1972 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament

The 1972 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament involved 25 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of NCAA University Division (now Division I) college basketball. It began on Saturday, March 11, and ended with the championship game in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 25. A total of 29 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.

1972 NCAA University Division
Basketball Tournament
NCAA 70s logo.svg
NCAA logo from 1971 to 1979
Finals siteMemorial Sports Arena
Los Angeles, California
ChampionsUCLA Bruins (8th title, 8th title game,
9th Final Four)
Runner-upFlorida State Seminoles (1st title game,
1st Final Four)
Winning coachJohn Wooden (8th title)
MOPBill Walton (UCLA)
Top scorerJim Price Louisville
(103 points)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournaments
«1971 1973»

Led by longtime head coach John Wooden, the undefeated UCLA Bruins won the national title with an 81–76 victory in the final game over Florida State, coached by Hugh Durham. Sophomore center Bill Walton of UCLA was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player;[1][2][3] the first of two consecutive.

In a historically significant note, the Southwestern Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns made the tournament in their first season of eligibility for postseason play; the next to achieve this feat was North Dakota State in 2009.[4] SW Louisiana also made the tournament in 1973, but due to major infractions that resulted in the basketball program receiving the NCAA death penalty (and very nearly expelled from the NCAA altogether), both appearances have since been vacated and the records expunged.

This was the last year in which the championship game was played on Saturday; it moved to Monday night in 1973.


Round Region Site Venue Host
First Round East Jamaica, New York Alumni Hall St. John's
East Princeton, New Jersey Jadwin Gymnasium Princeton
East Williamsburg, Virginia William & Mary Hall William & Mary
Mideast Knoxville, Tennessee Stokely Athletic Center Tennessee
Midwest Las Cruces, New Mexico Pan American Center NMSU
West Pocatello, Idaho ASISU Minidome Idaho State
Regionals East Morgantown, West Virginia WVU Coliseum West Virginia
Mideast Dayton, Ohio University of Dayton Arena Dayton
Midwest Ames, Iowa Hilton Coliseum Iowa State
West Provo, Utah Marriott Center BYU
Final Four Los Angeles, California Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena USC

For the second time, the city of Los Angeles and the LA Memorial Sports Arena hosted the Final Four. To date, this is the last Final Four to be held in the city, although the city and region continue to host games to this day. The tournament saw five new venues and three new host cities used for the first time. For the first time, the tournament came to the campus of Iowa State University and the Hilton Coliseum, then in its first year of operation. The first games held in the state of Tennessee were held this year at the Stokely Athletic Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. For the third time, games were held in the state of Virginia, this time at William & Mary Hall on the campus of the College of William & Mary.

Games were held at the brand-new Marriott Center, then the largest basketball arena in the country, on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, replacing the Smith Fieldhouse. And at Idaho State University in Pocatello, games were held in the two-year-old Minidome, having previously been played at Reed Gym in 1957. To date, this is the last time games were held at either the Hilton Coliseum or at Jadwin Gymnasium on the campus of Princeton University, the only Ivy League gymnasium other than the Palestra used in the tournament.


Region Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East East Carolina Tom Quinn First round Villanova L 85–70
East North Carolina Dean Smith Third Place Louisville W 105–91
East Penn Chuck Daly Regional Runner-up North Carolina L 73–59
East Providence Dave Gavitt First round Penn L 76–60
East South Carolina Frank McGuire Regional Third Place Villanova W 90–78
East Temple Harry Litwack First round South Carolina L 53–51
East Villanova Jack Kraft Regional Fourth Place South Carolina L 90–78
Mideast Eastern Kentucky Guy Strong First round Florida State L 83–81
Mideast Florida State Hugh Durham Runner Up UCLA L 81–76
Mideast Kentucky Adolph Rupp Regional Runner-up Florida State L 73–54
Mideast Marquette Al McGuire Regional Fourth Place Minnesota L 77–72
Mideast Minnesota Bill Musselman Regional Third Place Marquette W 77–72
Mideast Ohio James Snyder First round Marquette L 73–49
Midwest Houston Guy Lewis First round Texas L 85–74
Midwest Kansas State Jack Hartman Regional Runner-up Louisville L 72–65
Midwest Southwestern Louisiana (Vacated) Beryl Shipley Regional Third Place Texas W 100–70
Midwest Louisville Denny Crum Fourth Place North Carolina L 105–91
Midwest Marshall Carl Tacy First round Southwestern Louisiana L 112–101
Midwest Texas Leon Black Regional Fourth Place Southwestern Louisiana L 100–70
West BYU Stan Watts First round Long Beach State L 95–90
West Hawaii Red Rocha First round Weber State L 91–64
West Long Beach State Jerry Tarkanian Regional Runner-up UCLA L 73–57
West San Francisco Bob Gaillard Regional Third Place Weber State W 74–64
West UCLA John Wooden Champion Florida State W 81–76
West Weber State Gene Visscher Regional Fourth Place San Francisco L 74–64


* – Denotes overtime period

East regionEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    North Carolina 92  
      South Carolina 69  
  South Carolina 53
    Temple 51  
      North Carolina 73
    Penn 59
    Penn 76  
  Providence 60  
  Penn 78
      Villanova 67  
  Villanova 85
    East Carolina 70  
East Regional Third Place
South Carolina 90
Villanova 78

Mideast regionEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Minnesota 56  
      Florida State 70  
  Florida State 83
    Eastern Kentucky 81  
      Florida State 73
    Kentucky 54
  Kentucky 85
      Marquette 69  
  Marquette 73
    Ohio 49  
Mideast Regional Third Place
Minnesota 77
Marquette 72

Midwest regionEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Louisville 88  
      Southwest Louisiana 84  
  Southwest Louisiana 112
    Marshall 101  
      Louisville 72
    Kansas State 65
  Kansas State 66
      Texas 55  
  Texas 85
    Houston 74  
Midwest Regional Third Place
Southwestern Louisiana 100
Texas 70

West regionEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    UCLA 90  
      Weber State 58  
  Weber State 91
    Hawaii 64  
      UCLA 73
    Long Beach State 57
  San Francisco 55
      Long Beach State 75  
  Long Beach State 95
    BYU 90*  
West Regional Third Place
Weber State 64
San Francisco 74

Final FourEdit

  National Semifinals
Thursday, March 23
    National Championship Game
Saturday, March 25
  E North Carolina 75  
  ME Florida State 79    
      ME Florida State 76
      W UCLA 81
  MW Louisville 77    
  W UCLA 96   National Third Place Game
Saturday, March 25
E North Carolina 105
  MW Louisville 91

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kirkpatrick, Curry (April 3, 1972). "Oh, Johnny, Oh, Johnny Oh!". Sports Illustrated. p. 30.
  2. ^ "Super soph Bill Walton sparkles; Bruins earn another NCAA title". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 26, 1972. p. 1, sports.
  3. ^ "It was the same old story-- Bruins win NCAA crown". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. March 26, 1972. p. 1D.
  4. ^ "Woodside hits jumper with 3 seconds left to push N. Dakota St. to Summit title". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2009-03-11.