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|
|Finals site||The Omni|
|Champions||Marquette Warriors (1st title, 2nd title game,|
2nd Final Four)
|Runner-up||North Carolina Tar Heels (4th title game,|
7th Final Four)
|Winning coach||Al McGuire (1st title)|
|MOP||Butch Lee (Marquette)|
|Top scorer||Cedric Maxwell Charlotte|
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. UNLV and UNC Charlotte were third and fourth place, respectively. 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.
As of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, this was the last time the six Division I college basketball-playing schools in the Philadelphia metropolitan area – Drexel, La Salle, Penn, St. Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova – were collectively shut out of the NCAA Tournament.
|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.
|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
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. 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.
|Long Beach State||72|
|Middle Tennessee State||76|
Omni Coliseum – Atlanta, Georgia
|National Semifinals||National Championship Game|
|MW||Marquette||51||National Third Place Game|
- "Marquette wins 1st NCAA title, 67-59, in McGuire's last game". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 29, 1977. p. 1, part 1.
- "Basketball: NCAA Championship". St. Petersburg Independent. March 29, 1977. p. 2C.
- "Thursday pairings". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 17, 1977. p. 4, part 2.
- "Now Idaho State aims at Vegas". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. March 19, 1977. p. 4, part 2.
- "NCAA pairings". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 12, 1977. p. 2, part 2.
- Benson, Lee (March 18, 1977). "Utes fall short, Idaho State stuns UCLA". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. p. 6B.
- "ISU has greatest win". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. Associated Press. March 18, 1977. p. 21.
- "UCLA becomes the obscure one". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. wire services. March 18, 1977. p. 1B.
- "Tark's ploy sends Rebels past Bengals". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. wire services. March 20, 1977. p. 1B.