Jack Gohlke is the sharpshooting March Madness hero capturing everyone’s imagination

Jack Gohlke is a silent assassin. The sharpshooter nobody saw coming. Ender of worlds. Destroyer of dreams. The man who will give John Calipari nightmares. And he looks like a middle-aged finance manager at a local Honda dealership.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - First Round - Pittsburgh

Photo by Justin K. Aller/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Gohlke became the first hero of 2024 March Madness on Thursday night when the Oakland player decided to have the game of his life. The Wildcats simply had no answer for Gohlke, who opened the game scoring 15 of Oakland’s 22 points, all on three pointers.

Yes, he hit five threes before the game ever really got going — and he didn’t stop shooting. After hitting his SEVENTH three of the first half all Gohlke could do was shrug, because it’s difficult to believe that he even believed this was possible.

The Gohlke show led to stunned Kentucky fans adopting their surrender cobras, unable to believe how this sixth-year senior from a mid-major was able to dismantle some of the highest-ranked prospects in basketball. When the dust settled he finished with TEN threes for 30 points on the night, shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc.

Naturally everyone at home started to try and learn who the heck Jack Gohlke was, and we learned some incredible stuff along the way.

No. 1: Gohlke isn’t even a starter

While he’s seen heavy usage in the Golden Grizzlies’ rotation, he only started seven games this season for the team.

No. 2: This is a man who shoots threes, and ONLY threes

Gohlke attempted 254 field goals in the 2023-24 season, and 248 of them were from three. Yes, this is a man who only attempted eight SHOTS all season long that weren’t beyond the arc.

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No. 3: Believe it or not, Kentucky wasn’t even his most impressive shooting game this season

Dropping 10-of-20 from three might seem like the kind of one-off game that could never be replicated, but earlier this year he made life miserable for IUPUI. On February 17, Gohlke played 24 minutes, going 10-of-15 from deep, including a four-point play to finish with 31 points in a 107-59 win.

No. 4: Gohlke’s favorite snack, according to his school profile, is pineapples

Not pineapple, singular. Pineapples. I like to imagine he’s at the back of the bus double-fisting pineapples and talking bites out of them like they’re regular apples. This is just my head canon though, and I cannot confirm whether it’s true or not.

No. 5: Don’t call Oakland a Cinderella, he hates that

No. 6: He’s a DII transfer who could barely get on the court at that level

From Mike Rutherford’s amazing Day 1 wrap-up:

We’re all used to hearing crazy transfer portal stories by now, but this one is particularly absurd. Gohlke spent the first five seasons of his college career at Hillsdale, a Division-II school in Michigan. He was redshirted in 2018-19 and barely saw the court until he was a redshirt junior in his fourth season with the program. He went from that background to lighting up arguably the most storied program in the sport’s biggest event on Thursday night.

Incredible stuff.

Jack Gohlke has become the player to watch this tournament

Will Oakland go much further in the tournament? We really don’t know … but overnight he’s become the can’t-miss hero of basketball. Shooting only threes and not doing much else is such a profoundly weird way to play basketball you can’t help but love it, and it’s ensured that the next time the Golden Grizzlies play EVERYONE is going to be watching Jack Gohlke.

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