1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

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1996 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
1996FinalFour.png
1996 Final Four logo
Teams 64
Finals site Continental Airlines Arena
East Rutherford, New Jersey
Champions Kentucky (6th title, 8th title game,
11th Final Four)
Runner-up Syracuse (2nd title game,
3rd Final Four)
Semifinalists
Winning coach Rick Pitino (1st title)
MOP Tony Delk Kentucky
Attendance 631,834
Top scorer John Wallace Syracuse
(131 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
«1995 1997»

The 1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 14, 1996, and ended with the championship game on April 1 at Continental Airlines Arena (now known as Izod Center) in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. A total of 63 games were played.

The Final Four venue was notable for several reasons:

  • This marked the first time that the NCAA finals had been held in Greater New York since 1950.
  • This was also the last (men's) Final Four to be held in a basketball/hockey-specific facility. Every Final Four since has been held in a domed stadium (usually built for football) because of NCAA venue capacity requirements. Therefore, this was also the last time the NCAA finals have been held in the Greater New York area (for the time being).
  • Kentucky star Antoine Walker faced off against former high school teammate, Donovan McNabb, in the national championship against Syracuse University. McNabb would later gain fame as a quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles.[1]

The Final Four consisted of Kentucky, making their first appearance in the Final Four since 1993 and eleventh overall, Massachusetts, making their first ever appearance in the Final Four, Syracuse, making their third appearance in the Final Four and first since 1987, and Mississippi State, also making their first appearance.

Kentucky won their sixth national championship by defeating Syracuse in the final game 76-67.

Tony Delk of Kentucky was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Kentucky's run to the championship was one of the most dominant in NCAA tournament history, as the Wildcats won each of their first four games by at least 20 points and won every game by at least 7 points.

The committee that put together the bracket in 1996 was criticized for placing what seemed to be the best two teams in college basketball - Massachusetts and Kentucky - on the same side of the bracket so that they faced each other in the national semifinal - not the final game itself.[citation needed] Note that there are guidelines that the selection committee follows. In 2004 the procedure would be changed so that the regional sites would first be assigned their #1 seeds, then would be placed in the bracket so that the #1 overall seed would face the fourth #1 seed while the second #1 seed would face the third #1 seed, barring any upsets. However, it must also be noted that Connecticut was the presumed #1 overall seed that season, after compiling a 30-2 record during the season in a strong Big East Conference, including a conference tournament victory. Meanwhile, Kentucky was apparently dropped to the #3 overall seed following their defeat to Mississippi State in the SEC conference tournament final. Kentucky also could not be placed in the Southeast region since the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games were being played in Kentucky's home arena, Rupp Arena.

Connecticut, coached by Jim Calhoun and Massachusetts, coached by John Calipari, were later stripped of their wins, including the UMass Minutemen's Final Four appearance, by the NCAA because players (including UMass star Marcus Camby) had accepted illegal gifts from agents.[2]

Locations[edit]

1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament is located in USA
Providence
Providence
Richmond
Richmond
Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Orlando
Orlando
Milwaukee
Milwaukee
Dallas
Dallas
Albuquerque
Albuquerque
Tempe
Tempe
1997 first and second rounds
1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament is located in USA
Denver
Denver
Minneapolis
Minneapolis
Lexington
Lexington
Atlanta
Atlanta
E. Rutherford
E. Rutherford
1997 Regionals (blue) and Final Four (red)

First and Second Rounds[edit]

March 14 and 16
Providence Civic Center, Providence, Rhode Island
RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Indiana
Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
University Arena, Albuquerque, New Mexico
March 15 and 17
Arizona State University Activity Center, Tempe, Arizona
Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida
Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Virginia

Regionals[edit]

March 21 and 23
East Regional, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Midwest Regional, Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minnesota
March 22 and 24
Southeast Regional, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
West Regional, McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado

Final Four[edit]

March 30 and April 1
Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Teams[edit]

