Stephen Todd Alford is an American men's college basketball coach and former professional player, the head coach for the Nevada Wolf Pack of the Mountain West Conference. Born and raised in Indiana, he was a two-time consensus first-team All-American as a college basketball player for the Indiana Hoosiers, he led them to a national championship in 1987. After playing professionally for four years in the National Basketball Association, he has been a college head coach for 30 years. Alford was named Indiana Mr. Basketball in high school before playing at Indiana University under coach Bobby Knight, he helped the Hoosiers claim their fifth national championship, finished his career as Indiana's all-time leading scorer. Alford was selected in the second round of the 1987 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks, played four years in the league with Dallas and the Golden State Warriors. Alford became a college head coach, he has coached at Manchester University, Southwest Missouri State University, the University of Iowa and the University of New Mexico.
He spent 5 1⁄2 seasons with the UCLA Bruins before being fired midseason in 2018–19. Alford was born in Franklin and grew up in New Castle, he learned to count as a three-year-old by watching the numbers tick off the scoreboard in Monroe City, where his father, Sam Alford, coached the high school team. Sam moved for various coaching jobs. Steve missed only two of his father's games, once when he had chicken pox and once when he made the regionals of the Elks Club free-throw shooting contest; when Alford was nine years old, he attended. The Alfords settled in New Castle, where Steve played on the New Castle Chrysler High School basketball team with his dad as coach. Alford was known to practice shooting so much that he would wear out six or seven nets a summer and forego social activities; as a high school freshman Alford averaged a point a game, but averaged 18.7 the next season. By his senior year in 1983, before the three-point line was implemented, Alford averaged 37.7 points per game and earned the Indiana "Mr. Basketball" award.
His team lost to Connersville in the 1983 state tournament. Shortly after Alford won a gold medal as a member of Bob Knight's U. S. Olympic team, he gave the medal to his dad in a tearful ceremony at the high school in tribute to the loss. Alford decided to play basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team. At Indiana, he became the university's all-time leading scorer with 2,438 points. Alford was the first player to be named the team's MVP four times. During his final three seasons, Alford earned first team all-Big Ten honors. In the Legends of College Basketball by The Sporting News Alford was #35 on the list of the 100 greatest Division-I college basketball players; when The Sporting News named its top ten NCAA basketball players of the 1980s in December 1989, Alford was listed at number ten. As a freshman, Alford earned the favor of Coach Knight. Dan Dakich, Alford's former teammate and an interim Indiana coach, said "Steve was mature as a freshman, he was getting thrown out of practice then.
If Coach respects you and knows you can handle it, he'll do that. When I was a freshman, only Randy Wittman and Ted Kitchel, the seniors, were thrown out." That year Alford helped lead Indiana to an upset of the Michael Jordan-led North Carolina Tar Heels in the 1984 NCAA tournament. For the 1984 Summer Olympics Alford, just 19 years old and a sophomore, was selected to play on the U. S. basketball team, coached by Bob Knight. Alford averaged 10.3 points per game, was second in assists, shot.644 from the field. He and his teammates went on to win the gold medal at the 1984 games. In this game Alford played alongside Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Sam Perkins, Chris Mullin and Wayman Tisdale. Alford has recounted that during the Olympic training camp, Jordan bet him $100 that he would not last four years on Knight's Indiana team; as a sophomore Alford was named to the 1985 NIT Tournament All-Tournament team after the Hoosiers finished second behind UCLA. As a junior, he and the 1985-86 Hoosiers were profiled in a best-selling book A Season on the Brink.
Author John Feinstein was granted unprecedented access to the Indiana basketball program and insights into Knight's coaching style. The book recounts how Knight once criticized Alford's work habits and leadership ability, telling him he couldn't "lead a whore into bed." Knight admitted Alford was in fact an incredible worker and leader and the comments were just Knight's method of motivating players. The Hoosiers went 21-8 that year and finished second in the Big Ten, with Alford earning All-America and Big Ten Player of the Year honors. In his senior year, the Alford-led 1986-87 Hoosiers won Indiana's fifth national championship, when the team defeated Syracuse in title game of the tournament; the game was decided by a game-winning jump shot by Keith Smart with five seconds remaining. Alford shot 7–10 from the three-point line, scored 23 points, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the first half that put the Hoosiers ahead by one point to start the second half. Alford was drafted 26th in the 1987 NBA draft.
