National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a non-profit organization which regulates athletes of 1,268 North American institutions and conferences. It organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, helps more than 480,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college sports; the organization is headquartered in Indiana. In its 2016–17 fiscal year the NCAA took in $1.06 billion in revenue, over 82% of, generated by the Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. In August 1973, the current three-division system of Division I, Division II, Division III was adopted by the NCAA membership in a special convention. Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III. Division I football was further divided into I-A and I-AA in 1978. Subsequently, the term "Division I-AAA" was added to delineate Division I schools which do not field a football program at all, but that term is no longer used by the NCAA.
In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA were renamed the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision. Controversially, the NCAA caps the benefits that collegiate athletes can receive from their schools. There is a consensus among economists that these caps for men's basketball and football players benefit the athletes' schools at the expense of athletes. Intercollegiate sports began in the US in 1852 when crews from Harvard and Yale universities met in a challenge race in the sport of rowing; as rowing remained the preeminent sport in the country into the late-1800s, many of the initial debates about collegiate athletic eligibility and purpose were settled through organizations like the Rowing Association of American Colleges and the Intercollegiate Rowing Association. As other sports emerged, notably football and basketball, many of these same concepts and standards were adopted. Football, in particular, began to emerge as a marquee sport, but the rules of the game itself were in constant flux and had to be adapted for each contest.
The NCAA dates its formation to two White House conferences convened by President Theodore Roosevelt in the early 20th century in response to repeated injuries and deaths in college football which had "prompted many college and universities to discontinue the sport." Following those White House meetings and the reforms which had resulted, Chancellor Henry MacCracken of New York University organized a meeting of 13 colleges and universities to initiate changes in football playing rules. The IAAUS was established on March 31, 1906, took its present name, the NCAA, in 1910. For several years, the NCAA was a discussion group and rules-making body, but in 1921, the first NCAA national championship was conducted: the National Collegiate Track and Field Championships. More rules committees were formed and more championships were created, including a basketball championship in 1939. A series of crises brought the NCAA to a crossroads after World War II; the "Sanity Code" – adopted to establish guidelines for recruiting and financial aid – failed to curb abuses.
Postseason football games were multiplying with little control, member schools were concerned about how the new medium of television would affect football attendance. The complexity of those problems and the growth in membership and championships demonstrated the need for full-time professional leadership. Walter Byers a part-time executive assistant, was named executive director in 1951, a national headquarters was established in Kansas City, Missouri in 1952. Byers wasted no time placing his stamp on the Association. A program to control live television of football games was approved, the annual Convention delegated enforcement powers to the Association's Council, legislation was adopted governing postseason bowl games; as college athletics grew, the scope of the nation's athletics programs diverged, forcing the NCAA to create a structure that recognized varying levels of emphasis. In 1973, the Association's membership was divided into three legislative and competitive divisions – I, II, III.
Five years in 1978, Division I members voted to create subdivisions I-A and I-AA in football. Until the 1980s, the association did not offer women's athletics. Instead, the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, with nearly 1000 member schools, governed women's collegiate sports in the United States; the AIAW was in a vulnerable position. Following a one-year overlap in which both organizations staged women's championships, the AIAW discontinued operation, most member schools continued their women's athletics programs under the governance of the NCAA. By 1982 all divisions of the NCAA offered national championship events for women's athletics. A year in 1983, the 75th Convention approved an expansion to plan women's athletic program services and pushed for a women's championship program. By the 1980s, televised college football had become a larger source of income for the NCAA. In September 1981, the Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia Athletic Association filed suit against the NCAA in district court in Oklahoma.
The plaintiffs stated that the NCAA's football tel
Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium is a college football stadium in the central United States, located on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Opened 54 years ago in 1965, it is the home field of the NIU Huskies of the Mid-American Conference. Located on the west end of campus, Huskie Stadium is bordered by Stadium Drive to the south, the Yordon Athletic Center to the north, Mary Bell Field to the east, Ralph McKinzie Field to the west; the playing field has a conventional north-south alignment at an elevation of 870 feet above sea level. Before the 1965 season, the Huskies played at Glidden Field, a 5,500-seat facility on the east end of campus. However, after quarterback George Bork lead them to an AP small college national championship in 1963, they began the construction of Huskie Stadium. Marred by construction setbacks that put the opening day two months behind schedule, the stadium played host to its first official NIU football game on November 6, when the Huskies defeated the Illinois State Redbirds, 48–6.
