Extra! Extra! Read all about memorable major league baseball achievements and moments involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April calendar involving such versatile athletes:
30 - In 1937, Philadelphia Athletics INF Clarence "Ace" Parker (letterman for Duke in 1935-36) became the first A.L. player to hit a pinch-hit homer in his MLB debut (against Wes Ferrell of the Boston Red Sox). . . . INF 1B Jack Phillips (leading scorer for 14-1 Clarkson, NY, in 1942-43) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Boston Red Sox in 1957. . . . SS Roy Smalley Jr. (one of top scorers for Drury, MO, in 1942-43 and 1943-44) purchased from the Milwaukee Braves by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1955. . . . RF Dave Winfield (starting forward with Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972), who was on base at least once in every game this month, tied a MLB record for RBI in April with 29 for the New York Yankees in 1988.
29 - In 1953, Milwaukee Braves 1B Joe Adcock (LSU's leading scorer in 1945-46) hit a homer into the center-field bleachers against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, a feat that had never been done before and would only be achieved twice more (by Hank Aaron and Lou Brock). . . . OF Taylor Douthit (California letterman from 1922 through 1924) awarded on waivers to the Chicago Cubs from the Cincinnati Reds in 1933. . . . 2B Dutch Meyer (letterman for TCU in 1934-35 and 1935-36) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Cleveland Indians in 1945. . . . Cleveland tied a MLB record by winning its first 10 games of the 1966 campaign before the Indians lost, 4-1, to Chicago White Sox P Gary Peters (played basketball for Grove City, PA, in mid-1950s). . . . In 1975, OF Champ Summers (team-high scoring averages of 15.7 ppg for Nicholls State in 1964-65 and 22.5 ppg for SIUE in 1969-70) shipped by the Oakland Athletics to the Chicago Cubs to complete a deal made earlier in the month.
28 - In 1966, OF Billy Cowan (co-captain of Utah's 1960 NCAA playoff team) traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Chicago Cubs for cash and 3B Bobby Cox, who went on to become one of MLB's all-time winningest managers with the Braves. . . . San Diego Padres OF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) collected five hits in a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs in 1998, registering the ninth game of at least five hits in his career. . . . INF Tim Nordbrook (letterman in 1968-69 for Loyola, LA) traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1978. . . . P Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Mizzou in 1957-58 as an All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) defeated the Angels, 2-1, as the Cleveland Indians tied a MLB record by winning their first 10 contests of the 1966 season. . . . Baltimore Orioles OF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman team in mid-1960s) grounded into a double play against the Chicago White Sox to snap his streak of 10 consecutive safeties in 1981.
27 - Two NBA players - Gene Conley of the Boston Celtics and Dave DeBusschere of the New York Knicks - oppose each other as pitchers in 1963. Conley (All-PCC first-team selection led the North Division in scoring in 1949-50 as a Washington State sophomore) hurled 4-plus innings as starter for the Boston Red Sox while DeBusschere (three-time All-American for Detroit from 1959-60 through 1961-62) relieved for 2/3 of the fourth inning with the Chicago White Sox. . . . 1B Mike Hargrove (Northwestern Oklahoma State letterman) hit a bases-loaded double in the top of the 19th inning to spark the Cleveland Indians to an 8-4 win over the Detroit Tigers in 1984. . . . C Hugh Poland (Western Kentucky letterman from 1931-32 through 1933-34) traded by the New York Giants to the Boston Braves in 1943.
26 - Cleveland Indians player-manager Lou Boudreau (leading scorer for Illinois' 1937 Big Ten Conference co-champion) banged out five hits, including a pair of doubles and pair of triples, in a 12-11, 14-inning victory over the Chicago White Sox in 1948. . . . OF Curtis Pride (led William & Mary in steals three times and assists twice from 1986-87 through 1989-90) shipped by the New York Mets to the Boston Red Sox as part of a conditional deal in 2000. . . . Reliever Cecil Upshaw (led Centenary in scoring as a junior while averaging 13.7 ppg and 6 rpg from 1961-62 through 1963-64) traded by the Cleveland Indians to the New York Yankees in 1974.
25 - Two weeks after helping the Boston Celtics capture the 1961 NBA title, P Gene Conley (All-PCC first-team selection led the North Division in scoring in 1949-50 as a Washington State sophomore) earned his first A.L. victory (6-1 for the Boston Red Sox over the Washington Senators). . . . Cleveland Indians RF Larry Doby (reserve guard for Virginia Union team that won 1943 CIAA title) tied MLB record by striking out five times in a single game (at Detroit in 1948). . . . OF David Justice (led Thomas More, KY, in assists in 1984-85) went deep twice for the Cleveland Indians as they hit a team-record eight homers in an 11-4 triumph over the Milwaukee Brewers in 1997. . . . Only 14 games into the 1982 season, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner fired manager Bob Lemon and replaced him with Gene Michael (Kent State's leading scorer with 14 ppg in 1957-58), the man Lemon succeeded the previous September. . . . 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) put the Minnesota Twins ahead with a three-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning but they wound up losing at Chicago, 6-5, in 1969. . . . P Joe Niekro (played for West Liberty WV in mid-1960s) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the San Diego Padres in 1969.
