On March 20, UCLA had a two-point lead over Drake, 41–39, at half time and then went on to defeat Drake by three points, 85–82, to advance to the championship game against Purdue. Wooden graduated from Purdue in 1932, after earning All-American honors as a guard on the school's basketball team that he captained during his junior and senior years. The Boilermakers won two Big Ten titles and the 1932 National Championship during his years there. Wooden also played baseball during his freshman year.
The "Money Man", John Vallely, scored 29 points and Alcindor had 25 points at the semi-final game. Alcindor scored 37 points with 20 rebounds in the championship game.
Three consecutive national championships for the Bruins, five in six years.
This was the first year in which the Athletic Association of Western Universities officially adopted the name Pacific-8 Conference, although that name had been used unofficially since the 1964–65 season after Oregon and Oregon State joined the conference.
USC, after losing a 61–55 double-overtime game to UCLA at the Sports Arena the night before, defeated the Bruins, 46–44, at Pauley Pavilion with a slowdown game. The Trojans' win ended four extended winning streaks by the Bruins:
51 games in Pauley Pavilion.
45 in AAWU/Pac-8 play.
17 over USC.
Last season for the 7-foot-1 and 1/2-inch center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), who led the Bruins to an overall three-year record (1967-68-69) of 88–2, and is the only player in history to be named three-time NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. In 1969, Abdul-Jabbar earned the first ever Naismith Trophy, given to the nation's top player.
On the 40th anniversary, the team was honored at halftime of UCLA's Senior Day game, March 7, 2009, at Pauley Pavilion.
Lew Alcindor's father played trombone with the UCLA band during the championship game.