Through 1968, the playing surface was natural grass. In 1969, the home opener against Idaho on September 20 marked the state's first major college gridiron contest played on artificial turf, the Huskies won the night game, 47–30; the field was re-carpeted in 1980 and 1990 before the introduction of infilled FieldTurf in 2001. The stadium consisted of the main concrete west stands and much smaller temporary stands on the east side; the east side was redone in 1995, creating a steel structure to mirror the concrete one. The university has maintained and enhanced the institution's all-around athletics facility, updating the scoreboard and video display system in both 2000 and 2001, creating the South End Zone berm in 2002. In 2003, the field was renamed "Brigham Field" in honor of Robert J. Brigham, a former NIU player and athletic director; the stadium was the site of a few NCAA records. Against Fresno State in 1990, quarterback Stacey Robinson rushed for 287 yards in the first half, finished with 308 overall, as NIU upset the 24th-ranked Bulldogs 73–18.
In that game on October 6, the Huskies established school records for rushing yards, total offense, first downs. It was the first victory over a ranked opponent at the stadium. In 2013, Jordan Lynch rushed for 321 yards on November 26, setting an FBS record for most rushing yards in a game by a quarterback; the Huskies have experienced large amounts of success in the national spotlight, defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Iowa State Cyclones and the Maryland Terrapins. Because of the Huskies success, NIU averaged the highest attendance per game in the MAC between 2004-2006. In recent years, the football program has generated national headlines for the institution. With seven consecutive winning seasons, NIU has the 25th best record in the nation since 2000 ---including triumphs over Bowl Championship Series programs such as Wake Forest, University of Alabama, University of Maryland, Purdue University and Iowa State University among others; the Huskies finished ranked in the Top 30 during the 2003 and 2004 seasons and defeated Troy University, 34–21, in the 2004 Silicon Valley Football Classic.
In 2006, NIU faced off against TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, California making it the second time in three years NIU had gone to a postseason bowl game. The Huskies made it four bowls in six years with a trip to the International Bowl in 2010 against the University of South Florida. In 2012, they became the first non-AQ team with one loss to go to a BCS bowl game. With the addition of the Yordon Athletic Center, the total capacity for the stadium has decreased to 23,595. In 2013, Huskie Stadium in its current seating format recorded two sellouts in the year; this was the first time since 2003. NIU plans to renovate Huskie Stadium. Following its renovation, the stadium will have a horseshoe shape, with end zone seating added to the south side of the stadium; the capacity will be raised to between 30,000 and 35,000, with the potential to expand it further to 42,000 in the future. The gymnastics and wrestling practice areas housed within the stadium will be moved to make room on the west side for a full concourse, more concessions, more accessible restrooms.
The east side will hold new luxury seating sections, including suites, double suites, loge box seating, a club lounge, as well as both indoor and outdoor club seats. Naming rights for the stadium might be sold after its renovation. With a capacity somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000, the renovation will make Huskie Stadium amongst the MAC's largest in capacity. Both InfoCision Stadium and Waldo Stadium hold 30,000; the only three of the venues mentioned that are in the West Division of the MAC alongside the Huskies are Waldo Stadium, Rynearson Stadium, Kelly/Shorts Stadium, meaning that post-renovation, Huskie Stadium will quite be the largest stadium in the division, if not the MAC. In the announcement of the planned renovations, athletic director Sean Frazier commented, “We always want more seats, but we people to fill those seats"..."We want something intimate. We have a great facility right now. What we want to do is build off of that; when that thing is full nobody wants to play in Huskie Stadium.
It is a difference-maker when you’re out there.”The renovations will be part of a $138 million overhaul to NIU's athletic facilities. As part of this overhaul, Ralph McK
The Summit League, or The Summit, is an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic conference with its membership located in the Midwestern United States from Indiana and Illinois on the East of the Mississippi River to the Dakotas and Nebraska on the West, with additional members in the Western state of Colorado and the Southern state of Oklahoma. Dubbed the Association of Mid-Continent Universities in 1982, on June 1, 2007, the conference changed its name from the Mid-Continent Conference. League headquarters are in South Dakota. With the 2018 arrival of the University of North Dakota as the league's newest full member, the Summit has nine full members plus four associate members. A total of 31 schools have been full members, but the only charter member remaining in the league today is Western Illinois University. Notes The Summit League has 22 former members. - The then-Mid-Continent Conference did not sponsor women's sports until the 1992–93 school year. Cleveland State, UIC, Northern Illinois, Green Bay, Wright State were all members of the women's-only North Star Conference until the Mid-Con began sponsoring women's sports absorbing the NSC.
