1973 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

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1973 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Teams 25
Finals site St. Louis Arena
St. Louis, Missouri
Champions UCLA (9th title, 9th title game,
10th Final Four)
Runner-up Memphis State (1st title game,
1st Final Four)
Winning coach John Wooden (9th title)
MOP Bill Walton UCLA
Attendance 163,160
Top scorer Ernie DiGregorio Providence
(128 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
«1972 1974»

The 1973 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 25 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA University Division (the predecessor to today's Division I, which would be created later in 1973) college basketball. It began on March 10, 1973, and ended with the championship game on March 26 in St. Louis, Missouri. A total of 29 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game. This was the first year that the championship game was held on a Monday night, after the semifinals on Saturday. It has remained that way ever since. Previously the championship game was on Saturday with the semi finals on either Thursday or Friday.

UCLA, coached by John Wooden, won the national title with an 87–66 victory in the final game over Memphis State, coached by Gene Bartow. This gave UCLA their 7th consecutive title. Bill Walton of UCLA was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Tournament notes[edit]

The UCLA - Memphis State championship game made USA Today's list of the greatest NCAA tournament games of all time at #18.[1] Bill Walton set a championship game record, hitting 21 of 22 shots and scoring 44 points.

Trivia: Indiana had a home floor advantage. Bobby Knight did not like the floor, so he had the floor shipped in from Indiana and installed in the St. Louis Arena.


Region Site Other Locations
East Charlotte, North Carolina Jamaica, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Williamsburg, Virginia
Mideast Nashville, Tennessee Dayton, Ohio
Midwest Houston, Texas Wichita, Kansas
West Los Angeles, California Logan, Utah
Finals St. Louis, Missouri


Region Seed Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East n/a Furman Joe Williams First round Syracuse L 83-82
East n/a Maryland Lefty Driesell Regional Runner-up Providence L 103-89
East n/a Penn Chuck Daly Regional Fourth Place Syracuse L 69-68
East n/a Providence Dave Gavitt Fourth Place Indiana L 97-79
East n/a St. John's Frank Mulzoff First round Penn L 62-61
East n/a Saint Joseph's Jack McKinney First round Providence L 89-76
East n/a Syracuse Roy Danforth Regional Third Place Penn W 69-68
Mideast n/a Austin Peay Lake Kelly Regional Fourth Place Marquette L 88-73
Mideast n/a Indiana Bob Knight Third Place Providence W 97-79
Mideast n/a Jacksonville Tom Wasdin First round Austin Peay L 77-75
Mideast n/a Kentucky Joe B. Hall Regional Runner-up Indiana L 72-65
Mideast n/a Marquette Al McGuire Regional Third Place Austin Peay W 88-73
Mideast n/a Miami, Ohio Darrell Hedric First round Marquette L 77-62
Midwest n/a Houston Guy Lewis First round Southwestern Louisiana L 102-89
Midwest n/a Kansas State Jack Hartman Regional Runner-up Memphis State L 92-72
Midwest n/a Southwestern Louisiana (Vacated) Beryl Shipley Regional Fourth Place South Carolina L 90-85
Midwest n/a Memphis State Gene Bartow Runner Up UCLA L 87-66
Midwest n/a South Carolina Frank McGuire Regional Third Place Southwestern Louisiana W 90-85
Midwest n/a Texas Tech Gerald Myers First round South Carolina L 78-70
West n/a Arizona State Ned Wulk Regional Fourth Place Long Beach State L 84-80
West n/a Long Beach State Jerry Tarkanian Regional Third Place Arizona State W 84-80
West n/a Oklahoma City Abe Lemons First round Arizona State L 103-78
West n/a San Francisco Bob Gaillard Regional Runner-up UCLA L 54-39
West n/a UCLA John Wooden Champion Memphis State W 87-66
West n/a Weber State Gene Visscher First round Long Beach State L 88-75


* – Denotes overtime period

East region[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
     Maryland 91  
       Syracuse 75  
   Syracuse 83
     Furman 82  
       Maryland 89
     Providence 103
     Pennsylvania 62  
   St. John's 61  
   Pennsylvania 65
       Providence 87  
   Providence 89
     St. Joseph's 76  

Midwest region[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
     Memphis State 90  
       South Carolina 76  
   South Carolina 78
     Texas Tech 70  
       Memphis State 92
     Kansas State 72
   Kansas State 66
       Southwest Louisiana 63  
   Southwest Louisiana 102
     Houston 89  

Mideast region[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
     Indiana 75  
       Marquette 69  
   Marquette 77
     Miami-OH 62  
       Indiana 72
     Kentucky 65
   Kentucky 106
       Austin Peay 100*  
   Austin Peay 77
     Jacksonville 75  

West region[edit]

  Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
     UCLA 98  
       Arizona State 81  
   Arizona State 103
     Oklahoma City 78  
       UCLA 54
     San Francisco 39
   San Francisco 77
       Long Beach State 67  
   Long Beach State 88
     Weber State 75  

Final Four[edit]

UCLA won its seventh consecutive championship
  National Semifinals     National Championship Game
  E  Providence 85  
  MW  Memphis State 98    
      MW  Memphis State 66
      W  UCLA 87
  ME  Indiana 59    
  W  UCLA 70   National Third Place Game
ME  Indiana 97
  E  Providence 79


The 1973 NC State Wolfpack team averaged 93 ppg, led the nation in win margin (21.8 ppg), and posted a 27–0 record, but was ineligible for postseason play because of NCAA probation. David Thompson, a two-time national Player of the Year, and All-American Tom Burleson, led NC State to a 30–1 record the following season, losing only to seven-time defending champion UCLA. The Wolfpack avenged its only loss during the two-year period by defeating UCLA in the 1974 Final Four and winning the title.

Gene Bartow, the Memphis State coach, would be John Wooden's successor at UCLA after the 1974-1975 season.


  1. ^ Mike Douchant - Greatest 63 games in NCAA Tournament history. The Sports Xchange, published in USA Today, March 25, 2002