1981 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

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1981 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Season 1980–81
Teams 48
Finals site The Spectrum
Philadelphia
Champions Indiana (4th title, 4th title game,
5th Final Four)
Runner-up North Carolina (5th title game,
8th Final Four)
Semifinalists
Winning coach Bob Knight (2nd title)
MOP Isiah Thomas Indiana
Attendance 347,414
Top scorer Al Wood North Carolina
(109 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
«1980 1982»

The 1981 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 48 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 12, 1981, and ended with the championship game on March 30 in Philadelphia. A total of 48 games were played, including a national third place game (the last in the NCAA tournament). It was also the last tournament to be televised on NBC, before CBS took over the following year.

Indiana, coached by Bob Knight, won the national title with a 63-50 victory over North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith. Isiah Thomas of Indiana was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

The March 14 upsets[edit]

The date of Saturday, March 14, 1981, was noteworthy in that it resulted in three major second round tournament upsets which were decided by last-second baskets.

St. Joseph's trailed #1 seed DePaul by seven at about the midway point of the second half, in an early afternoon Mideast Region game from Dayton, Ohio. However, with 48 seconds left, the Hawks had rallied to within 48-47. Blue Demons guard Skip Dillard was fouled with 13 seconds left. Dillard was known as 'Money' for his superb free throw shooting, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, and St. Joseph's got the rebound, then quickly passed the ball to the front court without calling a timeout. Guard Bryan Warrick got the ball to freshman Lonnie McFarlan who was wide open in the right corner. McFarlan began to shoot until forward John Smith yelled "Please!" to him. McFarlan passed to Smith, who was open underneath the basket. Smith's layup with two seconds left enabled the Hawks of coach Jim Lynam to stun the Blue Demons of Ray Meyer, 49-48.

Later in the afternoon in Austin, Texas, Arkansas coach Eddie Sutton called timeout with 5 seconds left after falling behind Louisville in the Midwest Region, 73-72 on a jumper by guard Derek Smith. Sutton told his team to get the ball to U.S. Reed. The Razorbacks' guard dribbled to near half court, then launched a 49-foot shot that beat the buzzer and swished through the net, as Arkansas dethroned the defending national champion Cardinals of Denny Crum, 74-73. Sutton told the media, "Champions die hard."

Only moments after the Razorbacks' upset, the season ended for another #1 seed in the West Region. Oregon State led Kansas State by as much as 11 points in the second half. Coach Ralph Miller and center Steve Johnson had led the Beavers to a two-year record of 52-4. Then Rolando Blackman led the Wildcats back with a 16-6 run to tie the game, 48-48 with 3:23 left. Johnson then fouled out, and both teams stalled with the ball until Oregon State missed the front end of a one-and-one from the foul line. K-State then held for the last shot. With two seconds left, Blackman, double-teamed, drilled a fall-away 17 footer from the right baseline for a 50-48 upset by the Wildcats of Jack Hartman.

In another second round Mideast Region upset, Alabama-Birmingham defeated Kentucky, 69-62. A semifinal in the East Region saw Danny Ainge dribble the length of the court and drive all the way in for a layup and another buzzer-beating winner, lifting Brigham Young over Notre Dame, 51-50.

Greg Johnson of ncaa.com, in a March 9, 2011 article, indicated that March 14, 1981 was a date which defined March Madness.[1][2]

Locations[edit]

1981 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament is located in the US
Charlotte
Charlotte
Austin
Austin
El Paso
El Paso
Dayton
Dayton
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Providence
Providence
Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa
Wichita
Wichita
1981 sites for first and second round games
1981 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament is located in the US
Atlanta
Atlanta
New Orleans
New Orleans
Bloomington
Bloomington
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
1981 Regionals (blue) and Final Four (red)

First and Second rounds[edit]

Later rounds[edit]

Region Site
East Atlanta, Georgia (Omni Coliseum)
Mideast Bloomington, Indiana (Assembly Hall)
Midwest New Orleans (Louisiana Superdome)
West Salt Lake City (Special Events Center)
Finals Philadelphia (The Spectrum)