- As noted before, the Mid-Con did not sponsor women's sports until 1992–93. Before that time, Eastern Illinois had been a member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, which began as a women's-only conference and added football in 1985; when the Gateway merged its women's side into the Missouri Valley Conference, EIU moved its women's sports into the Mid-Con, but kept its football team in the Gateway until it moved its entire athletic program into the Ohio Valley Conference in 1996. Notes The association was created on June 18, 1982 at the O'Hare Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois as the Association of Mid-Continent Universities, which it was known as until 1989; the conference sponsored football from 1982 until 1984 at the Division I-AA level, current members North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Western Illinois plus future member North Dakota have FCS football programs. In the early 1990s, the conference saw its first changes. Southwest Missouri State departed for membership in the Missouri Valley Conference as the University of Akron and Northern Illinois University joined in 1990.
Wright State University joined in 1991 as Northern Iowa followed Southwest Missouri State to the MVC. Major changes came to the conference in 1992. First, Akron left for the Mid-American Conference and was replaced by another Ohio school, Youngstown State University. More the Mid-Continent added women's sports by absorbing the North Star Conference, a women's-only league whose final seven members had all been in the Mid-Continent. All of the final NSC members except for Akron moved their women's sports into the Mid-Continent. At the same time, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois moved their women's sports into the Mid-Continent when their former women's sports home, the Gateway Conference, merged into the Missouri Valley Conference. A year the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee joined the Mid-Continent. In 1994, charter members Cleveland State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, as well as newer members Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, Wright State left the conference to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League.
In response, the Mid-Continent absorbed Central Connecticut State University, Chicago State University, the University at Buffalo, Troy State University, Northeastern Illinois University from the collapsed East Coast Conference. None of these institutions remain in the league. Missouri-Kansas City an independent joined the Mid-Continent Conference in 1994. Eastern Illinois moved to the Ohio Valley Conference in 1996. Troy State departed for the Trans America Athletic Conference while Central Connecticut went to the Northeast Conference in 1997. Buffalo joined the MAC in 1998 while Northeastern Illinois ceased intercollegiate athletics at that time. Oral Roberts University and Southern Utah University replaced the former pair while Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Oakland University moved into the latter duo's spots a year later. Youngstown State switched to the Horizon League in 2001, was replaced by Centenary College in 2003. Chicago State University announced in the spring of 2006 that it would withdraw from the conference to compete as an independent starting in the 2006-07 school year.
Charter member Valparaiso University moved to the Horizon in 2007. At the Mid-Continent Conference annual Presidents Council meeting in 2006, conference expansion was discussed at length, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, North Dakota State, South Dakota State were approved for site visits. On August 30, 2006, IPFW accepted an invitation to join the Mid-Continent Conference as a full member starting July 1, 2007; the following day, North Dakota State and South Dakota State accepted invitations to join the conference. The Summit League continued its renewed expansion push with the admission of the University of South Dakota; the Coyotes began conference play in the 2011–12 academic year and become eligible for all championships the following season. Centenary College subsequently announced that it would leave the Summit League following the 2010–2011 campaign; the University of North Dakota had been rumored to have been courted by the Summit League, but controversy over the Fighting Sioux nickname in all likelihood prevented UND's admission
Soldier Field is an American football stadium located in the Near South Side of Chicago, Illinois. It opened in 1924 and is the home field of the Chicago Bears of the National Football League, who moved there in 1971. With a football capacity of 61,500, it is the third-smallest stadium in the NFL. In 2016, Soldier Field became the second-oldest stadium in the league when the Los Angeles Rams began playing temporarily at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which opened a year earlier than Soldier Field; the stadium's interior was demolished and rebuilt as part of a major renovation project in 2002, which modernized the facility but lowered seating capacity, while causing it to be delisted as a National Historic Landmark. Soldier Field has served as the home venue for a number of other sports teams in its history, including the Chicago Cardinals of the NFL, University of Notre Dame football, the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer, as well as games from the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, multiple CONCACAF Gold Cup championships.
