The 2003 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 65 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 18, 2003, and ended with the championship game on April 7 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A total of 64 games were played.
Syracuse, coached by Jim Boeheim, won the national title with a 81-78 victory in the final game over Kansas, coached by Roy Williams. Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Syracuse beat four Big 12 teams on its way to the title: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. Those helped earn Boeheim the national title that had eluded him in 1987 and 1996.
Because of the start of the Iraq war, CBS moved its telecasts of the games played on the first Thursday afternoon of the tournament to ESPN, allowing for expanded news coverage. To make up for lost advertising revenue, an additional time slot was opened the following Sunday evening for more CBS telecasts.
The Louisiana Superdome was host of the Final Four and National Championship in 2003.
April 5, 2003
Syracuse (E3) 95, Texas (S1) 84
Freshman Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points leading the Syracuse Orangemen past the Texas Longhorns in the night cap of the National Semifinal doubleheader. Syracuse opened up a comfortable 2nd half lead, but that was trimmed to four with just 1:08 remaining. However, freshman Gerry McNamara iced the game with clutch foul shooting in the final minutes. The win put Syracuse and coach Jim Boeheim one win away from their first ever National Championship. Texas was the last number one seed remaining in the tournament.
Kansas (W2) 94, Marquette (M3) 61
It was as if only three teams had advanced to the final four as the Kansas Jayhawks routed the Marquette Golden Eagles by 33 points, the fourth largest blowout in final four history. Keith Langford led the Jayhawks with 24 poin...