Utah won its first men's basketball national championship in 1944 as the Utes defeated Dartmouth 42-40 in overtime. They also became the first team to qualify for the NCAA tournament and the NIT in the same season. Utah's Arnie Ferrin became the first freshman to be named the Most Outstanding Player. He scored 22 of Utah's 42 points in the championship game. No one else in the game scored more than 11.
Iowa State and Ohio State also participated in the national semifinals in 1944.
Dartmouth's Audley Brindley was the NCAA tournament's leading scorer with 52 points.
1944 NCAA tournament: Bracket
1944 NCAA tournament: Scores
- Dartmouth 63, Catholic 38
- Ohio State 57, Temple 47
- Iowa State 44, Pepperdine 39
- Utah 45, Missouri 35
- Dartmouth 60, Ohio State 53
- Utah 40, Iowa State 31
- National Championship
- Utah 42, Dartmouth 40
- Regional Third-Place Games
- Temple 55, Catholic 35
- Missouri 61, Pepperdine 46
1944 NCAA tournament: Stats, records
Here are the 1944 NCAA tournament leaders (number of games in parentheses):
- Nick Bozolich, Pepperdine: 22.5 points per game
- Tied for the fewest free throws attempted in the Final Four: five, Dartmouth
- Tied for the fewest free throws made in the championship game: two, Dartmouth