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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Arizona (25-9; coached by Lute Olson/14th season with Wildcats; finished in fifth place in the Pacific-10 with an 11-7 record).
NIT Champion--Michigan (24-11; coached by Steve Fisher/ninth of nine seasons with Wolverines; finished in a tie for sixth place in the Big Ten with a 9-9 record).
New Conference--Big 12.
New Rules--Teams warm up and shoot at the end of the court farthest from their own bench for the first half. Previously, the road team had the choice of baskets in the first half. . . . In games not involving commercial electronic media, teams are entitled to four full-length timeouts and two 20-second timeouts per game. In games involving commercial electronic media, teams are entitled to two full-length timeouts and three 20-second timeouts per game.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Tim Duncan, C, Sr., Wake Forest (20.8 ppg, 14.7 rpg, 3.2 apg, 3.3 bpg, 60.8 FG%); Danny Fortson, F, Jr., Cincinnati (21.4 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 62.1 FG%); Raef LaFrentz, F, Jr., Kansas (18.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 58.4 FG%); Ron Mercer, F, Soph., Kentucky (18.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.7 spg); Keith Van Horn, F, Sr., Utah (22 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 90.4 FT%, 38.7 3FG%).
National Player of the Year--Duncan (AP/NABC/Naismith/USBWA/Wooden).
National Coaches of the Year--Minnesota's Clem Haskins (31-4/AP, NABC, USBWA, Wooden) and Kansas' Roy Williams (34-2/Naismith).
The playoff storyline was a good one with an overtime final, but the aesthetics of Arizona's NCAA title underscored a serious erosion for college basketball teams tending to fundamentals. The Wildcats became the first champion since the national tourney went to four regionals in 1956 to shoot less than 40 percent from the floor in both the national semifinals and final. The national numbers weren't pretty, either, as teams across the country combined to hit 43.5 percent of their field-goal attempts, continuing a decline from an all-time high of 48.1 percent in 1983-84.
It wasn't a good year for some longtime coaches, either. UCLA fired coach Jim Harrick two weeks before the season started for what the university determined to be unethical conduct. Harrick, who won more than 20 games each of his eight seasons with the Bruins, was accused by administrators of breaking a relatively minor NCAA rule, then filing a false expense report and repeatedly lying during an in-house investigation. UCLA incurred its most lopsided defeat in history when the Bruins bowed at Stanford, 109-61, before rebounding to capture the Pacific-10 Conference championship by three games under new coach Steve Lavin.
In another bizarre dismissal, Ralph Underhill was canned by Wright State just before the start of the season after the school's all-time winningest coach was cited for petty theft for shoplifting five bottles of vitamins. But after a mistrial, Wright State settled out of court with him. . . . Roger Reid, Brigham Young's winningest coach by percentage since 1925 (152-77, .664), was given an early-season pink slip despite winning more than 20 games each of his first six campaigns with the Cougars from 1989-90 through 1994-95. BYU got off to a slow start after the previous year's scoring leader, Bryon Ruffner, quit school and pleaded guilty to theft in bilking a local computer company. . . . Joey Meyer was forced out as coach at DePaul after combining with his father, Ray, to win 955 games for the Blue Demons since the 1942-43 season.
Kentucky's Rick Pitino departed of his own volition after the season to return to the NBA. Pitino averaged 30 victories annually his last six years with the Wildcats. . . . Dale Brown, who defeated Kentucky more than any coach in history, stepped down after 25 years at LSU. Brown finished his career with a 448-301 record after averaging only 11 victories annually his last four seasons with the Tigers. . . . Virginia Tech's Bill Foster retired with a 532-325 worksheet. Previous major-college stops for him during his 30-year career included UNC Charlotte, Clemson and Miami (Fla.).
Helping rebuild his image and LIU's program was freshman forward Richie Parker, a Manhattan product who had a number of prominent programs withdraw scholarship offers to him amid criticism stemming from his being charged with first-degree sodomy in high school. Despite a two-year layoff, Parker averaged more than 15 and seven rebounds per game on this way to becoming Northeast Conference newcomer of the Year and helping the Blackbirds beat intra-city rival St. John's win the league's regular-season championship.