East Regional - Atlanta
Seed School Coach Conference Record Bid Type
#1 Massachusetts (vacated) John Calipari Atlantic 10 31-1 Automatic
#2 Georgetown John Thompson Big East 26-7 At-Large
#3 Texas Tech James Dickey SWC 28-1 Automatic
#4 Marquette Mike Deane Conference USA 22-7 At-Large
#5 Penn State Jerry Dunn Big Ten 21-6 At-Large
#6 North Carolina Dean Smith ACC 20-10 At-Large
#7 New Mexico Dave Bliss WAC 27-4 Automatic
#8 Bradley Jim Molinari Missouri Valley 22-7 At-Large
#9 Stanford Mike Montgomery Pac-10 19-8 At-Large
#10 Kansas State Tom Asbury Big Eight 17-11 At-Large
#11 New Orleans Tic Price Sun Belt 21-8 Automatic
#12 Arkansas Nolan Richardson SEC 18-12 At-Large
#13 Monmouth Wayne Szoke NEC 20-9 Automatic
#14 Northern Illinois Brian Hammel MCC 20-9 Automatic
#15 Mississippi Valley State Lafayette Stribling SWAC 22-6 Automatic
#16 Central Florida Kirk Speraw TAAC 11-18 Automatic
Midwest Regional - Minneapolis
Seed School Coach Conference Record Bid Type
#1 Kentucky Rick Pitino SEC 28-2 At-Large
#2 Wake Forest Dave Odom ACC 23-5 Automatic
#3 Villanova Steve Lappas Big East 25-6 At-Large
#4 Utah Rick Majerus WAC 25-6 At-Large
#5 Iowa State Tim Floyd Big Eight 23-8 Automatic
#6 Louisville Denny Crum Conference USA 20-11 At-Large
#7 Michigan (vacated) Steve Fisher Big Ten 20-11 At-Large
#8 UW-Green Bay Mike Heideman MCC 25-3 At-Large
#9 Virginia Tech Bill Foster Atlantic 10 22-5 At-Large
#10 Texas Tom Penders SWC 20-9 At-Large
#11 Tulsa Steve Robinson Missouri Valley 22-7 Automatic
#12 California Todd Bozeman Pac-10 17-10 At-Large
#13 Canisius John Beilein MAAC 19-10 Automatic
#14 Portland Rob Chavez West Coast 19-10 Automatic
#15 Northeast Louisiana Mike Vining Southland 16-13 Automatic
#16 San Jose State Stan Morrison Big West 13-16 Automatic
Southeast Regional - Lexington
Seed School Coach Conference Record Bid Type
#1 Connecticut Jim Calhoun Big East 30-2 Automatic
#2 Cincinnati Bob Huggins Conference USA 25-4 At-Large
#3 Georgia Tech Bobby Cremins ACC 22-11 At-Large
#4 UCLA Jim Harrick Pac-10 23-7 Automatic
#5 Mississippi State Richard Williams SEC 22-7 Automatic
#6 Indiana Bob Knight Big Ten 19-11 At-Large
#7 Temple John Chaney Atlantic 10 19-12 At-Large
#8 Duke Mike Krzyzewski ACC 18-12 At-Large
#9 Eastern Michigan Ben Braun Mid-American 24-5 Automatic
#10 Oklahoma Kelvin Sampson Big Eight 17-12 At-Large
#11 Boston College Jim O'Brien Big East 18-10 At-Large
#12 Virginia Commonwealth Sonny Smith CAA 17-10 Automatic
#13 Princeton Pete Carril Ivy League 21-6 Automatic
#14 Austin Peay Dave Loos Ohio Valley 19-10 Automatic
#15 UNC Greensboro Randy Peele Big South 20-9 Automatic
#16 Colgate Jack Bruen Patriot League 15-14 Automatic
West Regional - Denver
Seed School Coach Conference Record Bid Type
#1 Purdue Gene Keady Big Ten 25-5 Automatic
#2 Kansas Roy Williams Big Eight 26-4 At-Large
#3 Arizona Lute Olson Pac-10 24-6 At-Large
#4 Syracuse Jim Boeheim Big East 24-8 At-Large
#5 Memphis Larry Finch Conference USA 22-7 At-Large
#6 Iowa Tom Davis Big Ten 22-8 At-Large
#7 Maryland Gary Williams ACC 17-12 At-Large
#8 Georgia Tubby Smith SEC 19-9 At-Large
#9 Clemson Rick Barnes ACC 18-10 At-Large
#10 Santa Clara Dick Davey West Coast 19-8 At-Large
#11 George Washington Mike Jarvis Atlantic 10 21-7 At-Large
#12 Drexel Bill Herrion NAC 26-3 Automatic
#13 Montana State Mick Durham Big Sky 21-8 Automatic
#14 Valparaiso Homer Drew Mid-Continent 21-10 Automatic
#15 South Carolina State Cy Alexander MEAC 22-7 Automatic
#16 Western Carolina Phil Hopkins Southern 17-12 Automatic

