1976 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament

The 1976 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament involved 32 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 13, 1976, and ended with the championship game on March 29 in Philadelphia. A total of 32 games were played, including a national third place game.

1976 NCAA Division I
Basketball Tournament
NCAA 70s logo.svg
NCAA logo from 1971 to 1979
Finals siteThe Spectrum
Philadelphia, PA
ChampionsIndiana Hoosiers (3rd title, 3rd title game,
4th Final Four)
Runner-upMichigan Wolverines (2nd title game,
3rd Final Four)
Winning coachBob Knight (1st title)
MOPKent Benson (Indiana)
Top scorerScott May Indiana
(113 points)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournaments
«1975 1977»

Indiana, coached by Bob Knight, won the national title with an 86–68 victory in the final game over Michigan, coached by Johnny Orr. Kent Benson of Indiana was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Notably, this was the first time that two teams from the same conference (the Big Ten) played in the title game. Also, this was the last men's Division I tournament to date to feature two unbeaten teams, as both Indiana and Rutgers entered the tournament unbeaten. To date, Indiana is the last team to go the entire season undefeated at 32–0. Both advanced to the Final Four, with Indiana winning the title and Rutgers losing to Michigan in the semifinals and UCLA in the third-place game.

This tournament was also the first since the creation of the NCAA men's tournament in 1939 in which no regional third-place games were played. In the first two NCAA tournaments (1939 and 1940), the West Regional held a third-place game, but the East (the only other regional of that day) did not. The East began holding its own third-place game in 1941, and from that point through 1975 each regional held a third-place game. This was the second year of the 32-team field, and the NCAA announced the selections several days prior to the end of the regular season.[1][2]

As site of the Continental Congress and signing of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia also served as host for the 1976 NBA All-Star Game, the 1976 National Hockey League All-Star Game, and the 1976 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at which President Ford threw out the first pitch.[3] The 1976 Pro Bowl was an exception and was played in New Orleans, likely due to weather concerns.


South Bend
1976 first round
Baton Rouge
Los Angeles
1976 Regionals (blue) and Final Four (red)
Round Region Site Venue Host
First Round East Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte Coliseum UNC Charlotte
East Providence, Rhode Island Providence Civic Center Providence
Mideast Dayton, Ohio University of Dayton Arena Dayton
Mideast South Bend, Indiana Athletic & Convocation Center Notre Dame
Midwest Denton, Texas UNT Coliseum North Texas
Midwest Lawrence, Kansas Allen Fieldhouse Kansas
West Eugene, Oregon McArthur Court Oregon
West Tempe, Arizona ASU Activity Center Arizona State
Regionals East Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro Memorial Coliseum Atlantic Coast Conference
Mideast Baton Rouge, Louisiana LSU Assembly Center LSU
Midwest Louisville, Kentucky Freedom Hall Louisville
West Los Angeles, California Pauley Pavilion UCLA
Final Four Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Spectrum Drexel/Penn/Temple/Villanova

Philadelphia became the 15th city, and the Spectrum the 16th venue, to host a Final Four. It was just the third active NBA arena to host a Final Four, after the old Madison Square Garden and the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Like the majority of previous Final Four venues, this was the Spectrum's first time hosting tournament games of any kind, a practice which mostly died shortly after; the NCAA made it a practice to have Final Four venues have at least a "test run" hosting earlier games the year before by the 1980s. Other than the Spectrum, only one other arena made its debut in 1976. The LSU Assembly Center made its debut in the 1976 tournament, the first time the city of Baton Rouge hosted games, and the first time since 1942 that the state of Louisiana hosted. All the venues in the tournament saw action since this tournament, although this would mark the final time for the Charlotte Coliseum to host a regional round; it would only host sub-regionals afterwards.


