The 1956 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 25 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 12, 1956, and ended with the championship game on March 24 in Evanston, Illinois. A total of 29 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.
This was the first NCAA tournament in which the four regionals were given distinct names, although the concept of four regional winners advancing to a single site for the "Final Four" had been introduced in 1952.
San Francisco, coached by Phil Woolpert, won the national title with a 83-71 victory in the final game over Iowa, coached by Bucky O'Connor. Hal Lear of Temple was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.