1998 UK Kentucky Wildcats NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship Ring
The 1998 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 12, 1998, and ended with the championship game on March 30 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. A total of 63 games were played.
The Final Four consisted of Kentucky, making their third consecutive Final Four, Stanford, making their first appearance since their initial Final Four run in 1942, Utah, making their fourth Final Four and first since 1966, and North Carolina, who returned for a fourteenth overall time and third in four seasons.
Kentucky won the national title, its second in three seasons and seventh overall, by defeating Utah 78-69 in the championship game.
Jeff Sheppard of Kentucky was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Kentucky came back from double-digit deficits in each of its last three games in the tournament, including a 17-point second half comeback against the Duke Blue Devils, leading to the school's fans dubbing the team the "Comeback Cats". This was Kentucky's third straight championship game appearance.
Bryce Drew led the 13th-ranked Valparaiso Crusaders to the Sweet Sixteen, including a memorable play that remains part of March Madness lore.