Kentucky won its first-ever national championship in 1948 as the Wildcats knocked off Baylor 58-42 inside Madison Square Garden. Holy Cross and Kansas State also made the Final Four, with the Crusaders winning the third-place game.
The Wildcats would also win the national championship in 1949, becoming just the second men's basketball team to win back-to-back titles.
Just eight teams qualified for the 1948 NCAA tournament. Kentucky's Alex Groza was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player and he led all scorers in the tournament with 54 points in three games. Groza scored a game-high 14 points in the national championship game.
1948 NCAA tournament: Bracket
1948 NCAA tournament: Scores
- Kentucky 76, Columbia 53
- Holy Cross 63, Michigan 45
- Kansas State 58, Wyoming 48
- Baylor 64, Washington 62
- Kentucky 60, Holy Cross 52
- Baylor 60, Kansas State 52
- National Championship
- Kentucky 58, Baylor 42
- Third-Place Game
- Holy Cross 60, Kansas State 54
- Regional Third-Place Games
- Michigan 66, Columbia 49
- Washington 57, Wyoming 47
1948 NCAA tournament: Stats, records
Here are the 1948 NCAA tournament leaders (number of games in parentheses):
- Jack Nichols, Washington: 19.5 points per game
- Tied for the fewest points at halftime in the national championship game: 16 points, Baylor