Bracket[edit]

(* - Denotes overtime)

East Regional - Atlanta, Georgia[edit]

First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                       
1 Massachusetts 92
16 Central Florida 70
1 Massachusetts 79
Providence
9 Stanford 74
8 Bradley 58
9 Stanford 66
1 Massachusetts 79
12 Arkansas 63
5 Penn State 80
12 Arkansas 86
12 Arkansas 65
Providence
4 Marquette 56
4 Marquette 68
13 Monmouth 44
1 Massachusetts 86
2 Georgetown 62
6 North Carolina 83
11 New Orleans 62
6 North Carolina 73
Richmond
3 Texas Tech 92
3 Texas Tech 74
14 Northern Illinois 73
3 Texas Tech 90
2 Georgetown 98
7 New Mexico 69
10 Kansas State 48
7 New Mexico 65
Richmond
2 Georgetown 75
2 Georgetown 93
15 Mississippi Valley State 56

Regional Final Summary[edit]

CBS
Saturday, March 23
#1 Massachusetts Minutemen 86, #2 Georgetown Hoyas 62
Pts: M.Camby - 22
Rebs: D. Bright, M. Camby - 7
Asts: C. Travieso - 6
Pts: A. Iverson - 23
Rebs: J. Williams - 8
Asts: J. Touomou, J. Williams, O. Harrington - 2
Halftime Score: Massachusetts, 38-34
Georgia Dome - Atlanta, GA

Midwest Regional - Minneapolis, Minnesota[edit]

First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                       
1 Kentucky 110
16 San Jose State 72
1 Kentucky 84
Dallas
9 Virginia Tech 60
8 UW–Green Bay 49
9 Virginia Tech 61
1 Kentucky 101
4 Utah 70
5 Iowa State 74
12 California 64
5 Iowa State 67
Dallas
4 Utah 73
4 Utah 72
13 Canisius 43
1 Kentucky 83
2 Wake Forest 63
6 Louisville 82
11 Tulsa 80*
6 Louisville 68
Milwaukee
3 Villanova 64
3 Villanova 92
14 Portland 58
6 Louisville 59
2 Wake Forest 60
7 Michigan 76
10 Texas 80
10 Texas 62
Milwaukee
2 Wake Forest 65
2 Wake Forest 64
15 Northeast Louisiana 50

Regional Final Summary[edit]

CBS
Saturday, March 23
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 83, #2 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 63
Pts: T. Delk - 25
Rebs: A. Walker - 6
Asts: A. Epps - 6
Pts: S. Goolsby, T. Duncan - 14
Rebs: T. Duncan - 16
Asts: T. Duncan - 6
Halftime Score: Kentucky, 38-19
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome - Minneapolis, MN

Southeast Regional - Lexington, Kentucky[edit]

