1978 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament
The 1978 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 11, 1978, and ended with the championship game on March 27 in St. Louis, Missouri. A total of 32 games were played, including a national third place game.
|1978 NCAA Division I|
|Finals site||The Checkerdome|
St. Louis, Missouri
|Champions||Kentucky Wildcats (5th title, 7th title game,|
8th Final Four)
|Runner-up||Duke Blue Devils (2nd title game,|
4th Final Four)
|Winning coach||Joe B. Hall (1st title)|
|MOP||Jack Givens (Kentucky)|
|Top scorer||Mike Gminski Duke|
The process of seeding the bracket was first used in this tournament. Sixteen conference winners with automatic bids were seeded 1 through 4 in each region. At-large teams were seeded 1 through 4 in each region separately. There were in fact only eleven true at-large teams in the field, as the remaining five were conference winners with automatic bids and seeded as "at-large." The practice of distinguishing between automatic and at-large teams ended with this edition; the expanded field of forty in the 1979 tournament was simply seeded from one to ten in each of the four regions.
Led by head coach Joe B. Hall, Kentucky won its fifth national title with a 94–88 victory over Duke, coached by Bill Foster. Wildcat forward Jack Givens scored 41 points in the finale and was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
The bracket's biggest upset came in the first round, when little-heralded Miami (Ohio) defeated defending champion Marquette 84-81 in overtime. The victory was even sweeter for Miami Redskins (now RedHawks) fans as former Marquette coach Al McGuire had earlier strongly criticized the NCAA for potentially matching Marquette against Kentucky in the second round, with Marquette being given a first-round opponent in Miami that was supposedly not even worthy of providing an adequate tune-up game.
Unranked Cal State Fullerton (CSUF) pulled off two upsets, first over 4th ranked New Mexico (coached by Norm Ellenberger and led by Michael Cooper) and then over top-10 San Francisco (featuring Bill Cartwright). The loss was especially painful for New Mexico as the regional semifinals and finals were held on the Lobos' home court in Albuquerque. CSUF then almost upset Arkansas in the West Regional final, losing by 3 points. In each of the three games, the Titans overcame second-half double-digit deficits. In the Arkansas game, they cut a big deficit to 1 and had the ball with 14 seconds left. But Arkansas' Jim Counce stole the ball from Keith Anderson (many observers felt Anderson was fouled) and drove down to hit a clinching layup.
In the Mideast regional final, Kentucky knocked off top-seeded Michigan State, led by freshman Earvin "Magic" Johnson. This was the only time in a 4-year period (that included his senior year in high school, 2 years of college, and his rookie NBA season) that Magic's team did not win its final game of the playoffs and hence the championship.
The Final Four games (semifinals, third-place, and championship) at St. Louis Arena (a.k.a. The Checkerdome) were not played on the arena's official floor. Water damage to it forced the NCAA to borrow the floor from Indiana University's Assembly Hall in Bloomington.
This was the fourth and last year for a 32-team bracket; the field expanded to forty teams in 1979 and 48 in 1980, all seeded. The 64-team field debuted in 1985, eliminating byes for the top seeds (1979–1984). The third-place game at the Final Four was last played in 1981.
|First Round||East||Charlotte, North Carolina||Charlotte Coliseum||UNC Charlotte|
|East||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||The Palestra||Pennsylvania/Temple|
|Mideast||Indianapolis, Indiana||Market Square Arena||Butler/IUPUI|
|Mideast||Knoxville, Tennessee||Stokely Athletic Center||Tennessee|
|Midwest||Tulsa, Oklahoma||Mabee Center||Oral Roberts/Tulsa|
|Midwest||Wichita, Kansas||Levitt Arena||Wichita State|
|West||Eugene, Oregon||McArthur Court||Oregon|
|West||Tempe, Arizona||ASU Activity Center||Arizona State|
|Regionals||East||Providence, Rhode Island||Providence Civic Center||Providence College|
|Mideast||Dayton, Ohio||University of Dayton Arena||Dayton|
|Midwest||Lawrence, Kansas||Allen Fieldhouse||Kansas|
|West||Albuquerque, New Mexico||University Arena ("The Pit")||New Mexico|
|Final Four||St. Louis, Missouri||The Checkerdome||Missouri Valley Conference/St. Louis University|
For the second time in six years, St. Louis was chosen as the host city for the Final Four, the eighth city to host multiple times. There were no new host cities for the first time since 1950, but one new venue, Market Square Arena, marking the first time since 1940 that the tournament returned to Indianapolis, now a common site of Final Fours. The tournament did mark the last time it would be held at McArthur Court, as it has not returned to Eugene since. It was also the last time the regionals would be held in historic Allen Fieldhouse, something it did eight times.