24 - Los Angeles Dodgers P Sandy Koufax (Cincinnati's freshman basketball squad in 1953-54) tied a MLB record by striking out 18 batters in a nine-inning game at Chicago in 1962. . . . OF Danny Litwhiler (member of JV team with Bloomsburg, PA, three years in mid-1930s) collected four of 22 hits by the Boston Braves in a 14-5 victory over the New York Giants in 1947. Johnny Mize socked three successive homers for the Giants. . . . John Pyecha (led Appalachian State in scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting in 1951-52 and 1954-55) lost his only pitching appearance with the Chicago Cubs in 1954.
23 - In a celebrated fracas, New York Giants SS Alvin Dark (letterman for LSU and USL during World War II) confronts Jackie Robinson (Pacific Coast Conference leading scorer both seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) after the Brooklyn Dodgers' INF bowled over a Giants pitcher covering first base on a bunt in 1955. . . . The previous year, Robinson swiped second, third and home in the sixth inning before doubling in the winning run in the 13th in a 6-5 decision over the Pittsburgh Pirates. . . . P Jay Hook (Northwestern's third-leading scorer as a sophomore with 10.7 ppg in 1955-56) posted the expansion New York Mets' first-ever victory (9-1 at Pittsburgh in 1962) after they dropped their initial nine contests. . . . St. Louis Cardinals rookie CF Wally Moon (averaged 4.3 ppg with Texas A&M in 1948-49 and 1949-50) went 5-for-5 but the Milwaukee Braves won, 7-5, in 14 innings in 1954 when Hank Aaron hammered his first of 755 MLB homers. . . . OF Ted Savage (led Lincoln, MO, in scoring average in 1955-56) involved in four-player swap going from the Chicago Cubs to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968.
22 - In 1953, New York Giants P Jim Hearn (Georgia Tech letterman in 1941-42) posted his 12th consecutive win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. . . . Chicago Cubs SS Don Kessinger (three-time All-SEC team selection for Mississippi from 1961-62 through 1963-64 while finishing among nation's top 45 scorers each year) contributed three hits, including an inside-the-park HR, in a 7-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1970, snapping P Mike Torrez's 11-game winning streak dating back to previous season. . . . OF Lyle Mouton (starter in LSU's backcourt with All-American Chris Jackson for 1989 NCAA playoff team) shipped by the New York Yankees to the Chicago White Sox in 1995 to complete an earlier deal involving P Jack McDowell. . . . Reliever Cecil Upshaw (led Centenary in scoring as a junior while averaging 13.7 ppg and 6 rpg from 1961-62 through 1963-64) traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Houston Astros in 1973.
20 - Boston Red Sox 1B Dick Gernert (Temple letterman in 1948-49) smashed three homers in a doubleheader sweep of the Washington Senators in 1953. . . . A single by Kansas City Royals OF Jerry Martin (Furman's second-leading scorer in 1969-70 and third-leading scorer in 1970-71) was the only hit Detroit Tigers P Milt Wilcox surrendered in an 8-0 shutout in 1980. . . . Chicago Cubs OF Bill Nicholson (played for Washington College, MD, in the mid-1930s) blasted two homers, including a grand slam, in a 7-4 win at St. Louis in 1947. . . . 2B Wayne Terwilliger (two-year letterman for Western Michigan averaged 5.6 ppg in his final season in 1947-48) collected an eighth-inning single for the Washington Senators' lone safety in a 7-0 loss against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1954.
19 - 3B Bosey Berger (Maryland's first basketball All-American in 1931-32) awarded on waivers to the Chicago White Sox from the Cleveland Indians in 1937. . . . Five hits by OF Bake McBride (averaged 12.7 ppg and 8.1 rpg in 21 games for Westminster, MO, in 1968-69 and 1969-70) were in vain as the St. Louis Cardinals incurred a 17-inning, 4-3 loss to the New York Mets. . . . P Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Missouri in 1957-58 as an All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Boston Red Sox in a six-player swap in 1969.
18 - P Jim Konstanty (Syracuse player in late 1930s) was traded by the Cincinnati Reds with cash to the Boston Braves in 1946. . . . Los Angeles Dodgers P Sandy Koufax (Cincinnati's freshman squad in 1953-54) threw the second of two immaculate innings in his career when he struck out the side on nine pitches against the Cincinnati Reds in the third frame in 1964. . . . Atlanta Braves OF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling a 35-3 record) had a homer among his five hits in a 14-0 romp over the Colorado Rockies in 1997. . . . Davey Lopes (NAIA All-District 15 selection for Iowa Wesleyan averaged 16.9 ppg and 3.4 rpg as a freshman in 1964-65 and 12.1 ppg as a sophomore in 1965-66) fired as manager of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002. . . . Hall of Fame P Robin Roberts (one of Michigan State's top three scorers each season from 1944-45 through 1946-47) surrendered the first hit on artificial turf in 1966 when Los Angeles Dodgers SS Maury Wills singled to center at Houston's Astrodome. . . . Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) hit his first homer for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 (against the New York Giants).