Teams[edit]

Region Seed Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East
East 1 Virginia Terry Holland Third Place 1 LSU W 78-74
East 2 Notre Dame Digger Phelps Sweet Sixteen 6 Brigham Young L 51-50
East 3 UCLA Larry Brown Round of 32 6 Brigham Young L 78-55
East 4 Tennessee Don DeVoe Sweet Sixteen 1 Virginia L 62-48
East 5 VCU J. D. Barnett Round of 32 4 Tennessee L 58-56
East 6 Brigham Young Frank Arnold Regional Runner-up 1 Virginia L 74-60
East 7 Georgetown John Thompson Round of 48 10 James Madison L 61-55
East 8 Houston Guy Lewis Round of 48 9 Villanova L 90-72
East 9 Villanova Rollie Massimino Round of 32 1 Virginia L 54-50
East 10 James Madison Lou Campanelli Round of 32 2 Notre Dame L 54-45
East 11 Princeton Pete Carril Round of 48 6 Brigham Young L 60-51
East 12 LIU-Brooklyn Paul Lizzo Round of 48 5 VCU L 85-69
Mideast
Mideast 1 DePaul Ray Meyer Round of 32 9 Saint Joseph's L 49-48
Mideast 2 Kentucky Joe B. Hall Round of 32 7 Alabama-Birmingham L 69-62
Mideast 3 Indiana Bob Knight Champion 2 North Carolina W 63-50
Mideast 4 Wake Forest Carl Tacy Round of 32 5 Boston College L 67-64
Mideast 5 Boston College Tom Davis Sweet Sixteen 9 Saint Joseph's L 42-41
Mideast 6 Maryland Lefty Driesell Round of 32 3 Indiana L 99-64
Mideast 7 Alabama-Birmingham Gene Bartow Sweet Sixteen 3 Indiana L 87-72
Mideast 8 Creighton Tom Apke Round of 48 9 Saint Joseph's L 59-57
Mideast 9 Saint Joseph's Jim Lynam Regional Runner-up 3 Indiana L 78-46
Mideast 10 Western Kentucky Clem Haskins Round of 48 7 Alabama-Birmingham L 93-68
Mideast 11 Chattanooga Murray Arnold Round of 48 6 Maryland L 81-69
Mideast 12 Ball State Steve Yoder Round of 48 5 Boston College L 93-90
Midwest
Midwest 1 LSU Dale Brown Fourth Place 1 Virginia L 78-74
Midwest 2 Arizona State Ned Wulk Round of 32 7 Kansas L 88-71
Midwest 3 Iowa Lute Olson Round of 32 6 Wichita State L 60-56
Midwest 4 Louisville Denny Crum Round of 32 5 Arkansas L 74-73
Midwest 5 Arkansas Eddie Sutton Sweet Sixteen 1 LSU L 72-56
Midwest 6 Wichita State Gene Smithson Regional Runner-up 1 LSU L 96-85
Midwest 7 Kansas Ted Owens Sweet Sixteen 6 Wichita State L 66-65
Midwest 8 Lamar Pat Foster Round of 32 1 LSU L 100-78
Midwest 9 Missouri Norm Stewart Round of 48 8 Lamar L 71-67
Midwest 10 Ole Miss Bob Weltlich Round of 48 7 Kansas L 69-66
Midwest 11 Southern Carl Stewart Round of 48 6 Wichita State L 95-70
Midwest 12 Mercer Bill Bibb Round of 48 5 Arkansas L 73-67
West
West 1 Oregon State Ralph Miller Round of 32 8 Kansas State L 50-48
West 2 North Carolina Dean Smith Runner Up 3 Indiana L 63-50
West 3 Utah Jerry Pimm Sweet Sixteen 2 North Carolina L 61-56
West 4 Illinois Lou Henson Sweet Sixteen 8 Kansas State L 57-52
West 5 Wyoming Jim Brandenburg Round of 32 4 Illinois L 67-65
West 6 Fresno State Boyd Grant Round of 48 11 Northeastern L 55-53
West 7 Idaho Don Monson Round of 48 10 Pittsburgh L 70-69
West 8 Kansas State Jack Hartman Regional Runner-up 2 North Carolina L 82-68
West 9 San Francisco Peter Barry Round of 48 8 Kansas State L 64-60
West 10 Pittsburgh Roy Chipman Round of 32 2 North Carolina L 74-57
West 11 Northeastern Jim Calhoun Round of 32 3 Utah L 94-69
West 12 Howard A.B. Williamson Round of 48 5 Wyoming L 78-43

