Marquette was ranked 8th and received an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The NCAA slotted Marquette into the Midwest regional rather than the closer Mideast regional. McGuire was so displeased about this that Marquette actually turned down the NCAA bid and chose to instead play in the NIT. The NCAA no longer allows a school to turn down a bid to the NCAA tournament in order to play in another postseason tournament.
This tournament represented the final college games for LSU great Pete Maravich, the NCAA's all-time leading scorer. Maravich finished his three-year career with 3,667 points, 44.2 per game, records which stand through the 2017-18 season, despite the reinstitution of freshman eligibility and the introduction of the shot clock and 3-point shot. It was LSU's only postseason appearance between 1954 and 1979.