2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

The 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was a single-elimination tournament in which 65 schools competed to determine the national champion of the men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2008–09 basketball season. The tournament began on March 17, 2009, and concluded with the championship game on April 6 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, where the University of North Carolina defeated Michigan State to become the champion. The 2009 tournament marked the first time for a Final Four having a minimum seating capacity of 70,000 and by having most of the tournament in the February Sweeps of the Nielsen Ratings due to the digital television transition in the United States on June 12, 2009, which also made this the last NCAA Basketball Tournament, in all three divisions, to air in analog television. The University of Detroit Mercy hosted the Final Four, which was the 71st edition.

2009 NCAA Division I
Men's Basketball Tournament
2009 Final Four logo.png
Finals siteFord Field
Detroit, Michigan
ChampionsNorth Carolina Tar Heels (5th title, 9th title game,
18th Final Four)
Runner-upMichigan State Spartans (3rd title game,
7th Final Four)
Winning coachRoy Williams (2nd title)
MOPWayne Ellington (North Carolina)
Top scorerWayne Ellington North Carolina
(115 points)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournaments
«2008 2010»

Prior to the start of the tournament, the top ranked team was Louisville in both the AP Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Polls, followed by North Carolina, Memphis, and Pittsburgh.[1] Only the Tar Heels of North Carolina were the regional winners and played in the Final Four. The Tar Heels completed one of the most dominant runs in the tournament's history by winning each of their games by at least twelve points.

For the first time since seeding began, all #1–#3 seeds made it into the Sweet 16, and for the third consecutive time, all #1 seeds made the Elite Eight.

Four schools made their NCAA tournament debut, all respective conference champions: Binghamton (America East), Morgan State (MEAC), Stephen F. Austin (Southland), and North Dakota State (Summit), a school in its first season of Division I eligibility.

Tournament procedureEdit

Sixty-five teams were selected for the tournament. Thirty of the teams earned automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments. The automatic bid of the Ivy League, which does not conduct a postseason tournament, went to Cornell, its regular season champion. The remaining 34 teams were granted "at-large" bids by the NCAA Selection Committee.

Two teams play an opening-round game, popularly called the "play-in game". The winner of that game advances to the main draw of the tournament as a 16 seed and plays a top seed in one of the regionals. The 2009 game was played on Tuesday, March 17, at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio, as it has since its inception in 2001.

All 64 teams were seeded 1 to 16 within their regions; the winner of the play-in game automatically received a 16 seed. The Selection Committee seeded the entire field from 1 to 65. SEC commissioner Michael Slive served his last year as chairman of the committee.

Schedule and venuesEdit

Kansas City
2009 subregionals — Green 19/21 March — Orange 20/22 March
2009 Regionals (blue) and Final Four (red)

The following are the sites that were selected to host each round of the 2009 tournament:[2]

Opening Round

First and Second Rounds

Regional Semifinals and Finals (Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight)

National Semifinals and Championship (Final Four and Championship)

Detroit was the 28th new host city, and Ford Field the 35th new venue, to host the Final Four. The tournament featured six new stadiums, including two domed stadiums. The Phoenix suburb of Glendale was host for the first time, with games being held at the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to football's Arizona Cardinals. Indianapolis also hosted at a new domed stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, the replacement for the RCA Dome. After an eight-year hiatus, the tournament returned to Memphis at the FedExForum, the third venue in the city to host the tournament. Kansas City also introduced a new arena, the Sprint Center, after the previous eight appearances at Kemper Arena. For only the second time, the city of Miami hosted games, this time at the American Airlines Arena, home to the NBA's Miami Heat. And for the first time since 1975, the tournament returned to Portland, at the Rose Garden. This was the last tournament to feature the Metrodome, which closed in early 2014, and was replaced with U.S. Bank Stadium, hosted the 2019 Final Four.