Forwards Danny Fortson of Cincinnati and Keith Van Horn of Utah became NCAA consensus first-team All-Americans from their schools for the first time since 1963 and 1962, respectively. Van Horn is the only player in WAC history to lead three consecutive regular-season champions in scoring and rebounding. . . . St. Joseph's and South Carolina finished in the Top 20 of a final AP poll for the first time in 31 and 23 years, respectively. . . . . South Carolina lost non-league home games to UNC Asheville and Charleston Southern before the Gamecocks won all but one of their first 16 Southeastern Conference regular-season assignments. Their victories included a 68-66 success at Kentucky, snapping the Wildcats' streak of winning on Senior Day at 32. . . . Mississippi also defeated Kentucky to help Ole Miss earn its first national ranking in school history. The Rebels went on to capture their first regular-season championship in 65 years as a member of the SEC and their initial 20-win season in 59 years. They earned the title despite incurring their only homecourt defeat (59-46 to Alabama) in a 45-game stretch that extended midway through the 1998-99 campaign. . . . Kentucky's Ron Mercer (18.1 ppg) had the lowest SEC-leading scoring average since Vanderbilt's Billy Joe Adcock posted a 17.2 mark in 1947-48 and Arkansas' Derek Hood (8 rpg) had the lowest-ever SEC-leading rebounding average.
Cincinnati, the consensus preseason No. 1 pick, was upset in its second game of the season by intra-city rival Xavier. It didn't get any better soon thereafter for the Bearcats, who had seven different players suspended or sanctioned at some point during the season. They blew a 16-point lead in a loss to Kansas. . . . Kansas also overcame a 16-point deficit in a victory at Connecticut to halt the Huskies' homecourt winning streak against nonconference competition at 45 before overcoming a 14-point deficit in a triumph at Texas Tech. The Jayhawks' excelled despite stints when Jacque Vaughn (torn ligaments in his right wrist) and Scot Pollard (stress fracture in his left foot) were sidelined with injuries. Another senior starter, Jerod Haase, played much of the season with a broken right wrist. They won their first 22 outings until bowing at Missouri, 96-94, in double overtime. . . . Connecticut struggled after its top two scorers--senior Kirk King and sophomore Ricky Moore--were suspended for receiving improper airline tickets from an agent. . . . St. John's (13-14) had four consecutive non-winning records for the first time in school history.
Villanova's Tim Thomas, one of the nation's premier freshmen, scored a game-high 29 points in his first Big East contest, a 75-64 victory over Providence. He declared for the NBA draft after the season. . . . Miami won at Georgetown and Villanova in the same week, snapping homecourt winning streaks of 24 and 23, respectively. . . . Providence's Austin Croshere converted a Big East Conference-record 57 consecutive free throws. . . . Boston College advanced to the Big East Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time in 14 years. . . . Syracuse posted a 9-9 Big East record for its first non-winning league mark in 15 years. . . . Last-place seed Fairfield won the MAAC Tournament championship game against Canisius, 78-72, after losing by 46 points to the Golden Griffins earlier in the season.
Coach Phil Martelli won 11 games by fewer than six points after going 8-8 in that category the previous year in his first season with St. Joseph's. . . . Massachusetts' streak of 11 straight overtime wins was snapped by Xavier, 87-84. . . . Harvard (17-9 record) had its best season in 51 years. . . . Maine matched its all-time high for defeats (20) despite posting victories at Marquette and Saint Louis. . . . Robert Morris lost at least 23 games for the third consecutive campaign. . . . Center Adonal Foyle, Colgate's first All-American in 48 years, left school with one season of eligibility remaining but not before setting an NCAA standard for career blocked shots (492). . . . Boston University's Tunji Awojobi, a forward from Nigeria, was the only foreigner in the 20th Century to be a four-time all-conference first-team selection. He was America East Player of the Year as a senior. One of Awojobi's teammates was seldom-used Alexi Giannoulias, a Democrat who became Illinois' State Treasurer before losing to Mark Kirk in 2010 for President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat. . . . Perhaps the best moment of the regular season went virtually unnoticed when seldom-used Jon Wolff drilled a baseline jumper for American in the waning moments of a season-ending victory against William & Mary. It was Wolff's first and last basket of the season. He had earned a spot on AU's roster two years earlier as a walk-on, less than two years after he had been diagnosed with leukemia. Wolff never divulged to his coach about his battle because he wanted to earn a spot on the team rather than be handed one out of sympathy. When the buzzer sounded, he was mobbed by teammates and students, and carried off the floor. . . . Princeton's Sydney Johnson, Ivy League MVP, went on to coach his alma mater.
