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1951 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament

75 Years of March Madness (NCAA)

1951 NCAA Tournament | Bracket

Champion: Kentucky

Most Outstanding Player: Bill Spivey, Kentucky

Final Four: Kansas State, Oklahoma A&M, Illinois, Kentucky

Shining Moments

  • Kansas State almost blew a 21-point lead against Arizona in the first round. Coach Jack Gardner pulled his starters and the Wildcats stormed back, before falling just short. Kansas State would eventually make a run to the title game.
  • NC State was ranked No. 8 in the country heading into the tournament, but the Wolfpack was knocked out before the Final Four because three of their starters were ruled ineligible as four-year players.
  • Kentucky won its third championship in four years behind the play of Bill Spivey, who went for 22 points and 21 rebounds in the championship game win over Kansas State. The Wildcats would have never gotten there, though, if not for a last-second layup by Shelby Linville against Illinois in the regional final.
- Jeff Borzello

Championship Game

Location: Minneapolis

Kentucky (68)
Player FG-A FT-A Reb. PF
Skip Whitaker 4-5 1-1 2 2
Shelby Linville 2-7 4-8 8 5
Bill Spivey 9-29 4-6 21 2
Frank Ramsey 4-10 1-3 4 5
Bobby Watson 3-8 2-4 3 3
Cliff Hagan 5-6 0-2 4 5
Lou Tsioropoulos 1-4 0-0 3 1
C.M. Newton 0-0 0-0 0 0
Totals 28-69 12-24 45 23

Kansas State (58)
Player FG-A FT-A Reb. PF
Ed Head 3-11 2-2 3 2
Jack Stone 3-8 6-8 6 2
Lew Hitch 6-15 1-1 9 3
Ernie Barrett 2-12 0-2 3 1
Jim Iverson 3-12 1-2 0 3
Bob Rousey 2-10 0-0 2 3
John Gibson 0-2 1-1 1 5
Don Upson 0-1 0-0 2 1
Dick Knostman 1-4 1-2 3 1
Dick Peck 2-3 0-1 0 0
Dan Schuyler 1-2 0-1 1 2
Totals 23-80 12-20 30 23

1951 Tournament Scores

FIRST ROUND
East
Illinois 79, Columbia 71
N.C. State 67, Villanova 62
Kentucky 79, Louisville 68
St. John's 63, Connecticut 52

West
Kansas St. 61, Arizona 59
BYU 68, San Jose St. 61
Oklahoma St. 50, Montana St. 46
Washington 62, Texas A&M 40


REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
East
Illinois 84, N.C. State 70
Kentucky 59, St. John's 43

West
Kansas St. 64, BYU 54
Oklahoma St. 61, Washington 57


REGIONAL THIRD PLACE
East
St. John's 71, N.C. State 59

West
Washington 80, BYU 67


REGIONAL FINALS
East
Kentucky 76, Illinois 74

West
Kansas St. 68, Oklahoma St. 44


NATIONAL THIRD PLACE
Illinois 61, Oklahoma St. 46

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Kentucky 68, Kansas St. 58

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