1997–98 NCAA Division I men's basketball season

The 1997–98 NCAA Division I men's basketball season concluded in the 64-team 1998 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament whose finals were held at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Kentucky Wildcats earned their seventh national championship by defeating the Utah Utes 78–69 on March 30, 1998. They were coached by Tubby Smith and the NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player was Kentucky's Jeff Shepherd.

In the 32-team 1998 National Invitation Tournament, the Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Following the season, the 1998 NCAA Men's Basketball All-American Consensus First team included Mike Bibby, Antawn Jamison, Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce, and Miles Simon. The consensus second team was composed of Vince Carter, Mateen Cleaves, Pat Garrity, Richard Hamilton, and Ansu Sesay.

Season headlinesEdit

Pre-season pollsEdit

The top 25 from the pre-season AP Poll.

Associated Press
Ranking Team
1 Arizona
2 Kansas
3 Duke
4 North Carolina
5 Clemson
7 South Carolina
8 Kentucky
9 Purdue
10 Xavier
11 New Mexico
12 Connecticut
13 Fresno State
14 Stanford
15 Iowa
16 Utah
17 Indiana
18 Charlotte
19 Georgia
20 Oklahoma
21 Rhode Island
22 Texas
23 Ole Miss
24 Temple
25 Louisville

Conference membership changesEdit

These schools joined new conferences for the 1997–98 season.

School Former conference New conference
Arkansas–Pine Bluff NCAA Division II Southwestern Athletic Conference
Central Connecticut State Mid-Continent Conference Northeast Conference
Marist Northeast Conference Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Marshall Southern Conference Mid-American Conference
Norfolk State NCAA Division II Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Northern Illinois Midwestern Collegiate Conference Mid-American Conference
Oral Roberts NCAA Division I Independent Mid-Continent Conference
Rider Northeast Conference Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Southeastern Louisiana Trans America Athletic Conference Southland Conference
Southern Utah NCAA Division I Independent Mid-Continent Conference
Troy State Mid-Continent Conference Trans America Athletic Conference
UNC Greensboro Big South Conference Southern Conference
Wofford NCAA Division I Independent Southern Conference

Regular seasonEdit

Conference winners and tournamentsEdit

28 conference seasons concluded with a single-elimination tournament, with only the Ivy League and the Pac-10 choosing not to conduct conference tournaments. Conference tournament winners generally received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Conference Regular
Season Winner[1]
Player of the Year
Venue (City)
America East Conference Delaware Speedy Claxton, Hofstra[2] 1998 America East Men's Basketball Tournament Bob Carpenter Center
(Newark, Delaware)
Atlantic 10 Conference Temple (East)
Xavier (West)
Cuttino Mobley, Rhode Island[4] 1998 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament The Spectrum
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Atlantic Coast Conference Duke Antawn Jamison, North Carolina[6] 1998 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Greensboro Coliseum
(Greensboro, North Carolina)
North Carolina[7]
Big 12 Conference Kansas Raef LaFrentz, Kansas[8] 1998 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament Kemper Arena
(Kansas City, Missouri)
Big East Conference Connecticut Richard Hamilton, Connecticut[10] 1998 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament Madison Square Garden
(New York City, New York)
Big Sky Conference Northern Arizona Andrew Mavis, Northern Arizona[11] 1998 Big Sky Men's Basketball Tournament Dee Events Center
(Ogden, Utah)
Northern Arizona[11]
Big South Conference UNC Asheville Josh Pittman, UNC Asheville[12] 1998 Big South Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Vines Center
(Lynchburg, Virginia)
Big Ten Conference Michigan State Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State[13] 1998 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament United Center
(Chicago, Illinois)
Big West Conference Pacific (Eastern)
Utah State (Western)
Michael Olowokandi, Pacific[14] 1998 Big West Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Lawlor Events Center
(Reno, Nevada)
Utah State[14]
Colonial Athletic Association William & Mary Jarod Stevenson, Richmond[15] 1998 CAA Men's Basketball Tournament Richmond Coliseum
(Richmond, Virginia)
Conference USA Cincinnati (American)
Memphis (National)
DeMarco Johnson, Charlotte[16] 1998 Conference USA Men's Basketball Tournament Shoemaker Center
(Cincinnati, Ohio)
Ivy League Princeton Steve Goodrich, Princeton[17] No Tournament
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Iona Kashif Hameed, Iona[18] 1998 MAAC Men's Basketball Tournament Pepsi Arena
(Buffalo, New York)
Mid-American Conference Akron (East)
Ball State (West)
Bonzi Wells, Ball State[20] 1998 MAC Men's Basketball Tournament SeaGate Convention Centre
(Toledo, Ohio)
Eastern Michigan[20]
Mid-Continent Conference Valparaiso Bryce Drew, Valparaiso[21] 1998 Mid-Continent Conference Men's Basketball Tournament The MARK of the Quad Cities
(Moline, Illinois)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coppin State Antoine Brockington, Coppin State 1998 MEAC Men's Basketball Tournament Richmond Coliseum
(Richmond, Virginia)
South Carolina State
Midwestern Collegiate Conference Detroit Mark Miller, Illinois-Chicago[22] 1998 MCC Men's Basketball Tournament Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena
(Green Bay, Wisconsin)
Missouri Valley Conference Illinois State Rico Hill, Illinois State[23] 1998 Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Savvis Center
(St. Louis, Missouri)
Illinois State
Northeast Conference Long Island Charles Jones, Long Island[24] 1999 Northeast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Spiro Sports Center
(Staten Island, New York)
Fairleigh Dickinson[25]
Ohio Valley Conference Murray State De'Teri Mayes, Murray State[26] 1999 Ohio Valley Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Gaylord Entertainment Center
(Nashville, Tennessee)
(Semifinals and Finals)
Murray State[26]
Pacific-10 Conference Arizona Mike Bibby, Arizona[27] No Tournament
Patriot League Lafayette Stefan Ciosici, Lafayette[28] 1999 Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament Kirby Sports Center
(Easton, Pennsylvania)
Southeastern Conference Kentucky (East)
Ole Miss (West)
Ansu Sesay, Ole Miss[30] 1998 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Georgia Dome
(Atlanta, Georgia)
Southern Conference Appalachian State (North)
Chattanooga (South)
Bobby Phillips, Western Carolina (Coaches)[31] & Chuck Vincent, Furman (Media)[31] 1998 Southern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Greensboro Coliseum
(Greensboro, North Carolina)
Southland Conference UTSA Roderic Hall, UTSA[33] 1998 Southland Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Hirsch Memorial Coliseum
(Shreveport, Louisiana)
(Semifinals & Finals)
Nicholls State
Southwestern Athletic Conference Texas Southern Randy Bolden, Texas Southern[34] 1998 SWAC Men's Basketball Tournament F. G. Clark Center
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Prairie View A&M
Sun Belt Conference South Alabama Chico Fletcher, Arkansas State[35] 1998 Sun Belt Men's Basketball Tournament Cajundome
(Lafayette, Louisiana)
South Alabama
Trans America Athletic Conference Charleston Mark Jones, UCF[36] 1998 TAAC Men's Basketball Tournament Memorial Coliseum
(Jacksonville, Florida)
West Coast Conference Gonzaga Bakari Hendrix, Gonzaga[37] 1998 West Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Toso Pavilion
(Santa Clara, California)
San Francisco
Western Athletic Conference TCU (Mountain)
Utah (Pacific)
Lee Nailon, TCU[38] 1998 WAC Men's Basketball Tournament Thomas & Mack Center
(Las Vegas, Nevada)