It was the lowest point total by an opponent during a regular-season game in the 50-year history of Reynolds Coliseum when homestanding North Carolina State whipped visiting Winthrop, 57-28. N.C. State was the #8 seed in the ACC Tournament when the Wolfpack erased a 21-5 deficit and upset top seed Duke. . . . Maryland made its greatest comeback in school history when the Terrapins erased a 22-point deficit with less than 14 1/2 minutes remaining at North Carolina to upend the Tar Heels. Carolina overcame its worst league start in ACC history (0-3) to finish in a tie for second place. . . . Wake Forest center Tim Duncan, a native of the Virgin Islands, improved by leaps and bounds over his career to become national player of the year. In a forgettable debut as a freshman, Duncan was scoreless in a season-opening loss to NCAA Division II Alaska-Anchorage. . . . Wake Forest, finishing among the Top 10 in a final AP national poll for the third consecutive year, beat Duke nine straight times until bowing to the Blue Devils, 73-68. . . . Duke guard Trajan Langdon (14.3 ppg) posted the lowest team-high scoring average for an ACC regular-season champion since Duke's Jim Newcome (13.2) in 1958. Teammate Greg Newton (6.1 rpg) posted the lowest team-high rebounding average for an ACC titlist. . . . Samford (19-9), coached by John Brady, was 9-4 in games decided by fewer than four points.
Dairyland defenses were dominant as Wisconsin had three schools ranked among the top four in the country in field-goal percentage defense. Marquette finished first (36.2% shooting by opponents), Wisconsin-Green Bay was third (36.5) and Wisconsin was fourth (37.8). . . . Wisconsin, posting the school's highest Big Ten win total (11-7) since 1941 and first winning conference record in 23 years, had lost 31 consecutive games to Indiana in their series until the Dick Bennett-coached Badgers scored the first 17 points of the contest and committed only five turnovers in a 71-58 victory over the Hoosiers. . . . Northwestern posted its most lopsided Big Ten Conference victory since 1944 when the Wildcats whipped Ohio State, 78-47. . . . Evansville (17-14), coached by Jim Crews, had 11 victories by fewer than six points. . . . Ohio University's Geno Ford, an All-MAC first-team selection, went on to coach Kent State.
Marshall's Keith Veney set an NCAA record for three-pointers, making 15 of 25 shots from beyond the arc in a 115-93 victory over Morehead State (see accompanying box). . . . Nate Langley scored 22 points in the final 8 1/2 minutes to help George Mason erase a 29-point second-half deficit to edge St. Francis (Pa.), 96-94. . . . Navy improved its conference record for the fifth consecutive season. The top rebounder for the Midshipmen was junior forward Hassan Booker with more than eight per game although he was only 6-2 1/2. . . . Austin Peay's Bubba Wells, who led the nation in scoring average with a school-record 31.7 points per game, excelled despite having a stainless steel rod implanted in each leg as a result of stress fractures in 1995 and 1996. . . . Georgia Southern scored the fewest points of any DI team since the inception of the three-point basket when the Eagles bowed to Coastal Carolina, 61-21.
Northeastern Illinois had back-to-back victories over Pacific-10 Conference teams Oregon State and Arizona State one season before competing in its final campaign at the NCAA Division I level. . . . California forward Alfred Grigsby was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA to allow him to play after he missed 66 games over a three-year span because of a series of back, hamstring, knee and ankle injuries. . . . Eastern Washington starting point guard Rodrick McClure was killed in an auto accident in his hometown of Las Vegas during Christmas break. The Big Sky also had a series of injuries to five other all-conference candidates, including Northern Arizona guard Charles Thomas, who became league MVP despite missing 11 games because of a knee ailment. . . . Pacific upset Georgetown despite the absence of guard Adam Jacobsen, the Tigers' leading scorer the previous season who missed the year after undergoing knee surgery. . . . TCU's Mike Jones scored a WAC Tournament-record 44 points in a 106-81 quarterfinal victory over Fresno State. . . . Forward Jerald Honeycutt became Tulane's first All-American.
Minnesota (31-4/coached by Clem Haskins), College of Charleston (29-3/John Kresse), Boston University (25-5/Dennis Wolff), Liberty (23-9/Jeff Meyer), Colorado (22-10/Ricardo Patton) and Northern Arizona (21-7/Ben Howland) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. . . . Northern Arizona, reaching double digits in league victories (14-2) for the first time in 27 years as a member of the Big Sky Conference, made the nation's biggest turnaround from the previous campaign (6-20 record in 1996-97).
