The 1955 NCAA Basketball Tournament involved 24 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division Icollege 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.
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.