1971 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
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1971 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
1971 NCAA University Division
Basketball Tournament
Finals siteAstrodome
Houston, Texas
ChampionsUCLA Bruins (7th title, 7th title game,
8th Final Four)
Runner-upVillanova Wildcats (Vacated) (1st title game,
2nd Final Four)
Winning coachJohn Wooden (7th title)
MOPHoward Porter (Villanova, vacated)
Top scorerJim McDaniels Western Kentucky
(147 points)

The 1971 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament involved 25 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 13, 1971, and ended with the championship game on March 27 in Houston, Texas. A total of 29 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 68-62 victory in the final game over Villanova, coached by Jack Kraft. Howard Porter of Villanova was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. However, Villanova was disqualified after the tournament for having an ineligible player, Howard Porter, who had signed with an agent prior to the tournament. Having lost to undefeated, second-ranked Penn (coached by Dick Harter) twice before, Porter did not think they would make past the regionals where third-ranked South Carolina was also in their path. However, Penn vanquished South Carolina by 15 and then had their worst game of the year against Villanova in the East Regional final, losing 90-47. Villanova's first-place finish in the east regional was relinquished to Penn, with the regional consolation game (3rd place) winner, Fordham (coached by Digger Phelps, a former Penn assistant coach), receiving 2nd place.

Championship Game

UCLA was going for its 5th consecutive title and was a heavy favorite over Villanova. But the Bruins did not cruise through the season in their accustomed fashion. They were severely threatened in their own conference (and backyard) by 2nd ranked Southern Cal, who lost only 2 games all season - both to UCLA. In addition, UCLA lost at Notre Dame and had several other close calls (against Washington, Oregon, and Oregon State). In the Western Regional Final, the Bruins trailed Long Beach State by 11 points midway through the 2nd half and their star player Sidney Wicks was on the bench with 4 personal fouls. But Wicks returned and avoided his 5th foul (and disqualification), and the Bruins rallied to take a 55-53 lead. With 20 seconds remaining, Wicks sunk two clinching free throws and UCLA escaped 57-55.

In the championship game, UCLA jumped out to an early lead, but star players Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe struggled against Villanova's stingy zone defense. Only the outside shooting of Henry Bibby and a career best 29 points from center Steve Patterson kept the Bruins in the lead. In the meantime, Villanova stars Howard Porter and Chris Ford overcame early struggles to keep the Wildcats in the game. Midway through the 2nd half, UCLA coach John Wooden ordered the Bruins to go into a 4 corner stall offense (there was no shot clock in college in 1971), a tactic he rarely employed. Wooden said after the game he did so to bring Villanova out of their zone, and because he wanted to use the stage of the national championship game to show the NCAA that they should adopt a shot clock (something Wooden had long argued for). However, the tactic almost backfired as Villanova started forcing turnovers with an aggressive man to man defense. In addition, the stall took UCLA out of its offensive rhythm. Villanova closed the gap to 63-60 and had the ball with one minute to play. However, Porter missed a 15-foot off balance jumper, Wicks grabbed the rebound, and UCLA made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch as they won 68-62.

For the national 3rd place, Western Kentucky won over Kansas 77-75.[1]

In a situation similar to Villanova, Western Kentucky's placement in the tournament was vacated, due to an NCAA investigation that showed Jim McDaniels had signed a professional contract and accepted money during the 1970-71 season. Western Kentucky would be found in violation twice more in the next 10 years, earning the school a "lack of institutional control" violation.[2]

The total attendance for the tournament was 220,447, a new record. It was the largest crowd of 31,765 to see the championship game.[3]


The city of Houston became the 10th host city, and the Astrodome the 11th host venue, to host the Final Four. It was the first time the Final Four was held in the state of Texas, and the first time the Final Four was held in a domed stadium (or, for that matter, in a baseball or football venue of any kind), though the trend would not take off until the usage of the Louisiana Superdome eleven years later. The tournament saw six new venues used besides the Astrodome. The Mideast regional brought the tournament to the state of Georgia for the first time, with games held at the Georgia Coliseum on the campus of the University of Georgia. For the second time, the tournament came to the campus of the University of Utah, with the Special Events Center, a future Final Four venue, hosting games for the first time. The tournament came to West Virginia for the first time, with one of the three East sub-regional games held at the WVU Coliseum. In the Mideast sub-regional, the tournament came to its third new host city - South Bend, home of the University of Notre Dame and the Athletic & Convocation Center, just east of Notre Dame Stadium. In the Midwest sub-regional, the tournament began at the University of Houston's Hofheinz Pavilion, the on-campus home of the Houston Cougars. To date, this marks the last time two different parts of the tournament were held in the same city. In the West sub-regional, the tournament came to Logan and the campus of Utah State University for the first time, with games held at the USU Assembly Center (now known as the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum).

