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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | March 27, 2021

The lowest scoring NCAA tournament games

Go ahead, pick your bracket based on mascots — here’s how

The NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament has been around since 1939, and has seen thousands of games since then. Some games — like Loyola Marymount's 149-115 win over Michigan in 1990 — see an unbelievable amount of scoring. Others... don't.

MORE RECORDS: The highest scoring games in NCAA March Madness history

So, what is the lowest scoring game in NCAA tournament history? That honor would belong to a matchup between Pittsburgh and UNC in 1941, where the Panthers took down the Tar Heels 26-20 in what we can only call the defensive battle of the century. The score at halftime of that one was a steamy 12-8 in favor of North Carolina, but Pitt went on an 18-8 run for... the entirety of the second half, which the Tar Heels could not overcome.

Here is the list of the five lowest scoring games in full NCAA tournament history.

Total Team A Team A points Team B Team B points Year
46 Pittsburgh 26 UNC 20 1941
59 Duquesne 30 W. Kentucky 29 1940
66 Wisconsin 36 Pittsburgh 30 1941
69 Indiana 39 Duquesne 30 1940
70 USC 38 Colorado 32 1940

MORE LOW SCORING: We rewatched the lowest scoring game in March Madness history. Here's what we learned

But when the competition thins in the Final Four, the scoring heats up again. 

The lowest scoring game in the Final Four wouldn't even hit the top eight lowest scoring tournament games. Oh, and the Dartmouth-Utah championship game in 1944, those 82 points included an overtime period. Yeah.

Total Team A Team A points Team B Team B points Year
73 Wisconsin 39 Washington St. 34 1941
79 Ohio St. 33 Oregon 46 1939
80 Georgetown 34 Wyoming 46 1943
82 Dartmouth 40 Utah 42 1944
82 Oklahoma St. 36 Kentucky 46 1949

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