The 1968 NCAA University Division Basketball Tournament involved 23 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAADivision Icollege basketball. It began on March 8, 1968, and ended with the championship game on March 23 in Los Angeles, California. A total of 27 games were played, including a third place game in each region and a national third place game.
The NCAA semi-final match between the Houston Cougars and UCLA Bruins was a re-match of the college basketball Game of the Century held in January at the Astrodome, in the Cougars' home city. The match was historic, the first nationally syndicated college basketball game and the first to play in a domed stadium before more than 52,000 fans. It was UCLA's only loss in two years, a two-pointer, to the then-#2 Houston, but with UCLA's dominating center Alcindor playing with an eye injury that limited his effectiveness after being hospitalized the week before. The loss broke a 47-game winning streak for UCLA. In the March NCAA Tournament Final 4, the Bruins at full strength avenged that loss with a 101–69 drubbing of that same Houston team, now ranked #1, in UCLA's home city at the Memorial Sports Arena. UCLA limited Houston's Elvin Hayes, who was averaging 37.7 points per game but was held to only 10. Bruins coach John Wooden credited his assistant, Jerry Norman, for devising the diamond-and-one defense that contained Hayes.
The city of Los Angeles became the tenth host city, and the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena the eleventh host venue, of the Final Four. The arena, adjacent to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at Exposition Park, was at the time the off-campus home of the University of Southern California, located just across the street from the park. The brackets followed the same pattern as the previous tournament, with two first round sites in the East and a combined Midwest & West first round site. Besides the Sports Arena, there were two other new venues used in the 1968 tournament, both in the west. The West regional games were held in the city of Albuquerque for the first time, at "The Pit" on the campus of the University of New Mexico. Salt Lake City hosted games for the first time as well, with Nielsen Fieldhouse on the campus of the University of Utah hosted the Midwest & West first round games. This would be Nielsen Fieldhouse's only time hosting games, with its replacement, the Special Events Center, hosting future games in the city. It was also the final time hosting for Kent State University; it would be thirty-two years before the tournament would return to northeast Ohio, with future games held in the city of Cleveland.