17 - Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Joe Gibbon (two-time All-SEC forward for Ole Miss was the nation's second-leading scorer as a senior in 1956-57), making his MLB debut in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds in 1960, threw two scoreless innings and emerged as the winner when the Bucs erupted for six runs in the ninth. . . . Utilityman Chuck Harmon (freshman starter was Toledo's second-leading scorer for 1943 NIT runner-up) became the second black to play for the Cincinnati Reds when he pinch-hit against the Milwaukee Braves in 1954. . . . Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) got his first hit with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. It was one of 19 bunt hits as a rookie.
16 - 1B Kerby Farrell (key player for a couple of strong Freed-Hardeman, TN, basketball squads in mid-1930s) purchased from the Boston Braves by the Chicago White Sox in 1945. . . . St. Louis Cardinals P Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer in 1955-56 and 1956-57) and Philadelphia Phillies P Cal McLish both fail to finish the first inning when each starter allowed six runs of the Cards' 12-6 win at Philly in 1962. . . . P Roy Parmelee (letterman for Eastern Michigan in 1924-25 and 1925-26) purchased from the Chicago Cubs by the Boston Red Sox in 1938.
15 - P Bob Gibson (Creighton's leading scorer in 1955-56 and 1956-57) made his St. Louis Cardinals debut at Los Angeles in 1959, hurling the final two innings in a 5-0 setback against the Dodgers. He became the first future Hall of Famer to yield a homer to first batter he faced in the majors (3B Jim Baxes went downtown in seventh inning). . . . INF Gene Handley (Bradley letterman in 1932-33 and 1933-34) purchased from the Pittsburgh Pirates by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1940. . . . 1B Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, becoming the first black player to appear in a MLB game. Before being replaced by Howie Schultz (played for Hamline, MN, in early 1940s), he went hitless in three at-bats against the Boston Braves a year before President Truman desegregated the military. . . . San Diego Padres P Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton in 1999-00) tied a MLB record with 25 straight starts on the road without a defeat before bowing at Los Angeles to the Dodgers in 2007.
14 - Los Angeles Dodgers P Sandy Koufax (Cincinnati's freshman squad in 1953-54) threw the ninth complete game without permitting a walk in his career as he blanked the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-0, in 1964 in his only Opening Day start. . . . Atlanta Braves OF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling a 35-3 record) contributed five hits and five runs scored in a 14-5 rout of the Cincinnati Reds in 1997. . . . New York Yankees 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64), en route to tying a MLB record with 11 homers in the month of April, collected four round-trippers - two in each game - during a 1974 doubleheader split with his former team (the Cleveland Indians).
13 - San Diego Padres OF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) and two teammates establish a MLB record by each hitting a homer as the first three batters in the bottom of the first inning of their 1987 home opener against the San Francisco Giants. . . . 1B Tony Lupien (Harvard captain in 1938-39) awarded on waivers from the Boston Red Sox to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1944. . . . St. Louis Cardinals CF Wally Moon (averaged 4.3 ppg with Texas A&M in 1948-49 and 1949-50) swats a homer against the Chicago Cubs in his first at-bat en route to becoming 1954 N.L. Rookie of the Year. . . . St. Louis Cardinals closer Lee Smith (averaged 3.4 ppg and 1.9 rpg with Northwestern State in 1976-77) set MLB record for most career saves in 1993 (mark subsequently broken). . . . P Jim Wilson (letterman for San Diego State's 1942 NAIA Tournament participant) purchased from the Milwaukee Braves by the Baltimore Orioles in 1955. . . . Angels OF Dave Winfield (starting forward with Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) collected 15 total bases and six RBI on three homers, a double and single in a 15-9 verdict over the Minnesota Twins in 1991.
12 - P Rich Beck (listed on Gonzaga's roster in 1961-62) purchased from the Philadelphia Phillies by the New York Yankees in 1965. . . . P Dick Hall (averaged 13.5 ppg from 1948-49 through 1950-51 for Swarthmore's Middle Atlantic States Conference Southern Division champions) traded by the Kansas City Athletics to the Baltimore Orioles in 1961. . . . After a pair of rainouts, 1B-OF Norm Siebern (member of Southwest Missouri State's back-to-back NAIA Tournament titlists in 1952 and 1953) socked a decisive eighth-inning HR to give the New York Yankees a season-opening 3-2 win over the visiting Boston Red Sox in 1959. . . . Pittsburgh Pirates P Bob Veale (scored 1,160 points from 1955-56 through 1957-58 with Benedictine, KS) outdueled San Francisco Giants P Juan Marichal, 1-0, in 1965.
