The 1954 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 24 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 8, 1954, and ended with the championship game on March 20 in Kansas City, Missouri. A total of 28 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.
La Salle, coached by Ken Loeffler, won the national title with a 92-76 victory in the final game over Bradley, coached by Forddy Anderson. Tom Gola of La Salle was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Of note, Kentucky, the top-ranked team in the nation (with a record of 25-0) did not participate in any post-season tournament. Since several key players had technically graduated the year before (when Kentucky was banned from playing a competitive schedule due to the point-shaving scandal a few years earlier), those players were ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament. Despite the wishes of the players, Adolph Rupp ultimately decided his team wouldn't play.