If someone had asked me to tell them about the highlights of this year’s NCAA Tournament thus far, I would struggle to come up with many answers. To be brutally honest, there were not as many in comparison to years past. Maybe I set my standards too high after last year’s tournament and am expecting too much, who knows? One thing is for sure though. Carsen Edwards’ nearly unstoppable scoring run will be a highlight that lives on for years to come.
In arguably one of the greatest NCAA Tournament games of all-time, Edwards had one of the greatest individual performances in tournament history. During the regional final against Virginia, he tied his career-high scoring mark with 42 points including 10 three-pointers. To put in perspective how significant his 42 points were, no other player on the Boilermakers had more than SEVEN points.
Known for their strong defense, Virginia had three games this season where they let up 40 (twice) and 42 points. Edwards himself scored as many points as three teams had against the Cavaliers. I had to process that statistic alone in my head for some time as it is simply mind-boggling.
Looking at Edwards’ four game stretch throughout the tournament, his three-point shooting was unlike anything fans had ever seen. After hitting his final three-pointer against Virginia, Edwards set a new tournament record with 28 three-point shots made. Although it took the previous record holder Glen Rice six games to do it, Edwards was able to break it in two fewer games. He also became the first player in tournament history to make at least nine three-pointers in multiple games. Additionally, ESPN laid out some of Edwards’ most notable achievements from this year’s NCAA tournament in this article after Purdue’s loss.
Although Edwards came up one shot short of leading Purdue to the Final Four, he tied for the ninth-most points per game in tournament history (34.8 PPG) and had the most since 1990. As a result, he was named the South Region’s Most Outstanding Player. No player had done that as a member of the non-winning regional team since Steph Curry in 2008.
In an otherwise lackluster NCAA Tournament, Edwards provided us fans with the highlights we all wanted and expected to see. For that, I say thank you, Carsen.