How Austin Carr scored every one of his 61 points in March Madness' greatest individual performance
Austin Carr played seven NCAA tournament games in his career at Notre Dame. In them, he averaged 41.3 points.
But it was his second-ever March Madness appearance that sits alone at the top of a prestigious leaderboard.
In a 112-82 win over Ohio, 17 years before the adoption of the three-point line in the NCAA tournament, Carr scored 61 points — an NCAA tournament record to this day.
Luckily, video of that game exists, so we watched it (way too many times), and broke down every one of Carr's 61 points below:
Here, we break down every one of those points. Some free throws were not shown, so we'll mark these with an asterisk.
1. Carr gets a pass at the elbow, puts a defender on his hip, takes one dribble, leans in, then rises and knocks down a jumper. 2 points
2. Carr takes a pass right outside the lane, fakes inside, then curls low around a pick and launches a fadeaway a foot outside the block. 4 points
3. Off a defensive rebound, Carr breaks down the middle of the lane. A full-court pass finds him at the top of the key. One dribble, and he’s at the rim for an uncontested layup. 6 points
4. A quick pass to the corner leaves Carr with enough separation to fire a jumper instantly. 8 points
FTs: Carr mishandles a pass at the elbow, but recovers and is fouled while shooting. Goes 1 for 2 from the line. 9 points
5. An Ohio defender attempts to cut off a pass to Carr on the wing, but misses, leaving him wide open for a jumper. 11 points
FTs: Goes 1 for 2. 12 points
FTs: Goes 1 for 2. 13 points
6. Carr collects a pass on the wing and squares up. The defender gives him ample room, preparing for a drive. But Carr rises and knocks down a 20-footer. 15 points
FT: 16 points*
7. A low screen for Carr gives him a window, but he takes a dribble down the baseline and is trapped. So, he pulls the trigger on a jumper. 18 points
8. Carr boxes out and snags a tough offensive rebound that pulls him out of the paint. He takes two dribbles in a wide arc back in, and floats through a sea of arms for a 2-footer. 20 points
FTs: Goes 2 for 2. 22 points
SCORE: Notre Dame leads 28-27 with 9:30 left in the first half. Carr has 40 percent of all points scored in the game so far.
FT: 23 points*
9. Carr fakes a pick, and the defender tries to move around it and away from Carr. Carr then releases to catch a pass outside the block, has an open lane, drives baseline and lays it up. 25 points
10. A full-court pass off a steal finds Carr streaking down the right side. A defender is flying down the court to cut him off, but Carr cuts under him, and the defender heads into the stands, leaving Carr wide open to bank in a layup. 27 points
11. Here (and in the timestamped video below) you can see how Carr gets so open on fast breaks. As an Ohio shot goes up and Carr is on the top of the key, on the back of a defender. When he sees Notre Dame is securing the rebound, he takes off. He and the defender are neck and neck at the elbow. By midcourt, Carr has 10 feet of separation. He gathers a pass and has a wide-open layup. 29 points
12. Carr dribbles up the court with one defender trying to keep pace. Another stands meekly between him and the basket. Carr cuts inside him and rises for a finger roll with one step. 31 points
*Sidenote: At this point in the video, the announcer calls this Carr's 29th point. Later, he skips over two points, jumping from 38 points to 42 with one basket, and is then consistent for the rest of the game. While the video doesn't show every point scored, and shows at least one basket that is waved off, it is our theory that the announcer made a mistake at this point in the game, and corrected himself right before Carr's 42nd point, and is then on track for the rest of the game.
SCORE: 44-35, ND
13. Off a pick, Carr is open in the lane. He collects a pass from the opposite elbow, seals the defender on his back and rises for a layup. 33 points
14. Carr brings the ball up on a 3-on-1, then dishes to the man in the middle, who passes right back to Carr on the right side. Carr banks in a jumper near the block. 35 points
15. Carr cuts across the baseline and gets a pass on the block. He jumps before facing the basket, turns and banks it in. 37 points
HALFTIME. Notre Dame leads 54-41
16. A terrible pass from an Ohio player finds itself in the hands off Carr, who takes off. For once, he doesn’t beat his man down the court, but it doesn’t matter. He hits the layup while the defender watches from the ground. 39 points
FT: Goes 1 for 1. 40 points
17. This is subtly one of Carr's best plays of the night (you can watch in the timestamped video below). He gets a transition pass low on the baseline and notices a defender sprinting towards him. Immediately, he takes one dribble to the basket, causing the defender to change paths and try to cut him off before the rim. But he's not going to the rim. Instead, with the defender heading away now, Carr rises for an open bank shot. 42 points
FTs: Goes 2 for 2. 44 points
18. Carr gets a pass in the lane and is guarded well. So he dribbles right, but sees a second defender and turns back into the chest of the first defender. Out of options, he fades away and knocks down a jumper. 46 points
19. A full-court inbounds pass bounces off his hands. One defender falls over trying to steal it. He dribbles with his left hand around the basket with another defender on his inside, then launches a sky hook off the glass. 48 points
SCORE: 91-66, ND
20. On a fast break, Carr collects a bounce pass and hides behind a screen. He fades away, kissing a shot off the glass. 50 points
21. On a 3-on-1 fast break, Carr fills the left lane. A teammate passes to him, and the Ohio defender goes for the steal, but misses. Carr cuts in for an easy layup. 52 points
22. Carr gets a pass at the elbow on transition. Again, a defender tries to steal it, but misses. Carr takes one dribble and lays it off the glass, but is fouled. After knocking down the free throw, he ties his own Notre Dame single-game record at 55 points
23. Bringing the ball up at half court, Carr fakes outside, then slices inside between two defenders. One more steps in front of him at the rim, so he cuts back left and finishes an off-hand layup. Sets a new Notre Dame record with 57 points
24. Carr has the ball in the wing, dribbles to the key, spins outside, takes two dribbles to the rim, but is fouled on the floor. He knocks down both free throws. 59 points
25. Carr gets a handoff at the top of the key. Squaring up, he pump fakes, and the defender bites. With the Ohio player in the air, Carr rises for real, and shoots. The ball bounces off the back of the rim, floating high above the backboard. Then it falls back down, straight through the net. Carr throws his hands up and smiles. It’s an NCAA tournament record, 61 points
Epilogue: Carr is done scoring at this point, but one final play included in the video is an interesting one. Here, Carr sets a pick at the timeline, and both defenders leave him and double the ball handler. Reminder: Carr has 61 points at this time in the game. Naturally, his teammate passes to Carr, who is wide open. Carr then fakes a shot, losing a defender who came to help, then drives for a layup and misses. Conclusion: Maybe Ohio should have left him open more often.
FINAL SCORE: 112-82.
Carr ends the day shooting 25-for-44 from the field (56.8 percent), and 11 for 14 from the line (78.6 percent). He colelcts six rebounds, one turnover, one personal foul, and one NCAA record, that will stand for at least 58 years.