Bracket[edit]

* – Denotes overtime period

East region[edit]

  First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                                     
8  Houston 72  
9  Villanova 90  
  9  Villanova 50  
    1  Virginia 54  
      
        
  1  Virginia 62  
  4  Tennessee 48  
        
        
  4  Tennessee 58
    5  VCU 56*  
5  VCU 85
12  Long Island 69  
  1  Virginia 74
  6  Brigham Young 60
6  Brigham Young 60  
11  Princeton 51  
  6  Brigham Young 78
    3  UCLA 55  
      
        
  6  Brigham Young 51
  2  Notre Dame 50  
        
        
  2  Notre Dame 54
    10  James Madison 45  
7  Georgetown 55
10  James Madison 61  

West region[edit]

  First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                                     
8  Kansas State 64  
9  San Francisco 60  
  8  Kansas State 50  
    1  Oregon State 48  
      
        
  8  Kansas State 57  
  4  Illinois 52  
        
        
  4  Illinois 67
    5  Wyoming 65  
5  Wyoming 78
12  Howard 43  
  8  Kansas State 68
  2  North Carolina 82
6  Fresno State 53  
11  Northeastern 55  
  11  Northeastern 69
    3  Utah 94  
      
        
  3  Utah 56
  2  North Carolina 61  
        
        
  2  North Carolina 74
    10  Pittsburgh 57  
7  Idaho 69*
10  Pittsburgh 70  

Mideast region[edit]

  First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                                     
8  Creighton 57  
9  St. Joseph's 59  
  9  St. Joseph's 49  
    1  DePaul 48  
      
        
  9  St. Joseph's 42  
  5  Boston College 41  
        
        
  4  Wake Forest 64
    5  Boston College 67  
5  Boston College 93
12  Ball State 90  
  9  St. Joseph's 46
  3  Indiana 78
6  Maryland 81  
11  Tennessee-Chattanooga 69  
  6  Maryland 64
    3  Indiana 99  
      
        
  3  Indiana 87
  7  Alabama-Birmingham 72  
        
        
  2  Kentucky 62
    7  Alabama-Birmingham 69  
7  Alabama-Birmingham 93
10  Western Kentucky 68  

Midwest region[edit]

  First round Second round Regional Semifinals Regional Finals
                                     
8  Lamar 71  
9  Missouri 67  
  8  Lamar 78  
    1  LSU 100  
      
        
  1  LSU 72  
  5  Arkansas 56  
        
        
  4  Louisville 73
    5  Arkansas 74  
5  Arkansas 73
12  Mercer 67  
  1  LSU 96
  6  Wichita State 85
6  Wichita State 95  
11  Southern-BR 70  
  6  Wichita State 60
    3  Iowa 56  
      
        
  6  Wichita State 66
  7  Kansas 65  
        
        
  2  Arizona State 71
    7  Kansas 88  
7  Kansas 69
10  Ole Miss 66  

Final Four[edit]

  National Semifinals     National Finals
                 
  E1  Virginia 65  
  W2  North Carolina 78    
      W2  North Carolina 50
      ME3  Indiana 63
  ME3  Indiana 67    
  MW1  LSU 49   National Third Place Game
 
E1  Virginia 78
  MW1  LSU 74

NOTES: 1. This was the last tournament that a third place game was staged prior to the national championship.

NBC Announcers[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]