Statistical leadersEdit

Points Per Game
Rebounds Per Game
Assists Per Game
Steals Per Game
Player School PPG Player School RPG Player School APG Player School SPG
Charles Jones Long Island 29.0 Ryan Perryman Dayton 12.5 Ahlon Lewis Arizona St. 9.2 Bonzi Wells Ball St. 3.6
Earl Boykins E. Michigan 25.7 Eric Taylor St. Francis (PA) 11.9 Chico Fletcher Arkansas State 8.3 Pepe Sánchez Temple 3.4
Lee Nailon TCU 24.9 Raef LaFrentz Kansas 11.4 Sean Colson UNC Charlotte 8.0 Willie Coleman DePaul 3.3
Brett Eppehimer Lehigh 24.7 Tremaine Fowlkes Fresno St. 11.2 Ed Cota North Carolina 7.4 J. R. Camel Montana 3.1
Cory Carr Texas Tech 23.3 Michael Olowokandi Pacific 11.2 Charles Jones Long Island 7.4 Jason Rowe Loyola (MD) 3.1
Blocked Shots Per Game
Field Goal Percentage
Three-Point FG Percentage
Free Throw Percentage
Player School BPG Player School FG% Player School 3FG% Player School FT%
Jerome James Florida A&M 4.6 Todd MacCulloch Washington 65.0 Jim Cantamessa Siena 56.4 Matt Sundblad Lamar 92.3
Calvin Booth Penn St. 4.4 Ryan Moss UALR 65.0 Coby Turner Dayton 51.7 Louis Bullock Michigan 91.1
Alvin Jones Georgia Tech 4.3 Jarrett Stephens Penn St. 64.0 Royce Olney New Mexico 51.3 Shammond Williams N. Carolina 91.1
Etan Thomas Syracuse 3.9 Isaac Spencer Murray St. 63.3 Mike Beam Harvard 51.3 Kevin Ault Missouri St. 90.0
Brian Skinner Baylor 3.5 Brad Miller Purdue 63.2 Kenyan Weaks Florida 50.8 Clifton Ellis Texas St. 90.0

Post-Season TournamentsEdit

NCAA TournamentEdit

Final Four – Alamodome, San Antonio, TexasEdit

National Semifinals National Championship Game
E1 North Carolina 59
W3 Utah 65
W3 Utah 69
S2 Kentucky 78
S2 Kentucky 86
M3 Stanford 85

National Invitation TournamentEdit

Semifinals & FinalsEdit

Semifinals Finals
  Georgia 60
  Penn State 66
  Penn State 72
  Minnesota 79
  Fresno State 89
  Minnesota 91
  • Third Place - Georgia 95, Fresno State 79

Award winnersEdit

Consensus All-American teamsEdit


Consensus First Team
Player Position Class Team
Mike Bibby G Sophomore Arizona
Antawn Jamison F Junior North Carolina
Raef LaFrentz C Senior Kansas
Paul Pierce F Junior Kansas
Miles Simon G Senior Arizona

Consensus Second Team
Player Position Class Team
Vince Carter F Junior North Carolina
Mateen Cleaves G Sophomore Michigan State
Pat Garrity F Senior Notre Dame
Richard Hamilton F-G Sophomore Connecticut
Ansu Sesay F Senior Mississippi

Major player of the year awardsEdit

Major freshman of the year awardsEdit

Major coach of the year awardsEdit

Other major awardsEdit


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