A report on NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player

At the conclusion of the NCAA men's and women's Division I basketball championships (the "Final Four" tournaments), a media panel selects a Most Outstanding Player (MOP).

- NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player

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NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament

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Single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States, currently featuring 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association , to determine the national championship.

Single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States, currently featuring 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association , to determine the national championship.

A ticket from the 1988 tournament held in Kansas City, Missouri
The University of Dayton Arena, which has hosted all First Four games since the round's inception in 2011 (except 2021), as well as its precursor, the single "play-in" game held from 2001 to 2010. As of 2019, the arena has hosted 123 tournament games, the most of any venue.
The 2017 NCAA Final Four in what is now State Farm Stadium in Glendale
Rank #1 vs. other ranks (prior to 2018)
NCAA Tournament % Wins per rank (as of 2010)

After the championship trophy is awarded, one player is selected and then awarded the Most Outstanding Player award (which almost always comes from the championship team).

Chamberlain with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1959

Wilt Chamberlain

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American professional basketball player who played as a center.

American professional basketball player who played as a center.

Chamberlain with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1959
Chamberlain grabbing a rebound during a 1960 game against the New York Knicks
Chamberlain in 1962
Chamberlain and Nate Thurmond of the San Francisco Warriors competing for a rebound in 1966
Chamberlain in 1967
Chamberlain playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1969 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics
Elmore Smith and Chamberlain fighting for a rebound in 1971
Chamberlain with the Lakers in 1972
Chamberlain statue in South Philadelphia
Chamberlain historical marker outside of Philadelphia's Overbrook High School
Chamberlain being defended by the Celtics' Bill Russell in 1966
Chamberlain doing the twist with two dancers at Smalls Paradise in Harlem, New York

Red Auerbach, the coach of the Boston Celtics, spotted the talented teenager at Kutscher's and had him play one-on-one against University of Kansas (KU) standout and national champion B. H. Born, elected the NCAA Most Outstanding Player in 1953.

Abdul-Jabbar in 2014

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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American former professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

American former professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Abdul-Jabbar in 2014
Alcindor with the reverse two-hand dunk against Stanford
Alcindor versus USC
Alcindor performs ceremonial net cutting at Freedom Hall in Louisville in 1969 after a 20-point win over Purdue and Rick Mount in unprecedented third-straight national title en route to seven consecutive national championships for UCLA.
Alcindor displaying the skyhook over Wes Unseld of the Baltimore Bullets. The shot was almost impossible to block.
Abdul-Jabbar lines up a free throw. He started wearing goggles in order to avoid damage to his corneas.
Abdul-Jabbar receiving a pass from Magic Johnson during the 1985 NBA Finals
Abdul-Jabbar against the Boston Celtics in the 1980s
Actor Shavar Ross and Abdul-Jabbar on the set of Diff'rent Strokes, c. 1982
Abdul-Jabbar (center) at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear with Comedy Central hosts Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart
Abdul-Jabbar at a book signing in 2007
Hillary Clinton and Abdul-Jabbar, 2012
Abdul-Jabbar surrounded by children's division players during an exhibition at Club Ferro Carril Oeste of Buenos Aires, 1993
Abdul-Jabbar (below, far right) and other former NBA players visit the New York NBA Store in January 2005

During his college career, Alcindor was a three-time national player of the year (1967–1969), a three-time unanimous first-team All-American (1967–1969), played on three NCAA basketball champion teams (1967, 1968, and 1969), was honored as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament three times, and became the first-ever Naismith College Player of the Year in 1969.

West at the White House in 2019

Jerry West

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American basketball executive and former player.

American basketball executive and former player.

West at the White House in 2019
West from The Monticola, 1959
Jerry West (with the ball) in 1971
The Forum was the home of the Lakers from 1967 until 1999.
West's No. 44 jersey (upper left) was retired in 1983 and hangs in the rafters of the Crypto.com Arena.
West in 1972
In 1999, West signed six-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson.
West receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in 2019
West interviewed on ESPN Los Angeles

He earned the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honor despite the loss.

Utah Utes men's basketball

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NCAA Division I program that plays in the Pac-12 Conference.

NCAA Division I program that plays in the Pac-12 Conference.

The Utes’ 1944 national championship team.
Jack Gardner was head coach of the Utes for 18 seasons (1953–1971) and finished with a record of 333–154.
Utah forward Jerry Chambers was named NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 1966.
Brown (#15) driving to the basket playing against Michigan at home in December 2009

Arnie Ferrin was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after scoring 28 points in the final two games.

Olajuwon in 2015

Hakeem Olajuwon

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Nigerian-American former professional basketball player.

Nigerian-American former professional basketball player.

Olajuwon in 2015
A billboard at the University of Houston congratulating Olajuwon on being the 1994 NBA Most Valuable Player
One of only five numbers retired by the University of Houston men's basketball team, Olajuwon's No. 34 hangs in Fertitta Center.
Olajuwon (right) defending Jawann Oldham on November 25, 1986
Olajuwon signing autographs

Olajuwon won the 1983 NCAA Tournament Player of the Year award, even though he played for the losing team in the final game.

Russell in 2011

Bill Russell

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American professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969.

American professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969.

Russell in 2011
Russell in 1957
Russell practicing a free throw at USF, c. 1953–56
Russell is all-smiles during his two national championship seasons at USF.
Russell, c. 1960
Russell and coach Red Auerbach with his trademark victory Blackstone cigar after winning the 1966 NBA championship
Russell in 2005
Former President Bill Clinton and Russell at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2014
A bronze statue of Russell in Boston, 2013
Russell defending against Chamberlain in 1966
Russell with coach Red Auerbach in his rookie season, as they are seated on the sidelines. Auerbach refused to have a color barrier for the Celtics. Following his retirement in 1966, he handed off coaching duties to Russell as a player-coach.

During his college career, Russell was the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 1955, averaging 20.7 points per game and 20.3 rebounds per game.

Johnson in 2022

Magic Johnson

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American former professional basketball player.

American former professional basketball player.

Johnson in 2022
Johnson with the Lakers, c. undefined 1987
Johnson with the Lakers in 1990
Johnson, who had retired from basketball in 1991 due to HIV, was selected for the U.S. national team that won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics.
Johnson and Mayor Richard Riordan in 1995
Johnson against the Celtics in the 1987 NBA Finals
Johnson with his wife, Cookie, in 2014
Johnson giving a speech at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas on April 25, 2013.
In 2003, Johnson met with Nancy Pelosi to discuss federal assistance for those with AIDS.
Johnson's Hollywood Walk of Fame star
Johnson's number 32 jersey was retired by the Lakers in 1992.

In what was the most-watched college basketball game ever, Michigan State defeated Indiana State 75–64, and Johnson was voted Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

Holy Cross Crusaders men's basketball

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The Holy Cross Crusaders men's basketball team represents the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts (about 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston) in NCAA Division I competition.

The Holy Cross Crusaders men's basketball team represents the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts (about 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston) in NCAA Division I competition.

Bob Cousy
Jehyve Floyd

In 1947, the Crusaders, behind coach Doggie Julian, NCAA tournament MVP George Kaftan, star Joe Mullaney and freshman point guard Bob Cousy, beat Oklahoma at Madison Square Garden to win the NCAA championship.

Bill Spivey

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American basketball player.

American basketball player.

A jersey honoring Spivey hangs in Rupp Arena.

During his time with the Wildcats, he led the team to the 1951 NCAA Tournament championship, and was voted Most Outstanding Player of the event.