1956 NCAA Basketball Tournament
The 1956 NCAA Basketball Tournament involved 25 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA college basketball. It began on March 12, 1956, and ended with the championship game on March 24 on Northwestern University's campus in Evanston, Illinois. A total of 29 games were played, including a third-place game in each region and a national third-place game.
|Finals site||McGaw Hall|
|Champions||San Francisco Dons (2nd title, 2nd title game,|
2nd Final Four)
|Runner-up||Iowa Hawkeyes (1st title game,|
2nd Final Four)
|Winning coach||Phil Woolpert (2nd title)|
|MOP||Hal Lear (Temple)|
|Top scorer||Hal Lear Temple|
The 1955–56 season was the last in which only one NCAA Tournament was held. Effective in 1956–57, the NCAA divided its membership into two competitive levels. The larger and more competitive athletic programs were placed in the University Division, and smaller programs in the College Division. Accordingly, that season would see separate tournaments contested in the University and College Divisions. In 1973, the University Division would be renamed NCAA Division I, while the College Division would be split into today's Divisions II and III.
This was the first NCAA tournament in which the four regionals were given distinct names, although the concept of four regional winners advancing to a single site for the "Final Four" had been introduced in 1952.
San Francisco, coached by Phil Woolpert, won the national title with an 83–71 victory in the final game over Iowa, coached by Bucky O'Connor. Hal Lear of Temple was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
|First Round||East||New York, New York||Madison Square Garden|
|Far West||Seattle, Washington||Hec Edmundson Pavilion|
|Midwest||Fort Wayne, Indiana||Allen County War Memorial Coliseum|
|West||Wichita, Kansas||U. of Wichita Field House|
|Regionals||East||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||The Palestra|
|Far West||Corvallis, Oregon||Oregon State Coliseum|
|Midwest||Iowa City, Iowa||Iowa Field House|
|West||Lawrence, Kansas||Allen Fieldhouse|
|Final Four||Evanston, Illinois||McGaw Memorial Hall|
For the second time, the city of Evanston, Illinois hosted the Final Four. For the first time, a repeat host city used a different venue, this time using McGaw Memorial Hall, the second replacement for the original Patten Gym, home of the 1939 final. The tournament saw two new venues, both in the state of Kansas, and both of which would join in rotation with Ahearn Field House as host of the Midwestern final for most of the next decade. In its first year of operation, Allen Field House on the campus of the University of Kansas hosted tournament games for the first time, acting as the West regional site. And also in the West region, the University of Wichita Field House, also in its first year of operation, hosted the first-round game. This tournament would also mark the final tournament to include the Allen County War Memorial Arena; neither the arena, which is still in operation, nor the city have hosted since.
|East||Canisius||Joseph Curran||Regional Runner-up||Temple||L 60–58|
|East||Connecticut||Hugh Greer||Regional Fourth Place||Dartmouth||L 85–64|
|East||Dartmouth||Doggie Julian||Regional Third Place||Connecticut||W 85–64|
|East||Holy Cross||Roy Leenig||First round||Temple||L 74–72|
|East||Manhattan||Ken Norton||First round||Connecticut||L 84–75|
|East||NC State||Everett Case||First round||Canisius||L 79–78|
|East||Temple||Harry Litwack||Third Place||SMU||W 90–81|
|East||West Virginia||Fred Schaus||First round||Dartmouth||L 61–59|
|Far West||Idaho State||Steve Belko||First round||Seattle||L 68–66|
|Far West||San Francisco||Phil Woolpert||Champion||Iowa||W 83–71|
|Far West||Seattle||Al Brightman||Regional Fourth Place||UCLA||L 94–70|
|Far West||UCLA||John Wooden||Regional Third Place||Seattle||W 94–70|
|Far West||Utah||Jack Gardner||Regional Runner-up||San Francisco||L 92–77|
|Midwest||DePaul||Ray Meyer||First round||Wayne State (MI)||L 72–63|
|Midwest||Iowa||Bucky O'Connor||Runner Up||San Francisco||L 83–71|
|Midwest||Kentucky||Adolph Rupp||Regional Runner-up||Iowa||L 89–77|
|Midwest||Marshall||Jule Rivlin||First round||Morehead State||L 107–92|
|Midwest||Morehead State||Bobby Laughlin||Regional Third Place||Wayne State (MI)||W 95–84|
|Midwest||Wayne State (MI)||Joel Mason||Regional Fourth Place||Morehead State||L 95–84|
|West||Houston||Alden Pasche||Regional Fourth Place||Kansas State||L 89–70|
|West||Kansas State||Tex Winter||Regional Third Place||Houston||W 89–70|
|West||Memphis State||Eugene Lambert||First round||Oklahoma City||L 97–81|
|West||Oklahoma City||Abe Lemons||Regional Runner-up||SMU||L 84–63|
|West||SMU||Doc Hayes||Fourth Place||Temple||L 90–81|
|West||Texas Tech||Polk Robison||First round||SMU||L 68–67|
* – Denotes overtime period
|Wayne State (MI)||72|
Far West RegionEdit
|National Semifinals||National Championship Game|
National Third Place GameEdit
|National Third Place Game |
Regional Third Place GamesEdit
- Canisius's first-round victory over the second-ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack, considered by many to be among the top ten upsets in tournament history, set a record for most overtime periods in a Division I Men's tournament game with four, a record that still stands as of 2015 (tied once, in 1961).
- Northwestern University previously hosted the first ever NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game on March 27, 1939, in the first Patten Gym.
- "1954 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket". Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- Top 25 Upsets in NCAA Tournament History--#5, Prepticket.com. Accessed 2009-04-02. Archived 2009-05-04.
- The Sports Network. "The Sports Network – Men's College Basketball". Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
- 1939 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament