3-point shooting records that we could see broken during March Madness

With March Madness tipping off this week, the college basketball season has made it to its apex. The lights are the brightest, the pressure is at its highest, and there's a magic in the air that only comes around in March. With that magic comes increased chances of records being broken. We browsed the brackets and found four shooting records that could be broken in the next few weeks.

Caitlin Clark (22) shoots over Shay Ciezki during Iowa's 95-62 victory over Penn State in the Big 10 conference tournament
Caitlin Clark (22) shoots over Shay Ciezki during Iowa's 95-62 victory over Penn State in the Big 10 conference tournament / Aaron J. Thornton/GettyImages

It's finally here. The time of year every college basketball fan loves the most: March Madness. This year's tournaments, both men's and women's, feel monumental. On the men's side, UConn will be pursuing the rare back-to-back title, while UNC looks to return to glory after last season's debacle.

Purdue, led by unanimous All-American Zach Edey, looks to avenge last year's first-round loss to Fairleigh Dickinson. Houston, once again a one-seed, looks to get back into the Final Four after trips in 2021 and 2022. And that's only the one seeds!

One the women's side, we get to watch as South Carolina continues their pursuit of perfection, and Caitlin Clark tries to get over the top in what will be her final tournament. Some other upperclassmen will be making their final push to glory too, including Cameron Brink, Rickea Jackson, and Elizabeth Kitley. Plus, we get to see the postseason debuts of fabulous freshmen Juju Watkins and Hannah Hidalgo. All that, and we get to see LSU chase a back-to-back, this time as a No. 3 seed. It's truly a great time to be a basketball fan.

As the fields go from 68 to one, there will be plenty of history made. Last year, a No. 1 seed lost to a No. 16 seed from the First Four for the first time. It was just the second time in the men's tournament that a No. 1 seed had lost to a No, 116 seed, ever. On the women's side, we saw Caitlin Clark score a record 16 points in the fourth quarter of the national semifinal, just for Jasmine Carson to match the feat three days later against Clark.

While March is known for its insane levels of variance (or magic, depending on who you ask), some record-breaking performances can be predicted. With the prevalence of 3-point shooting in the game today, many three-point records are waiting to be broken. Here are a few that could fall during the 2024 tournaments, both men's and women's.

4. Most team 3-pointers attempted in a women's First Four game

Current record: 26 attempts
Current record holders: Mount St. Mary’s, Tennessee Tech
Most likely to break record: Columbia

This isn't the most glamorous record to break, but the averages show that it could fall. The 3-ball is an integral part of Columbia's game. They averaged 24.5 3-point attempts per game this season and took over 26 in 11 of them. Leading scorer Abbey Hsu leads the Lions with 7.6 attempts per game, and the team has seven other players averaging at least one attempt.

It is worth noting that Vanderbilt defends the 3 well — holding opponents to just 29 percent from downtown, but allowing 20 attempts per game. Still, given Columbia's emphasis on the outside jumper, 27 attempts don't feel out of reach at all, especially if the game is close.

3. Most combined 3-pointers made in a men's Final Four game

Current record: 26
Current record game: Kansas (13) vs. Villanova (13), 2022 National Semifinal game

Another 26 that feels destined to fall, this record could be broken by a seemingly limitless list of possible teams. When looking at the teams that average the most 3-point attempts across the NCAA, it is hard to gauge which teams are true contenders and also feature the volume needed to break this record.

Many of the top 75 3-point shooting teams didn't make the tournament. Of those that did, though, No. 3 seeds Creighton and Kentucky, No. 4 seed Alabama, and No. 6 seed BYU are all teams that are most likely to be in the mix, and fortunately, none of them share a region, meaning they could face each other in a Final Four game.

Other teams that could play a part in this record falling include No. 1 seed UConn, No. 2 seed Tennessee and No. 4 seeds Duke and Auburn.

2. Most combined 3-pointers made in a men's first round game

Current record: 30
Current record game: Drake (16) vs. Western Ky. (14), 2008 first round
Most likely to break record: Alabama vs College of Charleston

The first-round match-up between Alabama and College of Charleston was made with 3-pointers in mind. Both teams were top five in attempts this year, and top 10 in makes, combining for roughly 22 makes and 60 attempts total. Both teams held opponents to less than 34 percent shooting, but factoring in their averages and a little March magic makes this game a prime choice to break this record. Add in a potential hot stretch from Mark Sears, Reyne Smith, or Latrell Wrightsell Jr., and it feels all but guaranteed to fall.

1. Most 3-pointers made in a women's regional game

Current record: 8
Current record holders: Sydney Wallace, Caitlin Clark
Most likely to break record: Caitlin Clark

Take one glance at 3-point shooting records in the women's tournament record book, and you'll see Caitlin Clark's name scattered throughout. One of the most prolific shooters in basketball history, Clark's final tournament has a chance to be even more record-shattering than her previous one.

In the 2023 Elite Eight, Clark made eight 3s against Louisville. Funny enough, it's entirely possible that we see a rematch of that game this year. It is also possible that we see a rematch of last year's National Championship game, with Iowa facing LSU for a spot in the Final Four. Clark also made eight 3s against the Tigers in last year's final and would be more motivated than ever to get past them.