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The 1991 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 14, 1991, and ended with the championship game on April 1 in Indianapolis, Indiana. A total of 63 games were played.

Duke, coached by Mike Krzyzewski, won a rematch of the previous year's national final matchup against undefeated UNLV 79-77 in the semifinal, then won the national title with a 72–65 victory in the final game over Kansas, coached by Roy Williams. This was the first National Championship game for Williams as a head coach. Kansas defeated Williams' mentor Dean Smith and North Carolina in the semifinal. Kansas made its first trip to the National Championship game since 1988 when they defeated Oklahoma, making it their second trip to the Championship game in four seasons. Christian Laettner of Duke was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Locations

Region Site Other Locations
East East Rutherford, New Jersey College Park, Maryland, Syracuse, New York
Midwest Pontiac, Michigan Dayton, Ohio, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Southeast Charlotte, North Carolina Atlanta, Georgia, Louisville, Kentucky
West Seattle, Washington Salt Lake City, Utah, Tucson, Arizona
Finals Indianapolis, Indiana

Teams

Region Seed Team Coach Finished Final Opponent Score
East
East 1 North Carolina Dean Smith National Semifinals3 KansasL 79-73
East 2 Syracuse Jim Boeheim Round of 6415 RichmondL 73-69
East 3 Oklahoma State Eddie Sutton Sweet Sixteen10 TempleL 72-63
East 4 UCLA Jim Harrick Round of 6413 Penn StateL 74-69
East 5 Mississippi State Richard Williams Round of 6412 Eastern MichiganL 76-56
East 6 North Carolina State Les Robinson Round of 323 Oklahoma StateL 73-64
East 7 Purdue Gene Keady Round of 6410 TempleL 80-63
East 8 Princeton Pete Carril Round of 649 VillanovaL 50-48
East 9 Villanova Rollie Massimino Round of 321 North CarolinaL 84-69
East 10 Temple John Chaney Elite Eight1 North CarolinaL 75-72
East 11 Southern Miss M.K. Turk Round of 646 North Carolina StateL 114-85
East 12 Eastern Michigan Ben Braun Sweet Sixteen1 North CarolinaL 93-67
East 13 Penn State Bruce Parkhill Round of 3212 Eastern MichiganL 71-68
East 14 New Mexico Dave Bliss Round of 643 Oklahoma StateL 67-54
East 15 Richmond Dick Tarrant Round of 3210 TempleL 77-64
East 16 Northeastern Karl Fogel Round of 641 North CarolinaL 101-66
Midwest
Midwest 1 Ohio State Randy Ayers Sweet Sixteen4 St. John'sL 91-74
Midwest 2 Duke Mike Krzyzewski Champion3 KansasW 72-65
Midwest 3 Nebraska Danny Nee Round of 6414 XavierL 89-84
Midwest 4 St. John's Lou Carnesecca Elite Eight2 DukeL 78-61
Midwest 5 Texas Tom Penders Round of 324 St. John'sL 84-76
Midwest 6 LSU Dale Brown Round of 6411 ConnecticutL 79-62
Midwest 7 Iowa Tom Davis Round of 322 DukeL 85-70
Midwest 8 Georgia Tech Bobby Cremins Round of 321 Ohio StateL 65-61
Midwest 9 DePaul Joey Meyer Round of 648 Georgia TechL 87-70
Midwest 10 East Tennessee State Alan LeForce Round of 647 IowaL 76-73
Midwest 11 Connecticut Jim Calhoun Sweet Sixteen2 DukeL 81-67
Midwest 12 Saint Peter's Ted Fiore Round of 645 TexasL 73-65
Midwest 13 Northern Illinois Jim Molinari Round of 644 St. John'sL 75-68
Midwest 14 Xavier Pete Gillen Round of 3211 ConnecticutL 66-50
Midwest 15 Northeastern Louisiana Mike Vining Round of 642 DukeL 102-73
Midwest 16 Towson Terry Truax Round of 641 Ohio StateL 97-86
Southeast
Southeast 1 Arkansas Nolan Richardson Elite Eight3 KansasL 93-81
Southeast 2 Indiana Bob Knight Sweet Sixteen3 KansasL 83-65
Southeast 3 Kansas Roy Williams Runner Up2 DukeL 72-65
Southeast 4 Alabama Wimp Sanderson Sweet Sixteen1 ArkansasL 93-70
Southeast 5 Wake Forest Dave Odom Round of 324 AlabamaL 96-88
Southeast 6 Pittsburgh Paul Evans Round of 323 KansasL 77-66
Southeast 7 Florida State Pat Kennedy Round of 322 IndianaL 82-60
Southeast 8 Arizona State Bill Frieder Round of 321 ArkansasL 97-90
Southeast 9 Rutgers Bob Wenzel Round of 648 Arizona StateL 79-76
Southeast 10 USC George Raveling Round of 647 Florida StateL 75-72
Southeast 11 Georgia Hugh Durham Round of 646 PittsburghL 76-68
Southeast 12 Louisiana Tech Jerry Loyd Round of 645 Wake ForestL 71-65
Southeast 13 Murray State Steve Newton Round of 644 AlabamaL 89-79
Southeast 14 New Orleans Tim Floyd Round of 643 KansasL 55-49
Southeast 15 Coastal Carolina Russ Bergman Round of 642 IndianaL 79-69
Southeast 16 Georgia State Bob Reinhart Round of 641 ArkansasL 117-76
West
West 1 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian National Semifinals2 DukeL 79-77
West 2 Arizona Lute Olson Sweet Sixteen3 Seton HallL 81-77
West 3 Seton Hall P.J. Carlesimo Elite Eight1 UNLVL 77-65
West 4 Utah Rick Majerus Sweet Sixteen1 UNLVL 83-66
West 5 Michigan State Jud Heathcote Round of 324 UtahL 85-84
West 6 New Mexico State Neil McCarthy Round of 6411 CreightonL 64-56
West 7 Virginia Jeff Jones Round of 6410 BYUL 61-48
West 8 Georgetown John Thompson Round of 321 UNLVL 62-54
West 9 Vanderbilt Eddie Fogler Round of 648 GeorgetownL 70-60
West 10 BYU Roger Reid Round of 322 ArizonaL 76-61
West 11 Creighton Tony Barone Round of 323 Seton HallL 81-69
West 12 Wisconsin–Green Bay Dick Bennett Round of 645 Michigan StateL 60-58
West 13 South Alabama Ronnie Arrow Round of 644 UtahL 82-72
West 14 Pepperdine Tom Asbury Round of 643 Seton HallL 71-51
West 15 St. Francis, Pennsylvania Jim Baron Round of 642 ArizonaL 93-80
West 16 Montana Stew Morrill Round of 641 UNLVL 99-65

