1951 NCAA Basketball Tournament
|1951 NCAA Basketball Tournament|
|Finals site||Williams Arena|
|Champions||Kentucky Wildcats (3rd title, 3rd title game,|
4th Final Four)
|Runner-up||Kansas State Wildcats (1st title game,|
2nd Final Four)
|Winning coach||Adolph Rupp (3rd title)|
|MOP||Bill Spivey (Kentucky)|
|Top scorer||Don Sunderlage Illinois|
The 1951 NCAA Basketball Tournament involved 16 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 20, 1951, and ended with the championship game on March 27 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A total of 18 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.
This NCAA tournament was the first with a 16-team field. Only the championship and third place games were held in Minneapolis, while the semifinals were held in the respective regional sites; similar to previous years. A true "Final Four" (semifinals and final at same location) debuted the following year.
The twelve-team National Invitation Tournament (NIT) was held the previous week in New York City at Madison Square Garden, with its championship on Saturday, March 17. Four teams competed in both tournaments, including NIT champion BYU; they lost in the quarterfinal round, by ten points to Kansas State. The three other teams were Arizona, North Carolina State, and St. John's.
The following are the sites selected to host each round of the 1951 tournament:
- March 20
- Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
- Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, North Carolina
- March 21 and 22
- Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri
- March 22 and 24
- East Regional, Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
- March 23 and 24
- West Regional, Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri
The city of Minneapolis became the fifth host city, and Williams Arena the fifth host arena, of the National Championship game. It was the third college venue to do so, after Patten Gym in 1939 and Hec Edmundson Pavilion in 1949. For the ninth and twelfth straight years, Madison Square Garden and the Kansas City Municipal Auditorium hosted the East and West regionals, respectively. The two other arenas would also host the Sweet Sixteen games; while the Municipal Auditorium did so on consecutive days, Madison Square Garden shared duties for these games with a new venue, Reynolds Coliseum on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. It was the first games held in the state of North Carolina, and the second time a Southern school hosted games after Tulane University did in 1942. Reynolds would go on to host games a dozen times over a thirty year stretch.
|East||Columbia||Lou Rossini||Sweet Sixteen||Illinois||L 79–71|
|East||Connecticut||Hugh Greer||Sweet Sixteen||St. John's||L 63–52|
|East||Illinois||Harry Combes||Third Place||Oklahoma A&M||W 61–46|
|East||Kentucky||Adolph Rupp||Champion||Kansas State||W 68–58|
|East||Louisville||Peck Hickman||Sweet Sixteen||Kentucky||L 79–68|
|East||NC State||Everett Case||Regional Fourth Place||St. John's||L 71–59|
|East||St. John's||Frank McGuire||Regional Third Place||NC State||W 71–59|
|East||Villanova||Alex Severance||Sweet Sixteen||NC State||L 67–62|
|West||Arizona||Fred Enke||Sweet Sixteen||Kansas State||L 61–59|
|West||BYU||Stan Watts||Regional Fourth Place||Washington||L 80–67|
|West||Kansas State||Jack Gardner||Runner-up||Kentucky||L 68–58|
|West||Montana State||Brick Breeden||Sweet Sixteen||Oklahoma A&M||L 50–46|
|West||Oklahoma A&M||Henry Iba||Fourth Place||Illinois||L 61–46|
|West||San Jose State||Walt McPherson||Sweet Sixteen||BYU||L 68–61|
|West||Texas A&M||John Floyd||Sweet Sixteen||Washington||L 62–40|
|West||Washington||Tippy Dye||Regional Third Place||BYU||W 80–67|
|First round||Second round||National Semifinals||National Final|
|San Jose State||61|
National Third Place Game
|National Third Place|
Regional Third Place Games
- Miller, Hack (March 18, 1951). "BYU smashes Dayton in finale, 62-43". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. C1.
- Grimsley, Will (March 18, 1951). "Brigham Young cops invitational hoop title, 62-43". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. p. 1B.
- Miller, Hack (March 18, 1951). "BYU gets nod in NCAA cage opener". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. A11.
- Miller, Hack (March 24, 1951). "Kansas State dumps cold Cougars, 64-54". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. A5.
- "Kansas State whips BYU, 64-54". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 24, 1951. p. 10.
- "1951 NCAA Basketball Tournament". College Basketball Reference. Retrieved 4 April 2018.