryer 7 24 29.2% 3 8 37.5% 4 16 25% 3 3 100% 6 2 21
Per Stumer 2 4 50% 2 2 100% 0 2 0% 0 0 - 5 2 4
Tony Walker 1 1 100% 1 1 100% 0 0 - 2 3 66.7% 2 3 4
Chris Knight 4 8 50% 4 8 50% 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 2 8
Terrell Lowery 6 16 37.5% 2 7 28.6% 4 9 44.4% 2 2 100% 0 6 18
Tom Peabody 0 2 0% 0 0 - 0 2 0% 0 1 0% 2 4 0
John O'Connell 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 2 50% 2 0 1
Marcellus Lee 1 2 50% 0 1 0% 1 1 100% 0 0 - 0 0 3
Jeff Roscoe 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 0 0
Marcus Slater 0 2 0% 0 2 0% 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 0 0
Greg Walker 0 1 0% 0 1 0% 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 0 0
Christian Scott 0 2 0% 0 2 0% 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 1 0
TEAM 35 94 37.2% 18 53 34% 17 41 41.5% 14 17 82.4% 34 23 101

 

No. 4) 1989 first round: 5-seed Arkansas 120, 12-seed Loyola Marymount 101

ARKANSAS FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Lee Mayberry 8 14 57.1% 7 13 53.8% 1 1 100% 2 6 33.3% 2 8 19
Lenzie Howell 10 11 90.9% 10 11 90.9% 0 0 - 7 11 63.6% 12 0 27
Keith Wilson 4 13 30.8% 4 11 36.4% 0 2 0.0% 1 3 33.3% 11 12 9
Mario Credit 14 21 66.7% 14 21 66.7% 0 0 - 6 9 66.7% 13 0 34
Todd Day 7 12 58.3% 6 9 66.7% 1 3 33.3% 5 6 83.3% 2 4 20
Arlyn Bowers 2 7 28.6% 2 5 40% 0 2 0% 3 4 75% 1 3 7
Oliver Miller 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 2 0.0% 5 0 0
Darrell Hawkins 1 1 100% 1 1 100% 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 0 2
Cannon Whitby 1 2 50% 1 1 100% 0 1 0% 0 0 - 1 1 2
Shawn Davis 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 2 0
TEAM 47 81 58% 45 72 62.5% 2 9 22.2% 24 41 58.5% 48 30 120
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Hank Gathers 12 24 50% 12 24 50% 0 0 - 4 11 36.4% 17 1 28
Bo Kimble 7 23 30.4% 5 12 41.7% 2 11 18.2% 8 9 88.9% 10 3 24
Jeff Fryer 7 28 25% 2 6 33.3% 5 22 22.7% 5 5 100% 8 1 24
Per Stumer 2 7 28.6% 1 4 25% 1 3 33.3% 1 2 50% 8 1 6
Tom Peabody 1 4 25% 1 3 33.3% 0 1 0% 0 1 0% 4 4 2
John Veargason 3 7 42.9% 3 7 42.9% 0 0 - 0 0 - 7 0 6
Terrell Lowery 2 3 66.7% 1 1 100% 1 2 50% 2 2 100% 2 1 7
Terry Mister 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 2 100% 0 1 2
John O'Connell 1 2 50% 1 2 50% 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 1 2
TEAM 35 98 35.7% 26 59 44.1% 9 39 23.1% 22 32 68.8% 58 13 101

 

No. 5) 1988 second round: 2-seed UNC 123, 10-seed Loyola Marymount 97

UNC FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Jeff Lebo 6 9 66.7% 3 5 60% 3 4 75% 4 4 100% 5 7 19
J.R. Reid 8 10 80% 8 10 80% 0 0 - 3 6 50% 15 5 19
Kevin Madden 7 9 77.8% 7 9 77.8% 0 0 - 2 2 100% 4 9 16
Scott Williams 3 3 100% 3 3 100% 0 0 - 2 2 100% 8 3 8
Steve Bucknall 5 7 71.4% 5 7 71.4% 0 0 - 3 5 60% 5 3 13
Rick Fox 4 4 100.0% 4 4 100.0% 0 0 - 0 0 - 4 4 8
Ranzino Smith 11 14 78.6% 8 9 88.9% 3 5 60% 2 3 66.7% 4 0 27
Pete Chilcutt 2 2 100% 2 2 100% 0 0 - 1 3 33.3% 6 2 5
King Rice 1 1 100% 1 1 100% 0 0 - 2 2 100% 1 2 4
Joe Jenkins 1 2 50% 1 2 50% 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 1 2
Jeff Denny 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 0 0
Rodney Hyatt 1 1 100% 1 1 100% 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 2
Doug Elstun 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
David May 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
TEAM 49 62 79% 43 53 81.1% 6 9 66.7% 19 27 70.4% 54 36 123
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST PTS
Corey Gaines 5 20 25% 4 15 26.7% 1 5 20% 5 6 83.3% 1 10 16
Mike Yoest 2 10 20% 2 9 22.2% 0 1 0% 6 10 60% 12 2 10
Bo Kimble 3 21 14.3% 2 12 16.7% 1 9 11.1% 1 2 50% 3 1 8
Mark Armstrong 3 7 42.9% 3 7 42.9% 0 0 - 1 2 50% 3 1 7
Hank Gathers 7 17 41.2% 7 17 41.2% 0 0 - 3 10 30% 12 0 17
Enoch Simmons 4 11 36.4% 0 2 0% 4 9 44.4% 0 0 - 4 2 12
Jeff Fryer 9 16 56.3% 2 2 100% 7 14 50% 2 2 100% 2 1 27
John Veargason 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 0 0
Marcus Slater 0 1 0% 0 0 - 0 1 0% 0 0 - 0 0 0
Pat Meyer 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
Marcellus Lee 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
Jeff Roscoe 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 0
TEAM 33 103 32% 20 64 31.3% 13 39 33.3% 18 32 56.3% 39 17 97

 

Daniel Wilco has worked at the AJC, Sports Illustrated, and SEC Country. His writing has also appeared on SI.com, Men’s Health, and The Cauldron.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NCAA or its member institutions.