The tournament would mark the only time the Astrodome or the Georgia Coliseum were used. While Houston has continued to be a tournament host at various venues, this was the only time the tournament came to Athens.


Region Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East Duquesne John Manning First round Penn L 70-65
East Fordham Digger Phelps Regional Third Place South Carolina W 100-90
East Furman Joe Williams First round Fordham L 105-74
East Penn Dick Harter Regional Runner-up Villanova L 90-47
East South Carolina Frank McGuire Regional Fourth Place Fordham L 100-90
East Saint Joseph's Jack McKinney First round Villanova L 93-75
East Villanova Jack Kraft Runner Up UCLA L 68-62
Mideast Jacksonville Tom Wasdin First round Western Kentucky L 74-72
Mideast Kentucky Adolph Rupp Regional Fourth Place Marquette L 91-74
Mideast Marquette Al McGuire Regional Third Place Kentucky W 91-74
Mideast Miami (OH) Darrell Hedric First round Marquette L 62-47
Mideast Ohio State Fred Taylor Regional Runner-up Western Kentucky L 81-78
Mideast Western Kentucky Johnny Oldham Third Place Kansas W 77-75
Midwest Drake Maury John Regional Runner-up Kansas L 73-71
Midwest Houston Guy Lewis Regional Third Place Notre Dame W 119-106
Midwest Kansas Ted Owens Fourth Place Western Kentucky L 77-75
Midwest New Mexico State Lou Henson First round Houston L 72-69
Midwest Notre Dame Johnny Dee Regional Fourth Place Houston L 119-106
Midwest TCU Johnny Swaim First round Notre Dame L 102-94
West BYU Stan Watts Regional Fourth Place Pacific L 84-81
West Long Beach State Jerry Tarkanian Regional Runner-up UCLA L 57-55
West Pacific Dick Edwards Regional Third Place BYU W 84-81
West UCLA John Wooden Champion Villanova W 68-62
West Utah State LaDell Andersen First round BYU L 91-82
West Weber State Phil Johnson First round Long Beach State L 77-66


* - Denotes overtime period

East region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    South Carolina 64  
      Penn 79  
  Penn 70
    Duquesne 65  
      Penn 47
    Villanova 90
    Villanova 93  
  Saint Joseph's 75  
  Villanova 85
      Fordham 75  
  Fordham 105
    Furman 74  
East Regional Third Place
South Carolina 90
Fordham 100

Mideast region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Kentucky 83  
      Western Kentucky 107  
  Western Kentucky 74
    Jacksonville 72  
      Western Kentucky 81
    Ohio State 78*
  Ohio State 60
      Marquette 59  
  Marquette 62
    Miami (OH) 47  
Mideast Regional Third Place
Kentucky 74
Marquette 91

Midwest region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Kansas 78  
      Houston 77  
  Houston 72
    New Mexico State 69  
      Kansas 73
    Drake 71
  Drake 79
      Notre Dame 72*  
  Notre Dame 102
    TCU 94  
Midwest Regional Third Place
Houston 119
Notre Dame 106

West region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    UCLA 91  
      BYU 73  
  BYU 91
    Utah State 82  
      UCLA 57
    Long Beach State 55
  Pacific 65
      Long Beach State 78  
  Long Beach State 77
    Weber State 66  
West Regional Third Place
BYU 81
Pacific 84

Final Four

Kenny Booker of UCLA against Kansas in the Final Four.
  National Semifinals     National Championship Game
  E Villanova 92  
  ME Western Kentucky 89**    
      E Villanova 62
      W UCLA 68
  MW Kansas 60    
  W UCLA 68   National Third Place Game
ME Western Kentucky 77
  MW Kansas 75

Tournament notes

  • Jim McDaniels of Western Kentucky had 147 points, top scorer in the playoffs.
  • Austin Carr of Notre Dame scored 289 career tournament points in seven games.
  • As a result of the Villanova's forfeit to Penn, the 1971 Penn Quakers technically went undefeated but did not win the national championship. North Carolina State went undefeated in 1972-73 but did not win the national championship because they were on NCAA probation and were not eligible to participate in the NCAA tournament.

See also


  1. ^ 1972 Official Collegiate Basketball Guide, Published by College Athletics Publishing Service, Phoenix, Arizona
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Smith Barrier, "Unusual West Coast Watch Factory - They Don't Make Any, Just Win Them", 1972 Official Collegiate Basketball Guide, Published by College Athletics Publishing Service

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