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Brenden Welper | | December 23, 2020

Highlights from Charles Barkley's dominant NCAA tournament game, the only one he ever played

Charles Barkley highlights: 1984 NCAA tournament top plays

Charles Barkley played in 84 games during his three years at Auburn. But only one of those took place during the NCAA tournament. 

His lone appearance in the Big Dance came against Richmond in the First Round of the 1984 tournament. While the Tigers fell short 72-71, Barkley posted a 23-point, 17-rebound double-double. He also added four assists, two steals and two blocks. 

Here are Barkley's best highlights from that night.

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Barkley finds Person for a one-handed alley-oop 

Barkley receives a pass on the right wing. He catches the ball and then lobs it to Chuck Person, who is cutting baseline towards the basket. With a defender on his hip, and half of his body underneath the backboard, Person jumps and taps in a bucket off the glass. 

A box out leads to a bank shot 

Person is at the free-throw line, while Barkley is lined up on the left side of the lane. Once Person's shot goes up, Barkley sidesteps his way into the middle of the paint. He gets good positioning on a Richmond defender as the ball bounces off the rim. Barkley tips it to himself, quickly secures it and then rises for a jump shot. He banks it in for an easy score.

All five Tigers touch the ball, Barkley gets a sweet assist

Auburn is running its half-court offense. The ball swings around the perimeter and gets to Barkley at the dotted line. He leaps for the ball and directs a touch pass to Greg Turner on the right block. The Spiders can only watch as Turner throws down a two-handed slam.

Barkley's exploits Richmond's zone defense 

Barkley grabs a defensive rebound after a Richmond miss. His outlet pass goes to Gerald White, who brings the ball across half court with Barkley trailing behind. White picks up his dribble and flips it back to Barkley in stride. He catches the ball, takes one dribble and fires a no-look pass to Person in the right corner. The Spiders fail to close out, giving Person plenty of time to nail a spot-up jumper. 

Leading the fast break 

Following a Richmond miss at the rim, Auburn's Paul Daniels tips the ball to Barkley. He immediately pushes it in transition. As Barkley's path to the basket is cut off by a defender, he makes a bounce pass to a cutting White near the right block. White finishes with a layup and draws a foul in the process.

Barkley's heads-up play catches Richmond off guard 

White has the ball on the right wing. Richmond remains in its 2-3 zone defense, but four Spiders are currently in the paint. None of them are paying attention to Barkley. He recognizes this and calls for the ball. White lobs it to where only Barkley can reach it, and the center takes care of the rest with an alley-oop off the window. 

A steal and a slam 

The Spiders want to reset their offense. As the ball is kicked out to the top of the key, Barkley jumps in front of the Richmond guard for a steal. He intercepts the pass and drives towards the basket at full speed. Needing only two dribbles to get there, Barkley finishes with an emphatic, one-handed slam dunk.

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