11 - P Roger Craig (forward with North Carolina State's 1949-50 freshman team) released by the Cincinnati Reds and promptly signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966. . . . P Dallas Green (Delaware's runner-up in scoring and rebounding in 1954-55) purchased from the Philadelphia Phillies by the Washington Senators in 1965. Returned to the Phillies a month later. . . . In 1932, utilityman Harvey Hendrick (Vanderbilt letterman in 1918) is traded with P Benny Frey and cash by the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Cardinals for holdout OF Chick Hafey, the previous year's N.L. batting champion. . . . 1B Gil Hodges (played for Oakland City, IN, in 1947 and 1948) hit the first homer in New York Mets history (at St. Louis in 1962). . . . In 1961, Hall of Fame P Robin Roberts (one of Michigan State's top three scorers each season from 1944-45 through 1946-47) tied Grover Cleveland Alexander's N.L. record with a 12th straight Opening Day start for the Philadelphia Phillies. . . . San Diego Padres OF Will Venable (All-Ivy League first-team selection as a junior and second-team choice as a senior averaged 9.3 ppg under Princeton coach John Thompson III from 2001-02 through 2004-05) posted his first five-RBI game (against the Atlanta Braves in 2010). . . . OF Bill Virdon (played for Drury, MO, in 1949) traded by the New York Yankees to the St. Louis Cardinals in a deal involving OF Enos Slaughter in 1954. Seven years later, Virdon socked a two-out, three-run homer to give the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory at San Francisco.
10 - OF Wally Roettger (Illinois letterman in 1921-22 and 1922-23) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the New York Giants in 1930.
9 - 1B George Crowe (four-year letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43 for Indiana Central after becoming the first high school player named the state's "Mr. Basketball") traded by the Milwaukee Braves to the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. . . . LF Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary HBCU coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) traded by the Detroit Tigers with $10,000 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for P Larry Sherry in 1964.
8 - OF Babe Barna (two-year West Virginia letterman in mid-1930s) purchased from the Philadelphia Athletics by the Washington Senators in 1939. . . . P Mark Freeman (averaged 3.6 ppg for LSU as a senior in 1950-51) traded by the New York Yankees to the Kansas City Athletics in 1959. Returned to Yankees a month later. . . . P Pete Sivess (played for Dickinson, PA, in 1935-36) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with cash to the New York Yankees in 1939.
7 - Minnesota Twins OF Brant Alyea (Hofstra's leading scorer and rebounder in 1960-61 after being runner-up in both categories the previous season) amassed seven RBI, a major league record for opening day, against the Chicago White Sox in 1970. Alyea drove in 19 runs in P Jim Perry's first four starts that year. . . . P Bobby Humphreys (four-year letterman for Hampden-Sydney, VA, in mid-1950s) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Chicago Cubs in 1965. . . . P Dave Madison (letterman for LSU from 1939-40 through 1942-43) purchased from the New York Yankees by the St. Louis Browns in 1952. . . . Boston Red Sox P Gary Peters (played basketball for Grove City, PA, in mid-1950s), after allowing no earned runs in 32 spring training innings, secured a 4-3 season-opening win at New York in 1970.
6 - Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) contributed two sixth-inning hits, including a grand slam, in a 10-inning, 10-9 win over the Chicago White Sox in 2001. . . . In 2006, P Mark Hendrickson (two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference selection paced Washington State four straight seasons in rebounding 1992-93 through 1995-96) hurls first complete-game shutout for the Tampa Devil Rays in a span of 349 contests (three-hit, 2-0 whitewash against the Baltimore Orioles). . . . P Joe Niekro (played for West Liberty WV in mid-1960s) purchased from the Atlanta Braves by the Houston Astros for $35,000 in 1975. . . . P Darrell Sutherland (averaged 8.1 ppg and 2.2 rpg for Stanford from 1960-61 through 1962-63) awarded on waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies to the New York Mets as a first-year waiver selection in 1964.
5 - INF Frank Baker (Southern Mississippi letterman in 1965-66 and 1966-67) traded by the New York Yankees to the Baltimore Orioles in 1973. . . . P Fred Kipp (two-time all-conference selection for Emporia State, KS, in early 1950s) traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the New York Yankees in 1960. . . . OF Ted Savage (led Lincoln, MO, in scoring average in 1955-56) purchased from the Cincinnati Reds by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970. . . . OF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman squad in mid-1960s) traded with Tim Foli and Mike Jorgensen by the New York Mets to the Montreal Expos for Rusty Staub. . . . Atlanta Braves reliever Cecil Upshaw (led Centenary in scoring as a junior while averaging 13.7 ppg and 6 rpg from 1961-62 through 1963-64) registered the victory in a season-opening 7-4 success at Cincinnati in 1971. Upshaw missed the previous campaign after almost losing the ring finger on his right hand when it go entangled in a net while dunking a basketball.
4 - LF Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary HBCU coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) traded by the Cleveland Indians to the California Angels for OF Chuck Hinton in 1969.