Qualifying teamsEdit

Listed by grouping and seedingEdit

East Regional – Boston
Seed School Conference Record Berth type
#1 Pittsburgh Big East 28–4 At-large
#2 Duke ACC 28–6 Tournament Winner
#3 Villanova Big East 26–7 At-large
#4 Xavier Atlantic 10 25–7 At-large
#5 Florida State ACC 25–9 At-large
#6 UCLA Pac-10 25–8 At-large
#7 Texas Big 12 22–11 At-large
#8 Oklahoma State Big 12 22–11 At-large
#9 Tennessee SEC 21–12 At-large
#10 Minnesota Big Ten 22–10 At-large
#11 VCU Colonial 24–9 Tournament Winner
#12 Wisconsin Big Ten 19–12 At-large
#13 Portland State Big Sky 23–9 Tournament Winner
#14 American Patriot 24–7 Tournament Winner
#15 Binghamton America East 23–8 Tournament Winner
#16 East Tennessee State Atlantic Sun 23–10 Tournament Winner
West Regional – Glendale
Seed School Conference Record Berth type
#1 Connecticut Big East 27–4 At-large
#2 Memphis C-USA 31–3 Tournament Winner
#3 Missouri Big 12 28–6 Tournament Winner
#4 Washington Pac-10 25–8 At-large
#5 Purdue Big Ten 25–9 Tournament Winner
#6 Marquette Big East 24–9 At-large
#7 California Pac-10 22–10 At-large
#8 BYU Mountain West 25–7 At-large
#9 Texas A&M Big 12 23–9 At-large
#10 Maryland ACC 20–13 At-large
#11 Utah State WAC 30–4 Tournament Winner
#12 Northern Iowa Missouri Valley 23–10 Tournament Winner
#13 Mississippi State SEC 23–12 Tournament Winner
#14 Cornell Ivy League 21–9 Regular season Champion
#15 Cal State Northridge Big West 17–13 Tournament Winner
#16 Chattanooga Southern 18–16 Tournament Winner
Midwest Regional – Indianapolis
Seed School Conference Record Berth type
#1 Louisville Big East 28–5 Tournament Winner
#2 Michigan State Big Ten 26–6 At-large
#3 Kansas Big 12 25–7 At-large
#4 Wake Forest ACC 24–6 At-large
#5 Utah Mountain West 24–9 Tournament Winner
#6 West Virginia Big East 23–11 At-large
#7 Boston College ACC 22–11 At-large
#8 Ohio State Big Ten 22–10 At-large
#9 Siena MAAC 26–7 Tournament Winner
#10 USC Pac-10 21–12 Tournament Winner
#11 Dayton Atlantic 10 26–7 At-large
#12 Arizona Pac-10 19–13 At-large
#13 Cleveland State Horizon 25–10 Tournament Winner
#14 North Dakota State Summit 26–6 Tournament Winner
#15 Robert Morris Northeast 24–10 Tournament Winner
#16 Alabama State SWAC 22–9 Tournament Winner
Morehead State Ohio Valley 19–15 Tournament Winner
South Regional – Memphis
Seed School Conference Record Berth type
#1 North Carolina ACC 28–4 At-large
#2 Oklahoma Big 12 27–5 At-large
#3 Syracuse Big East 26–9 At-large
#4 Gonzaga West Coast 26–5 Tournament Winner
#5 Illinois Big Ten 24–9 At-large
#6 Arizona State Pac-10 24–9 At-large
#7 Clemson ACC 23–8 At-large
#8 LSU SEC 26–7 At-large
#9 Butler Horizon 26–5 At-large
#10 Michigan Big Ten 20–13 At-large
#11 Temple Atlantic 10 22–11 Tournament Winner
#12 Western Kentucky Sun Belt 24–8 Tournament Winner
#13 Akron Mid-American 23–12 Tournament Winner
#14 Stephen F. Austin Southland 24–7 Tournament Winner
#15 Morgan State MEAC 23–11 Tournament Winner
#16 Radford Big South 21–11 Tournament Winner


Results to date [3]

* – Denotes overtime period

All times in U.S. ET.

Opening Round Game – Dayton, OhioEdit

Winner advanced to Midwest vs.1 Louisville.

Opening Round
16 Morehead State 58
16 Alabama State 43

Midwest Regional – Indianapolis, IndianaEdit

First round
March 19–20
Second round
March 21–22
Regional semifinals
March 27
Regional finals
March 29
1 Louisville 74
16 Morehead State 54
1 Louisville 79
9 Siena 72
8 Ohio State 72
9 Siena 74**
1 Louisville 103
12 Arizona 64
5 Utah 71
12 Arizona 84
12 Arizona 71
13 Cleveland State 57
4 Wake Forest 69
13 Cleveland State 84
1 Louisville 52
2 Michigan State 64
6 West Virginia 60
11 Dayton 68
11 Dayton 43
3 Kansas 60
3 Kansas 84
14 North Dakota State 74
3 Kansas 62
2 Michigan State 67
7 Boston College 55
10 USC 72
10 USC 69
2 Michigan State 74
2 Michigan State 77
15 Robert Morris 62

West Regional – Glendale, ArizonaEdit

First round
March 19–20
Second round
March 21–22
Regional semifinals
March 26
Regional finals
March 28
1 Connecticut 103
16 Chattanooga 47
1 Connecticut 92
9 Texas A&M 66
8 BYU 66
9 Texas A&M 79
1 Connecticut 72
5 Purdue 60
5 Purdue 61
12 Northern Iowa 56
5 Purdue 76
4 Washington 74
4 Washington 71
13 Mississippi State 58
1 Connecticut 82
3 Missouri 75
6 Marquette 58
11 Utah State 57
6 Marquette 79
3 Missouri 83
3 Missouri 78
14 Cornell 59
3 Missouri 102
2 Memphis 91
7 California 71
10 Maryland 84
10 Maryland 70
Kansas City
2 Memphis 89
2 Memphis 81
15 Cal State Northridge 70