Minnesota ended a streak of six straight seasons without a victory in a Big Ten road game against a team that finished with a winning league record. . . . Iowa State coach Tim Floyd participated in his fifth different postseason conference tournament in 10 years. . . . Bowling Green (22-10), coached by Jim Larranaga, posted its winningest season in 47 years.
Colorado, posting a winning league record (11-5) for the first time in 24 years, lost 25 consecutive contests at Missouri until toppling the Tigers. The Buffaloes also ended Texas Tech's 35-game homecourt winning streak on Chauncey Billups' last-second jumper en route to their first double-digit conference victory total and national ranking since 1969. Billups became Colorado's first NCAA consensus All-America in 55 years. . . . Cory Carr became the first Texas Tech player in 21 years to have back-to-back 30-point games. . . . Houston's demise was exemplified by a season-opening 66-64 setback against visiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff, an NAIA school that finished the year with a 10-16 record.
Wyoming mighty mite LaDrell Whitehead (5-9) was leading the WAC in scoring before suffering a season-ending injury (dislocated left elbow) in mid-January. He transferred to Ohio University after the season. . . . Saint Mary's managed only its second 20-win season in 54 years. . . . Washington, 10-8 in Pacific-10 Conference, posted its first winning league mark in 10 campaigns. . . . Cameron Dollar, a two-year starting guard for UCLA, went on to coach Seattle when it returned to the NCAA Division I level.
Long Island's Charles Jones (30.1 ppg), California's Ed Gray (24.8), UC Santa Barbara's Raymond Tutt (24), Long Beach State's James Cotton (23.5), South Carolina State's Roderick Blakney (23.4) and Arkansas-Little Rock's Malik Dixon (20.8) set school Division I records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Cal's Gray broke his right foot near the end of an 89-87 loss at Washington State when the senior guard scored a school-record 48 points before suffering the season-ending injury on a dunk attempt. Gray finished his career with a school-record 13 consecutive games scoring at least 20 points. . . . Florida A&M's Jerome James (38 points at Delaware State in overtime) and Valparaiso's Bryce Drew (38 vs. Western Illinois) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Drew went on to succeed his father, Homer, as Valpo's coach.
1997 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Arizona, which came within four points of finishing 9-9 in the Pacific-10 Conference, beat the three winningest programs in the history of major-college basketball (No. 1 seeds Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky) in its last last three playoff games to capture UA's first NCAA title. The Wildcats are the only team to win an NCAA crown after finishing as low as fifth place in its league. Arizona, capitalizing on a 34-9 edge in free throws made, prevailed in the final against Kentucky, 84-79, despite not making a field goal in overtime. Arizona's 37.9 percent field-goal shooting in the final was the worst for a champion since 1963. Speed killed UK, however, as Arizona's quickness among perimeter players negated Kentucky's vaunted press. Neither team gained a double-digit lead in the championship game. The score was tied 16 times, and there were 18 lead changes.
"I think we just wanted it more in the end," said Miles Simon, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player who had missed UA's first 11 games because of academic difficulties. "Their legs were tired. We played with great heart."
Lute Olson, making his fourth Final Four appearance, had been the only coach to go winless at the Final Four among the first 25 to reach the national semifinals at least three times. "I'm very proud of the toughness of this group that no one thought should be here and no one thought could do it," said Olson, who had endured three first-round ousters in a four-year span from 1992 through 1995.
It wasn't smooth sailing for Arizona. Leading scorer Michael Dickerson struggled during the tourney, shooting 5 of 28 from three-point range. The Wildcats overcame 10-point second-half deficits against South Alabama and the College of Charleston in the first two rounds. In the Southeast Regional final against Providence, two technical fouls with 6:50 remaining helped push Arizona to a 12-point cushion before the Wildcats blew that lead and nearly lost when the Friars missed a last-second shot in regulation.
Simon and backcourtmate Mike Bibby combined for two-thirds of UA's points in a 66-58 victory over North Carolina in the national semifinals to snap the Tar Heels' 16-game winning streak. Bibby, who committed eight turnovers in the final, is the first freshman point guard to lead a team to a crown since the NCAA made freshmen eligible in the 1972-73 campaign. Bibby became the highest-scoring freshman at the Final Four for an NCAA titlist with a total of 39 points.