3 - 1B Bill White (played two years with Hiram, OH, in early 1950s) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1969. . . . P Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton in 1999-00) traded by the Montreal Expos to the Texas Rangers in 2004.
2 - In 2001, San Diego Padres OF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) became the fifth player in N.L. history to spend 20-plus years playing his entire career with one franchise. . . . New York Mets manager Gil Hodges (played for Oakland City, IN, in 1947 and 1948), two days shy of his 48th birthday, suffered a fatal heart attack in 1972 after playing a round of golf in West Palm Beach with his coaches on Easter Sunday. . . . P Bobby Humphreys (four-year letterman for Hampden-Sydney, VA, in mid-1950s) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Washington Senators in 1966. . . . OF David Justice (led Thomas More, KY, in assists in 1984-85), debuting with the Cleveland Indians, whacked a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh inning in a 9-7 decision over the Oakland A's in 1997.
1 - OF Larry Doby (reserve guard for Virginia Union's 1943 CIAA titlist) traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Cleveland Indians in 1958. . . . LF Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary HBCU coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Los Angeles Angels in 1961. . . . OF-1B Len Matuszek (starter for Toledo's 18-7 team in 1975-76) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985. . . . INF Paul Popovich (averaged 3.3 ppg for West Virginia's 1960 NCAA playoff team) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1974.
College basketball has taken on an increasingly international flavor with an average of more than 400 foreign athletes competing for NCAA Division I men's teams over the last 11 seasons. Classic examples are vastly-improved centers from Senegal - Gorgui Dieng (Louisville) and Baye Moussa Keita (Syracuse) - who could have met in the NCAA championship game if the Orange had defeated Michigan in the national semifinals.
You've heard of a trade deficit. How about the trade surplus the national semifinals have enjoyed of late? All but one Final Four since 1993 had an international flavor with at least one player from outside North America in the regular rotation of a team reaching the national semifinals.
"If communism hadn't fallen, I would have had to make the most difficult decision in my life," said UCLA center George Zidek, the starting center for UCLA's 1995 national champion who once was yelped at by dogs and arrested during a riot in Prague. "I would have had to leave to play basketball and never come back to my country or my family. I don't know if I could have done that."
An old adage claimed that fans couldn't tell the players without a roster. Now, it's at the point where fans can't pronounce the names on rosters without taking a couple of Berlitz language courses. Following is a chronological look at Final Four foreigners in the last 21 years coming from 22 different nations (in reverse order):
2010 - West Virginia F Deniz Kilicli (Turkey)
2008 - UCLA F-C Alfred Aboya (Cameroon), F Nikola Dragovic (Serbia) and F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Cameroon)
2007 - UCLA F-C Alfred Aboya (Cameroon) and F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Cameroon)
2006 - Florida G Walter Hodge (Puerto Rico), F-C Al Horford (Dominican Republic) and G David Huertas (Puerto Rico), Louisiana State F Magnum Rolle (Bahamas) and UCLA F-C Alfred Aboya (Cameroon) and F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Cameroon)
2003 - Texas G Sydmill Harris (The Netherlands)
2002 - Oklahoma C Jabahri Brown (Virgin Islands) and C Jozsef Szendrei (Hungary)
2001 - None
2000 - Wisconsin G Kirk Penney (New Zealand)
1997 - North Carolina F Ademola Okulaja (Germany) and C Serge Zwikker (Netherlands)
1993 - North Carolina G Henrik Rodl (Germany)
Although there is a disenchantment stigma attached to transfers, it shouldn't be considered a crime. The play of transfer guards Luke Hancock (Louisville from George Mason) and Malcolm Armstead (Wichita State from Oregon) could determine which of those teams advances to the NCAA final. Including injured Kentucky star Derek Anderson in 1997, 26 of the last 30 Final Fours featured teams with at least one starter or key reserve who began his college career at another four-year Division I school.
Vanderbilt guard Billy McCaffrey, a transfer from Duke, is the only All-Tournament selection to finish his college playing career attending another major university. There was no All-Tournament team in 1942 when Stanford guard Howie Dallmar was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player before completing his undergraduate work at Penn toward the end of World War II. McCaffrey earned a spot on the 1991 All-Tournament team by scoring 16 points to help Duke defeat Kansas (72-65) in the championship game.
"What I really wanted was consistency; not playing a key factor in some games, very minimal in others," McCaffrey said. "My role probably would have been the same if I had stayed. I felt I could do more. I needed to enjoy the game more. I think a player likes to know that he can be counted on for certain things every night. That's how I get pleasure from the games. Your college career is too short to spend somewhere you're not happy.
"I don't regret leaving. I cherish those memories. I was happy for them (when the Blue Devils repeated in 1992). I knew when I left that they had a good chance to win (again). I took that into consideration when I made my decision to leave. I'd already been a part of a national championship. Maybe that made it easier."
