Kentucky won its second national title in a row in 1949 as the Wildcats defeated Oklahoma State 46-36 in the national championship. Kentucky's Alex Groza scored 25 of the Wildcats' 46 points. No other player in the game scored more than 12. Groza was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player and he was the tournament's leading scorer with 82 points.
Illinois and Oregon State both made their first Final Four appearance in 1949. Just eight teams qualified for the 1949 NCAA tournament, which meant that a team had to win just three games to win the national championship.
The national third-place game between Illinois and Oregon State marked the 100th game in NCAA tournament history.
1949 NCAA tournament: Bracket
1949 NCAA tournament: Scores
- Illinois 71, Yale 67
- Kentucky 85, Villanova 72
- Oklahoma A&M 40, Wyoming 39
- Oregon State 56, Arkansas 38
- Kentucky 76, Illinois 47
- Oklahoma A&M 55, Oregon State 30
- National Championship
- Kentucky 46, Oklahoma A&M 36
- Third-Place Game
- Illinois 57, Oregon State 53
- Regional Third-Place Games
- Villanova 78, Yale 67
- Arkansas 61, Wyoming 48
1949 NCAA tournament: Stats, records
Here are the 1949 NCAA tournament leaders (number of games in parentheses):
- Alex Groza, Kentucky: 27.3 points per game
- Fewest field goals made by a team in the Final Four: nine, Oklahoma State vs. Kentucky
- Tied the fewest combined points at halftime in a Final Four game: 32 points, Oklahoma State and Oregon State