1968 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament
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1968 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament
1968 NCAA University Division
Basketball Tournament
Finals siteSports Arena
Los Angeles, California
ChampionsUCLA Bruins (4th title, 4th title game)
Runner-upNorth Carolina Tar Heels (3rd title game,
4th Final Four)
Winning coachJohn Wooden (4th title)
MOPLew Alcindor (UCLA)
Top scorerElvin Hayes Houston
(167 points)

The 1968 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament involved 23 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 8, 1968, and ended with the championship game on March 23 in Los Angeles, California. A total of 27 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.

UCLA, coached by John Wooden, won the national title with a 78-55 victory in the final game over North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith. Lew Alcindor of UCLA was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player for the second of three consecutive years. This UCLA team, composed of three All-Americans, Player of the Year Alcindor, Lucius Allen, and Mike Warren, along with dead eye pure shooter Lynn Shackleford (most of his shots would be 3 pointers today) and burly senior power forward Mike Lynn is considered to be one of the greatest teams in college basketball history.

The NCAA semi-final match between the Houston Cougars and UCLA Bruins was a re-match of the college basketball Game of the Century held in January at the Astrodome, in the Cougars' home city. The match was historic, the first nationally syndicated college basketball game and the first to play in a domed stadium before more than 52,000 fans. It was UCLA's only loss in two years, a two-pointer, to the then-#2 Houston, but with UCLA's dominating center Alcindor playing with an eye injury that limited his effectiveness after being hospitalized the week before. The loss broke a 47-game winning streak for UCLA. In the March NCAA Tournament Final 4, the Bruins at full strength avenged that loss with a 101-69 drubbing of that same Houston team, now ranked #1, in UCLA's home city at the Memorial Sports Arena. UCLA limited Houston's Elvin Hayes, who was averaging 37.7 points per game but was held to only 10. Bruins coach John Wooden credited his assistant, Jerry Norman, for devising the diamond-and-one defense that contained Hayes.[1][2]


The city of Los Angeles became the tenth host city, and the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena the eleventh host venue, of the Final Four. The arena, adjacent to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at Exposition Park, was at the time the off-campus home of the University of Southern California, located just across the street from the park. The brackets followed the same pattern as the previous tournament, with two first round sites in the East and a combined Midwest & West first round site. Besides the Sports Arena, there were two other new venues used in the 1968 tournament, both in the west. The West regional games were held in the city of Albuquerque for the first time, at "The Pit" on the campus of the University of New Mexico. Salt Lake City hosted games for the first time as well, with Nielsen Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Utah hosted the Midwest & West first round games. This would be Nielsen Fieldhouse's only time hosting games, with its replacement, the Special Events Center, hosting future games in the city. It was also the final time hosting for Kent State University; it would be thirty-two years before the tournament would return to northeast Ohio, with future games held in the city of Cleveland.


Region Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East Boston College Bob Cousy First round St. Bonaventure L 102-93
East Columbia John Rohan Regional Third Place St. Bonaventure W 95-75
East Davidson Lefty Driesell Regional Runner-up North Carolina L 70-66
East La Salle Jim Harding First round Columbia L 83-69
East North Carolina Dean Smith Runner Up UCLA L 78-55
East St. Bonaventure Larry Weise Regional Fourth Place Columbia L 95-75
East St. John's Lou Carnesecca First round Davidson L 79-70
Mideast Bowling Green Bill Fitch First round Marquette L 72-71
Mideast East Tennessee State J. Madison Brooks Regional Fourth Place Marquette L 69-57
Mideast Florida State Hugh Durham First round East Tennessee State L 79-69
Mideast Kentucky Adolph Rupp Regional Runner-up Ohio State L 82-81
Mideast Marquette Al McGuire Regional Third Place East Tennessee State W 69-57
Mideast Ohio State Fred Taylor Third Place Houston W 89-85
Midwest Houston Guy Lewis Fourth Place Ohio State L 89-85
Midwest Kansas State Tex Winter Regional Fourth Place Louisville L 93-63
Midwest Louisville John Dromo Regional Third Place Kansas State W 93-63
Midwest Loyola-Chicago George Ireland First round Houston L 94-76
Midwest TCU Johnny Swaim Regional Runner-up Houston L 103-68
West New Mexico Bob King Regional Fourth Place New Mexico State L 62-58
West New Mexico State Lou Henson Regional Third Place New Mexico W 62-58
West Santa Clara Dick Garibaldi Regional Runner-up UCLA L 87-66
West UCLA John Wooden Champion North Carolina W 78-55
West Weber State Dick Motta First round New Mexico State L 68-57


* - Denotes overtime period

East region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    North Carolina 91  
      St. Bonaventure 72  
  St. Bonaventure 102
    Boston College 93  
      North Carolina 70
    Davidson 66
    Davidson 79  
  St. John's 70  
  Davidson 61
      Columbia 59*  
  Columbia 83
    La Salle 69  

Mideast region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Ohio State 79  
      East Tennessee State 72  
  East Tennessee State 79
    Florida State 69  
      Ohio State 82
    Kentucky 81
  Kentucky 107
      Marquette 89  
  Marquette 72
    Bowling Green 71  

Midwest region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    TCU 77  
      Kansas State 72  
      TCU 68
    Houston 103
  Louisville 75
      Houston 91  
  Houston 94
    Loyola-Chicago 76  

West region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Santa Clara 86  
      New Mexico 73  
      Santa Clara 66
    UCLA 87
  UCLA 58
      New Mexico State 49  
  New Mexico State 68
    Weber State 57  

Final Four

National Semifinals National Championship Game
E North Carolina 80
ME Ohio State 66
E North Carolina 55
MW Houston 69
W UCLA 101

National Third Place Game

National Third Place Game
ME Ohio State 89
MW Houston 85

Regional Third Place Games

See also


  1. ^ Esper, Dwain (March 25, 1968). "Bruins Hope Norman Stays". The Independent. Pasadena, California. p. 15. Retrieved 2015 – via Newspapers.com.open access
  2. ^ Gasaway, John (June 7, 2010). "John Wooden's Century". Basketball Prospectus. Archived from the original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved .

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