How good was Thursday in the NCAA tournament? Historically so

If you're like us, you were watching the NCAA tournament today -- or this afternoon, or tonight, or at pretty much any point during the thrilling opening Thursday that was. Another game would come down to the nail-biting, hairpulling wire, and you'd catch your breath, check your bracket and think: Man, there were a lot of close games today. This has to be some kind of record, right?

Turns out, you were right. This was, indeed, some kind of record.

Five games were decided by one point on Thursday, the most of any single day in NCAA tournament history. But that's not all. Behold the mind-boggling numbers, courtesy of the yeomen at ESPN Stats & Information:

  • Eleven games were decided by fewer than 10 points Thursday, tying the single-day NCAA tournament high. Only three tournament days in history matched that number, the last of which came in 2010.

  • Nine games were decided by five or fewer points, tying the single-day tournament high -- one dating to March 15, 2001.

  • Including the five Thursday, as well as Dayton's win over Boise State on Wednesday night, there have been six games decided by one point thus far in the 2015 NCAA tournament. The record for most games decided by one point in a single NCAA tournament is seven -- total. That has happened three times (in 1982, 1990, and 1998).

Oh, and then there's this:

The entire 2013 and 2014 NCAA tournaments -- from the first round to the Final Four -- featured five games decided by a single point. Combined!

You know that feeling you had when Baylor and Iowa State fell to No. 14 seeds by one point apiece, when UCLA somehow got a 60-59 win on a questionable goaltending call, when Cincinnati edged the Purdue by a point in overtime and when NC State's BeeJay Anya hooked LSU at the back end of a startling collapse? Or when Ohio State won by three in overtime, or when UNC held on for a 67-65 win over Harvard, or Notre Dame and Arkansas just barely held on? That feeling you got reading this list? That it was impossible for the close games to keep coming and that things would get back to normal? That even by the NCAA tournament's bonkers standards, this day was almost too gloriously overwhelming to handle? That, come on, this had to be some kind of record?

It was. Several kinds of records, actually. And we're just getting started.