2001 Duke Blue Devils NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship Ring
The 2001 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 for the 2000–01 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. It began on March 13, 2001, with the play-in game, and ended with the championship game on April 2 in Minneapolis, at the Metrodome. A total of 64 games were played.
This tournament is the first to feature 65 teams, due to the Mountain West Conference receiving an automatic bid for the first time. This meant that 31 conferences would have automatic bids to the tournament. The NCAA decided to maintain 34 at-large bids, which necessitated a play-in game between the #64 and #65 ranked teams, with the winner playing against a #1 seed in the first round. (Another option would have been to reduce the number of at-large bids to 33, which was the option chosen for the women's tournament.) This is also the first tournament to have been broadcast in high-definition, being broadcast on CBS.
This was the last tournament where the first- and second-round sites were tied to specific regionals. The "pod system" was instituted for the 2002 tournament to keep as many teams as possible closer to their campus in the first two rounds.
The Final Four consisted of Duke, making their second appearance in the Final Four in three years, Maryland, making their first appearance, Michigan State, the defending national champions, and Arizona, making their first appearance since winning the national championship in 1997.
Duke defeated Arizona 82-72 in the national championship game to win their third national title and first since 1992. Shane Battier of Duke was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.