Center A.J. Bramlett improved immeasurably over the season after failing to reach double digits for rebounds in his first 13 games. Arizona was 9-1 on neutral courts, losing only to NIT champion-to-be Michigan, 73-71 in overtime, at Auburn Hills, Mich.
Outcome for Defending Champion: Kentucky (35-5/2nd in SEC Eastern Division two games behind South Carolina) reached the Final Four for the 12th time despite having only three players available who played in the 1996 title game. UK All-America Ron Mercer fouled out in the NCAA final when he was held to 13 points. The Wildcats might have been better able to combat Arizona's athleticism on the perimeter if guard Jeff Sheppard didn't sit out the season as a redshirt.
Star Gazing: Tulsa standout Shea Seals scored only five points when the Golden Hurricane was eliminated in the second round of the Midwest Regional by Clemson. . . . North Carolina guard Shammond Williams missed his last 12 field-goal attempts in the national semifinals against Arizona. . . . No one knew it at the time, but Carolina coach Dean Smith made his 11th and final trip to the national semifinals. . . . Louisville cut a 21-point halftime deficit to three in the East Regional final against Carolina although standout guard DeJuan Wheat was playing with a severely sprained left ankle. . . . Mack McCarthy, who tied Burton Shipley (Maryland) for most victories in Southern Conference history with 243, stepped down as coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga during the summer after guiding UTC to its best NCAA postseason showing (Sweet 16). The deepest two double-digit seeds have met occurred in the Southeast Regional semifinals when #10 Providence defeated #14 Chattanooga, 71-65.
Biggest Upsets: Coppin State became the third No. 15 seed to win a first-round game when the Eagles stunned No. 2 seed South Carolina, 78-65. . . . Fairfield (11-18), had a nine-point lead early in the second half, but the 28-point underdog failed to become the first No. 16 seed to win when the Stags bowed to North Carolina, 82-74. The Tar Heels scored on 26 of 30 second-half possessions, committed only two turnovers and barely won.
One and Only: Arizona became the only team to defeat three #1 seeds in a single tourney (top-ranked Kansas/Southeast, North Carolina/East and Kentucky/West). The Wildcats are also the only team needing at least four games to win the NCAA championship to have all of their playoff games decided by single-digit margins. . . . Minnesota coach Clem Haskins, a graduate of Western Kentucky, is the only individual to coach a team to the Final Four after becoming an NCAA consensus first-team All-America and NBA first-round draft choice (Chicago Bulls in 1967). . . . South Alabama's Bill Musselman, who guided Minnesota to the 1972 playoffs, is the only coach to go as many as 25 years between NCAA Tournament appearances. He left South Alabama just before the start of the next season to become an assistant coach of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. . . . California became the only state in the 20th Century to have six schools participate in a single tourney (Cal, Pacific, St. Mary's, Southern California, Stanford and UCLA). Indiana tied the mark in 2000 before California duplicated the feat in 2001.
Celebrity Status: Tony Gonzalez, California's All-American who was the first-round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs later in the year as an undergraduate before becoming the Chiefs' all-time leader in pass receptions by a tight end, averaged 18 points and shot 61 percent from the floor in the Bears' first two NCAA Tournament games. . . . Rodrick Monroe, who collected two points and four rebounds for Cincinnati against Butler in the opening round, became a seventh-round draft choice as a tight end by the Dallas Cowboys in 1998 before competing with the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Numbers Game: Indianapolis was the ultimate Brickyard. Teams combined to shoot 37.3 percent from the floor in the three Final Four games. . . . A record-tying seven playoff games went into overtime, and 11 of 15 in the final four rounds had single-digit margins. . . . Indiana, ousted in the opening round for the third straight year, sustained its worst loss in 71 tourney games (80-62 to Colorado). . . . Butler made its first playoff appearance in 35 years. . . . Valparaiso guard Bryce Drew hit his first six three-point attempts in the first half, but the Crusaders faded down the stretch and bowed to Boston College, 73-66, in the first round. . . . Marquette was on the verge of setting an NCAA record for lowest field-goal percentage allowed, restricting opponents to 35.7 percent shooting from the floor entering playoff competition, until Providence eliminated the Golden Eagles in the opening round. PC's Austin Croshere connected on a 75-foot shot at the end of the first half en route to a tourney-high 39 points. . . . Tim Duncan grabbed a tourney-high 22 rebounds in a first-round victory over St. Mary's. . . . Arizona ended College of Charleston's 23-game winning streak. . . . Four SEC representatives lost to worst-seeded opponents. . . . The worst-seeded regional matchup in tourney history occurred in the Southeast Regional when #10 Providence met #14 Tennessee-Chattanooga. . . . Top-ranked Kansas didn't exactly set the world on fire before the Jayhawks were eliminated by Arizona. They shot a modest 41 percent from the floor in their first two tourney games. . . . Jackson State became the first automatic qualifier to enter the NCAA playoffs with an overall losing record (14-15) despite compiling a winning conference mark (9-5 to finish in second place in the SWAC). . . . Lon Kruger became the first coach to direct three different schools to the NCAA playoffs in the same decade (Kansas State, Florida and Illinois). . . . Clemson's Rick Barnes, who went on to become Texas' all-time winningest coach, posted his first NCAA playoff victory in his 10th season.
