The 1954 NCAA Basketball Tournament involved 24 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAADivision Icollege basketball. It began on March 8, 1954, 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.
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. It would be the Bayou Bengals' 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.