Many fans in Indiana expected Alford to be drafted by the Indiana Pacers, but the Pacers selected Reggie Miller and Alford fell to the Dallas Mavericks. The choice angered Indiana fans but they and Alford embraced the decision. Years Alford said "not only was it a much better draft choice than drafting me... Reggie turned out not to be a gre
College basketball today is governed by collegiate athletic bodies including the United States's National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Junior College Athletic Association, the National Christian College Athletic Association. Governing bodies in Canada include the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association; each of these various organizations are subdivided into from one to three divisions based on the number and level of scholarships that may be provided to the athletes. Each organization has different conferences to divide up the teams into groups. Teams are selected into these conferences depending on the location of the schools; these conferences are put in due to the regional play of the teams and to have a structural schedule for each to team to play for the upcoming year. During conference play the teams are ranked not only through the entire NCAA, but the conference as well in which they have tournament play leading into the NCAA tournament.
The history of basketball can be traced back to a YMCA International Training School, known today as Springfield College, located in Springfield, Massachusetts. The sport was created by a physical education teacher named James Naismith, who in the winter of 1891 was given the task of creating a game that would keep track athletes in shape and that would prevent them from getting hurt; the date of the first formal basketball game played at the Springfield YMCA Training School under Naismith's rules is given as December 21, 1891. Basketball began to be played at some college campuses by 1893; the first known college to field a basketball team against an outside opponent was Vanderbilt University, which played against the local YMCA in Nashville, Tennessee, on February 7, 1893. The second recorded instance of an organized college basketball game was Geneva College's game against the New Brighton YMCA on April 8, 1893, in Beaver Falls, which Geneva won 3–0; the first recorded game between two college teams occurred on February 9, 1895, when Hamline University faced Minnesota A&M. Minnesota A&M won the game, played under rules allowing nine players per side, 9–3.
The first intercollegiate match using the modern rule of five players per side is credited as a game between the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa, on January 18, 1896. The Chicago team won the game 15-12, under the coaching of Amos Alonzo Stagg, who had learned the game from James Naismith at the Springfield YMCA. However, some sources state the first "true" five-on-five intercollegiate match was a game in 1897 between Yale and Penn, because although the Iowa team that played Chicago in 1896 was composed of University of Iowa students, it did not represent the university, rather it was organized through a YMCA. By 1900, the game of basketball had spread to colleges across the country; the Amateur Athletic Union's annual U. S. national championship tournament featured collegiate teams playing against non-college teams. Four colleges won the AAU tournament championship: NYU, Butler and Washburn. College teams were runners-up in 1915, 1917, 1920, 1921, 1932 and 1934.
The first known tournament featuring college teams was the 1904 Summer Olympics, where basketball was a demonstration sport, a collegiate championship tournament was held. The Olympic title was won by Hiram College. In March 1908, a two-game "championship series" was organized between the University of Chicago and Penn, with games played in Philadelphia and Bartlett, Illinois. Chicago swept both games to win the series. In March 1922, the 1922 National Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament was held in Indianapolis – the first stand-alone post-season tournament for college teams; the champions of six major conferences participated: Pacific Coast Conference, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Western Pennsylvania League, Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Western Conference and Eastern Intercollegiate League declined invitations to participate. Wabash College won the 1922 tournament.
The first organization to tout a occurring national collegiate championship was the NAIA in 1937, although it was surpassed in prestige by the National Invitation Tournament, or NIT, which brought six teams to New York's Madison Square Garden in the spring of 1938. Temple defeated Colorado in the first NIT tournament championship game, 60–36. In 1939, another national tournament was implemented by the National Collegiate Athletic Association; the location of the NCAA Tournament varied from year to year, it soon used multiple locations each year, so more fans could see games without traveling to New York. Although the NIT was created earlier and was more prestigious than the NCAA for many years, it lost popularity and status to the NCAA Tournament. In 1950, following a double win by the 1949–50 CCNY Beavers men's basketball team, the NCAA ruled that no team could compete in both tournaments, indicated that a team eligible for the NCAA tournament should play in it. Not long afterward, assisted by the 1951 scandals based in New York City, the NCAA tournament had become more prestigious than before, with conference champions and the majority of top-ranked teams competing there.
