Utah Beats Dartmouth in NCAA Men's Basketball Championships
The 1944 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 8 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball.
It began on March 24, 1944, and ended with the championship game on March 28 in New York City. A total of 9 games were played, including a third place game in each region.
Utah, coached by Vadal Peterson, won the national title with a 42-40 victory in the final game over Dartmouth, coached by Earl Brown. Arnie Ferrin of Utah was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Utah went 18–3 and was invited to both NIT and NCAA tournaments. Peterson took the NIT offer because it included travel expenses, but the Utes were knocked out in the first round by Kentucky. Meanwhile, when Arkansas was forced to pull out of the NCAAs after a car accident injured several starters, the West Regional berth was offered to Utah. This time the Utes accepted and ended up back in New York for the Final Two. There, the Blitz Kids beat a transfer-laden Dartmouth team (including St. John's star Dick McGuire) 42–40, on a Wilkinson buzzer-beater in overtime.