1961 College Basketball Recap

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Final AP Top 20

Major Conference Champions

NCAA Tournament (24 teams)

NIT Tournament (12 teams)

Player of the Year

Coach of the Year

Consensus All-America

The NCAA title that eluded Oscar Robertson for three years was brought home by Cincinnati in 1961 on one of the most memorable evenings in Final Four history.

On the last night of the season in Kansas City, two teams from the same state (Cincy and defending champ Ohio State) met in the championship game, the Buckeyes were ranked No.1 and the Bearcats No.2, and both the title and consolation games went into overtime. The preliminary for third place actually went four OT periods before St. Joseph's beat Utah, 127â120.

In the Final, a layup by Ohio State's Bobby Knight sent the game into OT, tied at 61. Cincy, led by Paul Hogue and Bob Wiesenhahn, took it from there, winning 70â65. Jerry Lucas scored 27 points for the losers and was named MVP for the second straight year.

Ohio State reached the Final unbeaten (some said âunbeatableâ) in 27 games. Lucas, a junior, was everybody's pick for Player of the Year, while Buckeyes' coach Fred Taylor was the unanimous choice for Coach of the Year.

At the NIT, Providence, a finalist in 1960, won the title with a 62â59 victory over St. Louis.

Elsewhere, 10 years after the point-shaving scandals of the '50s, the New York District Attorney's office uncovered another one, this time involving 37 players on 22 teams from Connecticut to Detroit to Mississippi St.

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