The Utes captured the Mountain States Conference championship and its only national championship. The Arkansas Razorbacks team was victimized by an auto accident. Prior to the NCAA tournament, two of Arkansas’ starters were injured when their station wagon broke down after returning from a scrimmage in Fort Smith, Arkansas. While attempting to fix a flat tire, Deno Nichols and Ben Jones were injured when another car rammed into the back of the station wagon. Both players were injured. The severity of the accident caused Arkansas to withdraw from the upcoming NCAA tournament and the Utes were tapped as a replacement.
In need of a replacement, the NCAA committee turned to Utah, despite the fact that the Utes had 4 losses and had just lost their first-round game in the NIT tournament. Utah had one player, Lyman Condie, a medical student, who midway through the season quit the team to pursue medical school. Additionally, all of Utah's players were raised within 30 miles of the Utah campus. These players included Arnie Ferrin, Fred Sheffield, and Wat Misaka, who was of Japanese descent.