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  • The 1996 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 14, 1996, and ended with the championship game on April 1 at Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. A total of 63 games were played. The Final Four venue was notable for several reasons: This marked the first time that the NCAA finals had been held in Greater New York since 1950. This was also the last Final Four to be held in a basketball/hockey-specific facility. Every Final Four since has been held in a domed stadium because of NCAA venue capacity requirements. Therefore, this was also the last time the NCAA finals have been held in the Greater New York area. Kentucky star Antoine Walker faced off against former high school teammate, Donovan McNabb, in the national championship against Syracuse University. McNabb would later gain fame as a quarterback with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Final Four consisted of Kentucky, making their first appearance in the Final Four since 1993 and eleventh overall, Massachusetts, making their first ever appearance in the Final Four, Syracuse, making their third appearance in the Final Four and first since 1987, and Mississippi State, also making their first appearance.

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