In 1968, it hosted the first Games of the Special Olympics. Soldier Field was opened on October 9, 1924, as Municipal Grant Park Stadium; the name was changed to Soldier Field on November 11, 1925, as a memorial to U. S. soldiers. Its formal dedication as Soldier Field was on Saturday, November 27, 1926, during the 29th annual playing of the Army–Navy Game, its design is in the Neoclassical style, with Doric columns rising above the East and West entrances. The stadium cost $13 million to construct, a large sum for a sporting venue at that time. In its earliest configuration, Soldier Field was capable of seating 74,280 spectators and was in the shape of a U. Additional seating could be added along the interior field, upper promenades and on the large, open field and terrace beyond the north endzone, bringing the seating capacity to over 100,000. Soldier Field was used as a site for many sporting exhibitions; the Chicago Cardinals used it as their home field for their final season in Chicago in 1959.
A dozen years in September 1971, the Chicago Bears moved in with a three-year commitment. They played at Wrigley Field, best known as the home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, but were forced to move to a larger venue due to post-AFL–NFL merger policies requiring that stadium capacities seat over 50,000 spectators, they had intended to build a stadium in Arlington Heights. In 1978, the Bears and the Chicago Park District agreed to a 20-year lease and renovation of the stadium. Both parties pooled their resources for the renovation; the playing surface was AstroTurf from 1971 through 1987, replaced with natural grass in 1988. In 1989, Soldier Field's future was in jeopardy after a proposal was created for a "McDome", intended to be a domed stadium for the Bears, but was rejected by the Illinois Legislature in 1990; because of this, Bears president Michael McCaskey considered relocation as a possible factor for a new stadium. The Bears had purchased options in Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village, Aurora.
In 1995, McCaskey announced that he and Northwest Indiana developers agreed to construction of an entertainment complex called "Planet Park", which would include a new stadium. However, the plan was rejected by the Lake County Council, in 1998, Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley proposed that the Bears share Comiskey Park with the Chicago White Sox. Beginning in 1978, the plank seating was replaced by individual seats with armrests. In 1982, a new press box as well as 60 skyboxes were added to the stadium, boosting capacity to 66,030. In 1988, 56 more skyboxes were added increasing capacity to 66,946. Capacity was increased to 66,950 in 1992. By 1994, capacity was reduced to 66,944. During the renovation, seating capacity was reduced to 55,701 by building a grandstand in the open end of the U shape; this moved the field closer to both ends at the expense of seating capacity. The goal of this renovation was to move the fans closer to the field; the front row 50-yard line seats were now only 55 feet away from the sidelines, the shortest distance of all NFL stadiums, until MetLife Stadium opened in 2010, with a distance of 46 feet.
In 2001, the Chicago Park District, which owns the structure, faced substantial criticism when it announced plans to alter the stadium with a design by Benjamin T. Wood and Carlos Zapata of the Boston-based architecture firm Wood + Zapata. Stadium grounds were reconfigured by Chicago-based architecture firm of Lohan Associate, led by architect Dirk Lohan, the grandson of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; the stadium's interior reconstructed while the exterior would be preserved. This is an example of facadism. A similar endeavor of constructing a new stadium within the confines of an historic stadium's exterior was completed in Leipzig, Germany's Red Bull Arena, which built a modern stadium while persevering the exterior of the original Zentralstadion. On January 19, 2002, the night of the Bears' playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, demolition was begun as tailgate fires still burned in the trash cans in the parking lots. Removal of 24,000 stadium seats in 36 hours by Archer Seating Clearinghouse, a speed record never exceeded since, was the first step in building the new Soldier Field.
Nostalgic Bears fans, recalling the glory seasons 1985, along with some retired players picked up their seats in the South Parking lot. The foremen on the job were Grant Wedding, who himself installed the seats in 1979, Mark Wretschko, an executive for the factory who made the 1979 seats
Rich Harvest Farms
Rich Harvest Farms is a private golf course and country club near Sugar Grove, about 50 miles west of downtown Chicago. Built in 1989 and expanded in 1999, the 18-hole championship golf course is on an expansive 1,800 acres. Jerome "Jerry" Rich, the estate's owner and president, is a self-made businessman and alumnus of Northern Illinois University. Rich's father, Anthony "AJ" Rich started his own company – Rich Inc – where Jerry went to work after graduation. Not long after he started working for his father's company, he invented a method to incorporate many separate stock exchange software programs into one, putting Rich Inc. on the map. In 1999, Rich Harvest Links was named the fifth-best new private course in the U. S. by Golf Digest. The course made its debut on Golf Digest's list of "America's Top 100 Golf Courses" in 2003. Measuring over 7,700 yards from the professional tees, the course requires precision with every shot; the famous fourth hole, Devil's Elbow, has one of the most intimidating tree-lined tee boxes and fairways of any golf course.
