The 1968 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 23 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 8, 1968, and ended with the championship game on March 23 in Los Angeles, California. A total of 27 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.
UCLA, coached by John Wooden, won the national title with a 78-55 victory in the final game over North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith. Lew Alcindor of UCLA was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. This UCLA team, composed of three All-Americans, Player of the Year Alcindor, Lucius Allen, and Mike Warren, along with dead eye pure shooter Lynn Shackleford (most of his shots would be 3 pointers today) and burly senior power forward Mike Lynn is considered to be the greatest men's team in college basketball history.
The NCAA semi-final match between the Houston Cougars and UCLA Bruins was a re-match of the college basketball Game of the Century held in January at the Astrodome, in the Cougars home city. The match was historic, the first nationally syndicated college basketball game and the first to play in a domed stadium before more than 52,000 fans. It was UCLA's only loss in two years, a two-pointer, to the then #2 Houston, but with UCLA's dominating center Alcindor playing with an eye injury that limited his effectiveness after being hospitalized the week before. The loss broke a 47 game winning streak for UCLA. In the March NCAA Tournament Final 4, the Bruins at full strength avenged that loss with a 101-69 drubbing of that same Houston team, now ranked #1, in UCLA's home city's Memorial Sports Arena. The Bruins won "when it counted" with the overwhelming 32 point victory advancing them to the National Championship game while the "pretender" #1 Houston went on to lose the third-place game.
Famous quotes containing the words basketball, division and/or men:
“Perhaps basketball and poetry have just a few things in common, but the most important is the possibility of transcendence. The opposite is labor. In writing, every writer knows when he or she is laboring to achieve an effect. You want to get from here to there, but find yourself willing it, forcing it. The equivalent in basketball is aiming your shot, a kind of strained and usually ineffective purposefulness. What you want is to be in some kind of flow, each next moment a discovery.”
—Stephen Dunn (b. 1939)
“In this world, which is so plainly the antechamber of another, there are no happy men. The true division of humanity is between those who live in light and those who live in darkness. Our aim must be to diminish the number of the latter and increase the number of the former. That is why we demand education and knowledge.”
—Victor Hugo (18021885)
“The finished man of the world must eat of every apple at once. He must hold his hatreds also at arms length, and not remember spite. He has neither friends nor enemies, but values men only as channels of power.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)