Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 5 best individual offensive performances from 2024 NCAA Tournament

Counting down some of the best offensive displays from the NCAA Tournament.
Oakland v Kentucky
Oakland v Kentucky / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The 2024 NCAA tournament provided a handful of great offensive performances. We saw games from mid-major stars as well as top NBA prospects on traditional power teams. As we turn the page to a new season, I took a look at some of the best performances from this past March.

5. Jared McCain v. JMU

Jared McCain set a new program record for made 3-pointers in a game by a Duke freshman with his 8 against the Dukes, breaking a previous record of 5. Duke quickly put to bed any talk of another JMU upset with McCain hitting those 8 threes to finish with 30 points and 5 rebounds on 10/15 shooting from the floor. McCain showed his talent as a shot-maker in this game, scoring off of screens and in transition to help the Blue Devils run away with a 93-55 win.

4. Dalton Knecht vs. Purdue

Tennessee struggled to score in this game, leaving Dalton Knecht to keep the Vols close against a tough Purdue squad. Knecht provided 37 points on 14-31 shooting and got a handful of transition buckets while avoiding the Boilermaker length in the half-court. He showcased his savvy ability to get shots off quickly from the perimeter cashing in on 6 of 12 three-pointers on the game. The scoring burden fell solely on the sharpshooter in an impressive duel between Knecht and Purdue's Zach Edey with the second-highest Volunteer scorer chipping in just 8 points.

3. Zach Edey vs. Tennessee

Zach Edey stepped up in one of the biggest games in Purdue history. His 40 points and 16 rebounds paced the Boilermakers to an Elite Eight win and helped avenge the historic loss to 16th-seeded Farleigh Dickinson a year ago with a trip to the Final Four. Purdue was able to finally break through for Coach Matt Painter's first semifinal appearance with the school. Edey scored early and often in this game, owning the paint as he did most of the season. The senior was unguardable against the Tennessee defense as he hit countless jump hooks and used his size to score off of the pick-and-roll.

2. DJ Burns Jr. vs. Duke

DJ Burns' 29 points, 4 Rebounds, and 3 assists propelled a hot N.C. State team into the Final Four for the first time since 1983. Burns Jr. was unstoppable on the block against a handful of different Duke defenders throughout the game. Duke elected to stay home and guard Burns one-on-one to best prevent his ability to pass and set others up which allowed the Wolfpack big man to dominate his match-ups against Kyle Filipowski and Ryan Young, shooting 13-19 from the field.

There was no doubt Burns Jr. was one of the best stories of March, averaging 18.3 PPG in tournament play while becoming a crowd favorite during N.C. State's run.

1. Jack Gohlke vs. Kentucky

Apart of arguably the biggest upset of the 2024 tournament and the end of John Calipari's reign as the head coach of Kentucky, Jack Gohlke's shooting explosion takes the number one spot. Gohlke ignited the Oakland Golden Grizzlies to their first NCAA tournament win since 2005. The sharpshooting guard scored 32 points off the bench on 10-20 shooting with every one of his field goals coming from beyond the arc. None of those 10 makes came easy, Oakland ran so many great screening actions to get Gohlke shots by picking on Kentucky's ineffective off-ball defense.

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The shooting efficiency for Gohlke may not have been as impressive as other top performances on this list but given the stakes and the constant "How did he make that?" nature of his shots, Gohlke became a March legend overnight.