East Regional – Boston, MassachusettsEdit

First round
March 19–20
Second round
March 21–22
Regional semifinals
March 26
Regional finals
March 28
1 Pittsburgh 72
16 East Tennessee State 62
1 Pittsburgh 84
8 Oklahoma State 76
8 Oklahoma State 77
9 Tennessee 75
1 Pittsburgh 60
4 Xavier 55
5 Florida St. 59
12 Wisconsin 61*
12 Wisconsin 49
4 Xavier 60
4 Xavier 77
13 Portland St. 59
1 Pittsburgh 76
3 Villanova 78
6 UCLA 65
11 VCU 64
6 UCLA 69
3 Villanova 89
3 Villanova 80
14 American 67
3 Villanova 77
2 Duke 54
7 Texas 76
10 Minnesota 62
7 Texas 69
2 Duke 74
2 Duke 86
15 Binghamton 62

South Regional – Memphis, TennesseeEdit

First round
March 19–20
Second round
March 21–22
Regional semifinals
March 27
Regional finals
March 29
1 North Carolina 101
16 Radford 58
1 North Carolina 84
8 LSU 70
8 LSU 75
9 Butler 71
1 North Carolina 98
4 Gonzaga 77
5 Illinois 72
12 Western Kentucky 76
12 Western Kentucky 81
4 Gonzaga 83
4 Gonzaga 77
13 Akron 64
1 North Carolina 72
2 Oklahoma 60
6 Arizona State 66
11 Temple 57
6 Arizona State 67
3 Syracuse 78
3 Syracuse 59
14 Stephen F. Austin 44
3 Syracuse 71
2 Oklahoma 84
7 Clemson 59
10 Michigan 62
10 Michigan 63
Kansas City
2 Oklahoma 73
2 Oklahoma 82
15 Morgan State 54

Final Four – Ford Field, Detroit, MichiganEdit

National Semifinals
April 4
National Championship Game
April 6
M2 Michigan St. 82
W1 Connecticut 73
M2 Michigan St. 72
S1 North Carolina 89
E3 Villanova 69
S1 North Carolina 83

Game summariesEdit

Midwest RegionEdit

Goran Suton of Michigan State was the Midwest regional most outstanding player. He was joined by Spartan teammates Kalin Lucas and Travis Walton, Louisville's Earl Clark and Kansas's Cole Aldrich on the NCAA Tournament All-Midwest Regional team.[4]

First roundEdit

To play the top-seeded Louisville Cardinals in the first round, Morehead State defeated Alabama State 58–43, with the Eagles keeping the Hornets without a lead the entire game. This marked the first time either team had played in the tournament in five years; the Eagles had not played since 1984.[5] Morehead State fell to Louisville 74–54, the 100th time a 1 seed beat a 16 seed in the tournament since seeding began. However, the Eagles managed to keep the game close until halftime, when Louisville led by only 2 points. In the second half, the Cardinals began to apply their signature fullcourt pressure, forcing turnovers and outscoring Morehead State 22–6 at the beginning of the half. Leon Buchanan's 17 points for the Eagles were not enough to upset Louisville, whose top scorers, Samardo Samuels and Terrence Williams, scored a combined 28 points. Morehead State has not beaten Louisville in 52 years until 2011.[6]

In two overtimes, the Siena Saints beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 74–72. Ohio State had the advantage of playing an hour from their campus, and received 25 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists from Evan Turner. The Saints made 6 out of 23 3-pointers and had 22 turnovers. Accordingly, Siena trailed for most of the game, but scored the last four points in regulation to force overtime. At the end of the first overtime, Siena's Ronald Moore drained his first 3-pointer to force a second overtime. With 3.9 seconds left in that overtime, he hit a second three from the same location to give the Saints a late 2-point lead. In an attempt to send the game into a third overtime, Turner shot a 15-footer immediately afterwards, but he missed it. This was Siena's fifth appearance in the tournament, after beating Vanderbilt University in 2008 as a 13 seed.[7]

The Arizona-Utah matchup was not as close. The Fifth-seeded Utah Utes were upset by the twelfth-seeded Arizona Wildcats, one of the last teams to make it in the tournament and a questionable entry,[8] by a score of 84–71. The Utes closed the lead to two with roughly five minutes left in the game, but the Wildcats' answer was a 10–1 run. Utah's Luke Nevill committed two fouls less than four minutes into the game and scored only 12 points. Nic Wise of Arizona, meanwhile, led the team with 29 points, with 21 in the second half. Tyler Kepkay led the Utes with a team 19 points in his embarking performance.[9]

The Cleveland State-Wake Forest game was an even larger upset. In their second bid in the tournament, the Cleveland State Vikings shocked the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 84–69. This 15-point win ties for third-greatest victory margin for a 13 seed over a 4 seed. Wake Forest, once ranked first in the country, had 16 turnovers in the matchup, compared to six for the Vikings. James Johnson of the Demon Deacons scored 22 points, although this could not compensate for a substandard offense. Their scoring leader, Jeff Teague, finished with 10 points, half his average. For these reasons, Wake Forest never obtained a lead, while Cleveland State sank three consecutive 3-pointers in the early minutes of the game.[10]

