1954 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

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1954 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Teams 24
Finals site Municipal Auditorium
Kansas City, Missouri
Champions La Salle (1st title)
Runner-up Bradley (2nd title game)
Semifinalists Penn State (1st Final Four)
USC (2nd Final Four)
Winning coach Ken Loeffler (1st title)
MOP Tom Gola La Salle
Attendance 115,391
Top scorer Tom Gola La Salle
(114 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
«1953 1955»

The 1954 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 24 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 8, 1954, and ended with the championship game on March 20 in Kansas City, Missouri. A total of 28 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.

La Salle, coached by Ken Loeffler, won the national title with a 92-76 victory in the final game over Bradley, coached by Forddy Anderson. Tom Gola of La Salle was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Of note, Kentucky, the top-ranked team in the nation (with a record of 25-0) did not participate in any post-season tournament. Since several key players had technically graduated the year before (when Kentucky was banned from playing a competitive schedule due to the point-shaving scandal a few years earlier), those players were ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament. Despite the wishes of the players, Adolph Rupp ultimately decided his team wouldn't play.

LSU represented the Southeastern Conference in the tournament. It would be the Bayou Bengals' last appearance until 1979, well after the graduation of NCAA all-time leading scorer Pete Maravich.


The following are the sites selected to host each round of the 1954 tournament:

East-1 Region[edit]

First Round (March 8)
Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, New York
Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
East-1 Regional (March 12 and 13)
The Palestra, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

East-2 Region[edit]

First Round (March 9)
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, Indiana
East-2 Regional (March 12 and 13)
Iowa Field House, Iowa City, Iowa

West-1 Region[edit]

First Round (March 8)
Robertson Memorial Field House, Peoria, Illinois
West-1 Regional (March 12 and 13)
Gallagher Hall, Stillwater, Oklahoma

West-2 Region[edit]

First Round (March 9) and West-2 Regional (March 12 and 13)
Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Oregon

Final Four[edit]

March 19 and 20
Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri


Region Seed Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East n/a Connecticut Hugh Greer First round Navy L 85-80
East n/a Cornell Royner Greene Regional Fourth Place North Carolina State L 65-54
East n/a Fordham Johnny Bach First round La Salle L 76-74
East n/a George Washington William Reinhart First round North Carolina State L 75-73
East n/a Indiana Branch McCracken Regional Third Place LSU W 73-62
East n/a La Salle Ken Loeffler Champion Bradley W 92-76
East n/a LSU Harry Rabenhorst Regional Fourth Place Indiana L 73-62
East n/a Loyola (LA) Jim McCafferty First round Notre Dame L 80-70
East n/a Navy Ben Carnevale Elite Eight La Salle L 64-48
East n/a North Carolina State Everett Case Regional Third Place Cornell W 65-54
East n/a Notre Dame John Jordan Elite Eight Penn State L 71-63
East n/a Penn State Elmer Gross National Third Place USC W 70-61
East n/a Toledo Jerry Bush First round Penn State L 62-50
West n/a Bradley Forddy Anderson Runner Up La Salle L 92-76
West n/a Colorado Bebe Lee Regional Fourth Place Rice L 78-55
West n/a Colorado State Bill Strannigan Regional Fourth Place Idaho State L 62-57
West n/a Idaho State Steve Belko Regional Third Place Colorado State W 62-57
West n/a Oklahoma City Doyle Parrack First round Bradley L 61-55
West n/a Oklahoma A&M Henry Iba Elite Eight Bradley L 71-57
West n/a Rice Don Suman Regional Third Place Colorado W 78-55
West n/a Santa Clara Bob Feerick Elite Eight USC L 66-65
West n/a Seattle Al Brightman First round Idaho State L 77-75
West n/a USC Forrest Twogood National Fourth Place Penn State L 70-61
West n/a Texas Tech Polk Robison First round Santa Clara L 73-64


* – Denotes overtime period

East region[edit]

  First round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four
     LSU 70  
       Penn St 78  
   Penn St. 62
   Toledo 50  
     Penn St. 71  
     Notre Dame 63  
     Indiana 64
       Notre Dame 65  
   Notre Dame 80
   Loyola (LA) 70  
     Penn St. 54
     La Salle 69
     Cornell 67
       Navy 69  
   Navy 85
   Connecticut 80  
     Navy 48
     La Salle 64  
   N.C. State 75  
   George Washington 73  
     N.C. State 81
       La Salle 88  
   La Salle 76
   Fordham 74*  

West region[edit]

  First round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight Final Four
     Colorado 64  
       Bradley 76  
   Bradley 61
   Oklahoma City 55  
     Bradley 71  
     Oklahoma A&M 57  
     Oklahoma A&M 51
       Rice 45  
     Bradley 74
     Southern California 72
     Southern California 73
       Idaho St. 59  
   Idaho St. 77
   Seattle 75*  
     Southern California 66
     Santa Clara 65**  
     Colorado St 50
       Santa Clara 73  
   Santa Clara 73
   Texas Tech 64  

National Championship[edit]

National Championship Game
  La Salle 92
  Bradley 76

National Third Place Game[edit]

National Third Place Game [1]
  Southern California 61
  Penn St. 70


  1. ^ "1954 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket". Retrieved October 14, 2011. 

See also[edit]