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A post on a college basketball Facebook page claims that Mike Dunleavy, Jr. (Duke) was the Most Valuable Player of the 2001 NCAA Men's Basketball Torunament championship game. I've scoured the internet trying to find some support for this assertion and find nothing to support it. Shane Battier was the MOP of the Final Four and that is the only reference I can find to any Outstanding or Valuable player. However, the moderator of the page is adamant that there are separate awards for the tournament's Most Outstanding Player (Battier) and the championship game's Most Valuable Player. He did post a claim made on Alamy.com (a stock photo site) but Alamy hardly seems to be a credible information site. Any thoughts?

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There is no such award as "Championship Game MVP". The NCAA awards the Most Outstanding Player (not Most Valuable Player) for the tournament, sometimes called "Final Four Most Outstanding Player", but there is no "Most Valuable Player" for any part of the NCAA tournament. The NIT does award a "Most Valuable Player" for the NIT tournament, but again it is for the entire tournament and not for a game.

As such, it's certainly possible that any individual could make an argument for Dunleavy Jr., Battier, or any other player being the Most Valuable Player for a particular game; but they would be making it as a subjective evaluation, not as an award.

(That aside, Battier probably would have won the MVP for the individual game as well - while Dunleavy had more points, Battier's line of 18p/11r/6a is much better than Duleavy's line of 21/3/0 by most definitions.)

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  • That was my thinking as well. Battier's line in that specific game certainly indicates a more well-rounded game than just points. Thanks for you response. Feb 27, 2022 at 3:20
  • There is also a Most Outstanding Player for each of the 4 regions in the NCAA Tournament. Mar 8, 2022 at 6:50

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