|East||1Q||Duke||Bill E. Foster||Runner Up||Kentucky||L 94–88|
|East||3Q||Furman||Joe Williams||Round of 32||Indiana||L 63–62|
|East||1L||Indiana||Bob Knight||Sweet Sixteen||Villanova||L 61–60|
|East||4L||La Salle||Paul Westhead||Round of 32||Villanova||L 103–97|
|East||4Q||Penn||Bob Weinhauer||Sweet Sixteen||Duke||L 84–80|
|East||3L||Rhode Island||Jack Kraft||Round of 32||Duke||L 63–62|
|East||2L||St. Bonaventure||Jim Satalin||Round of 32||Penn||L 92–83|
|East||2Q||Villanova||Rollie Massimino||Regional Runner-up||Duke||L 90–72|
|Mideast||4L||Florida State||Hugh Durham||Round of 32||Kentucky||L 85–76|
|Mideast||2Q||Kentucky||Joe B. Hall||Champion||Duke||W 94–88|
|Mideast||1L||Marquette||Hank Raymonds||Round of 32||Miami (OH)||L 84–81|
|Mideast||3Q||Miami (OH)||Darrell Hedric||Sweet Sixteen||Kentucky||L 91–69|
|Mideast||1Q||Michigan State||Jud Heathcote||Regional Runner-up||Kentucky||L 52–49|
|Mideast||3L||Providence||Dave Gavitt||Round of 32||Michigan State||L 77–63|
|Mideast||2L||Syracuse||Jim Boeheim||Round of 32||Western Kentucky||L 87–86|
|Mideast||4Q||Western Kentucky||Jim Richards||Sweet Sixteen||Michigan State||L 90–69|
|Midwest||3Q||Creighton||Tom Apke||Round of 32||DePaul||L 80–78|
|Midwest||1L||DePaul||Ray Meyer||Regional Runner-up||Notre Dame||L 84–64|
|Midwest||4Q||Houston||Guy Lewis||Round of 32||Notre Dame||L 100–77|
|Midwest||2Q||Louisville||Denny Crum||Sweet Sixteen||DePaul||L 90–89|
|Midwest||1Q||Missouri||Norm Stewart||Round of 32||Utah||L 86–79|
|Midwest||2L||Notre Dame||Digger Phelps||Fourth Place||Arkansas||L 71–69|
|Midwest||4L||St. John's||Lou Carnesecca||Round of 32||Louisville||L 76–68|
|Midwest||3L||Utah||Jerry Pimm||Sweet Sixteen||Notre Dame||L 69–56|
|West||2L||Arkansas||Eddie Sutton||Third Place||Notre Dame||W 71–69|
|West||4L||Cal State Fullerton||Bobby Dye||Regional Runner-up||Arkansas||L 61–58|
|West||3L||Kansas||Ted Owens||Round of 32||UCLA||L 83–76|
|West||2Q||New Mexico||Norm Ellenberger||Round of 32||Cal State Fullerton||L 90–85|
|West||1L||North Carolina||Dean Smith||Round of 32||San Francisco||L 68–64|
|West||3Q||San Francisco||Bob Gaillard||Sweet Sixteen||Cal State Fullerton||L 75–72|
|West||1Q||UCLA||Gary Cunningham||Sweet Sixteen||Arkansas||L 74–70|
|West||4Q||Weber State||Neil McCarthy||Round of 32||Arkansas||L 73–52|
* – Denotes overtime period
|4L||Cal State Fullerton||58|
|4L||Cal State Fullerton||75|
|4L||Cal State Fullerton||90|
Saturday, March 25
|National Championship Game|
Monday, March 27
|W2L||Arkansas||59||National Third Place Game|
Q = automatic qualifier bid L = at-large bid (including 5 automatic bids seeded with at-large teams)
|Arkansas 59, Kentucky 64|
|Scoring by half: 30–32, 29–32|
|Pts: Brewer 16
Rebs: Delph 8
Asts: Counce 2
|Pts: Givens 23|
Rebs: Givens 9
Asts: Shidler 4
|Duke 90, Notre Dame 86|
|Scoring by half: 43–29, 47–57|
|Pts: Gminski 29
Rebs: Banks 12
Asts: Spanarkel/Bender 5
|Pts: Williams 16|
Rebs: Laimbeer 10
Asts: Branning 5
- 1978 NCAA Division II Basketball Tournament
- 1978 NCAA Division III Basketball Tournament
- 1978 National Invitation Tournament
- 1978 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
- 1978 National Women's Invitation Tournament
- Washington Post – March 6, 1978
- "Kentucky finally gets to celebrate". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). UPI. March 28, 1978. p. 4B.
- "Kentucky can finally celebrate". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire services. March 28, 1978. p. 1C.
- Keith, Larry (April 3, 1978). "The Cats go wild". Sports Illustrated. p. 18.
- "Givens heads team". Kentucky New Era. (Hopkinsville). Associated Press. March 28, 1978. p. 12.