The worst college basketball game was so historically awful, a ranked team scored just 24 points

Seeing a sport played expertly by players
in their physical peak can be a thing of beauty; an ideal representation of the game as it
was meant to be. Nowhere is that more true than college basketball. But sometimes, a game can be played so badly,
so fundamentally rotten at its core, it makes you wonder why anybody attempts to play it
at all. One such game happened in 2019 — the type
of game so stupefyingly bad, so antithetical to the very Platonic ideal of basketball itself,
that everyone who witnessed it instantly knew they had just watched… The Worst College Basketball Game. February 2nd, 2019. Raleigh, North Carolina. The 12th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies have
traveled to North Carolina to take on the 23rd-ranked Wolfpack. NC State comes into this game 16-5, but they’re
still looking for a marquee win to stay on track and prove they deserve to make it into
the tournament. Just last week, they took third-ranked Virginia
the distance, losing by just 1 in overtime. Three days before that, Wolfpack guard Braxton
Beverly dusted off Clemson with a 3PT buzzer beater. They’ve got talent, and the chance here
to make a statement. Virginia Tech is 17-3 and also looking to
keep up their momentum heading into February. The Hokies are good on offense, but they’re
coming into the game without their star guard Justin Robinson, who suffered a toe injury
against Miami in the game prior, and an otherwise thin bench. It’ll be a challenge, but a road win here
for Tech would be huge. So, this is a big game for both teams who
are jockeying for position in a competitive ACC. Also, these teams are first and 3rd in the
ACC in shooting, which is worth mentioning, especially in a conference dominated by powerhouse
programs like Duke, UVA, and UNC. The game starts, and the Hokies kick things
off with a jumper from Kerry Blackshear. The Wolfpack respond with one in kind from
CJ Bryce. Viewer, congratulations. You’ve just witnessed the only points that
either of these teams will make in the first 7 minutes of this game. Though you are about to see it with your own
eyes, it’s impossible to account for why these teams just cannot put the ball into
the hoop. Except, maybe they were jinxed by Evan Lepler
and Brian Oliver, who tell us 3 minutes into the game, “both of these teams are tops
in the league in scoring, and you’re going to see a frenetic pace of going back and forth…” And oh, how those teams go back and forth. What exactly happens over the following 5
minutes of game time? Only this:
Foul and a turnover. Miss. Turnover. Miss. Turnover. Miss, foul, miss. Miss. Turnover, on this absolutely hilarious out-of-bounds
pass from Markell Johnson “Goodness gracious! Someone was open but he was in the third row.” Turnover. Miss. Miss, offensive rebound, foul on NC state,
turnover. Miss Turnover And that, by the way, is VT’s seventh turnover
of the game so far. There is, if nothing else, some defense. Now, before we finally get to the next points
of this game, I want you to take a look at NC State’s last possession before that happens. We’ve got: a missed three point jumper by
Braxton Beverly, Wyatt Walker with the offensive rebound, back to Beverly for a missed jumper,
then a missed tip and a missed put-back attempt by Walker. Phew! “Four chances, none of them convert.” That sound you hear from the crowd after all
this is the same exact sound you hear from an audience dealing with a frustrating contestant
on the Price is Right. “Joy, Joy. Help her audience, she needs help.”
[indistinct audience yelling] We’re almost at the much-hyped debut of
a second made shot by either of these teams. But first, I just want to quickly point out
the stat line graphic that the broadcast puts up right before it happens. That is crazy. Here, finally, with 12:54 left in the half,
the Hokie’s Isaiah Wilkins nails a 3-pointer, and the home crowd cheers simply because they
finally saw a basketball thing happen. At this point, the analysts would like to
remind you AGAIN that these are: “two of the better field goal shooting teams
– ranked 1st and 3rd – in the conference,” almost as if to apologize and swear that this
doesn’t usually happen. And once again, this comment gives our boys
some performance anxiety and nobody scores for nearly another 4 minutes. Somewhere in there, the broadcast gives us
this wonderful tableau of the terminally bored NCSU band. I’m going to pause this here so you can
pick out your favorite — this one’s mine because I know how much it sucks to wear your
best hat out on the town for nothing. Later, with 7:30 left in the half, a Hokies