The NCAA tournament overtook the NIT by 1960. Through the 1960s and 1970s, with UCLA leading the way as winner
University of Nevada, Reno
The University of Nevada, Reno is a public research university located in Reno, Nevada. Founded October 12, 1874, Nevada is the sole land grant institution for the state of Nevada. According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the University of Nevada is a research university with high research activity as of December 2018; the campus is home to the large-scale structures laboratory in the College of Engineering, which has put Nevada researchers at the forefront nationally in a wide range of civil engineering and large-scale structures testing and modeling. The Nevada Terawatt Facility, located on a satellite campus of the university, includes a terawatt-level Z-pinch machine and terawatt-class high-intensity laser system – one of the most powerful such lasers on any college campus in the country, it is home to the School of Medicine, with campuses in both of Nevada's major urban centers, Las Vegas and Reno, a health network that extends to much of rural Nevada.
The faculty are considered worldwide and national leaders in diverse areas such as environmental literature, Basque studies, social sciences such as psychology. The school includes 16 clinical departments and five nationally recognized basic science departments, it is home to the School of Journalism, which has produced six Pulitzer Prize winners. The Nevada State Constitution established the State University of Nevada in Elko, Nevada, on October 12, 1874. In 1881, it became Nevada State University. In 1885, the Nevada State University moved from Elko to Reno. In 1906, it was renamed the University of Nevada and University of Nevada, Reno in 1969 soon after University of Nevada, Las Vegas was granted full autonomy; the University of Nevada remained the only four-year academic institution in the state of Nevada until 1965, when the Nevada Southern campus separated into its own university. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs are offered through: Nevada sponsors a center dedicated to Basque studies due to the large Basque population in Northern Nevada.
In addition, the university sponsors many centers, institutes & facilities. The university and surrounding community is served by several campus libraries; the libraries are: Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center. Opened on August 11, 2008 it was a $75.3 million project which began in September 2005. It replaced the Getchell library. Basque Library Special Collections and University Archives DeLaMare Library Mary B. Ansari Map Library Savitt Medical Library Nell J. Redfield Learning and Resource Center The university was ranked tied for 197th among national universities by U. S. News & World Report in 2017, 445th by Forbes out of the 660 best private and public colleges and universities in the U. S. Within the College of Business at the University of Nevada, the part-time MBA program was ranked 24th in the United States in 2014 by Bloomberg Businessweek; the University of Nevada, Reno is the flagship institution of Nevada. The campus is located just north of downtown Reno overlooking Truckee Meadows and the downtown casinos.
The university's first building, Morrill Hall, was completed in 1887 and still stands on the historic quad at the campus' southern end. The hall is named after U. S. Senator Justin Morrill, author of the 1862 Land-Grant College Act. Lincoln Hall and Manzanita Hall were both opened in 1896. While Lincoln was under construction, boys were housed in the building which had held the now-defunct Bishop Whitaker's School for Girls, which had shuttered in 1894; the Quad is located in the southern part of the campus, surrounded by Morrill Hall and the Mackay School of Mines. This quadrangle is modeled after Thomas Jefferson's at the University of Virginia; the northern end of the Quad contains a statue of John William Mackay, created by Mount Rushmore designer Gutzon Borglum. The Quad and the original campus buildings surrounding it have a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Across the campus of the university exists the University of Nevada, Reno Arboretum, established in 1985, contains a collection of trees, flowers and native flora, including over 60 genera and about 200 species of trees, many with several cultivars present.