Rich Harvest Farms is the home course of the Northern Illinois University Huskies men's and women's golf teams of Northern Illinois University in nearby DeKalb. In addition to a golf course and several private residences, the 2,200-acre rural site houses several antique stage coaches and a collection of vintage and modern vehicles. Rich Harvest Farms hosted the NCAA Regional Men's Golf Championships in 2007 and 2014, as well as the Solheim Cup in 2009; the course was used for the Ryder Cup Captain's Challenge in 2012. The primary competition was held at Medinah Country Club in Illinois. 2019 Western Junior 2003 Mid-American Conference Championship 2007 NCAA Regional 2009 Solheim Cup 2011-present Northern Intercollegiate 2012 Mid-American Conference Championship 2013 Chip Beck #59 Charity Pro-Am 2014 NCAA Regional 2015 Palmer Cup 2015 Western Amateur 2017 NCAA Men's & Women's Championships – May 18–31, 2017 Official website
The Siberian Husky is a medium size working dog breed that originated in Northeast Asia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. With proper training, they make great sled dogs, it is recognizable by its thickly furred double coat, erect triangular ears, distinctive markings, is smaller than a similar-looking dog, the Alaskan Malamute. The original Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi people — whose hunter-gatherer culture relied on their help, it is an active, resilient breed, whose ancestors lived in the cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. William Goosak, a Russian fur trader, introduced them to Nome, Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush as sled dogs; the people of Nome referred to Siberian Huskies as "Siberian Rats" due to their size of 40–50 lb, versus the Malamutes size of 75–85 lb. The first dogs arrived in the Americas 12,000 years ago; the Siberian Husky was developed by the Chukchi people of the Chukchi Peninsula in eastern Siberia. They were brought to Alaska, in 1908 for sled-dog racing.
In 1989, a study was made of ancient canis remains dated to the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene, uncovered by miners decades earlier around Fairbanks, Alaska. These were identified as Canis lupus and described as "short-faced wolves"; the collection was separated into those specimens that looked more wolf-like, those that looked more dog-like and in comparison to the skulls of Eskimo dogs from both Greenland and Siberia thought to be their forerunners. In 2015, a study using a number of genetic markers indicated that the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute and the Alaskan husky share a close genetic relationship between each other and were related to Chukotka sled dogs from Siberia, they were separate to the Canadian Eskimo Dog and the Greenland dog. In North America, the Siberian Husky and the Malamute both had maintained their Siberian lineage and had contributed to the Alaskan husky, which showed evidence of crossing with European breeds that were consistent with this breed being created in post-colonial North America.
Nearly all dog breeds' genetic closeness to the gray wolf is due to admixture. However, several Arctic dog breeds show a genetic closeness with the now-extinct Taymyr wolf of North Asia due to admixture; these breeds are associated with high latitudes - the Siberian Husky and Greenland dog that are associated with arctic human populations and to a lesser extent, the Shar Pei and Finnish spitz. An admixture graph of the Greenland dog indicates a best-fit of 3.5% shared material, however an ancestry proportion ranging between 1.4% and 27.3% is consistent with the data. This indicates admixture between the Taymyr wolf population and the ancestral dog population of these 4 high-latitude breeds; this introgression could have provided early dogs living in high latitudes with phenotypic variation beneficial for adaption to a new and challenging environment. It indicates the ancestry of present-day dog breeds descends from more than one region. A Siberian Husky's coat is thicker than that of most other dog breeds, comprising two layers: a dense undercoat and a longer topcoat of short, straight guard hairs.
It protects the dogs against harsh Arctic winters, but the coat reflects heat in the summer. It is able to withstand temperatures as low as −50 to −60 °C; the undercoat is absent during shedding. Their thick coats require weekly grooming. Siberian Huskies come in a variety of colors and patterns with white paws and legs, facial markings, tail tip; the most common coats are black and white less common copper-red and white and white, pure white, the rare "agouti" coat, though many individuals have blondish or piebald spotting. Striking masks and other facial markings occur in wide variety. Merle coat patterns are not allowed; the American Kennel Club allows all coat colors from black to pure white. The American Kennel Club describes the Siberian Husky's eyes as "an almond shape, moderately spaced and set obliquely." The AKC breed standard is that eyes may be blue or black. These eye-color combinations are considered acceptable by the American Kennel Club; the parti-color does not affect the vision of the dog.
