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1977 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament

The 1977 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament involved 32 American schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the National Champion of Men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on Saturday, March 12, 1977, and ended with the championship game on Monday, March 28 in Atlanta. A total of 32 games were played, including a national third place game. This was the final tournament in which teams were not seeded.

1977 NCAA Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals siteThe Omni
ChampionsMarquette Warriors (1st title, 2nd title game,
2nd Final Four)
Runner-upNorth Carolina Tar Heels (4th title game,
7th Final Four)
Winning coachAl McGuire (1st title)
MOPButch Lee (Marquette)
Top scorerCedric Maxwell Charlotte
(123 points)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournaments
«1976 1978»

Marquette, coached by Al McGuire, won the national title with a 67–59 victory in the final game over North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith. Butch Lee of Marquette was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Publicly announcing his retirement during the middle of the season, McGuire retired as head coach immediately after the game.[1] UNLV and UNC Charlotte were third and fourth place, respectively.[2] Marquette's seven losses were a record at the time for the most losses in a season by a national champion, exceeded four years later in 1981 by Indiana with nine.

All four regionals were played on Thursday and Saturday.[3][4] The opening round the preceding weekend played twelve games on Saturday and four on Sunday.[5]

As of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, this was the last time the six Division I college basketball-playing schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan areaDrexel, La Salle, Penn, St. Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova – were collectively shut out of the NCAA Tournament.


Baton Rouge
1977 sites for first and second round games
College Park
Oklahoma City
1977 Regionals (blue) and Final Four (red)
Round Region Site Venue Host
First Round East Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The Palestra Pennsylvania/Temple
East Raleigh, North Carolina Reynolds Coliseum North Carolina State
Mideast Baton Rouge, Louisiana LSU Assembly Center Louisiana State
Mideast Bloomington, Indiana Assembly Hall Indiana
Midwest Norman, Oklahoma Lloyd Noble Center Oklahoma
Midwest Omaha, Nebraska Omaha Civic Auditorium Creighton
West Pocatello, Idaho ASISU Minidome Idaho State
West Tucson, Arizona McKale Center Arizona
Regionals East College Park, Maryland Cole Field House Maryland
Mideast Lexington, Kentucky Rupp Arena Kentucky
Midwest Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Myriad Convention Center Oklahoma State
West Provo, Utah Marriott Center Brigham Young
Final Four Atlanta, Georgia The Omni Georgia Tech

The 1977 tournament saw Atlanta become the sixteenth host city to the Final Four, something it has done thrice since (all at the Georgia Dome, with a fourth time upcoming in 2020 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium). As of 2019, Atlanta is the last city to host the Final Four as the first time the area had hosted portions of the tournament and the Omni Coliseum would be the last facility until 2019 to host the Final Four without hosting a previous tournament. Three cities – Bloomington, Indiana, Norman, Oklahoma and Omaha, Nebraska – were hosts to the tournament for the first time; of those three, Norman has not hosted since. Also, the tournament returned to Oklahoma City for just the second time ever; it would be another 17 years before it would host again, however.


Region Team Coach Finished Final opponent Score
East Duquesne John Cinicola Round of 32 VMI L 73–66
East Hofstra Roger Gaeckler Round of 32 Notre Dame L 90–83
East Kentucky Joe B. Hall Regional Runner-up North Carolina L 79–72
East North Carolina Dean Smith Runner Up Marquette L 67–59
East Notre Dame Digger Phelps Sweet Sixteen North Carolina L 79–77
East Princeton Pete Carril Round of 32 Kentucky L 72–58
East Purdue Fred Schaus Round of 32 North Carolina L 69–66
East VMI Charlie Schmaus Sweet Sixteen Kentucky L 93–78
Mideast Central Michigan Dick Parfitt Round of 32 Charlotte L 91–86
Mideast Charlotte Lee Rose Fourth Place UNLV L 106–94
Mideast Detroit Dick Vitale Sweet Sixteen Michigan L 86–81
Mideast Holy Cross George Blaney Round of 32 Michigan L 92–81
Mideast Michigan Johnny Orr Regional Runner-up Charlotte L 75–68
Mideast Middle Tennessee State Jimmy Earle Round of 32 Detroit L 93–76
Mideast Syracuse Jim Boeheim Sweet Sixteen Charlotte L 81–59
Mideast Tennessee Ray Mears Round of 32 Syracuse L 93–88
Midwest Arizona Fred Snowden Round of 32 Southern Illinois L 81–77
Midwest Arkansas Eddie Sutton Round of 32 Wake Forest L 86–80
Midwest Cincinnati Gale Catlett Round of 32 Marquette L 66–51
Midwest Kansas State Jack Hartman Sweet Sixteen Marquette L 67–66
Midwest Marquette Al McGuire Champion North Carolina W 67–59
Midwest Providence Dave Gavitt Round of 32 Kansas State L 87–80
Midwest Southern Illinois Paul Lambert Sweet Sixteen Wake Forest L 86–81
Midwest Wake Forest Carl Tacy Regional Runner-up Marquette L 82–68
West Idaho State Jim Killingsworth Regional Runner-up UNLV L 107–90
West Long Beach State Dwight Jones Round of 32 Idaho State 83–72
West Louisville Denny Crum Round of 32 UCLA L 87–79
West San Francisco Bob Gaillard Round of 32 UNLV L 121–95
West St. John's Lou Carnesecca Round of 32 Utah L 72–68
West UCLA Gene Bartow Sweet Sixteen Idaho State L 76–75
West UNLV Jerry Tarkanian Third Place Charlotte W 106–94
West Utah Jerry Pimm Sweet Sixteen UNLV L 83–88