Thirty-six mature elm trees line the Quad. The football team plays at Mackay Stadium, The modern Mackay Stadium was completed in 1966 with a seating capacity of 7,500; the facility has been expanded several times in the last 15 years and now seats 30,000. The University of Nevada began construction of a new 108,000 square foot fitness center in June 2015. Named the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center, it opened in February 2017. Students' use of the fitness center is included in annual tuition and fees; the fitness center has four floors and includes a gym with three basketball courts, areas for weightlifting, cardio training, fitness classes, stadium stairs and an indoor running track. The project had a $46 million cost; the University of Nevada offers a variety of options to students. There are eight different residence halls, seven of which house freshman students. Options include an all upper-class residence hall, a living learning community building in which freshman students of similar academic interests are housed
Reno is a city in the U. S. state of Nevada, located in the northwestern part of the state 22 miles from Lake Tahoe. Known as "The Biggest Little City in the World", Reno is known for its casino industry, it is the county seat of Washoe County. The city sits in a high desert at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and its downtown area occupies a valley informally known as the Truckee Meadows; the city is named after Union Major General Jesse L. Reno, killed in action at the Battle of South Mountain on Fox's Gap. Reno, with an estimated population of 248,853 as of 2017, is the fourth-most populous city in Nevada after Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, all three of those cities being part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Reno is the most populous city in the state outside of the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Reno is part of the Reno–Sparks metropolitan area which consists of all of Washoe and Storey counties. Archaeological finds place the eastern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Reno area.
As early as the mid 1850s a few pioneers settled in the Truckee Meadows, a fertile valley through which the Truckee River made its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. In addition to subsistence farming, these early residents could pick up business from travelers along the California Trail, which followed the Truckee westward, before branching off towards Donner Lake, where the formidable obstacle of the Sierra Nevada began. Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Virginia City in 1850, a modest mining community developed, but the discovery of silver in 1859 at the Comstock Lode led to a mining rush, thousands of emigrants left their homes, bound for the West, hoping to find a fortune. To provide the necessary connection between Virginia City and the California Trail, Charles W. Fuller built a log toll bridge across the Truckee River in 1859. A small community that would service travelers soon grew up near the bridge. After two years, Fuller sold the bridge to Myron C. Lake, who continued to develop the community with the addition of a grist mill and livery stable to the hotel and eating house.
He renamed it "Lake's Crossing". In 1864, Washoe County was consolidated with Roop County, Lake's Crossing became the largest town in the county. Lake had earned himself the title "founder of Reno". By January 1863, the Central Pacific Railroad had begun laying tracks east from Sacramento, California connecting with the Union Pacific Railroad at Promontory, Utah, to form the First Transcontinental Railroad. Lake deeded land to the CPRR in exchange for its promise to build a depot at Lake's Crossing. Once the railroad station was established, the town of Reno came into being on May 9, 1868. CPRR construction superintendent Charles Crocker named the community after Major General Jesse Lee Reno, a Union officer killed in the American Civil War at the Battle of South Mountain. In 1871, Reno became the county seat of the newly expanded Washoe County, replacing the previous county seat, located in Washoe City. However, political power in Nevada remained with the mining communities, first Virginia City and Tonopah and Goldfield.
The extension of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad to Reno in 1872 provided a boost to the new city's economy. In the following decades, Reno continued to grow and prosper as a business and agricultural center and became the principal settlement on the transcontinental railroad between Sacramento and Salt Lake City; as the mining boom waned early in the 20th century, Nevada's centers of political and business activity shifted to the non-mining communities Reno and Las Vegas, today the former mining metropolises stand as little more than ghost towns. Despite this, Nevada is still the third-largest gold producer in the world, after South Africa and Australia; the "Reno Arch" was erected on Virginia Street in 1926 to promote the upcoming Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927. The arch included the words "Nevada's Transcontinental Highways Exposition" and the dates of the exposition. After the exposition, the Reno City Council decided to keep the arch as a permanent downtown gateway, Mayor E.
