1974 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament
The 1974 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament involved 25 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It was the first tournament to be designated as a Division I championship—previously, NCAA member schools had been divided into the "University Division" and "College Division". The NCAA created its current three-division setup, effective with the 1973–74 academic year, by moving all of its University Division schools to Division I and splitting the College Division members into Division II (fewer scholarships) and Division III (no athletic scholarships allowed). Previous tournaments would retroactively be considered Division I championships.
NCAA logo from 1971 to 1979
|Finals site||Greensboro Coliseum|
Greensboro, North Carolina
|Champions||NC State Wolfpack (1st title, 1st title game,|
2nd Final Four)
|Runner-up||Marquette Warriors (1st title game,|
1st Final Four)
|Winning coach||Norm Sloan (1st title)|
|MOP||David Thompson (NC State)|
|Top scorer||David Thompson NC State|
The tournament began on March 9, 1974, and ended with the championship game on March 25 in Greensboro, North Carolina. As of 2017, it is the last tournament in which neither school had previously appeared in any national championship game (5 years later Michigan State would defeat Indiana St in each school's inaugural Division I National Finals, but Indiana State had previously contested and lost finals in the NAIA National Championships and the NCAA Division II National Championships). A total of 29 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.
North Carolina State, coached by Norm Sloan, won the national title with a 76–64 victory in the final game over Marquette, coached by Al McGuire. This result ended UCLA's record streak of seven consecutive titles. David Thompson of North Carolina State was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
This was the final year that only conference champions and independents could participate in the tournament. During the same time in 1974, the Collegiate Commissioners' Association held a tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. They invited the second-place teams from eight conferences to participate. In 1975, the NCAA would expand the field to include at-large bids for conference runners-up.
The UCLA – North Carolina State semifinal game made USA Today's list of the greatest NCAA tournament games of all time at #13. UCLA star Bill Walton calls that game the most disappointing outcome of his entire basketball career, given how UCLA lost a 5-point lead late in regulation and a 7-point lead in the 2nd overtime, before NC State rallied to win, 80-77. The game, played in Greensboro, was like a home game for the Wolfpack; UCLA had defeated NC State by 18 points in a neutral site game in St. Louis (where UCLA defeated Memphis State the previous March to win its seventh consecutive national championship) earlier in the season.
The Wolfpack became the fifth school in history to win the national championship playing in its home state. CCNY won the 1950 NCAA championship (as well as the NIT championship) at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Kentucky won the 1958 championship at Freedom Hall in Louisville, and UCLA won both the 1968 and 1972 championships at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. UCLA also would win the 1975 championship in its home state, at the San Diego Sports Arena. No team has accomplished the feat since then, although the Kansas Jayhawks won the 1988 championship in nearby Kansas City, Missouri, at Kemper Arena, which is closer to the KU campus in Lawrence, Kansas than Greensboro is to Raleigh.
Thanks in large part to the reclassification of Division I, the 1974 tournament is the last tournament to include a team no longer in Division I. The Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles spent one year in the modern Division I, winning the Pacific Coast Athletic Association before dropping to Division II.