For the first time in 19 years, Dayton advanced to the second round of the tournament with a win over West Virginia 68–60. This also ended West Virginia's first-round winning streak, which had lasted since 1992. Chris Wright led the Dayton Flyers with 27 points, a career high, while also chalking up 10 rebounds. Charles Little also aided the Flyers with 18 points. Darryl Bryant, who led West Virginia with 21 points, shot two consecutive three-pointers to bring Dayton's lead to 48–47 with 11:02 minutes left in the game. However, that was the closest the Mountaineers had to a lead outside the beginning of the game.[11]

In their first eligible year, North Dakota State appeared in the tournament, facing defending champion Kansas. The three-seeded Kansas Jayhawks staved off the fourteenth-seeded Bison's upset bid with an 84–74 victory. Ben Woodside shined with 37 points for the Bison, his sixth game of the season with at least 30 points. However, Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich proved too much for North Dakota State, accounting for 65 percent of the Jayhawks' points with 32 and 23 respectively.[12]

The tenth-seeded USC Trojans demolished the seventh-seeded Boston College Eagles by a score of 72–55, helped by Taj Gibson's 10-for-10 shooting from the field, tied for the second-best NCAA tournament field-goal shooting performance in history. He led the team with 24 points and recorded six rebounds, five assists, and three blocks. Dwight Lewis also added 20 points for the Trojans. After leading 34–30 at halftime, the Eagles scored just a single field goal during one 13-minute stretch, as part of a 23.1 shooting percentage in the second half.[13]

Robert Morris, the region's 15 seed, was blown away by second-seeded Michigan State 77–62. The game was tied with 4:44 left in the first half, but then the Colonials went almost 20 minutes without scoring a single point. The Spartans took advantage of this for a 21–0 run that sealed the game in their favor. The Colonials' Jeremy Chappell was the only team member to score double-digit points with 11, and he also led the team with six rebounds, two steals, and three blocks. Raymar Morgan was the Spartans' leading scorer with 16 points.[14]

Second roundEdit

Ninth-seeded Siena faced top seed Louisville, with the Cardinals emerging victorious 79–72. Taking advantage of Louisville's 19 turnovers, the Saints came back from a 12-point deficit with 17:21 left in the game to snatch the lead around the 9-minute mark. Edwin Ubiles broke through Louisville's full-court pressure and added 24 points for Siena. Terrence Williams, known as one of the most relaxed players on the Cardinals roster, saved his team by grabbing rebounds and making 3s. He led the team with 24 points, 15 rebounds, two steals, and four assists. Earl Clark also helped the Cardinals' cause with 12 points and 12 rebounds.[15]

In a 12 vs. 13 seed Cinderella matchup, Arizona handily defeated Cleveland State. The Wildcats' zone defense puzzled Cleveland State, and their fast breaks sealed the game. The smallest deficit the Vikings faced was 48–44 about midway through the second half, though the Wildcats then went on a 13–2 run led by Nic Wise's five consecutive points. His 21 points led the team's four double-digit scorers. Arizona was excellent behind the free-throw line, finishing 24 for 28.[16]

Cole Aldrich's triple-double with 13 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots paved the way for a third-seeded Kansas win over 11 seed Dayton. This was only the sixth triple-double in NCAA tournament history. With 43 points, Dayton scored the fewest points they had all season, compared to Kansas's 60. Despite their small point total, the Flyers shot 72 times, its most all season, amounting to a 22.2 shooting percentage. The Jayhawks were also not having one of their better offensive games, with Sherron Collins being an exception; he made 25 points. This marked the third straight Sweet Sixteen appearance for Kansas.[17]

Playing the tenth-seeded USC Trojans, second-seeded Michigan State utilized Travis Walton's career-high 18 points for a 74–69 win. Normally known as a defensive player and averaging 4.9 points per game, Walton shot 8 for 13 from the field. His team out-rebounded USC 33 to 23, and USC made only one three-point play. Star Trojan Taj Gibson was in foul trouble throughout much of the game, and yet his teammates rallied for 14 lead changes and 16 ties. Dwight Lewis, who gave a 19-point performance overall, scored six consecutive points for USC for a late tie. The Spartans only earned a victory after the Trojans missed their last nine shots. With the win, Michigan State has made it to the Sweet 16 eight times of the last 12 years, more than any other team except Duke.[18]

Regional semifinals (Sweet Sixteen)Edit

Louisville, the region's top seed, routed twelfth-seeded Arizona 103–64. In NCAA tournament history, this was Louisville's largest win and Arizona's largest loss. It was no surprise, given the Cardinals' 57.6 field goal percentage and their 48% shooting behind the arc. Their fullcourt pressure forced 15 turnovers on the Wildcats the entire game, including nine in the first half. Earl Clark led the Cardinals with 19 points, whose ballhandling garnered 29 assists. This was the most lopsided Sweet 16 victory since 1972.[19]

The Michigan State-Kansas matchup was much more intense. After overcoming a 13-point first half deficit, the Spartans won 67–62. They shot 16 of 17 from the foul line, and on their only miss they rebounded the ball and gave Raymar Morgan the only points of the night on a dunk. Such rallies in the second half narrowed the deficit and occasionally took the lead, although the Jayhawks responded and were up by 2 with 2 minutes left in the game. They were helped by Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich's combined 37 points. However, Kalin Lucas of the Spartans, who had scored 11 points in the first 39 minutes of the game, made seven straight points with 48 seconds left. Goran Suton also added nine rebounds, five steals, and a season-high 20 points for Michigan State.[20]

Regional final (Elite Eight)Edit

Michigan State defeated overall number one seed Louisville, 64–52, to advance to their fifth Final Four since 1999. Michigan State held Louisville to their second lowest point total of the season with their man-to-man defense keeping them out of sync all game. Center Goran Suton had 19 points and Durrel Summers had 12 in the rout. Earl Clark had 19 for Louisville.

Sunday, March 29
2:20 pm
#2 Michigan State Spartans 64, #1 Louisville Cardinals 52
Scoring by half: 30–27, 34–25
Pts: G. Suton – 19
Rebs: G. Suton, Draymond Green – 10
Asts: K. Lucas – 5
Pts: E. Clark – 19
Rebs: S. Samuels – 7
Asts: T. Williams – 4
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN
Attendance: 36,084
Referees: David Hall, Curtis Shaw, Tony Greene

West RegionEdit

A. J. Price was named MVP of the West Regional. He was joined by teammate Kemba Walker, Missouri's DeMarre Carroll and J. T. Tiller and Memphis' Tyreke Evans on the NCAA West All-regional team.[21]

First roundEdit

Forward Quincy Pondexter scored 23 points to lead his Washington Huskies to a first round 71–58 win over Mississippi State Bulldogs in the West Regional. Only Barry Stewart put up double digit points (14) for the Bulldogs.

Second roundEdit

Pac-10 champions Washington Huskies scored 46 points in the second half, but it was not enough to beat the Purdue Boilermakers in the second round of West Regional, falling short by two points (76–74). Leaders for Purdue were JaJuan Johnson with 22 points and Keaton Grant with 12 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas with 24 points and Jon Brockman with 18 rebounds led the Huskies.

Regional semifinals (Sweet Sixteen)Edit

Connecticut faced Purdue at University of Phoenix Stadium in a West Regional semifinal. It was UConn who took full advantage of many Purdue mistakes and, even though Robbie Hummel was able to shoot quite well scoring 17 points, it was Hasheem Thabeet and the Huskies who pulled away for a 72–60 win to move onto the regional finals.

In the nightcap of the sweet sixteen matchups, two sets of Tigers met, pitting Missouri against Memphis in a matchup that saw teams with similar fast-paced styles meet. Missouri was able to pull away with a 27–7 run that gave them a 64–40 lead. Though Memphis attempted to claw back into the game through Tyreke Evans' 33 points, it was JT Tiller, DeMarre Carroll, and Leo Lyons that moved on to meet UConn in the regional final along with the rest of their Missouri Tigers.

Regional final (Elite Eight)Edit

Kemba Walker came off the UConn bench to spark them to a victory over the 3 seeded Missouri Tigers.

Saturday, March 28
4:40 pm
#1 Connecticut Huskies 82, #3 Missouri Tigers 75
Scoring by half: 44–38, 38–37
Pts: K. Walker – 23
Rebs: H. Thabeet – 13
Asts: K. Walker – 5
Pts: M. Lawrence, L. Lyons – 13
Rebs: J.T. Tiller – 5
Asts: J.T. Tiller – 5
University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, AZ
Attendance: 18,886
Referees: John Cahill, Mike Littlewood, Les Jones

East RegionEdit

Scottie Reynolds was named Regional most outstanding player. He was joined by teammates Dwayne Anderson and Dante Cunningham, Panthers Sam Young and DeJuan Blair on the NCAA East All-Regional team.[22]

First roundEdit

UCLA Bruins' Alfred Aboya scored two free-throw points with 48 seconds remaining in the game to help UCLA get by VCU in the first round at the East Regional in Philadelphia's Wachovia Center with Maynor's potential game winning jumper bouncing off the rim at the buzzer. Top scorers in the game were Eric Maynor (21) for VCU and Josh Shipp (16) for UCLA.

Villanova Wildcats, playing at home against an American University team that featured 5 seniors, fell behind early as American hit a barrage of 3 pointers. However, in the 2nd half, Villanova was able to take advantage of 20 free throws in the final 13 minutes of the game to win against American.[23]

No. 12 seed Wisconsin upset #5 seed Florida St. 61–59 in OT. Down 31–19 at the half, the Badgers' Jason Bohannon made a three-point jumper to give Wisconsin the lead with 45 seconds left in regulation. Trevon Hughes fouled Toney Douglas, who made two free throws to send the game into over-time. In over-time, the Badgers trailed by one with just seconds left when Hughes made a twisting shot from the lane over two defenders to put the Badgers ahead 60–59. Hughes was also fouled on the shot, and made the resulting free throw to make the score 61–59. Florida State had just enough time to run a full court in-bounds play but, the pass was deflected at half court thus securing the Badger victory.[24]

Second roundEdit

By six Wildcats scoring double-digit points, Villanova ended UCLA's hope of going to the Final Four for the fourth time in a row. Dante Cunningham had 18 points; Reggie Redding and Corey Fisher had 13; Corey Stokes put up 12; eleven points came from Scottie Reynolds and ten points were put up by Dwayne Anderson for the winning team. Josh Shipp had 18 points and Alfred Aboya had 8 rebounds for UCLA.

Regional semifinals (Sweet Sixteen)Edit

Villanova (#3) upset Duke (#2), 77–54, to advance to the Regional Championship game to face Pittsburgh (#1). The Wildcats, who were ahead by 3 at half-time, were led in scoring by Scottie Reynolds (16), Dante Cunningham (14) and Reggie Redding (11).

Regional final (Elite Eight)Edit

Number one seed Pittsburgh was upset by the Villanova Wildcats, 78–76 in the East Regional Finals, denying the Panthers a chance for a first national championship in men's basketball. With five seconds remaining, Levance Fields, who was fouled by Corey Fisher, shot two free-throws to tie the game for Pitt. But Scottie Reynolds' one-second jumper was good to give Villanova an upset victory. Pitt's Sam Young scored 28 points and DeJuan Blair had 20 points. Dwayne Anderson was top scorer for the Wildcats with 17 points.

Saturday, March 28
7:05 pm
#3 Villanova Wildcats 78, #1 Pittsburgh Panthers 76
Scoring by half: 32–34, 46–42
Pts: D. Anderson – 17
Rebs: R. Redding, D. Anderson – 6
Asts: R. Redding – 5
Pts: S. Young – 28
Rebs: D. Blair – 10
Asts: L. Fields – 6
TD Garden – Boston, MA
Attendance: 18,871
Referees: Tom O'Neill, Pat Driscoll, Randy Mccall

South RegionEdit

Ty Lawson was the South regional MVP and he was joined on the All-regional team by teammates Danny Green and Tyler Hansbrough as well as Blake Griffin and Syracuse's Jonny Flynn.[25]

First roundEdit

WKU advanced to the second round for a second consecutive year as a 12 seed, beating 5th seeded Illinois. 10th seeded Michigan upset 7th seeded Clemson 62–59 in its first tournament win since 1998. It was Michigan's first tournament appearance in 11 years after the school was rocked with sanctions and punishments from the Chris Webber scandal in the mid-2000s.

Second roundEdit

Regional semifinals (Sweet Sixteen)Edit

Regional final (Elite Eight)Edit

Sunday, March 29
5:05 pm
#1 North Carolina Tar Heels 72, #2 Oklahoma Sooners 60
Scoring by half: 32–23, 40–37
Pts: T. Lawson – 19
Rebs: T. Hansbrough – 6
Asts: T. Lawson – 5
Pts: B. Griffin – 23
Rebs: B. Griffin – 16
Asts: A. Johnson, W. Warren – 3
FedEx Forum – Memphis, Tennessee
Attendance: 17,025
Referees: Verne Harris, John Hughes, Tom Eades

Final FourEdit

All final four teams in the tournament had won at least one national championship. Entering the tournament, North Carolina had the most, with four (1957, 1982, 1993, 2005); Connecticut had two; (1999, 2004); Michigan State also had two; (1979, 2000), and Villanova won one; (1985).

The Spartans had home court advantage by playing in their home state. Six teams have played the Final Four in their home states, but only four of them won. UCLA (1968, 1972, 1975) and North Carolina State (1974) won the national title, but Duke (1994) and Purdue (1980) lost in the Final Four. The biggest advantage came in 1968 and 1972 when UCLA played the championship game at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, which is a short distance from Pauley Pavilion, their home court since 1965.

Michigan State vs. ConnecticutEdit

April 4
6:07 EDT
#2 Michigan State 82, #1 Connecticut 73
Scoring by half: 38–36, 44–37
Pts: K. Lucas – 21
Rebs: R. Morgan – 8
Asts: T. Walton – 8
Pts: H. Thabeet – 17
Rebs: S. Robinson – 13
Asts: C. Austrie, K. Walker – 2
Ford Field – Detroit, MI
Attendance: 72,456
Referees: John Cahill, Mike Stuart, Les Jones

Michigan State, with 7 minutes to play, finally took hold of the game and defeated the number one seed Connecticut to advance to the championship game against North Carolina. The Spartans started the game with a 7-point run, but the Huskies came back to take a lead in the first half. Michigan State took it back and was leading by two at the half. Connecticut had the lead twice early in the second period. Michigan State, led by guard Kalin Lucas with 21 points and forward Raymar Morgan with 18 points, was just too much at the end for the Huskies. Scoring for Connecticut was shared by Jeff Adrien (13), Stanley Robinson (15), Hasheem Thabeet (17) and A.J. Price (15).[26]

Villanova vs. North CarolinaEdit

April 4
8:47 EDT
#1 North Carolina 83, #3 Villanova 69
Scoring by half: 49–40, 34–29
Pts: T. Lawson – 22
Rebs: T. Hansbrough – 11
Asts: T. Lawson – 8
Pts: S. Reynolds – 17
Rebs: D. Cunningham – 12
Asts: S. Reynolds – 5
Ford Field – Detroit, MI
Attendance: 72,456
Referees: Scott Thornley, Karl Hess, Pat Driscoll

After the first five minutes, North Carolina used an 11-point run to end Villanova's hope for a national championship and put the Tar Heels into the championship game for a chance to win their fifth title in nine trips. Ty Lawson produced 22 points, followed by Wayne Ellington with 20 points and Tyler Hansbrough with 18 points. Hansbrough, the sixth-leading scorer in tournament history, pulled down 11 rebounds. For Roy Williams, who coached North Carolina to a national championship in 2005, it is back to the title game again.

Championship game – Michigan State vs. North CarolinaEdit

Ford Field was the host of the 2009 Final Four and Championship game.

This 71st title game featured #1 seed North Carolina, which had a 4–4 record in the finals, versus #2 seed Michigan State, which had a 2–0 record going into the game. It was also a matchup featuring future Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo, who guided Michigan State to the championship in 2000 and 5 trips to the Final Four, against current Hall of Famer Roy Williams, who won the title in 2005 and reached 7 Final Fours.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1979 national title game between Michigan State Spartans and the Sycamores of Indiana State, Hall of Fame players Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird, who had played against each other, presented the game ball at the 2009 NCAA national championship game Monday night.[27]

The game was a rematch of "BasketBowl II", of 2008's ACC-Big Ten Challenge, won by the Tar Heels 98–63. That game was also played at Ford Field.

April 6
9:21 EDT
#1 North Carolina 89, #2 Michigan State 72
Scoring by half: 55–34, 34–38
Pts: T. Lawson 21
Rebs: E. Davis – 8
Asts: T. Lawson – 6
Pts: G. Suton – 17
Rebs: G. Suton – 11
Asts: K. Lucas – 7
Ford Field – Detroit, MI
Attendance: 72,922
Referees: Tom O'Neill, Curtis Shaw, Tony Greene
Running score of the championship game.

North Carolina, with a first bucket from Deon Thompson, took off and ran to a 21-point lead at the 10-minute mark. The lead grew to 24 with less than 5 minutes remaining in the first half, with most points coming from Wayne Ellington (15). The Spartans were behind 34–55 at the half, a tournament record lead for the Tar Heels. Goran Suton had the most points for Michigan State.

In the second half, Michigan State made a comeback to within 13 points of North Carolina with 4:56 to go in the game, but was unable to overcome the record 21 turnovers. Roy Williams and his Tar Heels defeated the Spartans 89–72 to take home his second trophy for the university. Ty Lawson set a record with 8 steals.

All Tournament teamEdit

Tournament notesEdit

  • Largest tournament point differential (+121) by the champion since 1996 (a new record was set in 2016 after the Villanova Wildcats defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels).
  • Highest attended National Semifinal Games (72,456) in Final Four history, breaking the old record of 64,959 (a new record was set in 2014).
  • Highest attended National Championship Game (72,922) in Final Four history breaking the old record of 64,959 (a new record was set in 2014).
  • Highest total Final Four attendance (145,378) ever breaking the old record of 129,918 (a new record was set in 2014).
  • Roy Williams is one of four active coaches to win multiple titles. Billy Donovan, Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Calhoun are the three other coaches.
  • Nielsen ratings for the Championship Game were down 7% to 11.9/19 versus a 12.8/20 the previous year. The entire tournament averaged a 6.3/13, a 5% increase.[28]
  • Blake Griffin of Oklahoma was the winner of the John Wooden Award, presented by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Friday, April 10 in Los Angeles.
  • 708,296 fans in attendance over the course of 35 sessions.[29]

Record by conferenceEdit

Conference # of Bids Record Win % R32 S16 E8 F4 CG
ACC 7 9–6 .600 3 2 1 1 1
Big East 7 17–7 .708 6 5 4 2
Big Ten 7 9–7 .563 4 2 1 1 1
Big 12 6 11–6 .647 6 3 2
Pac-10 6 6–6 .500 5 1
Atlantic 10 3 3–3 .500 2 1
SEC 3 1–3 .250 1 0
Horizon 2 1–2 .333 1 0
Mountain West 2 0–2 .000 0 0
C–USA 1 2–1 .667 1 1
MAAC 1 1–1 .500 1 0
Ohio Valley 1 1–1* .500 0 0
Sun Belt 1 1–1 .500 1 0
WCC 1 2–1 .667 1 1

*Morehead State won the Opening Round game.

