March Madness

Who Has the Most Assists in a Single NCAA Tournament Game?

Kansas State's Markquis Nowell made history against Michigan State on Thursday

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Kansas State might have a Wildcat as its mascot, but Markquis Nowell was all dawg on Thursday.

The 23-year-old guard electrified the Madison Square Garden crowd as the No. 3 Wildcats topped the No. 7 Michigan State Spartans in overtime behind a 20-point, 19-assist, five-steal performance.

Dishing out 19 assists also put Nowell, a Harlem native, on the map for another reason: He broke the single-game record for most assists in an NCAA Tournament game.

So, how does Nowell compare to other players who pulled the strings on offense for the entirety of a game? Let's take a look:

Who has the most assists in a single NCAA Tournament game?

Nowell stands alone at the top spot for the most assists in a single NCAA Tournament game with 19.

Here's a look at the list of men's players who had at least 15 or more in one game:

  • 2023: Markquis Nowell, No. 7 Kansas State -- 19 vs. No. 3 Michigan State in a 98-93 (OT) win
  • 1987: Mark Wade, No. 1 UNLV -- 18 vs. No. 1 Indiana in a 97-93 loss
  • 2000: Earl Watson, No. 6 UCLA -- 16 vs. No. 3 Maryland in a 105-70 win
  • 2008: Mitch Johnson, No. 3 Stanford -- 16 vs. No. 6 Marquette in an 82-81 (OT) win
  • 2019: Ja Morant, No. 12 Murray State -- 16 vs. No. 5 Marquette in an 83-64 win
  • 1985: Kenny Patterson, No. 10 DePaul -- 15 vs. No. 7 Syracuse in a 70-65 loss
  • 1987: Keith Smart, No. 1 Indiana -- 15 vs. No. 8 Auburn in a 107-90 win
  • 2000: Pepe Sanchez, No. 2 Temple -- 15 vs. No. 15 Lafayette in a 73-47 win
  • 2011: Aaron Craft, No. 1 Ohio State -- 15 vs. No. 8 George Mason in a 98-66 win

How old is Markquis Nowell?

Nowell is 23 years old. He was born on Dec. 25, 1999.

What is Markquis Nowell's height?

Nowell's 19-assist performance is more notable considering he's not exactly that tall. The 23-year-old is listed at 5-foot-8.

Is Markquis Nowell going to the NBA?

Nowell, 23, is a fifth-year senior at Kansas State having played his first three years of college basketball with the Little Rock Trojans. The 5-foot-8, 160-pound guard has not yet officially declared for the 2023 NBA Draft, but this performance could elevate his standing as a possible mid-to-late second-round pick.

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