Bracket

East region

  First round Second round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight
                                     
1  North Carolina 101  
16  Northeastern 66  
  1  North Carolina 84  
 
  9  Villanova 69  
8  Princeton 48
9  Villanova 50  
  1  North Carolina 93  
  12  Eastern Michigan 67  
5  Mississippi State 56  
12  Eastern Michigan 76  
  12  Eastern Michigan 71
 
  13  Penn State 68*  
4  UCLA 69
13  Penn State 74  
  1  North Carolina 75
  10  Temple 72
6  North Carolina State 114  
11  Southern Mississippi 85  
  6  North Carolina State 64
 
  3  Oklahoma State 73  
3  Oklahoma State 67
14  New Mexico 54  
  3  Oklahoma State 63*
  10  Temple 72  
7  Purdue 63  
10  Temple 80  
  10  Temple 77
 
  15  Richmond 64  
2  Syracuse 69
15  Richmond 73  

Southeast region

  First round Second round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight
                                     
1  Arkansas 117  
16  Georgia State 76  
  1  Arkansas 97  
 
  8  Arizona State 90  
8  Arizona State 79
9  Rutgers 76  
  1  Arkansas 93  
  4  Alabama 70  
5  Wake Forest 71  
12  Louisiana Tech 65  
  5  Wake Forest 88
 
  4  Alabama 96  
4  Alabama 89
13  Murray State 79  
  1  Arkansas 81
  3  Kansas 93
6  Pittsburgh 76  
11  Georgia 68*  
  6  Pittsburgh 66
 
  3  Kansas 77  
3  Kansas 55
14  New Orleans 49  
  3  Kansas 83
  2  Indiana 65  
7  Florida State 75  
10  Southern California 72  
  7  Florida State 60
 
  2  Indiana 82  
2  Indiana 79
15  Coastal Carolina 69  

Midwest region

  First round Second round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight
                                     
