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Ja Morant puts up 8th ever triple-double in NCAA Tournament history in front of NBA scouts, execs

Ja Morant

Ja Morant was more than ready for his March Madness moment. The electric sophomore floor general put on a show for a national audience and tens of NBA scouts on the biggest stage of his career to date on Thursday, leading 12-seeded Murray State to an 83-64 beatdown of 5-seeded Marquette.

Morant, who’s seen his draft stock steadily rise since the college basketball season tipped off in November, did it all for the Racers, finishing with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 16 assists, notching just the eighth triple-double in NCAA Tournament history.

What makes those numbers even more impressive is the restraint Morant showed early as the Golden Eagles sold out to prevent him from lighting up the scoreboard.

He went 5-of-9 from the field overall on Thursday, and took just three shots in the opening 19 minutes and change of the first half before draining this filthy step-back three-pointer seconds before intermission.

Later, the live wire 6-foot-3 guard threw down what may end up as the dunk of the tournament. Catching a bounce pass from teammate Darnell Cowart near the elbow, Morant, with a full head of steam, rose off two feet for a thunderous poster slam over the top of Marquette freshman big man Joey Hauser.

Just as eye-popping as any soaring dunk, acrobatic finish, or smooth jumper, though, was the control Morant wielded over this game from the opening tip.

There were questions coming into Thursday about whether or not he had the court vision to be a team’s full-time playmaker at the next level, but Morant answered them decisively on the biggest stage of his career, carving up the Golden Eagles’ defense with high-level dimes all game long.

Zion Williamson is the no-brainer number one pick in June’s NBA draft.

Once the Duke sensation is off the board, though, don’t be surprised if Morant’s name is the next one called – especially if he takes the underdog Racers deep into March.