The 1986 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 13, 1986, and ended with the championship game on March 31 in Dallas, Texas. A total of 63 games were played.
Louisville, coached by Denny Crum, won the national title with a 72-69 victory in the final game over Duke, coached by Mike Krzyzewski. Pervis Ellison of Louisville was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. This Final Four would also prove memorable as the first of ten appearances by Coach Krzyzewski and began a run of 7 Final Fours in 9 years for Duke.
LSU's 1985-86 team is tied for the lowest-seeded team (#11) to ever make the Final Four (with George Mason's 2005–2006 team). LSU began its run to the Final Four by winning two games on its home court, leading to a change two years later which prohibited teams from playing NCAA tournament games on a court which they have played four or more games in the regular season. Cleveland State University became the first #14 seed to reach the Sweet Sixteen. This was also the first year in which two #14 seeds reached the second round in the same year, as Arkansas-Little Rock beat #3-seed Notre Dame; however, they lost their second-round game in overtime. As of 2009, both feats have only occurred one other time. Chattanooga reached the Sweet Sixteen as a 14-seed in 1997, and Old Dominion and Weber State both reached the second round as 14-seeds in 1995.