The #1 basketball game of 1994
Was the NCAA Basketball Championship game between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Duke Blue Devils. It was a rematch of the previous year’s championship, which Arkansas had won.
1994 NCAA basketball championship
The game was played on April 4, 1994 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. Duke was coached by Mike Krzyzewski and Arkansas was coached by Nolan Richardson.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team able to gain a clear advantage. The score was tied at 74 with under a minute to play when Duke’s Grant Hill made a free throw to give the Blue Devils a one-point lead.
Arkansas then committed a turnover, and Duke’s Chris Collins made a layup to extend the lead to three points. With four seconds remaining, Arkansas’s Scotty Thurman made a three-point shot to tie the game and send it into overtime.
In overtime, Duke took control, scoring the first seven points to take an 84–79 lead. Arkansas was able to cut the lead to two points, but could not score again. Duke won the game, 85–78, to become the first team since UCLA in 1972 to win back-to-back NCAA Championships.
Hill was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
The beginning of the tournament
Had featured a number of upsets, with several lower-seeded teams advancing to the Round of 32. As a result, there were no top-seeded teams in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1979.
Additionally, this was only the second time (after 1980) that all four No. 1 seeds failed to make it to the Final Four.
The 1994 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men’s NCAA Division I college basketball.
The Final Four
This was the first tournament where the 64-team field was announced on Selection Sunday; it is now the standard. Previously, 52 of 64 places were determined by conference tournaments, and 12 teams were awarded at-large berths.
The Final Four consisted of Arkansas, Duke, Michigan, and Oklahoma.
Arkansas, coached by Nolan Richardson, won its first national championship by defeating Duke, coached by Mike Krzyzewski, 85–78 in overtime.
The Razorbacks were the first team since UCLA in 1972 to repeat as national champions. Pat Knight, the son of legendary coach Bob Knight, led Indiana to the Elite Eight, where they lost to eventual champions Arkansas.
This was the last tournament before the introduction of the shot clock in college basketball. Also, it was the last time that a team seeded lower than seventh (Kentucky) made the Final Four.
The tournament also marked the last time that a team from outside the six major conferences (Arkansas, Duke, Michigan, Oklahoma) won the national championship until 2003, when Syracuse—then in the Big East Conference—defeated Kansas in the title game.
Some of the biggest moments or turning points in the game:
-The game went into overtime after Scotty Thurman made a three-point shot to tie the game with four seconds remaining.
-Duke took control in overtime, scoring the first seven points to take an 84–79 lead.
-Arkansas was able to cut the lead to two points, but could not score again.
-Duke won the game, 85–78, to become the first team since UCLA in 1972 to win back-to-back NCAA Championships.
-Grant Hill was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
-This was the last tournament before the introduction of the shot clock in college basketball.
-It was also the last time that a team seeded lower than seventh (Kentucky) made the Final Four.
The 1994 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament was one of the most memorable in history, featuring a number of upsets and the first ever all-1 seed final four. Arkansas made history by becoming the first team to repeat as national champions since UCLA in 1972. The tournament also marked a number of changes to the game of basketball, including the introduction of the shot clock.