Following is a chronological look at how transfers have impacted the Final Four in the last 30 years (in reverse order):
2012 - Ohio State F Evan Ravenel (Boston College), Louisville G Chris Smith (Manhattan), Kentucky C Eloy Vargas* (Florida), Kansas F Justin Wesley (Lamar), Kansas C Jeff Withey (Arizona) and Kansas F Kevin Young (Loyola Marymount)
2010 - None
2009 - None
2006 - None
2004 - Oklahoma State G Daniel Bobik (Brigham Young), Georgia Tech G Will Bynum (Arizona), Oklahoma State G-F Joey Graham (Central Florida), Oklahoma State F Stephen Graham (Central Florida), Oklahoma State G John Lucas III (Baylor) and Oklahoma State F Jason Miller (North Texas)
1994 - None
*Played for a junior college between four-year schools.
For the third straight season, a team reached the Final Four after losing multiple players who defected following the previous season to make themselves available for the NBA draft, where they were selected in the first round. Syracuse retooled its rotation after losing Dion Waiters and Fab Melo early to the NBA as first-round choices.
Among schools losing a prominent undergraduate early, Kentucky was the only school to capture a crown (1998 without Ron Mercer) until Duke achieved the feat (2010 without Gerald Henderson) and UK secured another title last year sans Brandon Knight. In a once-in-a-lifetime achievement, UK returned to the national semifinals in 2011 after losing five undergraduates who became NBA first-round draft choices.
The Final Four has had at least one team arrive after losing a prominent undergraduate to the NBA draft 10 times in the last 12 years. Following is a list of the 25 squads unfazed by the early loss of key player(s) who left college with eligibility still remaining:
Final Four Team Prominent Undergraduate Defection Previous Year Marquette '74 Larry McNeill (25th pick overall in 1973 NBA draft) Louisiana State '81 DeWayne Scales (36th pick in 1980 draft) Georgia '83 Dominique Wilkins (3rd pick in 1982 draft) Houston '83 Rob Williams (19th pick in 1982 draft) Houston '84 Clyde Drexler (14th pick in 1983 draft) Louisiana State '86 Jerry Reynolds (22nd pick in 1985 draft) Syracuse '87 Pearl Washington (13th pick in 1986 draft) Kentucky '97 Antoine Walker (6th pick in 1996 draft) North Carolina '97 Jeff McInnis (37th pick in 1996 draft) Kentucky '98 Ron Mercer (6th pick in 1997 draft) Indiana '02 Kirk Haston (16th pick in 2001 draft) Kansas '03 Drew Gooden (4th pick in 2002 draft) Georgia Tech '04 Chris Bosh (4th pick in 2003 draft) Louisiana State '06 Brandon Bass (33rd pick in 2005 draft) UCLA '07 Jordan Farmar (26th pick in 2006 draft) North Carolina '08 Brandan Wright (8th pick in 2007 draft) Kansas '08 Julian Wright (13th pick in 2007 draft) UCLA '08 Arron Afflalo (27th pick in 2007 draft) Duke '10 Gerald Henderson (12th pick in 2009 draft) Kentucky '11 John Wall (1st pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 DeMarcus Cousins (5th pick in 2010 draft) Butler '11 Gordon Hayward (9th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Patrick Patterson (14th pick in 2010 draft) Virginia Commonwealth '11 Larry Sanders (15th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Eric Bledsoe (18th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Daniel Orton (29th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '12 Brandon Knight (8th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Markieff Morris (13th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Marcus Morris (14th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Josh Selby (49th pick in 2011 draft) Syracuse '13 Dion Waiters (4th pick in 2012 draft) Syracuse '13 Fab Melo (22nd pick in 2012 draft)
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 16 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only school to have four players score more than 14,000 points in the pros after never participating in national postseason competition (NCAA playoffs and NIT). Hint: One member of the foursome left college early after just one season of eligibility when he averaged 30 points per game and another is the highest scorer in NBA history to never participate in the NBA playoffs.
2. Name the only father-son combination to be on the rosters of two teams from the same school to win NCAA Tournament championships. Hint: Both of them were underclassmen when their teams captured NCAA titles.
3. Who is the only player to never appear in the NBA or ABA after averaging more than 20 points per game for a team reaching an NCAA Tournament final? Hint: A college teammate was a member of the NBA championship team that drafted him.
4. Who is the only undergraduate non-center to average more than 23 points per game for a national champion? Hint: He is the last player to score the most points in a single game of an NCAA Tournament and play for the championship team.
6. Who is the only coach to win an NBA championship after directing a college to the Final Four? Hint: His college squad was implicated in a game-fixing scandal.
7. Who is the only player to grab more than 41 rebounds at a single Final Four? Hint: He is the only player to retrieve more than 21 missed shots in a championship game and the only player to score more than 20 points and grab more than 20 rebounds in back-to-back NCAA finals.
8. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to later coach a school other than his alma mater to the playoffs? Hint: He coached for more than 20 years in the same conference against UCLA legend John Wooden. He is also the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to complete his college playing career attending another university.