3-point jumper brings the game to 13-6, and the Wolfpack respond with another brutal possession
consisting of 5 shots, and 5 misses. “Can the Wolfpack pay it off? They cannot.” A few more feeble attempts at scoring are
punctuated by some actual buckets, but eventually both teams limp into halftime with a combined
34 points, a score of 20-14 — the fewest combined points in a half that PNC Arena has
ever seen. But yes, despite NC State’s abysmal shooting
performance, they’ve managed to keep it within 6. On to the second half, where NC State quickly
treats us to yet another impotent possession with multiple shots that result in nothing,
including yet another miss from Braxton Beverly, who is scoreless so far today. “Sooner or later we’re gonna realize that
Beverly’s gonna start knocking down those shots, you’re playing with fire if you’re
Virginia Tech, leaving him open.” “He’s such a good shooter, you have to
imagine it’s gonna break through.” That assumption is… incorrect. At one point, the broadcast, in a moment of
relative quiet, picks up a frustrated fan who acutely expresses what we’re all thinking:
“It’s called basketball! Let’s play it!” Friend, this is not basketball. This is something darker. More sinister. That brings us to 6:50 left in the game, and
I want you to really take in this Torin Dorn lay-up, as it will be NC State’s last field
goal of the game. They’ll score two more points on free throws
before the game is up, but I think it’s kind of neat that they managed to bookend
this game — 11 minutes at the beginning and 7 at the end for a total 18 minutes — with
only a single made shot. And that’s kind of it. The analysts wonder aloud:
“Could this be the lowest scoring game in Woflpack history?” It’s close. The band gallantly sticks around to play one
final dirge for a mostly empty arena, and this game, such as it is, is over. The final score? 47 to 24. Forty-seven…to twenty-four. Yes, that is a real basketball score. Here are a few things that are true: the Wolfpack
went 9-for-54 in this game, a shooting percentage of 16.7. That is the lowest percentage in the history
of the ACC, which was formed in 1953. You’d think they would make some adjustments
at halftime, but in fact, the Wolfpack shot .194 in the first half, then dropped to .130
after halftime. Braxton Beverly went 0-12 from the field and
0-9 from behind the arc, a big fat goose-egg of a game for him. It’s the lowest scoring game NC State has
had in a regular season game since Dwight D Eisenhower was president. It was the lowest scoring game of any ranked
Division 1 school since the shot clock was established in 1985. But a question remains: is this truly the
worst college basketball game of all time? There are thousands of NCAA games that get
played every year, and basketball has been played at colleges for the better part of
a century. Surely there are other contenders. Take for instance the 2011 NCAA Championship
between Butler and UConn, which ended with the fewest combined points in a championship
game since 1949. Or perhaps a 2013 game between Northern Illinois
and Eastern Michigan, which — well, you know what, I’ll let eyewitness Jon Bois tell
you about that one. Jon? 2013, Northern Illinois vs. Eastern Michigan,
there are three things I want to tell you about this game. The first is that Northern Illinois scored
four points in the entire first half. The second is they went 1-33 from the three-point
range and only hit their one with two minutes left in the game. The third, my personal favorite, one of those
threes was an airball. A Northern Illinois player was supposed to
rebound it – he was underneath the net – he watches it come down, instead of putting his
hands up, he puts them down slack at his sides, he watches as the ball hit him in the chest
and bounces out of bounds. Greatest game ever. Total stinkers to be sure, but there’s something
to be said for a game in which the play-by-play guys turn on these kids early and often:
“I swear to god…” “This is really bizarre…” “Two teams that can really score. Believe us, please.” “We’d understand if you’d like to avert
your eyes.” Indeed. But like any good train wreck, sometimes it
can just be impossible to tear yourself away. So, the next time you fail miserably at the
most basic task expected of you, just remember that one time, and not very long ago, an entire
college basketball program was incapable of accomplishing even the most basic element
of the game: putting the ball in the basket. And you know what? Life goes on. Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to subscribe to SB Nation and
if you want to see more about that awful 2011 UConn-Butler championship game, we’ve got
it here. Or you can check out another one of our SB
Nation videos.

