The 1977 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament involved 32 American schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the National Champion of Men’s NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on Saturday, March 12, 1977, and ended with the championship game on Monday, March 28 in Atlanta. A total of 32 games were played, including a national third-place game. This was the final tournament in which teams were not seeded.
Marquette, coached by Al McGuire, won the national title with a 67–59 victory in the final game over North Carolina, coached by Dean Smith. Butch Lee of Marquette was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Publicly announcing his retirement during the middle of the season, McGuire retired as head coach immediately after the game. UNLV and UNC Charlotte were the third and fourth place, respectively. Marquette’s seven losses were a record at the time for the most losses in a season by a national champion, exceeded four years later in 1981 by Indiana with nine.
The men’s basketball team is ninth in the NCAA for postseason appearances all-time (45), including 30 NCAA Tournament appearances (T-11th all-time). The Warriors, coached by Al McGuire, won the 1977 NCAA Tournament and were runners-up in 1974. Maurice “Bo” Ellis was a member of each of those teams and remains the only Marquette player to appear in two Final Fours.
College Sports Established
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1916 – 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
2005 – Present / Big East Conference
1995 – 2005 / Conference USA
1991 – 1995 / Great Midwest Conference
1988 – 1991 / Horizon League
1916 – 1988 / Independent
Golden Eagles – From 1954 to 1994 Marquette athletics nickname was officially the Warriors for all sports. Prior to that period, athletic teams were known as the Blue & Gold unofficially, then the Hilltoppers officially, but then eventually the Golden Avalanche was used for the Men’s Football team only.
In 1993-1994 Father DiUlio, who was the president of the university at the time, outraged students and alums by deciding to change the team’s athletic nickname. Inexplicably, the only choices given to stakeholders were “Lightning” and “Golden Eagles,” neither of which had any historical or logical connection to Marquette.
In May 2005, the university changed the nickname to “Gold,” but the decision was reversed after public backlash.
Men’s Basketball 1
Women’s Basketball 0