Region Team Coach Finished Final opponent Score
East Connecticut Dee Rowe Sweet Sixteen Rutgers L 93–79
East DePaul Ray Meyer Sweet Sixteen VMI L 71–66
East Hofstra Roger Gaeckler Round of 32 Connecticut L 80–78
East Princeton Pete Carril Round of 32 Rutgers L 54–53
East Rutgers Tom Young Fourth Place UCLA L 106–92
East Tennessee Ray Mears Round of 32 VMI L 81–75
East Virginia Terry Holland Round of 32 DePaul L 69–60
East VMI Bill Blair Regional Runner-up Rutgers L 91–75
Mideast Alabama C. M. Newton Sweet Sixteen Indiana L 74–69
Mideast Indiana Bob Knight Champion Michigan W 86–68
Mideast Marquette Al McGuire Regional Runner-up Indiana L 65–56
Mideast North Carolina Dean Smith Round of 32 Alabama L 79–64
Mideast St. John's Lou Carnesecca Round of 32 Indiana L 90–70
Mideast Virginia Tech Don DeVoe Round of 32 Western Michigan L 77–67
Mideast Western Kentucky Jim Richards Round of 32 Marquette L 79–60
Mideast Western Michigan Eldon Miller Sweet Sixteen Marquette L 62–57
Midwest Cincinnati Gale Catlett Round of 32 Notre Dame L 79–78
Midwest Michigan Johnny Orr Runner Up Indiana L 86–68
Midwest Missouri Norm Stewart Regional Runner-up Michigan L 95–88
Midwest Notre Dame Digger Phelps Sweet Sixteen Michigan L 80–76
Midwest Syracuse Roy Danforth Round of 32 Texas Tech L 69–56
Midwest Texas Tech Gerald Myers Sweet Sixteen Missouri L 86–75
Midwest Washington Marv Harshman Round of 32 Missouri L 69–67
Midwest Wichita State Harry Miller Round of 32 Michigan L 74–73
West Arizona Fred Snowden Regional Runner-up UCLA L 82–66
West Boise State Bus Connor Round of 32 UNLV L 103–78
West Georgetown John Thompson Round of 32 Arizona L 83–76
West Memphis State Wayne Yates Round of 32 Pepperdine L 87–77
West UNLV Jerry Tarkanian Sweet Sixteen Arizona L 114–109
West Pepperdine Gary Colson Sweet Sixteen UCLA L 70–61
West San Diego State Tim Vezie Round of 32 UCLA L 74–64
West UCLA Gene Bartow Third Place Rutgers W 106–92


* – Denotes overtime period

East region – Greensboro, North CarolinaEdit

Quarterfinals Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
DePaul 69
Virginia 60
DePaul 66*
VMI 71
VMI 82
Tennessee 75
VMI 75
Rutgers 91
Rutgers 54
Princeton 53
Rutgers 93
Connecticut 79
Connecticut 80
Hofstra 78*

Midwest region – Louisville, KentuckyEdit

Quarterfinals Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
Michigan 74
Wichita State 73
Michigan 80
Notre Dame 76
Notre Dame 79
Cincinnati 78
Michigan 95
Missouri 88
Missouri 69
Washington 67
Missouri 86
Texas Tech 75
Texas Tech 69
Syracuse 56

Mideast region – Baton Rouge, LouisianaEdit

Quarterfinals Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
Alabama 79
North Carolina 64
Alabama 69
Indiana 74
Indiana 90
St. John's 70
Indiana 65
Marquette 56
Marquette 79
Western Kentucky 60
Marquette 62
Western Michigan 57
Western Michigan 77
Virginia Tech 67*

West region – Los AngelesEdit

Quarterfinals Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
Pepperdine 87
Memphis State 77
Pepperdine 61
San Diego State 64
Arizona 66
UNLV 103
Boise State 78
UNLV 109*
Arizona 114
Arizona 83
Georgetown 76

Final Four – Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaEdit

  National Semifinals     National Championship Game
  E Rutgers 70  
  MW Michigan 86    
      MW Michigan 68
      ME Indiana 86
  ME Indiana 65    
  W UCLA 51   National Third Place Game
E Rutgers 92
  W UCLA 106

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Huskies get NCAA berth". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 5, 1976. p. 28.
  2. ^ "NCAA picture". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). UPI. March 5, 1976. p. 2D.
  3. ^ Lyon, Bill (17 March 2009). "Sports helped Philly celebrate Bicentennial". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-30.