Led by guard K.C. Jones and center Bill Russell, the Dons edged PCC champ Oregon State, 57–56, in the West Regional final at Corvallis, Ore., then went on to meet Tom Gola and defending champion La Salle in the NCAA championship game in Kansas City. In a surprise move, USF coach Phil Woolpert assigned the 6-1 Jones to cover the 6-7 Gola and K.C. outscored UPI's first Player of the Year, 24–16. Russell, meanwhile, scored 23 and pulled down 25 rebounds as the Dons beat the third-ranked Explorers easily, 77–63, to end the year at 28–1.