The 1984 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 53 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division Icollege basketball. It began on March 13, 1984, and ended with the championship game on April 2 in Seattle. A total of 52 games were played. This was the last tournament in which some teams earned first round byes as the field expanded to 64 teams beginning in the 1985 tournament when each team played in the first round. It was also the second year with a preliminary round; preliminary games would not be played again until 2001.
Georgetown reached the Final Four for the third time in school history and second time in three years to face Kentucky, a team which had never lost a national semifinal game and was led by the "Twin Towers", Sam Bowie and Melvin Turpin. Bowie and Turpin managed to get Ewing into foul trouble early, and with him on the bench and Reggie Williams shooting only 1-for-7 (14.3%) from the field during the game, the Wildcats raced out to a 27–15 lead with 3:06 left in the first half. After that however, the Hoyas made a defensive stand still unequalled in college basketball: Kentucky scored only two more points in the first half; the Wildcats also did not score in the first 9 minutes 55 seconds of the second half, missing their first 12 shots and after that shooting 3-for-21 (14.3%) during the remainder of the game. Overall, Kentucky shot 3-for-33 (9.1 percent) from the field during the second half. Although he played for only 17 minutes and suffered a season-ending foot injury in the second half, Gene Smith had one of the best defensive games of his career. Bowie and Turpin finished the game a combined 0-for-12, Wingate scored 12 points and held Kentucky's Jim Master to 2-for-7 (28.6%) shooting from the field, Michael Jackson scored 12 points and pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds, and Georgetown won 53–40 to advance to the national final for the third time in school history and second time in three years.
In the second national semifinal, Houston, playing in its third consecutive Final Four, edged Virginia, which reached the Final Four as a No. 7 seed in the East region, 49–47. The Cavaliers reached the national semifinals despite the graduation of four-time All-American Ralph Sampson the previous season. Coincidentally, Houston's All-America center, Akeem Olajuwon, would soon become Sampson's teammate with the Houston Rockets.
In the NCAA final, Georgetown faced Houston on April 2, 1984. Reggie Williams demonstrated his true potential for the first time, putting in a strong defensive performance and shooting 9-for-18 (50.0%) from the field with 19 points and seven rebounds in the game, while Wingate scored 16 points and Ewing managed 10 points and nine rebounds. Jackson scored 11 points and had six assists, two of which set up Ewing and Graham for decisive baskets late in the game. The game was decided well before the final whistle, and the Hoyas won the school's first national championship 84–75. Late in the game, with Georgetown enjoying a comfortable lead, Thompson began to pull starters out and give bench players some time on the court; the game's enduring image came when senior guard Fred Brown came out of the game. Two years earlier, Brown had mistakenly passed the ball to North Carolina's James Worthy in the last seconds of the 1982 championship game, ruining Georgetown's chances for a final game-winning shot and allowing North Carolina to take the national championship, and cameras had captured Thompson consoling a devastated Brown with a hug as the Tar Heels celebrated. As Brown left the 1984 championship game, cameras caught Brown and Thompson again embracing on the sideline, this time to celebrate a victory.
Seattle was the host city for the Final Four for the first time since 1952, and the first time in the Kingdome, then home to the NBA SuperSonics as well as the MLB Mariners and NFL Seahawks. The Kingdome became the third domed multipurpose stadium, after the Astrodome and the Superdome, to host a Final Four. Three cities – East Rutherford, Memphis and Milwaukee – became host cities for the first time. East Rutherford, located between New York City and Newark, was the fourth site to host games in the New York metropolitan area. The Mid-South Coliseum and MECCA Arena would only host one time, with future games in Memphis held at The Pyramid and FedExForum and in Milwaukee at the Bradley Center or Fiserv Forum. The games at the MECCA Arena were the first tournament games held in Wisconsin since being held in Madison in 1969. This tournament would also be the last time the Palestra, the "Cathedral of College Basketball", would host an NCAA Tournament Game; all future games in the city would be held at either the Spectrum or the Wells Fargo Center.
Gary Bender and Billy Packer - First Round (Dayton-LSU) at Salt Lake City, Utah; Second Round at Charlotte, North Carolina and Lincoln, Nebraska; East Regional at Atlanta, Georgia and West Regional in Los Angeles, California; Final Four in Seattle, Washington