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Lowest-Scoring College Basketball Games of All Time

SYRACUSE, NY - NOVEMBER 06:  Elijah Hughes #33 of the Syracuse Orange looks to pass the ball between Mamadi Diakite #25 and Kihei Clark #0 of the Virginia Cavaliers during the second half at the Carrier Dome on November 6, 2019 in Syracuse, New York. Virginia defeated Syracuse 48-34. (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Rich Barnes/Getty Images

The college basketball season has begun in earnest this week, which should breed excitement and confidence to programs around the country.

That includes the defending-champion UVA Cavaliers, who squared off against a conference opponent in their first game in the Syracuse Orange. You would think this tough rivalry would breed an entertaining game, but...uh...it was sad for everyone involved, as UVA defeated Syracuse by a final score of 48-34.

Nope, that wasn't the score at halftime. That was the score after 40 minutes. 'Cuse was unable to outscore...CAROLINA FRESHMAN COLE ANTHONY. Tough times.

Sadly, this isn't the first time we've seen a lack of offense in a college basketball game, though.

Just last season, NC State fell to Virginia Tech 47-24, posting the lowest-scoring game by a ranked opponent in the shot clock era (State was ranked 23rd in the nation, at the time). Talk about an embarrassing performance by the Wolfpack.

Other "highlights" (and by "highlights," we mean "not that at all") include 18th-ranked Wisconsin putting up 32 against Missouri State in 1998-99 (you knew the Badgers would show up here, didn't you?), and Penn State somehow holding Illinois and Wisco to 33 points in 2008-09 and 2010-11, respectively. How did that suffocating PSU defense never get off the bubble?!

Luckily, you have to go back quite a ways to find a similar disaster in March Madness.

Lowest-Scoring NCAA Tournament Game of All Time

The fewest points scored in any tournament game came back in 1941 before the shot-clock era between Pittsburgh and North Carolina. Pitt came away with the win, but the final score was 26-20. Yup, a total of 46 points!

In the shot-clock era, the lowest total output in an NCAA Tournament game was in 1999, when Missouri State beat Wisconsin, 43-32. Yup, that's right! The earlier matchup was IN THE TOURNEY.

We'd also be remiss if we didn't mention UConn's 53-41 triumph over Butler in the 2011 NCAA Tournament final. Scintillating, but the exact opposite!

I guess UVA and Syracuse can take solace knowing that it wasn't the lowest total in NCAA history, but that doesn't make it any less pathetic. Both teams can only go up from here, right?