What Might Have Been: Texas Tech likely would have been invited to the NCAA playoffs as an at-large team, but the Red Raiders had a self-imposed ineligibility because of academic irregularities. . . . Minnesota reached the Final Four although guard Eric Harris suffered a right shoulder contusion in the regional semifinals against Clemson. UCLA center Jelani McCoy sustained a bruised sternum and was ineffective against Minnesota. . . . California (23-9/without Shareef Abdur-Rahim), Cincinnati (26-8/Dontonio Wingfield), Georgetown (20-10/Allen Iverson), Kentucky (34-5/Antoine Walker), Louisville (26-9/Samaki Walker), Maryland (21-11/Joe Smith), Massachusetts (19-14/Marcus Camby), North Carolina (28-7/Jeff McInnis, Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace) might have fared better in the playoffs if standout players had exercised their remaining eligibility instead of defecting to the NBA. . . . Kentucky was also shorthanded because coach Rick Pitino didn't want to jeopardize standout swingman Derek Anderson's NBA prospects after the star swingman underwent major surgery on his right knee and guard Allen Edwards wasn't 100 percent after suffering a hairline fracture in his right ankle. Meanwhile, Cal advanced farther than most observers projected without Ed Gray, the Pac-10 player of the year who broke his right foot. . . . Arkansas (18-13/Darnell Robinson), Connecticut (18-15/Ray Allen) and Memphis (16-15/Lorenzen Wright) probably would have participated in the NCAA Tournament instead of the NIT if vital players didn't leave school early for the NBA.
Putting Things in Perspective: UCLA (24-8) defeated Arizona twice by a total of eight points before losing to Minnesota in the Midwest Regional final. . . . Would Arizona have received an at-large invitation if the Wildcats didn't win their first two Pac-10 games by one-point margins? . . . Guard Isaac Fontaine's 32 points were the most scored against Arizona during the season, but they weren't enough to prevent Washington State's 23rd straight setback against the Wildcats.
NCAA Champion Defeats: New Mexico (7-point margin), neutral court vs. Michigan (2), at Southern California (13), at UCLA (6), at Washington (4), UCLA (2), at Oregon (6), at Stanford (1), and at California (2).
Scoring Leader: Miles Simon, Arizona (132 points, 22 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Austin Croshere, Providence (91 points, 22.8 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: A.J. Bramlett, Arizona (62 rebounds, 10.3 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Tim Duncan, Wake Forest (42 rebounds, 21 rpg).
Mike Bibby, G, Fr., Arizona (39 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, six steals)
Bobby Jackson, G, Sr., Minnesota (23 points, six rebounds in one Final Four game)
Ron Mercer, F, Soph., Kentucky (32 points, 12 rebounds)
Scott Padgett, F, Soph., Kentucky (26 points, six three-point baskets)
*Miles Simon, G, Jr., Arizona (54 points, eight rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: Arizona 65 (Dickerson team-high 16 points), South Alabama 57 (Alderson 14)
Second Round: Arizona 73 (Simon 20), College of Charleston 69 (Harris 25)
Regional Semifinal: Arizona 85 (Bibby 21), Kansas 82 (Pierce 27)
Regional Final: Arizona 96 (Simon 30), Providence 92 (Shammgod/Thomas 23)*
National Semifinal: Arizona 66 (Simon 24), North Carolina 58 (Carter 21)
Championship Game: Arizona 84 (Simon 30), Kentucky 79 (Padgett 17)*