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1978 Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament

75 Years of March Madness (NCAA)

1978 NCAA Tournament | Bracket

Champion: Kentucky

Most Outstanding Player: Jack Givens, Kentucky

Final Four: Kentucky, Duke, Arkansas, Notre Dame

Shining Moments

  • Joe B. Hall is a beloved figure in the Bluegrass State today because of the very fact he merged eras and got UK a title in a time of need. It had been 20 years since the Wildcats earned a championship banner -- and in fact this one came just three months after Adolph Rupp died, on Dec. 11, 1977. Givens scored 41 points on 18-of-27 shooting and went for 64 total in the Final Four. The game ends 94-88, and the 88 points are the most ever for a team in a championship-game losing effort.
  • This was a significant turnaround for Duke, which was an ACC doormat for the previous four seasons. Bob Bender played for Duke. So what? So he’s the only player ever to go to the Final Four with two programs; he won it all with Indiana in ‘76.
  • Without Al McGuire coaching them, the Warriors of Marquette fall in their title defense, losing to Miami University in the first round, 84-81 (OT).
  • Cinderella is not yet a common term for NCAA tournament small fries, but the notion is flourishing, as Cal State Fullerton bests New Mexico and San Francisco to reach the Elite Eight.
  • According to Sports Illustrated, 1978 marked the first time the NCAA used the phrase “Final Four” in its media guide.
- Matt Norlander

Championship Game

Location: St. Louis

Kentucky (94)
Player Min. FG-A FT-A Reb. A PF Pts.
Jack Givens 37 18-27 5-8 8 3 4 41
Rick Robey 32 8-11 4-6 11 0 2 20
Mike Phillips 11 1-4 2-2 2 1 5 4
Kyle Macy 38 3-3 3-4 0 8 1 9
Truman Claytor 24 3-5 2-4 0 3 2 8
James Lee 20 4-8 0-0 4 2 4 8
Jay Shidler 15 1-5 0-1 1 3 3 2
Chuck Aleksinas 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
LaVon Williams 11 1-3 0-0 4 0 2 2
Fred Cowan 8 0-2 0-0 2 0 1 0
Tim Stephens 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Scott Courts 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Chris Gettelfinger 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Dwane Casey 0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 0
Totals 200 39-68 16-25 32 20 26 94
 
Duke (88)
Player Min. FG-A FT-A Reb. A PF Pts.
Gene Banks 37 6-12 10-12 8 2 2 22
Kenny Dennard 31 5-7 0-0 8 2 5 10
Mike Gminski 37 6-16 8-8 12 2 3 20
John Harrell 24 2-2 0-0 0 1 3 4
Jim Spanarkel 40 8-16 5-6 2 3 4 21
Jim Suddath 9 1-3 2-3 2 0 1 4
Bob Bender 16 1-2 5-5 1 4 3 7
Scott Goetsch 6 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0
Totals 200 29-59 30-34 35 14 22 88

National semifinals

Kentucky 64, Arkansas 59
KENTUCKY (64): Givens 10-16 3-4 23, Robey 3-6 2-2 8, Phillips 1-6 3-4 5, Macy 2-8 3-4 7, Claytor 1-2 0-1 2, Shidler 3-5 0-0 6, Lee 4-8 5-5 13, Casey 0-0 0-0 0, Stephens 0-0 0-0 0, Cowan 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 0-0 0-0 0. Team 24-51 (.471) 16-20 (.800) 64.

ARKANSAS (59): Counce 2-2 2-3 6, Delph 5-13 5-6 15, Schall 3-5 0-0 6, Brewer 5-12 6-8 16, Moncrief 5-11 3-7 13, Zahn 1-1 1-2 3, Reed 0-0 0-0 0. Team 21-44 (.477) 17-26 (.654) 59.

Halftime: Kentucky 32-30.

Duke 90, Notre Dame 86
DUKE (90): Banks 8-15 6-7 22, Dennard 2-3 3-5 7, Gminski 13-17 3-4 29, Harrell 0-2 6-6 6, Spanarkel 4-11 12-12 20, Bender 0-1 2-3 2, Goetsch 1-1 0-0 2, Suddath 1-3 0-0 2. Team 29-53 (.547) 32-37 (.865) 90.

NOTRE DAME (86): Tripucka 5-17 2-2 12, Batton 3-6 4-4 10, Flowers 5-8 0-0 10, Branning 4-10 0-0 8, Williams 8-15 0-1 16, Laimbeer 1-5 5-6 7, Hanzlik 3-8 2-2 8, Jackson 5-6 1-2 11, Wilcox 2-2 0-0 4. Team 36-77 (.468) 14-17 (.824) 86.

Halftime: Duke 43-29.

All-Tournament Team

Player Pos. Yr. School Statistics
Ron Brewer G Sr. Arkansas (36 pts, 11 rebs)
Jack Givens F Sr. Kentucky* (64 pts, 17 rebs)
Mike Gminski C Soph. Duke (49 pts, 17 rebs)
Rick Robey F-C Sr. Kentucky (28 pts, 19 rebs)
Jim Spanarkel G Jr. Duke (41 pts, 8 assists)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
  • Scoring Leader: Mike Gminski, Duke (109 points, 21.8 ppg).
  • Highest Scoring Average: Dave Corzine, DePaul (82 points, 27.3 ppg).
  • Rebounding Leader: Gene Banks, Duke (50 rebounds, 10 rpg).
  • Highest Rebounding Average: Greg Kelser, Michigan State (37 rebounds, 12.3 rpg).
  • 1978 Tournament Scores

    FIRST ROUND
    Mideast
    Michigan State 77, Providence 63
    Western Kentucky 87, Syracuse 86 (OT)
    Miami (Ohio) 84, Marquette 81 (OT)
    Kentucky 85, Florida State 76

    West
    UCLA 83, Kansas 76
    Arkansas 73, Weber State 52
    San Francisco 68, North Carolina 64
    Cal State Fullerton 90, New Mexico 85

    East
    Duke 63, Rhode Island 62
    Penn 92, St. Bonaventure 83
    Indiana 63, Furman 62
    Villanova 103, La Salle 97

    Midwest
    Utah 86, Missouri 79 (2OT)
    Notre Dame 100, Houston 77
    DePaul 80, Creighton 78
    Louisville 76, St. John's 68


    SECOND ROUND
    Mideast
    Michigan State 90, Western Kentucky 69
    Kentucky 91, Miami (Ohio) 69

    West
    Arkansas 74, UCLA 70
    Cal State Fullerton 75, San Francisco 72

    East
    Duke 84, Penn 80
    Villanova 61, Indiana 60

    Midwest
    Notre Dame 69, Utah 56
    DePaul 90, Louisville 89 (2OT)


    REGIONAL FINALS
    Mideast
    Kentucky 52, Michigan State 49

    West
    Arkansas 61, Cal State Fullerton 58

    East
    Duke 90, Villanova 72

    Midwest
    Notre Dame 84, DePaul 64


    NATIONAL SEMIFINALS
    Kentucky 64, Arkansas 59
    Duke 90, Notre Dame 86

    NATIONAL THIRD PLACE
    Arkansas 71, Notre Dame 69

    NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
    Kentucky 94, Duke 88

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