The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men's Division I Basketball Championship, or NCAA Tournament, is a single-elimination tournament for men's college basketball teams in the United States. It determines the champion of Division I, the top level of play in the NCAA, and the media often describes the winner as the national champion of college basketball. The NCAA Tournament has been held annually since 1939, and its field grew from eight teams in the beginning to sixty-five teams by 2001; as of 2011, sixty-eight teams take part in the tournament. Teams can gain invitations by winning a conference championship or receiving an at-large bid from a 10-person committee. The semifinals of the tournament are known as the Final Four and are held in a different city each year, along with the championship game;Indianapolis, the city where the NCAA is based, will host the Final Four every five years until 2040. Each winning university receives a rectangular, gold-plated trophy made of wood.
The first NCAA Tournament was organized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.Oregon won the inaugural tournament, defeating Ohio State 46–33 in the first championship game. Before the 1941 tournament, control of the event was given to the NCAA. In the early years of the tournament, it was considered less important than the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), a New York City-based event. Teams were able to compete in both events in the same year, and three of those that did so—Utah in 1944, Kentucky in 1949, and City College of New York (CCNY) in 1950—won the NCAA Tournament. The 1949–50 CCNY team won both tournaments (defeating Bradley in both finals), and is the only college basketball team to accomplish this feat. By the mid-1950s, the NCAA Tournament became the more prestigious of the two events, and in 1971 the NCAA barred universities from playing in other tournaments, such as the NIT, if they were invited to the NCAA Tournament.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has been the most successful college in the NCAA Tournament, winning 11 national titles. Ten of those championships came during a 12-year stretch from 1964 to 1975. UCLA also holds the record for the most consecutive championships, winning seven in a row from 1967 to 1973. Kentucky has the second-most titles, with eight. North Carolina is third with six championships, while Duke and Indiana follow with five each. North Carolina is the most recent champion, having defeated Gonzaga in the final of the 2017 tournament. Among head coaches, John Wooden is the all-time leader with 10 championships; he coached UCLA during their period of success in the 1960s and 1970s. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is second all-time with five titles.
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The 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 64 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAADivision Icollege basketball. It began on March 18, 2014, and concluded with the Connecticut Huskies winning the championship game on April 7 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The East Regional semifinals and final were held in Madison Square Garden, the first time that arena has been used as an NCAA Tournament venue and the first time in 63 years that tournament games have been held in New York City.
With No. 7 seed Connecticut and No. 8 seed Kentucky reaching the championship game, this tournament's final was the first ever not to include at least one 1, 2, or 3 seed. It is also only the third final not to feature a 1 or 2 seed (1989 - #3 Michigan vs. #3 Seton Hall and 2011 - #3 Connecticut vs. #8 Butler). Connecticut was the first 7 seed ever to reach and win the championship game. The two teams combined for the highest seed total in championship game history with 15. The previous record (11) was held by Connecticut and Butler in 2011.
The next day, the UConn Huskies women's team won the women's NCAA basketball tournament, only the second time that a school has won both the men's and women's Division I national basketball championships in the same year; UConn first accomplished this in 2004.
The previous season, UConn was academically ineligible for the postseason.
Further information: NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship § Current tournament format
For 2014 the selection committee picked a total of 68 teams that would enter the 2014 tournament, of which 32 were "automatic bids" (teams winning their conference tournaments, with the exception of the Ivy League, which does not host a post-season conference tournament; thus, its regular-season conference champion is awarded the automatic bid) while the remaining 36 were "at large" bids which were extended by the NCAA Selection Committee on the Sunday preceding the First Four play-in tournament and dubbed Selection Sunday by the media and fans. The Selection Committee also seeded the entire field from 1 to 68.
Eight teams – the four lowest-seeded automatic qualifiers and the four lowest-seeded at-large teams – played in the First Four (the successor to what had been popularly known as "play-in games" through the 2010 tournament). The winners of those games advanced to the main draw of the tournament.
Wichita State became the first team since UNLV in 1991 to go into the tournament undefeated. The Shockers entered the tournament 34-0. Their perfect record of 35-0 (a then NCAA men's record) would be spoiled by Kentucky in the third round. Kentucky would set an NCAA-men's-record 38 straight wins to start a season the next year.
MEAC champion North Carolina Central University and Big West champion Cal Poly made their first NCAA Division I tournament appearances.
For only the second time since 1973 no teams from the state of Indiana (a state noted for its basketball powerhouse programs) were in the tournament.
There were five overtime games in the Second Round of the tournament, the most overtime games ever in tournament history. In contrast, the previous two tournaments had two overtime games combined.
North Dakota State's victory against Oklahoma secured the first tournament win for the state of North Dakota. Mercer, Stephen F. Austin, Albany, and Cal Poly had their first NCAA tournament wins. Cal Poly's victory over Texas Southern marked only the third time a team with a losing record won a game in the tournament.
Notable upsets included: Mercer over Duke; Dayton over Ohio State and, later, over Syracuse; North Dakota State over Oklahoma; Stephen F. Austin over VCU; Harvard over Cincinnati (its second-consecutive upset in as many years as a #12 seed); Stanford over Kansas; Kentucky over previously unbeaten Wichita State and, later, over Michigan; and UConn over Villanova and, later, over #1 overall seed Florida.
The National Championship game is the first one not to involve a 1, 2, or a 3 seed, and featured the two lowest seeds ever to meet (#7 UConn and #8 Kentucky). UConn was the first #7 seed to reach, and win, the championship game.
2014 NCAA Tournament schedule and venues
The following are the sites selected to host each round of the 2014 tournament:
Second and third rounds
- March 20 and 22
- First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York (Host: Canisius College, Niagara University)
- Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Host: Marquette University)
- Amway Center, Orlando, Florida (Host: Stetson University)
- Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, Washington (Host: Washington State University)
- March 21 and 23
Regional semifinals and finals (Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight)
- March 27 and 29
- March 28 and 30
National semifinals and championship (Final Four and Championship)
The city of Arlington became the 29th individual host city, and the AT&T Stadium became the 38th host venue, for the Final Four. The tournament featured three new venues in cities that had previously hosted tournament games. For the first time, games were played at the fourth Madison Square Garden, marking the first time in Manhattan since 1961 (when it was played at the previous Garden), and the first time in any borough of New York City since being played at Alumni Hall on the campus of St. John's University in Queens in 1974. The tournament also returned to Orlando for the first time since 2004, playing for the first time at the Amalie Center, the arena that replaced the former Amway Arena. And for the first time, the tournament was played at the AT&T Center, San Antonio's home to the Spurs. As of 2018, this marks the most recent time the tournament has been played at either the AT&T Stadium or the AT&T Center, with the latter scheduled to host games again in 2022.
Further information: 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament: qualifying teams
The following teams are automatic qualifiers for the 2014 NCAA field by virtue of winning their conference's tournament (except for the Ivy League, whose regular-season champion receives the automatic bid).
Florida was the overall 1 seed for the second time, the other being 2007 when they repeated as national champions. Arizona was a 1 seed for the 6th time in school history. They lost in the West regional final for the 3rd straight time as a 1 seed, all games being played in Anaheim (also in 1998 and 2003). Virginia was a 1 seed for the 4th time in school history, their first since three straight 1 seeds in 1981, 1982, and 1983.
* – Denotes overtime period
Unless otherwise noted, all times listed are Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-04)
First Four – Dayton, Ohio
|March 18 – Midwest Region|
|March 19 – Midwest Region|
South Regional – Memphis, Tennessee
Round of 64
Round of 32
|Orlando - Thu/Sat|
New York City