1979 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

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1979 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Season 1978–79
Teams 40
Finals site Special Events Center
Salt Lake City, Utah
Champions Michigan State (1st title)
Runner-up Indiana State (1st title game)
Semifinalists DePaul (2nd Final Four)
Penn (1st Final Four)
Winning coach Jud Heathcote (1st title)
MOP Magic Johnson Michigan State
Attendance 262,101
Top scorer Tony Price Penn
(142 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
«1978 1980»

The 1979 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 40 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 9, 1979, and ended with the championship game on March 26 in Salt Lake City. A total of 40 games were played, including a national third place game.

Michigan State, coached by Jud Heathcote, won the national title with a 75-64 victory in the final game over Indiana State, coached by Bill Hodges. Indiana State came into the game without a loss all season, but couldn't win their final game. Magic Johnson of Michigan State was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Michigan State's victory over Indiana State was its first over a number one ranked team, and remained its only victory over a number one ranked team until 2007 (Wisconsin).[1]

The final game marked the beginning of the rivalry between future Hall of Famers Johnson and Larry Bird. To this day, it remains the highest-rated game in the history of televised college basketball.[2] Both Johnson and Bird would enter the NBA in the fall of 1979, and the rivalry between them and their teams (respectively, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics) was a major factor in the league's renaissance in the 1980s and 1990s. The game also led to the "modern era" of college basketball, as it introduced a nationwide audience to a sport that was once relegated to second-class status in the sports world.

With the loss in the championship game, Indiana State has finished as the National Runner-up in the NAIA (1946 and 1948), NCAA Division I (1979), and the NCAA Division II (1968) making them the only school to do so.

This was the first tournament in which all teams were seeded by the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. The top six seeds in each regional received byes to the second round, while seeds 7-10 played in the first round. It is also notable as the last Final Four played in an on-campus arena, at the University of Utah. (The most recent tournament to be held on a university's premises (i.e. not on the university's main campus, but on a satellite or branch campus) was in 1983, as the University of New Mexico (UNM) hosted that year's tournament in The Pit (then officially known as University Arena), which is located on the UNM South Campus.) It has, however, been played in a team's regular off-campus home arena two times since then: in 1985 at Rupp Arena, Kentucky's home court, and in 1996 at Continental Airlines Arena, Seton Hall's home court. Given the use of domed stadiums for Final Fours for the foreseeable future, it is likely this will be the last Final Four on a college campus.

Locations[edit]

Region Site Other Locations
East Greensboro, North Carolina Providence, Rhode Island, Raleigh, North Carolina
Mideast Indianapolis, Indiana Bloomington, Indiana, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Midwest Cincinnati, Ohio Dallas, Texas, Lawrence, Kansas
West Provo, Utah Los Angeles, California, Tucson, Arizona
Finals Salt Lake City, Utah

In the East, the Round of 32 was called Black Sunday because of Penn's upset of #1 North Carolina and St. John's upset of #2-seeded Duke, both in Raleigh. Penn went all the way to the Final Four before losing to eventual champion Michigan State. Both teams had to defeat higher-seeded opponents in the Round of 40 to have the chance to beat UNC and Duke. Penn beat three higher-seeded opponents to reach the Final Four, a feat which was later bettered in 1986 by LSU, 2006 by George Mason, and 2011 by Virginia Commonwealth, who each beat four higher-seeded opponents on the way to the Final Four.

Teams[edit]

