1955 NCAA Basketball Tournament

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1955 NCAA Basketball Tournament
Finals siteMunicipal Auditorium
Kansas City, Missouri
ChampionsSan Francisco Dons (1st title, 1st title game,
1st Final Four)
Runner-upLa Salle Explorers (2nd title game,
2nd Final Four)
Winning coachPhil Woolpert (1st title)
MOPBill Russell (San Francisco)
Top scorerBill Russell San Francisco
(118 points)
NCAA Division I Men's Tournaments
«1954 1956»

The 1955 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, 1955, and ended with the championship game on March 19 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.

San Francisco, coached by Phil Woolpert, won the national title with a 77–63 victory in the final game over La Salle, coached by Ken Loeffler. Bill Russell of San Francisco was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.


The following are the sites selected to host each round of the 1955 tournament:

East-1 Region[edit]

First Round (March 8)
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
East-1 Regional (March 11 and 12)
The Palestra, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

East-2 Region[edit]

First Round (March 9)
Memorial Coliseum, Lexington, Kentucky
East-2 Regional (March 11 and 12)
McGaw Memorial Hall, Evanston, Illinois

West-1 Region[edit]

First Round (March 8)
Thunderbird Coliseum, El Reno, Oklahoma
West Regional (March 11 and 12)
Ahearn Field House, Manhattan, Kansas

West-2 Region[edit]

First Round (March 8)
Cow Palace, San Francisco, California
West-2 Regional (March 11 and 12)
Oregon State Coliseum, Corvallis, Oregon

Final Four[edit]

March 18 and 19
Municipal Auditorium, Kansas City, Missouri

For the third straight year, and sixth overall, the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri was the site of the Final Four. There were four new sites used in the 1955 tournament. For the first time since the 1939 National Championship, the tournament returned to the campus of Northwestern University, with games played at McGaw Memorial Hall, the then-three-year-old home to the Wildcats basketball program. The tournament also returned to the San Francisco area for the first time since 1939, with the first round of the West-2 regional played at the Cow Palace in Daly City, the immediate southern suburb of San Francisco. Both the Cow Palace and McGaw Memorial Hall would host Final Fours within the next five years after this. The tournament also came to the state of Kentucky for the first time, with games at the Memorial Coliseum on the campus of the University of Kentucky. The Wildcats' home court would host the tournament ten times in twenty years before being replaced by Rupp Arena. The fourth new arena was, to date, one of the smallest venues in arguably the smallest town ever to host a tournament game. The Thunderbird Coliseum, located at the Canadian County fairgrounds along U.S. Route 66 in the distant Oklahoma City suburb of El Reno, hosted the West-1 regional first-round game between Bradley and the host school, Oklahoma City University. The Chiefs would host the tournament once more in their history, in 1957 at another high school gymnasium in Oklahoma City. This was the first of three high school gymnasiums in five years to host tournament games.


Region Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East Canisius Joseph Curran Regional Runner-up La Salle L 99–64
East Duke Harold Bradley First round Villanova L 74–73
East Iowa Bucky O'Connor Fourth Place Colorado L 75–54
East Kentucky Adolph Rupp Regional Third Place Penn State W 84–59
East La Salle Ken Loeffler Runner Up San Francisco L 77–63
East Marquette Jack Nagle Regional Runner-up Iowa L 86–81
East Memphis State Eugene Lambert First round Penn State L 59–55
East Miami (OH) Bill Rohr First round Marquette L 90–79
East Penn State John Egli Regional Fourth Place Kentucky L 84–59
East Princeton Franklin Cappon Regional Fourth Place Villanova L 64–57
East Villanova Alex Severance Regional Third Place Princeton W 64–57
East West Virginia Fred Schaus First Round La Salle L 95–61
East Williams Alex Shaw First Round Canisius L 73–60
West Bradley Bob Vanatta Regional Runner-up Colorado L 93–81
West Colorado Bebe Lee Third Place Iowa W 75–54
West Idaho State Steve Belko First round Seattle L 80–63
West Oklahoma City Doyle Parrack First round Bradley L 69–65
West Oregon State Slats Gill Regional Runner-up San Francisco L 57–56
West San Francisco Phil Woolpert Champion La Salle W 77–63
West Seattle Al Brightman Regional Fourth Place Utah L 108–85
West SMU Doc Hayes Regional Fourth Place Tulsa L 68–67
West Tulsa Clarence Iba Regional Third Place SMU W 68–67
West Utah Jack Gardner Regional Third Place Seattle W 108–85
West West Texas State Gus Miller First round San Francisco L 89–66


East region[edit]

East-1 Region[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    Princeton 46  
      La Salle 73  
  La Salle 95
    West Virginia 61  
      La Salle 99
    Canisius 64
    Canisius 73  
  Williams 60  
  Canisius 73
      Villanova 71  
  Villanova 74
    Duke 73  

East-2 Region[edit]

  First Round     Regional Semifinals     Regional Finals
      Kentucky 71  
  Marquette 90     Marquette 79    
  Miami-OH 79         Marquette 81
      Iowa 86
      Iowa 82    
  Penn St. 59     Penn St. 53  
  Memphis St. 55  

West-1 Region[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
    SMU 79  
      Bradley 81  
  Bradley 69
    Oklahoma City 65  
      Bradley 81
    Colorado 93
  Colorado 69
      Tulsa 59  

West-2 Region[edit]

  First Round     Regional Semifinals     Regional Finals
      Oregon St. 83  
  Seattle 80     Seattle 71    
  Idaho St. 63         Oregon St. 56
      San Francisco 57
      Utah 59    
  San Francisco 89     San Francisco 78  
  West Texas St. 66  

Final Four[edit]

National Semifinal National Championship
Iowa 73
La Salle 76
La Salle 63
San Francisco 77
Colorado 50
San Francisco 62

National Third Place Game[edit]

National Third Place Game[1]
  Iowa 54
  Colorado 75

Regional Third Place Games[edit]

See also[edit]


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