Show-quality dogs are preferred to have neither square noses. The nose is black in gray dogs, tan in black dogs, liver in copper-colored dogs, may be light tan in white dogs. In some instances, Siberian Huskies can exhibit what is called "snow nose" or "winter nose." This condition is called hypopigmentation in animals. "Snow nose" is acceptable in the show ring. Siberian Husky tails are furred; as pictured, when curled up to sleep the Siberian Husky will cover its nose for warmth referred to as the "Siberian Swirl". The tail should be expressive, held low when the dog is relaxed, curved upward in a "sickle" shape when excited or interested in something, it should be symmetrical, not curved or deviated to the side. The breed standard indicates that the males of the breed are ideally between 20 and 24 inches tall at the withers and weighing between 35 and 65 pounds. Females are smaller, growing to between 19 to 23 inches tall at the withers and weighing between
1996 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 1996 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 14, 1996, ended with the championship game on April 1 at Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. A total of 63 games were played; the Final Four venue was notable for several reasons: This marked the first time that the NCAA finals had been held in Greater New York since 1950. This was the last Final Four to be held in a basketball/hockey-specific facility; every Final Four since has been held in a domed stadium because of NCAA venue capacity requirements. Therefore, this was the last time the NCAA finals have been held in the Greater New York area and the Northeastern United States; the Final Four consisted of Kentucky, making their first appearance in the Final Four since 1993 and eleventh overall, making their first appearance in the Final Four, making their third appearance in the Final Four and first since 1987, Mississippi State making their first appearance.
Kentucky won their sixth national championship by defeating Syracuse in the final game 76–67. Tony Delk of Kentucky was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Kentucky's run to the championship was one of the most dominant in NCAA tournament history, as the Wildcats won each of their first four games by at least 20 points and won every game by at least 7 points; the committee that put together the bracket in 1996 was criticized for placing what seemed to be the best two teams in college basketball – Massachusetts and Kentucky – on the same side of the bracket so that they faced each other in the national semifinal – not the final game itself. Note that there are guidelines that the selection committee follows. In 2004 the procedure would be changed so that the regional sites would first be assigned their #1 seeds would be placed in the bracket so that the #1 overall seed would face the fourth #1 seed while the second #1 seed would face the third #1 seed, barring any upsets. Although Kentucky was the tourney favorite, Connecticut was the presumed #1 overall seed that season, after compiling a 30–2 record during the season in a strong Big East Conference, including a conference tournament victory.
Meanwhile, Kentucky was dropped to #3 overall seed following their defeat to Mississippi State in the SEC conference tournament final. Kentucky could not be placed in the Southeast region since the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games were being played in Kentucky's home arena, Rupp Arena. Massachusetts, coached by John Calipari, was stripped of their wins, including the UMass Minutemen's Final Four appearance, by the NCAA because UMass star Marcus Camby had accepted illegal gifts from agents. Connecticut, coached by Jim Calhoun, was additionally punished monetarily due to players accepting illegal gifts from agents. East Rutherford became the 25th different host city, the Continental Airlines Arena the 30th host venue, to host the final four. While the New York metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area to host the Final Four, had at the old Madison Square Garden, the town of East Rutherford itself is the smallest town to host a Final Four. Once more, all four regional sites were future Final Four sites.
The only new venue of the tournament was the Georgia Dome, which would host five regional rounds and three Final Fours before closing in 2017. Any future tournament games to be held in New Jersey would be played at the Prudential Center. * – Denotes overtime period # On May 8, 1997, the NCAA Executive Committee voted to negate the Minutemen's 1996 NCAA Tournament record, for Marcus Camby's acceptance of agents' improper gifts. The team's 35–2 season record was reduced to 31–1, the UMass slot in the Final Four is marked as "vacated"; the Final Four trophy, banner and 45% of tournament revenue were returned to the NCAA. Camby reimbursed the school for the lost revenue. Jim Nantz/Bob Rathburn and Billy Packer – First & Second Round at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.