* – Denotes overtime period

East regionEdit

Cole Field HouseCollege Park, Maryland[3][4]
First round games were played at Raleigh, North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 12.[5]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
VMI 73
Duquesne 66
VMI 78
Kentucky 93
Kentucky 72
Princeton 58
Kentucky 72
North Carolina 79
Notre Dame 90
Hofstra 83
Notre Dame 77
North Carolina 79
North Carolina 69
Purdue 66

West regionEdit

Most of the excitement surrounding the Western Regional was the anticipated matchup between top-five-ranked teams UCLA and UNLV. Jerry Tarkanian had lost three times in the tournament to UCLA while he was at Long Beach State, including a heartbreaking 57–55 loss in the 1971 West Regional final in which Long Beach led by eleven in the second half. Many felt this UNLV team gave him the best opportunity to beat his longtime nemesis. But he never got the chance as UCLA was stunned in the regional semi final by unranked Idaho State of the Big Sky Conference.[6][7][8] This was the first time since 1963 that UCLA made the tournament but failed to get to the Final Four. Down by a point at halftime, UNLV went on to easily beat Idaho State 107–90.[9]

Marriott CenterProvo, Utah[3][4]
First round games were played at Pocatello, Idaho and Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, March 12.[5]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
Louisville 79
Idaho State 76
Idaho State 83
Long Beach State 72
Idaho State 90
UNLV 107
Utah 72
St. John's 68
Utah 83
UNLV 121
San Francisco 95

Mideast regionEdit

Rupp ArenaLexington, Kentucky[3][4]
First round games were played at Bloomington, Indiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday, March 13.[5]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
Michigan 92
Holy Cross 81
Michigan 86
Detroit 81
Detroit 93
Middle Tennessee State 76
Michigan 68
Charlotte 75
Charlotte 91
Central Michigan 86*
Charlotte 81
Syracuse 59
Syracuse 93
Tennessee 88*

Midwest regionEdit

Myriad Convention CenterOklahoma City, Oklahoma[3][4]
First round games were played at Omaha, Nebraska and Norman, Oklahoma on Saturday, March 12.[5]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
Marquette 66
Cincinnati 51
Marquette 67
  Kansas State 66
Kansas State 87
Providence 80
Marquette 82
Wake Forest 68
Wake Forest 86
Arkansas 80
Wake Forest 86
Southern Illinois 81
Southern Illinois 81
Arizona 77

Final FourEdit

Omni ColiseumAtlanta, Georgia

  National Semifinals     National Championship Game
  E North Carolina 84  
  W UNLV 83    
      E North Carolina 59
      MW Marquette 67
  ME UNC Charlotte 49    
  MW Marquette 51   National Third Place Game
W UNLV 106
  ME UNC Charlotte 94

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Marquette wins 1st NCAA title, 67-59, in McGuire's last game". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 29, 1977. p. 1, part 1.
  2. ^ "Basketball: NCAA Championship". St. Petersburg Independent. March 29, 1977. p. 2C.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Thursday pairings". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 17, 1977. p. 4, part 2.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Now Idaho State aims at Vegas". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. March 19, 1977. p. 4, part 2.
  5. ^ a b c d e "NCAA pairings". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 12, 1977. p. 2, part 2.
  6. ^ Benson, Lee (March 18, 1977). "Utes fall short, Idaho State stuns UCLA". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. p. 6B.
  7. ^ "ISU has greatest win". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. March 18, 1977. p. 21.
  8. ^ "UCLA becomes the obscure one". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. wire services. March 18, 1977. p. 1B.
  9. ^ "Tark's ploy sends Rebels past Bengals". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. wire services. March 20, 1977. p. 1B.