1959 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament

75 Years of March Madness (NCAA)

1959 NCAA Tournament | Bracket

Champion: California

Most Outstanding Player: Jerry West, West Virginia

Final Four: Cincinnati, Louisville, West Virginia, California

Shining Moments

  • California coach Pete Newell, considered one of the great instructors of the game, won his only championship with the Golden Bears. It was Cal's first and only title.
  • Kansas State had one of the best season's in school history, finishing 24-2 after a loss to Cincinnati in a Regional Final.
  • The Final Four featured two of the greatest guards the sport has ever known in Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson and West Virginia's Jerry West. West was named MOP despite being on the losing team in the title game.
- Marcus Nelson

Championship Game

Location: Louisville, Ky.

California (71)
Player FG-A FT-A Reb. PF Pts.
Bill McClintock 4-13 0-1 10 1 8
Bob Dalton 6-11 3-4 2 4 15
Darrall Imhoff 4-13 2-2 9 3 10
Al Buch 0-4 2-2 2 3 2
Denny Fitzpatrick 8-13 4-7 2 1 20
Bernie Simpson 0-1 0-0 2 2 0
Jack Grout 4-5 2-2 3 1 10
Dick Doughty 3-6 0-0 1 3 6
Totals 29-66 13-18 38 18 71

West Virginia (70)
Player FG-A FT-A Reb. PF Pts.
Jerry West 10-21 8-12 11 4 28
Willie Akers 5-8 0-1 6 0 10
Bob Clousson 4-7 2-3 4 4 10
Bob Smith 2-5 1-1 2 3 5
Bucky Bolyard 1-4 4-4 3 4 6
Ronnie Retton 0-0 2-2 0 0 2
Jim Ritchie 1-4 2-2 4 0 4
Lee Patrone 2-6 1-2 4 1 5
Totals 25-55 20-27 41 16 70

National semifinals

California 64, Cincinnati 58
CALIFORNIA (64): McClintock 2-11 2-4 6, Dalton 2-4 3-4 7, Imhoff 10-25 2-5 22, Fitzpatrick 2-9 0-0 4, Buch 7-15 4-6 18, Grout 2-7 1-2 5, Simpson 1-2 0-0 2. Team 26-73 (.356) 12-21 (.571) 64.

CINCINNATI (58): Robertson 5-16 9-11 19, Wiesenhahn 5-11 0-0 10, Tenwick 2-6 1-1 5, Davis 6-15 1-2 13, Whitaker 4-7 0-2 8, Landfried 0-1 3-5 3, Bouldin 0-0 0-1 0. Team 22-56 (.393) 14-22 (.636) 58.

Halftime: Cincinnati 33-29.

West Virginia 94, Louisville 79
WEST VIRGINIA (94): West 12-21 14-20 38, Akers 2-5 1-2 5, Clousson 5-5 2-2 12, Smith 5-9 2-4 12, Bolyard 4-10 5-7 13, Ritchie 2-6 0-2 4, Patrone 1-4 0-0 2, Retton 3-4 0-0 6, Schertzniger 0-0 0-0 0, Posch 1-2 0-0 2, Goode 0-0 0-0 0, Visnic 0-0 0-0 0. Team 35-66 (.530) 24-37 (.649) 94.

LOUISVILLE (79): Goldstein 6-10 9-9 21, Turner 8-16 2-5 18, Sawyer 2-6 3-4 7, Tieman 1-7 1-1 3, Andrews 9-15 1-1 19, Kitchen 3-7 0-0 6, Leathers 2-8 1-1 5, Geiling 0-0 0-0 0, Stacey 0-0 0-0 0. Team 31-69 (.449) 17-21 (.810) 79.

Halftime: West Virginia 48-32.

All-Tournament Team

Player Pos. Yr. School Statistics
Denny Fitzpatrick G Sr. California (24 pts)
Don Goldstein F Sr. Louisville (42 pts, 17 rebds)
Darrall Imhoff C Jr. California (32 pts, 25 rebds)
Oscar Robertson F Jr. Cincinnati (58 pts, 36 rebds, 19 assists)
Jerry West F Jr. West Virginia* (66 pts, 26 rebds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
  • Scoring Leader: Jerry West, West Virginia (160 points, 32 ppg).
  • Rebounding Leader: Jerry West, Virginia (73 rebounds, 14.6 rpg).
  • Highest Rebounding Average: H.E. Kirchner, TCU (42 rebounds, 21 rpg).
  • 1959 Tournament Scores

    FIRST ROUND
    East
    West Virginia 82, Dartmouth 68
    Boston University 60, Connecticut 58
    Navy 76, North Carolina 63

    Mideast
    Louisville 77, Eastern Kentucky 63
    Marquette 89, Bowling Green 71

    Midwest
    DePaul 57, Portland 56

    West
    Idaho St. 62, New Mexico St. 61


    REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
    East
    West Virginia 95, St. Joseph's (Pa.) 92
    Boston University 62, Navy 55

    Mideast
    Louisville 76, Kentucky 61
    Michigan St. 74, Marquette 69

    Midwest
    Kansas St. 102, DePaul 70
    Cincinnati 77, Texas Christian 73

    West
    St. Mary's (Calif.) 80, Idaho St. 71
    California 71, Utah 53


    REGIONAL THIRD PLACE
    East
    Navy 70, St. Joseph's (Pa.) 56

    Mideast
    Kentucky 98, Marquette 69

    Midwest
    Texas Christian 71, DePaul 65

    West
    Idaho St. 71, Utah 65


    REGIONAL FINALS
    East
    West Virginia 86, Boston University 82

    Mideast
    Louisville 88, Michigan St. 81

    Midwest
    Cincinnati 85, Kansas St. 75

    West
    California 66, St. Mary's (Calif.) 46


    NATIONAL SEMIFINALS
    West Virginia 94, Louisville 79
    California 64, Cincinnati 58

    NATIONAL THIRD PLACE
    Cincinnati 98, Louisville 85

    NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    California 71, West Virginia 70
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