What's the fewest points scored in a March Madness game?

Colorado State Rams guard Jalen Lake (15) dribbles the ball defense
Colorado State Rams guard Jalen Lake (15) dribbles the ball defense / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The record for the fewest points in the first half of a March Madness game was broken not once, but twice in 2024.

The No. 10-seed Virginia Cavaliers managed just 14 points in the first half to set a new record during their First Four match-up with No. 10-seed Colorado State. Two days later, the Rams turned around and broke that very record while battling No. 7-seed Texas in the First Round.

It's like Virginia infected Colorado State with the "Can't Score" virus as they scored a paltry 11 points in the first half.

Despite their low-scoring first half, the Cavaliers rallied enough in the second half to avoid setting a new low for the fewest points in an NCAA Tournament game. They still lost 67-42.

The same fate befell the Rams, who tripled their scoring output in the second half but still lost to the Longhorns, 56-44.

So who still owns that unwelcome single game anti-scoring record?

The fewest points scored by a team in March Madness is 29 in the shot clock era

The shot clock was adopted at the NCAA level in 1985. Before then, extremely low-scoring games were far more common. So we're looking at the lowest scoring total for a team in the shot clock era.

The record belongs to Mississippi Valley State, who scored 29 points in a First Round loss to No. 1 seed UCLA in 2008. The Bruins won 70-29 as Kevin Love himself dropped 20.

The previous record holders from the shot clock era were the Wisconsin Badgers with 32 points against Missouri State in 1999. That game was an overall low-scoring affair, finishing 43-32.

If we're looking beyond the shot clock era, UNC scored 20 points against Pitt in 1941. That game holds the record for the lowest collective total with the 26-20 scoreline adding up to just 46 points.

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