1998 National Champions Team

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1998 National Championship Team

by Steve Ford

 

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.