First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                       
1 Connecticut 68
16 Colgate 59
1 Connecticut 95
Indianapolis
9 Eastern Michigan 81
8 Duke 60
9 Eastern Michigan 75
1 Connecticut 55
5 Mississippi State 60
5 Mississippi State 58
12 Virginia Commonwealth 51
5 Mississippi State 63
Indianapolis
13 Princeton 41
4 UCLA 41
13 Princeton 43
5 Mississippi State 73
2 Cincinnati 63
6 Indiana 51
11 Boston College 64
11 Boston College 89
Orlando
3 Georgia Tech 103
3 Georgia Tech 90
14 Austin Peay 79
3 Georgia Tech 70
2 Cincinnati 87
7 Temple 61
10 Oklahoma 43
7 Temple 65
Orlando
2 Cincinnati 78
2 Cincinnati 66
15 UNC Greensboro 61

Regional Final Summary[edit]

CBS
Sunday, March 24
#5 Mississippi State Bulldogs 73, #2 Cincinnati Bearcats 63
Pts: D. Jones - 23
Rebs: D. Jones - 13
Asts: D. Wilson - 6
Pts: D. Fortson - 24
Rebs: D. Fortson - 13
Asts: K. Legree - 4
Halftime Score: Mississippi State, 37-29
Rupp Arena - Lexington, KY

West Regional - Denver, Colorado[edit]

First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                       
1 Purdue 73
16 Western Carolina 71
1 Purdue 69
Albuquerque
8 Georgia 76
8 Georgia 81
9 Clemson 74
8 Georgia 81
4 Syracuse 83*
5 Memphis 63
12 Drexel 75
12 Drexel 58
Albuquerque
4 Syracuse 69
4 Syracuse 88
13 Montana State 55
4 Syracuse 60
2 Kansas 57
6 Iowa 81
11 George Washington 79
6 Iowa 73
Tempe
3 Arizona 87
3 Arizona 90
14 Valparaiso 51
3 Arizona 80
2 Kansas 83
7 Maryland 79
10 Santa Clara 91
10 Santa Clara 51
Tempe
2 Kansas 76
2 Kansas 92
15 South Carolina State 54

Regional Final Summary[edit]

CBS
Sunday, March 24
#4 Syracuse Orangemen 60, #2 Kansas Jayhawks 57
Pts: J. Wallace, O. Hill - 15
Rebs: J. Wallace - 9
Asts: L. Sims - 4
Pts: J. Vaughn - 21
Rebs: R. LaFrentz - 9
Asts: J. Haase - 6
Halftime Score: Syracuse, 35-26
McNichols Sports Arena - Denver, CO

Final Four at East Rutherford, New Jersey[edit]

National Semifinals National Championship Game
           
E1 Massachusetts 74
M1 Kentucky 81
M1 Kentucky 76
W4 Syracuse 67
SE5 Mississippi State 69
W4 Syracuse 77

Game Summaries[edit]

CBS
Saturday, March 30
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 81, #1 Massachusetts Minutemen 74
Pts: T. Delk - 20
Rebs: W. McCarty - 10
Asts: A. Epps, A. Walker, D. Anderson, W. McCarty-4
Pts: M. Camby - 25
Rebs: D. Bright - 9
Asts: E. Padilla - 12
Halftime Score: Kentucky 36-28
Continental Airlines Arena - East Rutherford, NJ
CBS
Saturday, March 30
#4 Syracuse Orangemen 77, #5 Mississippi State Bulldogs 69
Pts: J. Wallace - 21
Rebs: T. Burgan - 7
Asts: L. Siims - 9
Pts: D. Wilson - 20
Rebs: E. Dampier - 14
Asts: M. Bullard - 8
Halftime Score: 36-36
Continental Airlines Arena - East Rutherford, NJ

National Championship[edit]

CBS
Monday, April, 1
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 76, #4 Syracuse Orangemen 67
Pts: T. Delk - 24
Rebs: A. Walker - 9
Asts: A. Epps - 7
Pts: J. Wallace - 29
Rebs: J. Wallace, O. Hill - 10
Asts: L. Sims - 7
Halftime Score: Kentucky, 42-33
Continental Airlines Arena - East Rutherford, NJ

Announcers[edit]

References[edit]