“Legendary Display” Leaves Kevin Durant, NFL Star Patrick Mahomes, and Thousand More Floored as Lakers’ Legend Magic Johnson Suffers Heartbreak at March Madness

Published 03/23/2023, 11:42 PM EDT

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The NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament has been nothing short of exciting as each day passes. Fans, analysts, and even NBA players, and legends have seen upsets being pulled off and new champions set to conquer this year’s March Madness. The game between Michigan State Spartans and Kansas State Wildcats was no different, as viewers witnessed a record being set by Markquis Nowell.

Kansas State guard Markquis Nowell set the record for most all-time assists in an NCAA tournament game with 19 assists. The record was previously held by Mark Wade of UNLV. Wade set the record in 1987 with 18 assists in a single game. However, he doesn’t hold the record anymore.

March Madness living up to the hype


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Nowell’s performance not only helped him surpass Wade for the single-game record but through the sweet 16, Nowell’s total of 42 assists is the most by any player since 1984. The 23-year-old has attracted a lot of interest with his consistent performances this postseason.

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NBA players and legends couldn’t help but react to Nowell’s extraordinary performance. Even NFL star Patrick Mahomes was left impressed by Nowell’s record-breaking night. Despite being impressed by Nowell’s performance, Magic Johnson was left heartbroken after the game.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend’s alma mater, unfortunately, could not move to the next round of the tournament. Johnson tweeted, “My MSU Spartans lost a thriller in OT to Kansas State. I want to thank Coach Izzo and all of the players for a fantastic season! @MSU_Basketball.”

Despite Magic Johnson’s team losing to Kansas State, the former 6’9 point guard made sure to give props to Nowell and the team.

Magic Johnson, Kevin Durant, and others react to Nowell’s performance

The Lakers legend sent out another tweet wherein it said, “Congratulations to Kansas State men’s basketball team and especially point guard Markquis Nowell for becoming the NCAA Tournament record holder for assists in a game with 19 assists and 20 points.”

Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant tweeted, “That was a legendary display of controlling a basketball game Markquis. GG’s.”

Even Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes was left impressed with Nowell’s performance.

Here’s a list of NBA stars reacting to Nowell’s insane record-setting performance.


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Here are a few more reactions from fans on Twitter.


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The game between Kansas and Michigan State definitely lived up to the hype and Markquis Nowell’s performance was no different. Nowell already had tied the record with 18 assists for the game.

It was the last inbound play where he got his record-breaking assist. Moreover, this helped his team gain a three-point advantage over Michigan, which eventually put the game out of reach.


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What are your thoughts on Nowell’s performance? Let us know in the comments.

Watch This Story – Legends of their craft, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, and more turn up the frenzy around March Madness


Written by:

Abhishek Dhariwal


One take at a time

Abhishek Dhariwal is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He earned his bachelor's degree in English Honors from St. Xavier's College and his master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from AAFT School of Mass Communication and Journalism.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth