1971 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

1971 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Teams 25
Finals site Astrodome
Houston, Texas
Champions UCLA (7th title, 7th title game,
8th Final Four)
Runner-up Villanova (Vacated) (1st title game,
2nd Final Four)
Winning coach John Wooden (7th title)
MOP Howard Porter Villanova
Attendance 207,200
Top scorer Jim McDaniels Western Kentucky
(147 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
«1970 1972»

The 1971 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 25 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 13, 1971, and ended with the championship game on March 27 in Houston, Texas. A total of 29 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.

UCLA, coached by John Wooden, won the national title with a 68-62 victory in the final game over Villanova, coached by Jack Kraft. Howard Porter of Villanova was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. However, Villanova was disqualified after the tournament for having an ineligible player, Howard Porter, who had signed with an agent prior to the tournament. Having lost to undefeated, second-ranked Penn (coached by Dick Harter) twice before, Porter did not think they would make past the regionals where third-ranked South Carolina was also in their path. However, Penn vanquished South Carolina by 15 and then had their worst game of the year against Villanova in the East Regional final, losing 90-47. Villanova's first-place finish in the east regional was relinquished to Penn, with the regional consolation game (3rd place) winner, Fordham (coached by Digger Phelps, a former Penn assistant coach), receiving 2nd place.

Championship Game

UCLA was going for its 5th consecutive title and was a heavy favorite over Villanova. But the Bruins did not cruise through the season in their accustomed fashion. They were severely threatened in their own conference (and backyard) by 2nd ranked USC, who lost only 2 games all season - both to UCLA. In addition, UCLA lost at Notre Dame and had several other close calls (against Washington, Oregon, and Oregon State). In the Western Regional Final, the Bruins trailed Long Beach State by 11 points midway through the 2nd half and their star player Sidney Wicks was on the bench with 4 personal fouls. But Wicks returned and avoided his 5th foul (and disqualification), and the Bruins rallied to take a 55-53 lead. With 20 seconds remaining, Wicks sunk two clinching free throws and UCLA escaped 57-55.

In the championship game, UCLA jumped out to an early lead, but star players Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe struggled against Villanova's stingy zone defense. Only the outside shooting of Henry Bibby and a career best 29 points from center Steve Patterson kept the Bruins in the lead. In the meantime, Villanova stars Howard Porter and Chris Ford overcame early struggles to keep the Wildcats in the game. Midway through the 2nd half, UCLA coach John Wooden ordered the Bruins to go into a 4 corner stall offense (there was no shot clock in college in 1971), a tactic he rarely employed. Wooden said after the game he did so to bring Villanova out of their zone, and because he wanted to use the stage of the national championship game to show the NCAA that they should adopt a shot clock (something Wooden had long argued for). However, the tactic almost backfired as Villanova started forcing turnovers with an aggressive man to man defense. In addition, the stall took UCLA out of its offensive rhythm. Villanova closed the gap to 63-60 and had the ball with one minute to play. However, Porter missed a 15-foot off balance jumper, Wicks grabbed the rebound, and UCLA made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch as they won 68-62.

For the national 3rd place, Western Kentucky won over Kansas 77-75.[1]

In a situation similar to Villanova, Western Kentucky's placement in the tournament was vacated, due to an NCAA investigation that showed Jim McDaniels had signed a professional contract and accepted money during the 1970-71 season. Western Kentucky would be found in violation twice more in the next 10 years, earning the school a "lack of institutional control" violation.[2]

The total attendance for the tournament was 220,447, a new record. It was the largest crowd of 31,765 to see the championship game.[3]


Region Site Other Locations
East Raleigh, North Carolina Jamaica, New York, Morgantown, West Virginia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Mideast Athens, Georgia South Bend, Indiana
Midwest Wichita, Kansas Houston, Texas
West Salt Lake City, Utah Logan, Utah
Finals Houston, Texas


Region Seed Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East n/a Duquesne John Manning First roundPennL 70-65
East n/a Fordham Digger Phelps Regional Third PlaceSouth CarolinaW 100-90
East n/a Furman Joe Williams First roundFordhamL 105-74
East n/a Penn Dick Harter Regional Runner-upVillanovaL 90-47
East n/a South Carolina Frank McGuire Regional Fourth PlaceFordhamL 100-90
East n/a Saint Joseph's Jack McKinney First roundVillanovaL 93-75
East n/a Villanova Jack Kraft Runner UpUCLAL 68-62
Mideast n/a Jacksonville Tom Wasdin First roundWestern KentuckyL 74-72
Mideast n/a Kentucky Adolph Rupp Regional Fourth PlaceMarquetteL 91-74
Mideast n/a Marquette Al McGuire Regional Third PlaceKentuckyW 91-74
Mideast n/a Miami, Ohio Darrell Hedric First roundMarquetteL 62-47
Mideast n/a Ohio State Fred Taylor Regional Runner-upWestern KentuckyL 81-78
Mideast n/a Western Kentucky Johnny Oldham Third PlaceKansasW 77-75
Midwest n/a Drake Maury John Regional Runner-upKansasL 73-71
Midwest n/a Houston Guy Lewis Regional Third PlaceNotre DameW 119-106
Midwest n/a Kansas Ted Owens Fourth PlaceWestern KentuckyL 77-75
Midwest n/a New Mexico State Lou Henson First roundHoustonL 72-69
Midwest n/a Notre Dame Johnny Dee Regional Fourth PlaceHoustonL 119-106
Midwest n/a TCU Johnny Swaim First roundNotre DameL 102-94
West n/a BYU Stan Watts Regional Fourth PlacePacificL 84-81
West n/a Long Beach State Jerry Tarkanian Regional Runner-upUCLAL 57-55
West n/a Pacific Dick Edwards Regional Third PlaceBYUW 84-81
West n/a UCLA John Wooden ChampionVillanovaW 68-62
West n/a Utah State LaDell Andersen First roundBYUL 91-82
West n/a Weber State Phil Johnson First roundLong Beach StateL 77-66


* – Denotes overtime period

East region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
     South Carolina 64  
       Pennsylvania 79  
   Pennsylvania 70
     Duquesne 65  
       Pennsylvania 47
     Villanova 90
     Villanova 93  
   St. Joseph's 75  
   Villanova 85
       Fordham 75  
   Fordham 105
     Furman 74  

Mideast region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
     Kentucky 83  
       Western Kentucky 107  
   Western Kentucky 74
     Jacksonville 72  
       Western Kentucky 81
     Ohio State 78*
   Ohio State 60
       Marquette 59  
   Marquette 62
     Miami-OH 47  

Midwest region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
     Kansas 78  
       Houston 77  
   Houston 72
     New Mexico State 69  
       Kansas 73
     Drake 71
   Drake 79
       Notre Dame 72*  
   Notre Dame 102
     TCU 94  

West region

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
     UCLA 91  
       BYU 73  
   BYU 91
     Utah State 82  
       UCLA 57
     Long Beach State 55
   Pacific 65
       Long Beach State 78  
   Long Beach State 77
     Weber State 66  

Final Four

Kenny Booker of UCLA against Kansas in the Final Four.
  National Semifinals     National Championship Game
  E  Villanova 92  
  ME  Western Kentucky 89**    
      E  Villanova 62
      W  UCLA 68
  MW  Kansas 60    
  W  UCLA 68   National Third Place Game
ME  Western Kentucky 77
  MW  Kansas 75

Tournament notes


  1. 1972 Official Collegiate Basketball Guide, Published by College Athletics Publishing Service, Phoenix, Arizona
  2. Smith Barrier, "Unusual West Coast Watch Factory – They Don't Make Any, Just Win Them", 1972 Official Collegiate Basketball Guide, Published by College Athletics Publishing Service

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