1977 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

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1977 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Teams 32
Finals site The Omni
Atlanta, Georgia
Champions Marquette (1st title, 2nd title game,
2nd Final Four)
Runner-up North Carolina (4th title game,
7th Final Four)
Winning coach Al McGuire (1st title)
MOP Butch Lee Marquette
Attendance 241,610
Top scorer Cedric Maxwell Charlotte
(123 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
«1976 1978»

The 1977 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 32 American schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the National Champion of Men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on Saturday, March 12, 1977, and ended with the championship game on Monday, March 28 in Atlanta, Georgia. A total of 32 games were played, including a national third place game. This was the final tournament in which teams were not seeded.

Marquette, coached by Al McGuire, won the national title with a 67–59 victory in the final game over North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith. Butch Lee of Marquette was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Publicly announcing his retirement during the middle of the season, McGuire retired as head coach immediately after the game.[1] UNLV and UNC Charlotte (now known by the shorter "Charlotte") were third and fourth place, respectively.[2] Marquette's seven losses were a record at the time for the most losses in a season by a national champion, exceeded four years later in 1981 by Indiana with nine.

All four regionals were played on Thursday and Saturday.[3][4] The opening round the preceding weekend played twelve games on Saturday and four on Sunday.[5]


Region Team Coach Finished Final opponent Score
East Duquesne John Cinicola Round of 32 VMI L 73–66
East Hofstra Roger Gaeckler Round of 32 Notre Dame L 90–83
East Kentucky Joe B. Hall Regional Runner-up North Carolina L 79–72
East North Carolina Dean Smith Runner Up Marquette L 67–59
East Notre Dame Digger Phelps Sweet Sixteen North Carolina L 79–77
East Princeton Pete Carril Round of 32 Kentucky L 72–58
East Purdue Fred Schaus Round of 32 North Carolina L 69–66
East VMI Charlie Schmaus Sweet Sixteen Kentucky L 93–78
Mideast Central Michigan Dick Parfitt Round of 32 Charlotte L 91–86
Mideast Charlotte Lee Rose Fourth Place UNLV L 106–94
Mideast Detroit Dick Vitale Sweet Sixteen Michigan L 86–81
Mideast Holy Cross George Blaney Round of 32 Michigan L 92–81
Mideast Michigan Johnny Orr Regional Runner-up Charlotte L 75–68
Mideast Middle Tennessee State Jimmy Earle Round of 32 Detroit L 93–76
Mideast Syracuse Jim Boeheim Sweet Sixteen Charlotte L 81–59
Mideast Tennessee Ray Mears Round of 32 Syracuse L 93–88
Midwest Arizona Fred Snowden Round of 32 Southern Illinois L 81–77
Midwest Arkansas Eddie Sutton Round of 32 Wake Forest L 86–80
Midwest Cincinnati Gale Catlett Round of 32 Marquette L 66–51
Midwest Kansas State Jack Hartman Sweet Sixteen Marquette L 67–66
Midwest Marquette Al McGuire Champion North Carolina W 67–59
Midwest Providence Dave Gavitt Round of 32 Kansas State L 87–80
Midwest Southern Illinois Paul Lambert Sweet Sixteen Wake Forest L 86–81
Midwest Wake Forest Carl Tacy Regional Runner-up Marquette L 82–68
West Idaho State Jim Killingsworth Regional Runner-up UNLV L 107–90
West Long Beach State Dwight Jones Round of 32 Idaho State 83–72
West Louisville Denny Crum Round of 32 UCLA L 87–79
West San Francisco Bob Gaillard Round of 32 UNLV L 121–95
West St. John's Lou Carnesecca Round of 32 Utah L 72–68
West UCLA Gene Bartow Sweet Sixteen Idaho State L 76–75
West UNLV Jerry Tarkanian Third Place Charlotte W 106–94
West Utah Jerry Pimm Sweet Sixteen UNLV L 83–88


1977 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament is located in the US
Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
1977 sites for first and second round games
1977 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament is located in the US
College Park
College Park
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City
1977 Regionals (blue) and Final Four (red)

* – Denotes overtime period

East region[edit]

Cole Field House - College Park, Maryland[3][4]
First round games were played at Raleigh, North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 12.[5]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  VMI 73
  Duquesne 66
  VMI 78
  Kentucky 93
  Kentucky 72
  Princeton 58
  Kentucky 72
  North Carolina 79
  Notre Dame 90
  Hofstra 83
  Notre Dame 77
  North Carolina 79
  North Carolina 69
  Purdue 66

West region[edit]

Most of the excitement surrounding the Western Regional was the anticipated matchup between top 5 ranked teams UCLA and UNLV. UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian had lost 3 times in the tournament to UCLA while he was at Long Beach State, including a heartbreaking 57-55 loss in the 1971 West Regional final in which Long Beach State led by 11 in the second half. Many felt this UNLV team gave him the best opportunity to beat his longtime nemesis. But he never got the chance as UCLA was stunned in the regional semi final by unranked Idaho State. This was the first time since 1963 that UCLA made the tournament but failed to get to the Final Four. UNLV went on to easily beat Idaho State 107-90.

Marriott Center - Provo, Utah[3][4]
First round games were played at Pocatello, Idaho and Tucson, Arizona on Saturday, March 12.[5]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  UCLA 87
  Louisville 79
  UCLA 75
  Idaho State 76
  Idaho State 83
  Long Beach State 72
  Idaho State 90
  UNLV 107
  Utah 72
  St. John's 68
  Utah 83
  UNLV 88
  UNLV 121
  San Francisco 95

Mideast region[edit]

Rupp Arena - Lexington, Kentucky[3][4]
First round games were played at Bloomington, Indiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday, March 13.[5]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  Michigan 92
  Holy Cross 81
  Michigan 86
  Detroit 81
  Detroit 93
  Middle Tennessee St. 76
  Michigan 68
  Charlotte 75
  Charlotte 91
  Central Michigan 86*
  Charlotte 81
  Syracuse 59
  Syracuse 93
  Tennessee 88*

Midwest region[edit]

Myriad Convention Center - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma[3][4]
First round games were played at Omaha, Nebraska and Norman, Oklahoma on Saturday, March 12.[5]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  Marquette 66
  Cincinnati 51
  Marquette 67
  Kansas State 66
  Kansas State 87
  Providence 80
  Marquette 82
  Wake Forest 68
  Wake Forest 86
  Arkansas 80
  Wake Forest 86
  Southern Illinois 81
  Southern Illinois 81
  Arizona 77

Final Four[edit]

Omni Coliseum - Atlanta, Georgia

  National Semifinals     National Championship Game
  E  North Carolina 84  
  W  UNLV 83    
      E  North Carolina 59
      MW  Marquette 67
  ME  UNC Charlotte 49    
  MW  Marquette 51   National Third Place Game
W  UNLV 106
  ME  UNC Charlotte 94


  1. ^ "Marquette wins 1st NCAA title, 67-59, in McGuire's last game". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 29, 1977. p. 1, part 1. 
  2. ^ "Basketball: NCAA Championship". St. Petersburg Independent. March 29, 1977. p. 2C. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Thursday pairings". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 17, 1977. p. 4, part 2. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Now Idaho State aims at Vegas". Milwaukee Sentinel. UPI. March 19, 1977. p. 4, part 2. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "NCAA pairings". Milwaukee Sentinel. March 12, 1977. p. 2, part 2.