|First Round||East||Jamaica, New York||Alumni Hall||St. John's|
|East||Morgantown, West Virginia||WVU Coliseum||West Virginia|
|East||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||The Palestra||Drexel/Penn/Temple|
|Mideast||Terre Haute, Indiana||Hulman Center||Indiana State|
|Midwest||Denton, Texas||UNT Coliseum||North Texas|
|West||Pocatello, Idaho||ASISU Minidome||Idaho State|
|Regionals||East||Raleigh, North Carolina||Reynolds Coliseum||North Carolina State|
|Mideast||Tuscaloosa, Alabama||Memorial Coliseum||Alabama|
|Midwest||Tulsa, Oklahoma||Mabee Center||Oral Roberts/Tulsa|
|West||Tucson, Arizona||McKale Center||Arizona|
|Final Four||Greensboro, North Carolina||Greensboro Memorial Coliseum||Atlantic Coast Conference|
The city of Greensboro, in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, became the 13th host city, and the Greensboro Memorial Coliseum became the 14th host venue, for the Final Four. For the third time ever, this marked the only Final Four for the venue, although it has continued to host another thirteen tournaments since. It also marked the eighth time that the Final Four venue made its overall debut in the tournament, a tradition that has mostly died out since. 1974 saw six new venues host tournament games, including Greensboro, three regional sites and two other sites. For the first time, the tournament came to the state of Alabama and the University of Alabama, with games played at the Memorial Coliseum, home of the Crimson Tide basketball teams. The tournament also came to the state of Arizona and the University of Arizona for the first time, with games being played in its brand new McKale Center. The city of Tulsa became the first outside the Oklahoma City area in the state of Oklahoma to host games, at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University. For the first time, the tournament came to the city of Denton, lying at the north edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, to the University of North Texas's Coliseum, nicknamed the "Super Pit." And for the first, and to date only, time, the tournament came to Indiana State University to be played at the brand-new Hulman Center. Besides the Hulman Center, the 1974 tournament saw the last games for two other venues, the WVU Coliseum and Alumni Hall on the campus of St. John's University. The tournament would not return to the NYC area until the opening of the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey in the 1980s, and wouldn't return to the city proper until the 2014 tournament. To date, the tournament has not returned to the state of West Virginia.
|East||Furman||Joe Williams||Regional Fourth Place||Providence||L 95–83|
|East||NC State||Norm Sloan||Champion||Marquette||W 76–64|
|East||Penn||Chuck Daly||First round||Providence||L 84–69|
|East||Pittsburgh||Buzz Ridl||Regional Runner-up||NC State||L 100–72|
|East||Providence||Dave Gavitt||Regional Third Place||Furman||W 95–83|
|East||South Carolina||Frank McGuire||First round||Furman||L 75–67|
|East||Saint Joseph's||Jack McKinney||First round||Pittsburgh||L 54–42|
|Mideast||Austin Peay||Lake Kelly||First round||Notre Dame||L 108–66|
|Mideast||Marquette||Al McGuire||Runner Up||NC State||L 76–64|
|Mideast||Michigan||Johnny Orr||Regional Runner-up||Marquette||L 72–70|
|Mideast||Notre Dame||Digger Phelps||Regional Third Place||Vanderbilt||W 118–88|
|Mideast||Ohio||James Snyder||First round||Marquette||L 85–59|
|Mideast||Vanderbilt||Roy Skinner||Regional Fourth Place||Notre Dame||L 118–88|
|Midwest||Creighton||Eddie Sutton||Regional Third Place||Louisville||W 80–71|
|Midwest||Kansas||Ted Owens||Fourth Place||UCLA||L 78–61|
|Midwest||Louisville||Denny Crum||Regional Fourth Place||Creighton||L 80–71|
|Midwest||Oral Roberts||Ken Trickey||Regional Runner-up||Kansas||L 93–90|
|Midwest||Syracuse||Roy Danforth||First round||Oral Roberts||L 86–82|
|Midwest||Texas||Leon Black||First round||Creighton||L 77–61|
|West||Cal State Los Angeles||Bob Miller||First round||Dayton||L 88–80|
|West||Dayton||Don Donoher||Regional Fourth Place||New Mexico||L 66–61|
|West||Idaho State||Jim Killingsworth||First round||New Mexico||L 73–65|
|West||New Mexico||Norm Ellenberger||Regional Third Place||Dayton||W 66–61|
|West||San Francisco||Bob Gaillard||Regional Runner-up||UCLA||L 83–60|
|West||UCLA||John Wooden||Third Place||Kansas||W 78–61|
* – Denotes overtime period
|East Regional Third Place|
|Mideast Regional Third Place|
|Midwest Regional Third Place|
|Cal State Los Angeles||80|
|West Regional Third Place|
|National Semifinals||National Championship Game|
|MW||Kansas||51||National Third Place Game|
- Mike Douchant – Greatest 63 games in NCAA Tournament history. The Sports Xchange, published in USA Today, March 25, 2002