1956 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament

75 Years of March Madness (NCAA)

1956 NCAA Tournament | Bracket

Champion: San Francisco

Most Outstanding Player: Hal Lear, Temple

Final Four: Temple, Iowa, SMU, San Francisco

Shining Moments

  • San Francisco was the first team to ever go unbeaten and win the NCAA tournament in the same season. The Dons did it without K.C. Jones, who was ruled in eligible for the NCAA tournament as a fifth-year player. Russell stepped up in the title game against Iowa, going for 26 points and 27 rebounds.
  • Some people are surprised to see Russell not win MOP, with Temple’s Lear instead getting it. The 6-foot guard went for 48 points in the consolation game, and averaged 32 points in the tournament. His teammate, Fred Cohen, had 34 rebounds in one game against Connecticut.
  • Canisius and North Carolina State played four overtimes in the first round, with Canisius eventually eking out a one-point victory on a shot with four seconds left by Fran Corcoran.
- Jeff Borzello

Championship Game

Location: Evanston, Ill.

San Francisco (83)
Player FG FT-A PF Pts.
Carl Boldt 7 2-2 4 16
Mike Farmer 0 0-0 2 0
Mike Preaseau 3 1-2 3 7
Bill Russell 11 4-5 2 26
Tom Nelson 0 0-0 0 0
Hal Perry 6 2-2 2 14
Gene Brown 6 4-4 0 16
Warren Baxter 2 0-0 0 4
Totals 35 13-15 13 83

Iowa (71)
Player FG FT-A PF Pts.
Carl Cain 7 3-4 1 17
Bill Schoof 5 4-4 3 14
Bill Logan 5 2-2 3 12
Bob George 0 0-0 0 0
Sharm Scheuerman 4 3-4 2 11
Bill Seaberg 5 7-10 1 17
Augie Martel 0 0-0 0 0
Jim McConnell 0 0-0 0 0
Totals 26 19-24 10 71

National semifinals

Iowa 83, Temple 76
IOWA (83): Cain 8 4 20, Schoof 5 8 18, Logan 13 10 36, Seaberg 1 0 2, Scheuerman 1 2 4, Martel 1 1 3. Team 29 25 83.

TEMPLE (76): Reinfeld 1 0 2, Norman 1 0 2, Fleming 2 0 4, Cohen 3 0 6, Van Patton 1 0 2, Rodgers 12 4 28, Lear 15 2 32. Team 35 6 76.

Halftime: Iowa 39-36.

San Francisco 86, Southern Methodist 68
SAN FRANCISCO (86): Boldt 3 1 7, Farmer 11 4 26, Preaseau 1 0 2, King 0 0 0, Russell 8 1 17, Perry 6 2 14, Brown 5 2 12, Baxter 4 0 8. Team 38 10 86.

SOUTHERN METHODIST (68): Showalter 4 0 8, Krog 3 0 6, McGregor 1 1 3, Krebs 10 4 24, Miller 1 0 2, Miller 1 9 11, Morris 4 2 10, Herrscher 1 2 4. Team 25 18 68.

Halftime: San Francisco 44-32.

All-Tournament Team

Player Pos. Yr. School Statistics
Carl Cain F Sr. Iowa (39 pts, 27 rebds)
Hal Lear G Sr. Temple* (80 pts)
Bill Logan C Sr. Iowa (48 pts, 23 rebds)
Hal Perry G Sr. San Francisco (28 pts)
Bill Russell C Sr. San Francisco (43 pts, 50 rebds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
  • Scoring Leader: Hal Lear, Temple (160 points, 32 ppg; Kentucky's Bob Burrow also averaged 32 ppg).
  • 1956 Tournament Scores

    FIRST ROUND
    East
    Connecticut 84, Manhattan 75
    Temple 74, Holy Cross 72
    Dartmouth 61, West Virginia 59 (OT)
    Canisius 79, N.C. State 78 (4ot)

    Midwest
    Wayne State (Mich.) 72, DePaul 63
    Morehead State 107, Marshall 92

    West
    Southern Methodist 68, Texas Tech 67
    Oklahoma City 97, Memphis State 81

    Far West
    Seattle 68, Idaho State 66

    REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
    East
    Canisius 66, Dartmouth 58
    Temple 65, Connecticut 59

    Midwest
    Iowa 97, Morehead State 83
    Kentucky 84, Wayne State (Mich.) 64

    West
    Southern Methodist 89, Houston 74
    Oklahoma City 97, Kansas State 93

    Far West
    San Francisco 72, UCLA 61
    Utah 81, Seattle 72

    REGIONAL THIRD PLACE
    East
    Dartmouth 85, Connecticut 64

    Midwest
    Morehead State 95, Wayne State 84

    West
    Kansas State 89, Houston 70

    Far West
    UCLA 94, Seattle 70

    REGIONAL FINALS
    East
    Temple 60, Canisius 58

    Midwest
    Iowa 89, Kentucky 77

    West
    SMU 84, Oklahoma City 63

    Far West
    San Francisco 92, Utah 77

    NATIONAL SEMIFINALS
    Iowa 83, Temple 76
    San Francisco 86, SMU 68

    NATIONAL THIRD PLACE
    Temple 90, SMU 81

    NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    San Francisco 83, Iowa 71

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