E. Roberts asked the citizens of Reno to suggest a slogan for the arch. No acceptable slogan was received until a $100 prize was offered, G. A. Burns of Sacramento was declared the winner on March 14, 1929, with "Reno, The Biggest Little City in the World". Reno took a leap when the state of Nevada legalized open-gambling on March 19, 1931, along with the passage of more liberal divorce laws than places like Hot Springs, offered. No other state offered what Nevada had in the 1930s, casinos like the Bank Club and Palace were popular. Within a few years, the Bank Club, owned by George Wingfield, Bill Graham, Jim McKay, was the state's largest employer and the largest casino in the world. Wingfield owned most of the buildings in town that housed gaming and took a percentage of the profits, along with his rent. Ernie Pyle once wrote in one of his columns, "All the people you saw on the streets in Reno were there to get divorces." In Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead, published in 1943, the New York-based female protagonist tells a friend, "I am going to Reno,", taken as a different way of saying "I am going to divorce my husband."
Among others, the Belgian-French writer Georges Simenon, at the time living in the U. S. came to Reno in 1950. The divorce business died as the other states fell in line by passing their own laws easing the requirements for divorce, but gambling continued as a major Reno industry. While gaming pioneers like "Pappy" and Harold Smith of Harold's Club and
NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament known and branded as NCAA March Madness, is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States featuring 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, was the idea of Ohio State coach Harold Olsen. Played during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States; the tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences, 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the "First Four" play-in games held in Dayton and dubbed Selection Sunday; the 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination "bracket", which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next.
Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a "first four" consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the "Sweet Sixteen" and "Elite Eight" rounds the next week and weekend and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the "Final Four" round; the Final Four is played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region, compete in a preselected location for the national championship; the tournament has been at least televised since 1969. The games are broadcast by CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV under the trade-name NCAA March Madness. Since 2011, all games are available for viewing nationwide and internationally.
As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity. Millions of Americans fill out a bracket, attempting to predict the outcome of 63 games of the tournament. With 11 national titles, UCLA has the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; the University of Kentucky is second, with eight national titles. The University of North Carolina is third, with six national titles, Duke University and Indiana University are tied for fourth with five national titles; the University of Connecticut is sixth with four national titles. The University of Kansas & Villanova are tied for 7th with three national titles. Since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams, Duke has won five championships; the NCAA has changed the tournament format several times since its inception, most being an increase of the number of teams. This section describes the tournament as it has operated since 2011. A total of 68 teams qualify for the tournament played during April. Thirty-two teams earn automatic bids as their respective conference champions.
Of the 32 Division I "all-sports" conferences, all 32 hold championship tournaments to determine which team receives the automatic qualification. The Ivy League was the last Division I conference. If two or more Ivies shared a regular-season championship, a one-game playoff was used to decide the tournament participant. Since 2017, the league conducts their own postseason tournament; the remaining 36 tournament slots are granted to at-large bids, which are determined by the Selection Committee in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the First Four play-in tournament and dubbed Selection Sunday by the media and fans, by a group of conference commissioners and school athletic directors who are appointed into service by the NCAA. The committee determines where all sixty-eight teams are seeded and placed in the bracket; the tournament is divided into four regions and each region has at least sixteen teams, but four additional teams are added per the decision of the Selection Committee.
The committee is charged with making each of the four regions as close as possible in overall quality of teams from wherever they come from. The names of the regions vary from year to year, are broadly geographic. From 1957 to 1984, the "Mideast" corresponding to the Southeastern region of the United States, designation was used. From 1985 to 1997, the Mideast region was known as "Southeast" and again changed to "South" starting from 1998; the selected names correspond to the location of the four cities hosting the regional finals. From 2004 to 2006, the regions were named after their host cities, e.g. the Phoenix Regional in 2004, the Chicago Regional in 2005, the Minneapolis Regional in 2006, but reverted to the traditional geographic designations beginning in 2007. For example, during 2012, the regions were named South, Midwest (St. Louis, Mis
2004–05 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team
The 2004–05 Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball team, the 100th season of men's basketball at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in recent college history. After starting the regular season with a record of 29–0 and winning the Big Ten Conference regular season title outright, the Illini were Big Ten Tournament champions and advanced in the 2005 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament to the National Championship, where they lost to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels 75–70, they ended the season with a conference record of 15–1, an overall record of 37-2. In 2014 Sports Illustrated voted the 2005 Illinois team as the best team to not win a title. Illinois celebrated its 100th season of varsity basketball in 2004-05. In his second season as head coach at Illinois, Bruce Weber’s Illini put together the most successful season in U of I history; the Illini tied the all-time NCAA record for victories in a season with 37 wins en route to its 37–2 record.
