Puneet Varma

1999 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

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Season  1998–99
Teams  64
Finals site  Tropicana Field
Dates  11 Mar 1999 – 29 Mar 1999
Attendance  720,685
1999 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament httpsiytimgcomviyZjfcIYye0maxresdefaultjpg
Champions  Connecticut (1st title, 1st title game, 1st Final Four)
Runner-up  Duke (8th title game, 12th Final Four)
Semifinalists  Michigan State (3rd Final Four) Ohio State (Vacated) (9th Final Four)
Winning coach  Jim Calhoun (1st title)
MOP  Richard Hamilton Connecticut
Champion  Connecticut Huskies men's basketball
Similar  1998 NCAA Division I, 2000 NCAA Division I, 2002 NCAA Division I, 1997 NCAA Division I, 2001 NCAA Division I

The 1999 NCAA Division I Men's 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 11, 1999, and ended with the championship game on March 29 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. A total of 63 games were played. This year's Final Four was the first—and so far, only—to be held in a baseball-specific facility, as Tropicana Field is home to the Tampa Bay Rays (then known as the Devil Rays).

Contents

The Final Four consisted of Connecticut, making their first ever Final Four appearance; Ohio State, making their ninth Final Four appearance and first since 1968; Michigan State, making their third Final Four appearance and first since their 1979 national championship; and Duke, the overall number one seed and making their first Final Four appearance since losing the national championship game in 1994.

In the national championship game, Connecticut defeated Duke 77-74 to win their first ever national championship, snapping Duke's 32-game winning streak, and scoring the biggest point-spread upset in Championship Game history. Duke nonetheless tied the record for most games won during a single season, with 37, which they co-held until Kentucky's 38-win season in 2011–12. The 2007–08 Memphis team actually broke this record first, but the team was later forced to forfeit their entire season due to eligibility issues surrounding the team.

Richard "Rip" Hamilton of Connecticut was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. This was a significant victory for the program, as it cemented Connecticut's reputation as a true basketball power after decades of barely missing the Final Four.

This tournament is also historically notable as the coming-out party for Gonzaga as a rising mid-major power. The Bulldogs became the nation's basketball darlings during a run to the West Regional final in which they defeated three major-conference powers, including 1998 Final Four participant Stanford, and took UConn literally to the last minute before losing. Gonzaga has made every NCAA tournament since then, and is now generally considered to be a high-major program despite its mid-major conference affiliation.

Due to violations committed by Ohio State head coach Jim O'Brien, the Buckeyes were forced to vacate their appearance in the 1999 Final Four.

First and second rounds

March 11 and 13
KeyArena, Seattle (Host: University of Washington) McNichols Sports Arena, Denver Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida RCA Dome, Indianapolis
March 12 and 14
Bradley Center, Milwaukee Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, North Carolina (Host: University of North Carolina at Charlotte) FleetCenter, Boston (Host: Boston College) Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans (Host: Tulane University)

Regionals

March 18 and 20
South Regional, Thompson–Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee (Host: University of Tennessee) West Regional, America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona (Host: Arizona State University)
March 19 and 21
East Regional, Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey Midwest Regional, Trans World Dome, St. Louis, Missouri

Final Four

March 27 and 29
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida

Announcers

  • Jim Nantz and Billy Packer – First & Second Round at New Orleans; Midwest Regional at St. Louis; Final Four at St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Sean McDonough and Bill Raftery – First & Second Round at Indianapolis; South Regional at Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Verne Lundquist and Al McGuire – First & Second Round at Charlotte, North Carolina; East Regional at East Rutherford, New Jersey
  • Gus Johnson and Dan Bonner – First & Second Round at Orlando, Florida; West Regional at Phoenix, Arizona
  • Tim Brando and James Worthy – First & Second Round at Milwaukee
  • Kevin Harlan and Jon Sundvold – First & Second Round at Seattle
  • Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel – First & Second Round at Denver
  • Craig Bolerjack and Rolando Blackman – First & Second Round at Boston
  • References

    1999 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Wikipedia


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