1973 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament

The 1973 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament involved 25 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA University Division (now Division I, created later in 1973) college basketball. It began on Saturday, March 10, and ended with the championship game on Monday, March 26, in St. Louis, Missouri. A total of 29 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.

1973 NCAA University Division
Basketball Tournament
NCAA 70s logo.svg
NCAA logo from 1971 to 1979
Finals siteSt. Louis Arena
St. Louis, Missouri
ChampionsUCLA Bruins (9th title, 9th title game,
10th Final Four)
Runner-upMemphis State Tigers (1st title game,
1st Final Four)
Winning coachJohn Wooden (9th title)
MOPBill Walton (UCLA)
Top scorerErnie DiGregorio Providence
(128 points)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournaments
«1972 1974»

Led by longtime head coach John Wooden, the UCLA Bruins won their seventh consecutive national title with an 87–66 victory in the final game over Memphis State, coached by Gene Bartow, a future head coach at UCLA. Junior center Bill Walton of UCLA was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

This was the first year that the championship game was held on a Monday night, with Saturday semifinals. Previously, the championship game was on Saturday, with the semifinals on either Thursday or Friday. Also, this was the first year matchups in the semifinals rotated; previously, it was East vs. Mideast and West vs. Midwest every year.

Tournament notesEdit

The UCLA – Memphis State championship game made USA Today's list of the greatest NCAA tournament games of all time at #18.[1] Bill Walton set a championship game record, hitting 21 of 22 shots and scoring 44 points.

This tournament marked the first appearance of Bob Knight as coach of Indiana University.

The participation for this tournament, as well as the previous tournament, for Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) was vacated on August 5, 1973, when the NCAA Committee on Infractions ruled the university guilty of over 100 violations, including impermissible benefits and doctoring high school transcripts of players. USL's program was shut down for the 1973–74 and 1974–75 seasons, all other Ragin Cajun' athletic programs were placed on three years' probation and banned from postseason participation, and the university was stripped of voting rights at the NCAA convention until 1977 (the NCAA originally planned to expel USL from the organization, but that sanction was downgraded in January 1974).


Round Region Site Venue Host
First Round East Jamaica, New York Alumni Hall St. John's
East Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Palestra Drexel/Penn/Temple
East Williamsburg, Virginia William & Mary Hall William & Mary
Mideast Dayton, Ohio University of Dayton Arena Dayton
Midwest Wichita, Kansas Levitt Arena Wichita State
West Logan, Utah Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Utah State
Regionals East Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte Coliseum UNC Charlotte
Mideast Nashville, Tennessee Memorial Gymnasium Vanderbilt
Midwest Houston, Texas Hofheinz Pavilion Houston/Rice/Texas Southern
West Los Angeles, California Pauley Pavilion UCLA
Final Four St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Arena Missouri Valley Conference/St. Louis

The city of St. Louis became the 12th host city, and the St. Louis Arena became the thirteenth host venue, of the Final Four. The arena, home to the St. Louis Blues of the NHL and, at the time, the St. Louis Billikens basketball team, was the first of five straight venues to host the Final Four for the first time, and it was the first time the tournament was held in the city of St. Louis as well. Besides the St. Louis Arena, only one other venue made its debut in the tournament. For the second straight year, the tournament opened a new city in the state of Tennessee; this time, it was the capital city of Nashville. Memorial Gym on the campus of Vanderbilt University would go on to host the tournament four times overall before tournament games in the city were moved to the downtown Bridgestone Arena in 2000. Additionally, only one venue saw its final games in the 1972 Tournament, with William & Mary Hall ending its usage in the tournament. The tournament has come back to the state of Virginia twice since, both times being at the Richmond Coliseum in the capital city of Richmond.