Illinois made its fifth all-time NCAA Final Four appearance and first since 1989. The Illini defeated Louisville in the national semifinal to advance to the NCAA Championship game for the first time in school history. Illinois finished as the national runner-up. Above all else, the team was noted for its impeccable ball movement on offense; the team led the nation in assists. A constant flow of passes allowed for open looks from the three-point line on every play. Led by a three guard starting lineup, the team did not rely upon sheer size and height like many other teams in order to dominate, but rather skill and teamwork. Illinois relied upon three-point shooting for its offensive firepower. Illinois' effective offense was attributable to the team chemistry that had developed amongst the starting five, which had gone unchanged over the two previous seasons. Defensively, the team was one of the best at guarding against the three-point shot. Illinois averaged 77.0 points per game, while allowing 61.1 points per game, for an average point differential of nearly 16 points.
In blowout home games, 7 ft 2 in senior Nick Smith, the tallest player in University of Illinois basketball history, would take three-point shots from the top of the key. He made 4 of 11 on the season; the Illini started the season by setting a school record with 29 straight wins, the third best start in Big Ten history and tying the 12th best start in NCAA annals. Illinois won its second-ever game over a No. 1-ranked opponent, crushing Wake Forest 91-73 at the Assembly Hall on December 1. After the win, the Illini took over the number 1 overall spot in the national polls and held it for the remainder of the regular season, a run of 15 straight weeks. On January 25, 2005, Illinois defeated Wisconsin 75-65 at the Kohl Center, snapping the Badgers' nation-leading 38-game home court winning streak. In the process, Illinois handed the Badgers their first home court loss since a defeat to, Wake Forest, on December 4, 2002, assumed the nation's longest home court winning streak themselves. Illinois was ranked No. 1 in another first for the program.
The Illini went on to win to its second straight outright Big Ten Championship with a 15-1 record, as Weber became the first coach in 100 years of Big Ten basketball to win consecutive outright league championships in his first two seasons. The Illini won the Big Ten Tournament, becoming just the second team to win both an outright Big Ten regular season title and the Big Ten Tournament in the same season. In the NCAA tournament, the overall number 1 seeded Illini won their first three games by double digits. In an Elite Eight matchup, Illinois fell behind early to the University of Arizona due to poor shooting behind the three-point line and sensational play by Arizona's leaders Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye; the game featured a 15-point comeback from the Illini, triggered by several steals and Deron Williams' clutch three-point shooting, including several NBA range threes, in the last 3 minutes and 30 seconds of the game. The Illini defeated The University of Louisville 72-57, the team's largest margin of victory in the tournament, to move on to the 2005 National Championship Game against North Carolina.
In the national championship game, Illinois was defeated by North Carolina 70-75. North Carolina relied upon stellar post play from Sean May, who managed to get James Augustine and Jack Ingram into foul trouble, while Illinois struggled offensively with what had succeeded the rest of the season, converting only 12 of a championship game record 40 three-point field goal attempts. James Augustine played 9 minutes due to foul trouble, forcing Jack Ingram to play a huge role in the second half comeback the Illini made. For the entire season, Illinois was ranked #1 and North Carolina was ranked #2 in all polls, both teams were the favorites to meet in the national championship game; the North Carolina squad would go on to field six players in the NBA draft. Bruce Weber was named National Coach of the Year by nine organizations. Dee Brown, "The One Man Fast Break", was named The Sporting News National Player of the Year and swept the conference honors as well, being named both Big Ten Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
The Illini had three players earn consensus All-America honors in the same season for the first time ever. In addition to Brown earning consensus first-team All-America honors, Deron Williams and Luther Head were named consensus second-team All-Americans. Following the season, both Williams and Head were chosen in the first round of the NBA Draft
2006 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 65 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball as a culmination of the 2005–06 basketball season. It began on March 14, 2006, concluded on April 3 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. None of the Tournament's top seeds advanced to the Final Four, the first time since 1980 that this occurred. For the second time in history, a team seeded 11th advanced to the Final Four as George Mason of the Colonial Athletic Association won the Washington, D. C. region. They were joined by Atlanta region winner LSU, Oakland region winner UCLA, who had not made the Final Four since they won the National Championship in 1995, Minneapolis region winner Florida, who had not made the Final Four since their runner-up finish in 2000 in Indianapolis. Florida won its first-ever national basketball championship by defeating UCLA 73–57 in the final game. Florida's Joakim Noah was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament.