The America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, CAA, Ivy, MAC, MEAC, MVC, NEC, Patriot, Southland, SoCon, SWAC, Summit, and WAC conferences all went 0–1.

The columns R32, S16, E8, F4, and CG respectively stand for the Round of 32, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, and Championship Game.



Once again, except for the play-in game, which was telecast on ESPN, CBS and CBS College Sports Network served as broadcasters on television for the tournament. The only change from past years at the Final Four was that Jim Nantz worked with Clark Kellogg in the color commentary position instead of Billy Packer, who left CBS in July 2008.

For the play-in game in Dayton, ESPN had Brent Musburger, Steve Lavin and Erin Andrews working as the announcers.

Some CBS affiliates put additional game broadcasts on digital subchannels, or, as in the following two instances, on other stations:

  • WOIO and WUAB (Raycom Media duopoly): On March 20, WOIO aired Ohio State vs. Siena, while Cleveland State vs. Wake Forest was on WUAB at the same time. The Cleveland area has a substantial number of OSU alumni, and Mansfield, although part of the Cleveland market, is equidistant to both Columbus and Cleveland.
  • KOTV and KQCW (Griffin Media duopoly): Also on March 20, KOTV aired Oklahoma State vs. Tennessee; at the same time, Kansas vs. North Dakota State was on KQCW. The reason for this simulcast is that part of the Tulsa market includes Coffeyville and other communities at the southern end of Kansas.


Westwood One was once again the radio home for the tournament.

Opening Round GameEdit

First/Second RoundEdit


Final FourEdit

International broadcastersEdit

Yahoo! Sports and NCAA.com also broadcast the entire tournament live for free on the internet.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball Rankings (Mar. 16) on ESPN.com
  2. ^ "NCAA Championships". Archived from the original on 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  3. ^ "NCAA.com – The Official Web Site of the NCAA". Archived from the original on 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  4. ^ "Kansas Center Cole Aldrich Named to NCAA Tournament All-Midwest Regional Team". WIBW. 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  5. ^ "Morehead St. earns matchup with Louisville in tourney". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  6. ^ "Louisville applies pressure in second half to cruise past Morehead State". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  7. ^ "Moore's clutch shots spur Siena by Ohio St. in 2OT". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  8. ^ "Scouting Friday's Sweet 16 games – cleveland.com". Archived from the original on 2009-09-21. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  9. ^ "Wise's 21 after half propel Arizona past fifth-seeded Utah". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  10. ^ "Cleveland State races to early lead to knock out Wake Forest". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  11. ^ "Flyers shake Huggins hex, take down sixth-seeded West Virginia". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  12. ^ "Kansas holds off North Dakota State as Collins pours in 32". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  13. ^ "USC rolls as Gibson's 10-for-10 shooting leads to upset of Boston College". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  14. ^ "Morgan, Michigan State bully Robert Morris in Midwest opener". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
  15. ^ "Louisville reaches 2nd straight Sweet 16 behind Williams' double-double". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
  16. ^ "Wildcats reach final 16 for 12th time since '88". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  17. ^ "Aldrich's 13 points, 20 boards, 10 blocked shots lead KU to Sweet 16". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  18. ^ "Walton's career-high 18 lift Spartans over USC, into Sweet 16". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  19. ^ "Cardinals fly into Elite 8 with one-sided victory over Wildcats". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  20. ^ "Lucas, Spartans eliminate Jayhawks with late free throws". ESPN. Associated Press. 2009. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  21. ^ Casacchia, Chris (2009-03-28). "Notes from Glendale: Huskies thrive in Arizona". Sporting News. Retrieved 2009-03-31.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Gerstner, Joanne C. (2009-03-28). "NCAA East Region Insider: Villanova bringing back the 1980s". Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  23. ^ Anderson, Cunningham lead way as Villanova ousts upset-minded American
  24. ^ CBSSports.com wire (2009-03-21). "Hughes' improbable shot in OT lifts 12th-seeded Wisconsin past FSU". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
  25. ^ Murtaugh, Frank (2009-03-29). "NCAA South Regional: North Carolina 72, Oklahoma 60". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved 2009-03-31.
  26. ^ "Morgan breaks out of slump as Michigan State topples Connecticut in Final Four". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 4, 2009. Archived from the original on 7 April 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  27. ^ "Bird, Magic to present game ball at title game". Archived from the original on 2009-08-02. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  28. ^ Title game down, overall ratings up
  29. ^ The NCAA News: Basketball attendance unaffected by economic slide, May 12, 2009