100 thoughts on “The worst college basketball game was so historically awful, a ranked team scored just 24 points

  1. Did anyone else catch the super dark irony that virginia tech was first in the league when it comes to shooting

  2. I was in attendance for a MAC tournament game that was almost this bad… by the end of the game, we were just roasting both teams for sucking. This takes the cake by virtue of ranked teams. 24 points, that's impressive. You couldn't even do that by trying.

  3. It’s very coincidental that this game took place a day before Super Bowl LIII, which was just as bad.

  4. LMAO! How bad is scoring 24 points in a basketball game? The Kansas City Chiefs scored more points in every game they played during that very same season (the '18-'19 regular season and playoffs)! Seriously, here are the total points they scored in all 18 games (and how many points more or less than 24 it was, + being more, – being less):

    Week 1 at Chargers……. 38 (+14)
    Week 2 at Steelers………42 (+18)
    Week 3 vs 49ers………….38 (+14)
    Week 4 at Broncos……..27 (+3)
    Week 5 vs Jaguars……..30 (+6)
    Week 6 at Patriots……..40 (+16)
    Week 7 vs Bengals……..45 (+21)
    Week 8 vs Broncos…….30 (+6)
    Week 9 at Browns………37 (+13)
    Week 10 vs Cardinals…26 (+2)
    Week 11 at Rams……….51 (+27, yikes!)
    Week 13 at Raiders…….40 (+16)
    Week 14 vs Ravens…….27 (+3)
    Week 15 vs Chargers….28 (+4)
    Week 16 at Seahawks…31 (+7)
    Week 17 vs Raiders…….35 (+11)

    Playoff Divisional Round vs Colts……. 31 (+7)
    AFC Championship vs Patriots…………31 (+7)

    Notice there are no minuses! That is how bad the NC State offense was! They were so bad, an entire professional football team, playing against professional football defenses, was able to outscore them in every single game they played in an entire season!

    I did not know that was even possible! Like, how can you score so few points in a basketball game that a football team fails to score less than you in all 18 games it plays during that same season? Even most of the lowest basketball scores I've seen are at least >40 points, and not only could NC State not muster that, but couldn't even muster 15 points less than that in an entire 40 minute game. Abysmal!

  5. Crazily enough, I give these two teams credit. They didn't play exciting basketball (nowhere near it), they played logical basketball. Nothing but prime, clamp down defence.

  6. I'm an NC State student and was debating on either going to this game… or staying behind to study…

    …So glad I stayed behind

  7. My dad comes to visit me in Florida a few times a year. He's knowlegable about all the pro leagues, but doesn't follow college sports at all. If there's a college game on at the bar, he'll always ask the common, "are these teams any good?" And, "which players are the best here?" Right after I watched this video I realized he was down here during this week. Thankfully we never watched this game. I really don't need to reinforce the point that he raised a dumbass! ??

  8. N.C. State A.D. (Yow) publicly voiced her displeasure in not making the NCAA tourney. I knew after seeing highlights(or lowlights) of this game that their fate was sealed unless they won the conference championship

  9. Before the advent of the shot clock (early 80s), the University of Georgia was involved in an even lower scoring game. However, it wasn't because of poor shooting. It was because the opponent (I don't remember exactly; I want to say it was NC State at that time as well) used the "Four Corners" deliberate stalling technique throughout the game (again, there was no shot clock).
    UGA won by a final score of 26-20.
    UGA's Dominique Wilkins (the future Hall of Famer and the reason for the opponent's use of the Four Corners) was held to 8 points. That low total cost him sole ownership of the SEC scoring title that year; he finished tied with Jeff Malone of Mississippi State (the future Utah Jazz player).

  10. I submit to you a pre-shot clock 11-6 final. In basketball. In the modern era:

  11. In 2014 Arizona beat Washington State by a score of 60-25! That was one of the ugliest games in Pac 12 history!

  12. My first ever official game of basketball was when I was 10 and I was playing in u14's for a representative team from my area, we won 4-0. The final game of that season was against the same team and we lost 64-56. This was in a 30 minute game haha

  13. Apparently nearly all of the "worst" things that ever happened in Sports took place since 2000. This series should be called "the worst that we can remember."
    Also, why do you say "the year of our lord?" Stop that.

  14. At least the gal in the band made use of the time, by getting on her precious phone4:27 Otherwise, she might have had to wait another 30 minutes give or take. These colleges now days are already overwhelmed with grief counseling.

  15. I assume you had to actually watch this train wreck in order to make this vid ….. multiple times, in fact. For that I will say, from all of us, we are so very sorry. Your pain garnered us an enjoyable video and we are thankful but sir, there is no need to torture yourself so for our entertainment.

    Who am I kidding, I can't wait for the next video about some dumpster fire or another that you will make entertaining for us!

  16. Its not Just the worst college basketball of all time…Its the Worst basketball game of all time literally overall…

  17. To really determine the worst game, look for the number of unforced turnovers and lack of effort. Not sure that was this game.

  18. Maybe the Monstars took their powers
    , and there was simultaneously a basketball game for the fate of our planet that night which we'll never know about

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