Region Seed Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East
East 1 North Carolina Dean Smith Round of 32 9 Penn L 72-71
East 2 Duke Bill E. Foster Round of 32 10 St. John's L 80-78
East 3 Georgetown John Thompson Round of 32 6 Rutgers L 64-58
East 4 Syracuse Jim Boeheim Sweet Sixteen 9 Penn L 84-76
East 5 Connecticut Dom Perno Round of 32 4 Syracuse L 89-81
East 6 Rutgers Tom Young Sweet Sixteen 10 St. John's L 67-65
East 7 Temple Don Casey Round of 40 10 St. John's L 75-70
East 8 Iona Jim Valvano Round of 40 9 Penn L 73-69
East 9 Penn Bob Weinhauer Fourth Place 2 Michigan State L 101-67
East 10 St. John's Lou Carnesecca Regional Runner-up 9 Penn L 64-62
Mideast
Mideast 1 Notre Dame Digger Phelps Regional Runner-up 2 Michigan State L 80-68
Mideast 2 Michigan State Jud Heathcote Champion 1 Indiana State W 75-64
Mideast 3 LSU Dale Brown Sweet Sixteen 2 Michigan State L 87-71
Mideast 4 Iowa Lute Olson Round of 32 5 Toledo L 74-72
Mideast 5 Toledo Bob Nichols Sweet Sixteen 1 Notre Dame L 79-71
Mideast 6 Appalachian State Bobby Cremins Round of 32 3 LSU L 71-57
Mideast 7 Detroit Smokey Gaines Round of 40 10 Lamar L 95-87
Mideast 8 Tennessee Don DeVoe Round of 32 1 Notre Dame L 73-67
Mideast 9 Eastern Kentucky Ed Byhre Round of 40 8 Tennessee L 97-81
Mideast 10 Lamar Billy Tubbs Round of 32 2 Michigan State L 95-64
Midwest
Midwest 1 Indiana State Bill Hodges Runner Up 2 Michigan State L 75-64
Midwest 2 Arkansas Eddie Sutton Regional Runner-up 1 Indiana State L 73-71
Midwest 3 Louisville Denny Crum Sweet Sixteen 2 Arkansas L 73-62
Midwest 4 Texas Abe Lemons Round of 32 5 Oklahoma L 90-76
Midwest 5 Oklahoma Dave Bliss Sweet Sixteen 1 Indiana State L 93-72
Midwest 6 South Alabama Cliff Ellis Round of 32 3 Louisville L 69-66
Midwest 7 Weber State Neil McCarthy Round of 32 2 Arkansas L 74-63
Midwest 8 Virginia Tech Charles Moir Round of 32 1 Indiana State L 86-69
Midwest 9 Jacksonville Tates Locke Round of 40 8 Virginia Tech L 70-53
Midwest 10 New Mexico State Ken Hayes Round of 40 7 Weber State L 81-78
West
West 1 UCLA Gary Cunningham Regional Runner-up 2 DePaul L 95-91
West 2 DePaul Ray Meyer Third Place 1 Indiana State L 76-74
West 3 Marquette Hank Raymonds Sweet Sixteen 2 DePaul L 62-56
West 4 San Francisco Dan Belluomini Sweet Sixteen 1 UCLA L 99-81
West 5 BYU Frank Arnold Round of 32 4 San Francisco L 86-63
West 6 Pacific Stan Morrison Round of 32 3 Marquette L 73-48
West 7 USC Bob Boyd Round of 32 2 DePaul L 89-78
West 8 Utah Jerry Pimm Round of 40 9 Pepperdine L 92-88
West 9 Pepperdine Gary Colson Round of 32 1 UCLA L 76-71
West 10 Utah State Dutch Belnap Round of 40 7 USC L 86-67

Bracket[edit]

* – Denotes overtime period


East region[edit]

  First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                                     
7  Temple 70  
10  St. John's 75  
  10  St. John's 80  
    2  Duke 78  
      
        
  10  St. John's 67  
  6  Rutgers 65  
        
        
  3  Georgetown 58
    6  Rutgers 64  
      
        
  10  St. John's 62
  9  Penn 64
8  Iona 69  
9  Penn 73  
  9  Penn 72
    1  North Carolina 71  
      
        
  9  Penn 84
  4  Syracuse 76  
        
        
  4  Syracuse 89
    5  Connecticut 81  
      

Mideast region[edit]

  First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                                     
7  Detroit 87  
10  Lamar 95  
  10  Lamar 64  
    2  Michigan State 95  
      
        
  2  Michigan State 87  
  3  LSU 71  
        
        
  3  LSU 71
    6  Appalachian State 57  
      
        
  2  Michigan State 80
  1  Notre Dame 68
8  Tennessee 97  
9  E Kentucky 81  
  8  Tennessee 67
    1  Notre Dame 73  
      
        
  1  Notre Dame 79
  5  Toledo 71  
        
        
  4  Iowa 72
    5  Toledo 74  
      

Midwest region[edit]

  First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                                     
7  Weber State 81  
10  New Mexico State 78*  
  7  Weber State 63  
    2  Arkansas 74  
      
        
  2  Arkansas 73  
  3  Louisville 62  
        
        
  3  Louisville 69
    6  South Alabama 66  
      
        
  2  Arkansas 71
  1  Indiana State 73
8  Virginia Tech 70  
9  Jacksonville 53  
  8  Virginia Tech 69
    1  Indiana State 86  
      
        
  1  Indiana State 93
  5  Oklahoma 72  
        
        
  4  Texas 76
    5  Oklahoma 90  
      

West region[edit]

  First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                                     
7  USC 86  
10  Utah State 67  
  7  USC 78  
    2  DePaul 89  
      
        
  2  DePaul 62  
  3  Marquette 56  
        
        
  3  Marquette 73
    6  Pacific 48  
      
        
  2  DePaul 95
  1  UCLA 91
8  Utah 88*  
9  Pepperdine 92  
  9  Pepperdine 71
    1  UCLA 76  
      
        
  1  UCLA 99
  4  San Francisco 81  
        
        
  4  San Francisco 86
    5  BYU 63  
      

Final Four[edit]

  National Semifinals     National Championship Game
                 
  E9  Penn 67  
  ME2  Michigan State 101    
      ME2  Michigan State 75
      MW1  Indiana State 64
  MW1  Indiana State 76    
  W2  DePaul 74   National Third Place Game
 
W2  DePaul 96
  E9  Penn 93

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/recap?gameId=270510127
  2. ^ Larry Bird; Earvin Johnson; Jackie MacMullan (4 November 2009). When the Game Was Ours. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 13–. ISBN 978-0-547-41681-6.  24.1 Nielsen rating