George Mason's run was one of several upsets by lower-seeded teams in the tournament. For the second consecutive year, a No. 14 seed beat a No. 3 seed as Northwestern State defeated Iowa. No. 13 seed Bradley defeated No. 4 seed Kansas and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen by defeating No. 5-seeded Pittsburgh in the Second Round. Two No. 12 seeds won as well, as Montana and Texas A&M both won their respective First Round matchups. For the second straight year, Milwaukee won as this time as the No. 11-seeded Panthers defeated Oklahoma in the First Round. A total of 65 teams were selected to participate in the tournament. Of that total, 31 of the teams earned automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments. Penn earned an automatic bid by winning the regular-season title of the Ivy League, which did not conduct a conference tournament; the remaining 34 teams were granted "at-large" bids, which are extended by the NCAA Selection Committee. The initial game on March 14 named the Opening Round game, but popularly called the "play-in game", had Monmouth, winner of the Northeast Conference Tournament, facing Hampton, who won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament, for a chance to play top seed Villanova in the First Round of the Tournament.
Monmouth defeated 71 -- 49, to advance to play Villanova. All teams were seeded from 1 to 16 within their regions; the Selection Committee seeded the entire field from 1 to 65. In a practice used since 2004, the ranking of the four top seeds against each other would determine the pairings in the Final Four; the top overall seed would be seeded to play the fourth overall seed in the national semifinals, should both teams advance that far. In 2006, these rankings were as follows: No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Connecticut, No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 Memphis. The first and second-round games were played at the following sites: March 16/18:Cox Arena, San Diego, California Greensboro Coliseum, North Carolina Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Florida Jon M. Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah March 17/19:American Airlines Center, Texas The Palace of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Michigan University of Dayton Arena, Ohio Wachovia Center, Pennsylvania The four regionals were named after the four host cities, a practice which began in 2004.
However, in 2007, the NCAA returned to naming regionals by their geographic location. The 2006 regionals were: March 23/25:Atlanta Regional, Georgia Dome, Georgia Oakland Regional, Oakland Arena, California March 24/26:Minneapolis Regional, Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minnesota Washington, D. C. Regional, Verizon Center, Washington, D. C; each regional winner advanced to the Final Four, held on April 1 and 3 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, hosted by Butler University and the Horizon League. This was the fourth and final time the RCA Dome would host the Final Four before moving to Lucas Oil Stadium. For the first time, the tournament came to Jacksonville, playing games at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena; this marked fifth metropolitan area in the state of Florida to host games. The 2006 tournament marked the final tournament games held at the Huntsman Center and Oakland Arena. Tournament games have moved to downtown Salt Lake City and the Vivint Smart Home Arena since, to take advantage of more amenities there as opposed to the campus of the University of Utah.
As for Oakland, there are no games scheduled in the near future, with 2022 scheduled to host games at the new Chase Center in downtown San Francisco. As the Golden State Warriors will be moving to the Chase Center once it opens, it is unclear what will happen to the Oracle Arena once their primary tenant moves out. *Opening Round participants – Number of asterisks denotes number of overtimes. Winner advances to Minneapolis Regional vs. No. 1 Villanova. *Monmouth University won the Opening Round game. The America East, Atlantic Sun, Big South, Big West, Ivy, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Ohio Valley, SoCon, SWAC, Mid-Continent, Sun Belt conferences all went 0–1; the columns R32, S16, E8, F4, CG stand for the Round of 32, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, Championship Game. Jim Nantz and Billy Packer – First & Second Round at Philadel