NBC recorded the largest audience ever for a basketball network telecast during the semifinals as 9,320,000 households viewed the game.
The Thursday-Saturday format for semifinals and final game changed to Saturday-Monday.
Television rights totaled $1,165,755, exceeding $1,000,000 for the first time. NBC reported that the championship game was the highest-rated basketball telecast of all time. The contest received a rating of 20.5 and was seen by 13,580,000 television households reaching a total audience of 39 million persons. For the first time, the championship game was televised in prime time.
TVS, with the approval of NBC, agreed to televise those games not carried by NBC for a twoyear period at the rights fee of $65,000 per year.
First-round byes were determined on the basis of an evaluation of the conference's won-lost record over the past 10 years in National Collegiate Championship play.
The first public random drawing to fill oversubscribed orders for Final Four game tickets was administered by the committee for the 1974 championship.
The bracket rotation was changed for the first time, eliminating East vs. West bracketing in effect since 1939. East played West and Mideast played Midwest in national semifinals.
The Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference was divided to receive multiple automatic qualification berths in the tournament.
A 32-team bracket was adopted. For the first time, teams other than the conference champions could be chosen at-large. No conference could be represented by more than two teams. Sixteen teams qualified as conference champions, four others as champions from the four regional tournaments which were conducted by the ECAC, and the committee selected the other 12 atlarge.
Dressing rooms were opened to the media after a 10-minute "cooling off" period.
The term “Final Four” first appeared in an NCAA publication, the 1975 Official Collegiate Basketball Guide. On Page No. 5 in the National Preview-Review section written by Ed Chay of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Clay wrote, “Outspoken Al McGuire of Marquette, whose team was one of the final four in Greensboro, was among several coaches who said it was good for college basketball that UCLA was finally beaten.”
The rights for the NCAA Radio Network were awarded to Host Communications, Inc., of Lexington, Kentucky.
Regional third-place games were eliminated.
For the first time, two teams from the same conference (Big Ten) played in the national championship game with Indiana defeating Michigan.
NBC televised 23 hours and 18 minutes of tournament programming.
A seeding process was used for the first time for individual teams. A maximum of four automatic qualifying conference teams were seeded in each of the four regional brackets. These teams were seeded based on their respective conferences' won-lost percentages in tournament play during the past five years. At-large seeding in each region was based on current won-lost records, strength of schedule and eligibility status of student-athletes for postseason competition.
NBC televised the four regional championship games and a first round doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday. NCAA Productions televised all regional semifinal games and all other tournament games.
Complimentary tickets for all NCAA championships were eliminated.
The bracket was expanded to 40 teams. For the first time, all teams were seeded. The 16 conferences with the best won-lost records over the previous five years of championship play received byes into the second round. Eight additional byes were available to independents, second conference teams and champions of other conferences.
NBC received a record one-game rating with a 24.1 in Michigan State's national championship victory over Indiana State. The 38 share also is a record. There were 18 million households viewing, which ranks third.
Committee assigned three-man officiating crews for all tournament games.