March Madness Tourney Titans: Glen Rice

No player in college history has had a tournament run like Rice in ’89

Image Credit: TSL

In the storied history of NCAA Tournament legends, there are a few players whose name always seem to be forgotten. I challenge you to find an expert’s list of greatest tournament players and come across the name who scored the most points in a single March Madness run. 

The total number of these points equals a ridiculous 184. It still stands to this day. In six tournament games in 1989, Michigan’s Glen Rice displayed a shooting touch of epic proportions, leading his squad to the school’s lone national championship.

Rice’s four-year stint in Ann Arbor proved he was a pure scoring machine. He left Michigan as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,442 points.  The most impressive of his four seasons was his senior campaign where he shot a blistering 58 percent from the floor, including 52 percent from beyond the arc.  Rice didn’t stop his red hot shooting at regular season’s end as he would elevate his performances heading into the tournament posting 23 and 36 point performances in the opening weekend. 

The Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight were no different as  Rice dropped 34 points (13 of 19) against North Carolina before going for 32 (13 of 16) in a 37-point blowout win over Virginia.

In the Final Four, Rice went for 28 against conference rival Illinois in the semifinals before adding 31 in the title game against Seton Hall.  He basically could not miss, shooting an amazing 57.2 percent from the floor. To put it all in perspective, the only player to score more than 160 points in the last 55 years of the tournament is Danny Manning who did it one year earlier in 1988 (163 points). 

While records are made to be broken, it will take quite a player to average 30-plus points over a six-game stretch in today’s style of play, let alone be able to score at such a high clip on a team that is good enough to win the national championship. There is something to be said about Rice and what he was able to accomplish. He was a beast as an NBA shooter too. 

No really, its something that “needs” to be said versus being a story only told by the Wolverine faithful. 

Remember Kemba Walker’s amazing run in the 2011 NCAA Tournament? As exceptional as it was, Walker’s 141-point total is dwarfed by what Glen Rice did in 1989.


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