1  Ohio State 97  
16  Towson 86  
  1  Ohio State 65  
 
  8  Georgia Tech 61  
8  Georgia Tech 87
9  DePaul 70  
  1  Ohio State 74  
  4  St John's 91  
5  Texas 73  
12  St Peters 65  
  5  Texas 76
 
  4  St John's 84  
4  St John's 75
13  Northern Illinois 68  
  4  St John's 61
  2  Duke 78
6  LSU 62  
11  Connecticut 79  
  11  Connecticut 66
 
  14  Xavier 50  
3  Nebraska 84
14  Xavier 89  
  11  Connecticut 67
  2  Duke 81  
7  Iowa 76  
10  East Tennessee State 73  
  7  Iowa 70
 
  2  Duke 85  
2  Duke 102
15  Northeast Louisiana 73  

West region

  First round Second round Sweet Sixteen Elite Eight
                                     
1  UNLV 99  
16  Montana 65  
  1  UNLV 62  
 
  8  Georgetown 54  
8  Georgetown 70
9  Vanderbilt 60  
  1  UNLV 83  
  4  Utah 66  
5  Michigan State 60  
12  Wisconsin–Green Bay 58  
  5  Michigan State 84**
 
  4  Utah 85  
4  Utah 82
13  South Alabama 72  
  1  UNLV 77
  3  Seton Hall 65
6  New Mexico State 56  
11  Creighton 64  
  11  Creighton 69
 
  3  Seton Hall 81  
3  Seton Hall 71
14  Pepperdine 51  
  3  Seton Hall 81
  2  Arizona 77  
7  Virginia 48  
10  BYU 61  
  10  BYU 61
 
  2  Arizona 76  
2  Arizona 93
15  St Francis-PA 80  

Final Four

  National Semifinals National Championship Game
                 
E1 North Carolina 73  
S3 Kansas 79  
    S3 Kansas 65
  M2 Duke 72
M2 Duke 79
W1 UNLV 77  

Broadcast information

For the first time, CBS Sports showed all 63 tournament games. In the first three rounds, games were shown on a regional basis, except for one game each on Saturday and Sunday in the second round. Usual start times were noon and 7:30 or 8 p.m. Eastern time on each of the Thursdays and Fridays. During the weekend of the second round, the national telecast began at noon, with the regional windows (three on Saturday, two on Sunday) following. Although the times would be adjusted, the same basic format was in place until 2010. As of 2011, the regional broadcasts will be replaced by simulcast feeds on non-broadcast networks owned by Turner Sports.

Announcers

Miscellaneous

  • Duke's 79-77 win over UNLV in the Final Four became one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. UNLV's juggernaut 1990-91 squad ranked #2 on ESPN Classic's Who's #1? for Best Teams Not To Win a Title. UNLV was undefeated entering the 1991 tournament, which as of 2010 has not been duplicated.(St. Joseph's went undefeated in the 2004 regular season, finishing 27-0, but lost in their conference tournament before the NCAAs. Indiana is the last team to win the championship undefeated in 1976).
  • This was Duke's fourth consecutive Final Four trip, the first team to achieve such a feat since UCLA. Since freshmen were not eligible at the time of UCLA's run, Duke's Greg Koubek became the first player to play in four Final Fours, a record matched by Duke teammates Christian Laettner and Brian Davis the next year.
  • For the first time in tournament history a 15-seed defeated a 2-seed. Richmond defeated Syracuse 73-69. Since then this has happened three additional times: in 1993, Santa Clara defeated Arizona; in 1997, Coppin State defeated South Carolina; and in 2001, Hampton defeated Iowa State.
  • For bracketologists, this tournament is notable for several reasons. The first is the upset-heavy opening round, which led to every seed number except 16 being represented by at least one team in the second round. The East region, in particular, featured first round victories by seeds 9, 10, 12, 13, and 15. Two 11's and a 14-seed advanced in the other regions. The second round is equally remarkable because there were no upsets in this round whatsoever. The combination of these two anomalies led to an unprecedented occurrence in which a 10 (Temple), an 11 (Connecticut), and a 12-seed (Eastern Michigan) advanced to the Sweet Sixteen without any of the teams pulling off consecutive upsets. The reason for this was that the first round successes of 15-seed Richmond, 14-seed Xavier, and 13-seed Penn State led to Temple, Connecticut and Eastern Michigan (respectively) being considered favorites for their second round matchups.
  • This was the first NCAA Tournament to feature all four North Carolina-based Atlantic Coast Conference teams: North Carolina, North Carolina State, Duke and Wake Forest.

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