1954 NCAA Basketball Tournament

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1954 NCAA Basketball Tournament
Finals siteMunicipal Auditorium
Kansas City, Missouri
ChampionsLa Salle Explorers (1st title, 1st title game,
1st Final Four)
Runner-upBradley Braves (2nd title game,
2nd Final Four)
Winning coachKen Loeffler (1st title)
MOPTom Gola (La Salle)
Top scorerTom Gola La Salle
(114 points)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournaments
«1953 1955»

The 1954 NCAA 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 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; their last appearance until 1979, well after the graduation of NCAA all-time leading scorer Pete Maravich. LSU made only one postseason appearance over the next 24 seasons, the 1970 NIT, Maravich's senior season.


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
Duke 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)
Oregon State Coliseum, Corvallis, Oregon

Final Four[edit]

March 19 and 20
Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri

For the second straight year, and the fifth overall, Kansas City and the Municipal Auditorium hosted the Final Four. The tournament included five new venues. The city of Buffalo hosted games for the only time at the Aud; the tournament would not return to Western New York until 2000 when its replacement, HSBC Arena, would host. Also serving for the only time was Duke Indoor Stadium, the venerable home of the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, the second of the Tobacco Road schools to host games. For the first time, the tournament came to the state of Iowa, playing at the University of Iowa's Field House. The tournament also came to the city of Peoria for the only time to date, playing at Robertson Memorial Field House on the campus of Bradley University. And for the first time, the tournament came to the state of Oklahoma, playing at Gallagher Hall, home to the powerhouse teams of Hank Iba and Oklahoma A&M College.


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


* – Denotes overtime period

East-1 Region[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  Cornell 67  
    Navy 69  
  Navy 85
  Connecticut 80  
    Navy 48
  La Salle 64
  NC State 75  
George Washington 73  
NC State 81
    La Salle 88  
La Salle 76
  Fordham 74*  

East-2 Region[edit]

  First Round     Regional Semifinals     Regional Finals
      LSU 70  
  Penn State 62     Penn State 78    
  Toledo 50         Penn State 71
      Notre Dame 63
      Indiana 64    
  Notre Dame 80     Notre Dame 65  
  Loyola (LA) 70  

West-1 Region[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  Colorado 64  
    Bradley 76  
  Bradley 61
  Oklahoma City 55  
    Bradley 71
  Oklahoma A&M 57
Oklahoma A&M 51
    Rice 45  

West-2 Region[edit]

  First Round     Regional Semifinals     Regional Finals
      USC 73  
  Idaho State 77     Idaho State 59    
  Seattle 75*         USC 66
      Santa Clara 65**
      Colorado A&M 50    
  Santa Clara 73     Santa Clara 73  
  Texas Tech 64  

Final Four[edit]

National Semifinal National Championship
Penn State 54
La Salle 69
La Salle 92
Bradley 76
Bradley 74
USC 72

National Third Place Game[edit]

National Third Place Game [1]
USC 61
Penn State 70

Regional Third Place Games[edit]

See also[edit]


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