9. Who is the only junior college player to later be selected Final Four Most Outstanding Player? Hint: He won the award when the Final Four was held in his home state and eventually became an NBA head coach.
10. Name the only school with a losing league record to defeat a conference rival by more than 20 points in a season the opponent wound up winning the national championship. Hint: The school with a losing league mark participated in the NCAA playoffs the next season for the first time since reaching the Final Four more than 20 years earlier when a consensus first-team All-American became the only player in school history to average more than 25 points in a season.
Louisville and Syracuse are future members of the ACC. But for now, they are the pride of the Big East Conference before the unraveling league turns into the Big Least or whatever its new name will be.
Two teams from the same conference reached the Final Four eight consecutive years from 1999 through 2006. Teams from the same league have met in the national championship game on three occasions - 1976 (champion Indiana and runner-up Michigan/from Big Ten), 1985 (Villanova and Georgetown/Big East) and 1988 (Kansas and Oklahoma/Big Eight).
At least one of the two members from the same league participated in the national championship game in 17 of the first 21 years two teams from the same alliance advanced to the Final Four.
|Year||Final Four Results of Two Teams From the Same Conference|
|1976||Indiana (1st in regular-season competition) defeated fellow Big Ten member Michigan (2nd) in the championship game.|
|1980||Purdue (3rd) defeated fellow Big Ten member Iowa (T4th) in the national third-place game.|
|1981||North Carolina (2nd) defeated fellow ACC member Virginia (1st) in the national semifinals before the Tar Heels bowed to Indiana in the final.|
|1985||Villanova (T3rd) defeated fellow Big East member Georgetown (2nd) in the national final after the Hoyas defeated St. John's (1st) in the national semifinals.|
|1987||Syracuse (T1st) was runner-up to Indiana after defeating fellow Big East member Providence (T4th) in the national semifinals.|
|1988||Kansas (3rd) defeated fellow Big Eight member Oklahoma (1st) in the championship game.|
|1989||Michigan (3rd) won the championship game against Seton Hall after the Wolverines defeated fellow Big Ten member Illinois (2nd) in the national semifinals.|
|1990||UNLV defeated two ACC members - Georgia Tech (T3rd) in the national semifinals and Duke (2nd) in the championship game.|
|1991||Kansas split two games with ACC members. The Jayhawks defeated North Carolina (2nd) in the national semifinals before losing to Duke (1st) in the championship game.|
|1992||Duke defeated two Big Ten members - Indiana (2nd) in the national semifinals and Michigan (T3rd) in the championship game.|
|1994||Arkansas (1st in West Division) won the championship game against Duke after the Blue Devils defeated the Hogs' fellow SEC member Florida (T1st in East) in the national semifinals.|
|1996||Kentucky (1st in East Division) won the championship game against Syracuse after the Orangemen defeated the Wildcats' fellow SEC member Mississippi State (1st in West Division) in the national semifinals.|
|1999||Michigan State (1st) and fellow Big Ten member Ohio State (2nd) lost to Duke and Connecticut, respectively, in the national semifinals.|
|2000||Michigan State (T1st) won the national championship after defeating fellow Big Ten member Wisconsin (6th) in the national semifinals.|
|2001||Duke (T1st) won the national championship after defeating fellow ACC member Maryland (3rd) in the national semifinals.|
|2002||Kansas (1st) and Big 12 rival Oklahoma (2nd) lost to Maryland and Indiana, respectively, in the national semifinals.|
|2003||Kansas (1st) finished national runner-up and Big 12 rival Texas (2nd) lost to eventual champion Syracuse in the national semifinals.|
|2004||Georgia Tech (T3rd) finished national runner-up and ACC rival Duke (1st) lost to eventual champion Connecticut in the national semifinals.|
|2005||Illinois (1st) finished national runner-up and Big Ten rival Michigan State (2nd) lost to eventual champion North Carolina in the national semifinals.|
|2006||Florida (2nd in Eastern Division) won the national championship and SEC rival LSU (1st in Western Division) lost to UCLA in the national semifinals.|
|2009||Big East rivals Connecticut (T2nd) and Villanova (4th) both lost in the national semifinals.|
|2013||Big East members Louisville (T1st) and Syracuse (T5th) advanced to the Final Four in Atlanta.|
This year, John Beilein (Michigan) and Gregg Marshall (Wichita State) are Final Four newcomers. They better enjoy the experience while they can. Although their two counterparts have ascended to this plateau multiple times, it's difficult enough to get there and most mentors don't return.
Since the start of the NCAA Tournament in 1939, no coach ever took longer in his four-year college career to reach the DI Final Four than Beilein (31 seasons). The five other coaches to take more than 20 years were Jim Calhoun (27), Dick Bennett (24), Gary Williams (23), Jim Larranaga (22) and Norm Sloan (22).
