The 1957 all-American team included Wilt Chamberlain of Kansas, left, and Lennie Rosenbluth of North Carolina, second from left.
The 1957 all-American team included Wilt Chamberlain of Kansas, left, and Lennie Rosenbluth of North Carolina, second from left.
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North Carolina Beats Kansas in Final Four

The 1957 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 23 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 11, 1957, and ended with the championship game on March 23 in Kansas City, Missouri. A total of 27 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.
North Carolina, coached by Frank McGuire, won the national title with a 54-53 triple-overtime victory in the final game over Kansas, coached by Dick Harp. Wilt Chamberlain of Kansas was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

The first No.1 vs No.2 championship game since 1949 reached halftime with Carolina in front 29–22, but Kansas rallied in the second half to lead 44–41 with 1:45 left. Despite losing Rosenbluth on fouls, the Tar Heels came back to tie the score (46–46) in regulation and force the first title game overtime in tourney history. The Heels finally won it in the third extra period when Joe Quigg sank two foul shots with six seconds left. Chamberlain, a sophomore, led all scorers with 23 points and was named MVP.

Chamberlain was a sophomore in his first and last college season (freshmen weren't eligible then, and he would leave after the season to join the Harlem Globetrotters). He was 7 feet 2 inches, strong and agile. Other big men had played before him, of course, but no one, as Harp would say, had the enormous athletic skills that Chamberlain possessed. As a 7-2 senior from Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Chamberlain had been the most highly recruited basketball player in history. Kansas won the lottery, in effect, and Wilt went west. All Tar Heels From New York