Region Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East Furman Joe Williams First round Syracuse L 83–82
East Maryland Lefty Driesell Regional Runner-up Providence L 103–89
East Penn Chuck Daly Regional Fourth Place Syracuse L 69–68
East Providence Dave Gavitt Fourth Place Indiana L 97–79
East St. John's Frank Mulzoff First round Penn L 62–61
East Saint Joseph's Jack McKinney First round Providence L 89–76
East Syracuse Roy Danforth Regional Third Place Penn W 69–68
Mideast Austin Peay Lake Kelly Regional Fourth Place Marquette L 88–73
Mideast Indiana Bob Knight Third Place Providence W 97–79
Mideast Jacksonville Tom Wasdin First round Austin Peay L 77–75
Mideast Kentucky Joe B. Hall Regional Runner-up Indiana L 72–65
Mideast Marquette Al McGuire Regional Third Place Austin Peay W 88–73
Mideast Miami (OH) Darrell Hedric First round Marquette L 77–62
Midwest Houston Guy Lewis First round Southwestern Louisiana L 102–89
Midwest Kansas State Jack Hartman Regional Runner-up Memphis State L 92–72
Midwest Southwestern Louisiana (Vacated) Beryl Shipley Regional Fourth Place South Carolina L 90–85
Midwest Memphis State Gene Bartow Runner Up UCLA L 87–66
Midwest South Carolina Frank McGuire Regional Third Place Southwestern Louisiana W 90–85
Midwest Texas Tech Gerald Myers First round South Carolina L 78–70
West Arizona State Ned Wulk Regional Fourth Place Long Beach State L 84–80
West Long Beach State Jerry Tarkanian Regional Third Place Arizona State W 84–80
West Oklahoma City Abe Lemons First round Arizona State L 103–78
West San Francisco Bob Gaillard Regional Runner-up UCLA L 54–39
West UCLA John Wooden Champion Memphis State W 87–66
West Weber State Gene Visscher First round Long Beach State L 88–75


* – Denotes overtime period

East regionEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Maryland 91  
      Syracuse 75  
  Syracuse 83
    Furman 82  
      Maryland 89
    Providence 103
    Penn 62  
  St. John's 61  
  Penn 65
      Providence 87  
  Providence 89
    Saint Joseph's 76  
East Regional Third Place
Syracuse 69
Penn 68

Mideast regionEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Indiana 75  
      Marquette 69  
  Marquette 77
    Miami (OH) 62  
      Indiana 72
    Kentucky 65
  Kentucky 106
      Austin Peay 100*  
  Austin Peay 77
    Jacksonville 75  
Mideast Regional Third Place
Marquette 88
Austin Peay 73

Midwest regionEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Memphis State 90  
      South Carolina 76  
  South Carolina 78
    Texas Tech 70  
      Memphis State 92
    Kansas State 72
  Kansas State 66
      Southwest Louisiana 63  
  Southwestern Louisiana 102
    Houston 89  
Midwest Regional Third Place
South Carolina 90
Southwestern Louisiana 85

West regionEdit

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    UCLA 98  
      Arizona State 81  
  Arizona State 103
    Oklahoma City 78  
      UCLA 54
    San Francisco 39
  San Francisco 77
      Long Beach State 67  
  Long Beach State 88
    Weber State 75  
West Regional Third Place
Arizona State 80
Long Beach State 84

Final FourEdit

UCLA won its seventh consecutive championship and ninth in ten seasons
  National Semifinals
Saturday, March 24
    National Championship Game
Monday, March 26
  E Providence 85  
  MW Memphis State 98    
      MW Memphis State 66
      W UCLA 87
  ME Indiana 59    
  W UCLA 70   National Third Place Game
ME Indiana 97
  E Providence 79


The 1973 NC State Wolfpack team averaged 93 ppg, led the nation in win margin (21.8 ppg), and posted a 27–0 record, but was ineligible for postseason play because of NCAA probation. David Thompson, a two-time national Player of the Year, and All-America Tom Burleson, led NC State to a 30–1 record the following season, losing only to seven-time defending champion UCLA. The Wolfpack avenged its only loss during the two-year period by defeating UCLA in the 1974 Final Four and winning the title.

Gene Bartow, the Memphis State coach, would be John Wooden's successor at UCLA after the 1974–1975 season.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mike Douchant – Greatest 63 games in NCAA Tournament history. The Sports Xchange, published in USA Today, March 25, 2002