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1948 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament

75 Years of March Madness (NCAA)

1948 NCAA Tournament | Bracket

Champion: Kentucky

Most Outstanding Player: Alex Groza, Kentucky

Final Four: Kentucky, Baylor, Holy Cross, Kansas State

Shining Moments

  • Kentucky, coached by Adolph Rupp, won its first-ever national title after jumping out to an early 17-point lead and cruising to the win over Baylor. The Wildcats won their eighth overall national championship in 2012.
  • The Wildcats knocked off future Hall of Famer and NBA star Bob Cousy's Holy Cross team in the national semifinals. Alex Groza, who wound up being the Most Outstanding Player, led Kentucky with 23 points.
  • This was the first year that the AP Poll began for college basketball.
- Jeff Goodman

Championship Game

Location: New York

Kentucky (58)
Player FG FT-A PF. Pts.
Wallace Jones 4 1-1 3 9
Cliff Barker 2 1-3 4 5
Alex Groza 6 2-4 4 14
Ralph Beard 4 4-4 1 12
Ken Rollins 3 3-5 3 9
Jim Line 3 1-1 3 7
Joe Holland 1 0-0 1 2
Dale Barnstable 0 0-1 0 0
Totals 23 12-19 19 58

Baylor (42)
Player FG FT-A PF. Pts.
Red Owens 2 1-2 0 5
Bill DeWitt 3 2-4 3 8
Don Heathington 3 2-4 5 8
Bill Johnson 3 4-7 5 10
Jackie Robinson 3 2-4 4 8
Ralph Pulley 0 1-1 0 1
Bill Hickman 1 0-0 0 2
Odell Preston 0 0-2 2 0
Bill Srack 0 0-0 0 0
Totals 15 12-24 19 42

  • Scoring Leader: Alex Groza, Kentucky (54 points, 18 ppg).
  • Highest Scoring Average: Jack Nichols, Washington (39 points, 19.5 ppg).
  • Most Outstanding Player: Alex Groza, C, Jr., Kentucky (37 points in final two games).

    1948 Tournament Scores

    REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
    East
    Kentucky 76, Columbia 53
    Holy Cross 63, Michigan 45

    West
    Kansas St. 58, Wyoming 48
    Baylor 64, Washington 62


    REGIONAL THIRD PLACE
    East
    Michigan 66, Columbia 49

    West
    Washington 57, Wyoming 47


    REGIONAL FINALS
    East
    Kentucky 60, Holy Cross 52

    West
    Baylor 60, Kansas St. 52


    NATIONAL THIRD PLACE
    Holy Cross 60, Kansas St. 54

    NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    Kentucky 58, Baylor 42
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