There has been at least one fresh face among the bench bosses at the national semifinals all but twice in the last 29 years (1993 and 2012). Following is a look at the coaches who advanced to the Final Four for the first time since the field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985:
- 2013 - John Beilein (Michigan/31st season as head coach at the four-year college level) and Gregg Marshall (Wichita State/15th).
- 2012 - All returnees.
- 2011 - Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth/2nd).
- 2010 - Brad Stevens* (Butler/3rd).
- 2009 - Jay Wright (Villanova/15th).
- 2008 - Bill Self* (Kansas/15th).
- 2007 - Thad Matta* (Ohio State/7th) and John Thompson III (Georgetown/7th).
- 2006 - John Brady (Louisiana State/15th), Ben Howland* (UCLA/12th), Jim Larranaga (George Mason/22nd).
- 2005 - Bruce Weber (Illinois/6th).
- 2004 - Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech/7th).
- 2003 - Rick Barnes (Texas/16th) and Tom Crean (Marquette/4th).
- 2002 - Mike Davis (Indiana/2nd) and Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma/20th).
- 2001 - Gary Williams* (Maryland/23rd).
- 2000 - Dick Bennett (Wisconsin/24th) and Billy Donovan* (Florida/6th).
- 1999 - Jim Calhoun* (Connecticut/27th), Tom Izzo* (Michigan State/4th) and Jim O'Brien (Ohio State/17th).
- 1998 - Bill Guthridge* (North Carolina/1st), Rick Majerus (Utah/14th) and Tubby Smith (Kentucky/7th).
- 1997 - Clem Haskins (Minnesota/17th).
- 1996 - John Calipari* (Massachusetts/8th) and Richard Williams (Mississippi State/10th).
- 1995 - Jim Harrick (UCLA/16th).
- 1994 - Lon Kruger (Florida/12th).
- 1993 - All returnees.
- 1992 - Bob Huggins* (Cincinnati/12th).
- 1991 - Roy Williams* (Kansas/3rd).
- 1990 - Bobby Cremins (Georgia Tech/15th) and Nolan Richardson* (Arkansas/10th).
- 1989 - P.J. Carlesimo (Seton Hall/14th) and Steve Fisher* (Michigan/1st).
- 1988 - Billy Tubbs (Oklahoma/14th).
- 1987 - Jim Boeheim* (Syracuse/11th) and Rick Pitino* (Providence/7th).
- 1986 - Mike Krzyzewski* (Duke/11th).
- 1985 - Lou Carnesecca (St. John's/17th), Dana Kirk (Memphis State/14th) and Rollie Massimino (Villanova/14th).
*Subsequently returned to the Final Four.
No. 9 seed Wichita State became the fifth bottom-of-the-bracket team earning a spot at the Final Four, joining #9 Penn '79, #11 Louisiana State '86, #11 George Mason '06 and #11 Virginia Commonwealth '11. Among mid-major schools, UNLV was the only one advancing to the national semifinals in the first 11 years after the tourney field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985. The Shockers are the eighth different school on the following chronological list of mid-majors reaching the Final Four since the field was expanded to at least 64 teams:
Year Mid-Major School Coach Conference Final Four Result 1987 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian PCAA Lost to eventual champion Indiana in semifinals 1990 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian Big West NCAA Champion after defeating Georgia Tech and Duke 1991 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian Big West Lost to eventual champion Duke in semifinals 1996 Massachusetts John Calipari Atlantic 10 Lost to eventual champion Kentucky in semifinals 1998 Utah Rick Majerus Western Athletic Lost to Kentucky in championship game 2006 George Mason Jim Larranaga Colonial Lost to eventual champion Florida in semifinals 2008 Memphis John Calipari Conference USA Lost to Kansas in championship game 2010 Butler Brad Stevens Horizon League Lost to Duke in championship game 2011 Butler Brad Stevens Horizon League Lost to Connecticut in championship game 2011 Virginia Commonwealth Shaka Smart Colonial Lost to eventual runner-up Butler in semifinals 2013 Wichita State Gregg Marshall Missouri Valley Final Four (to be determined)
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 15 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only individual to play for two NCAA champions, play for more than two NBA champions and coach two NBA champions. Hint: He was the first of four players to be a member of an NCAA championship team one year and an NBA titlist the next season as a rookie. He won the high jump in the West Coast Relays his senior year.
2. Who is the only individual to average fewer than four points per game as a freshman and then be selected Final Four Most Outstanding Player the next season as a sophomore. Hint: He had more three-point baskets in two Final Four games than he managed his entire freshman season.
3. Who is the only player named to an All-NCAA Tournament team not to score a total of more than 10 points in two Final Four games? Hint: He had the same point total in each Final Four game for a team whose star had the same last name.
4. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to later coach his alma mater in the NCAA Tournament? Hint: The guard was named Most Outstanding Player although he was his team's fourth-leading scorer at the Final Four that year.
5. Name the only school to have two of the six eligible teams ranked among the top five in the AP and/or UPI final polls to not participate in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT in the days before teams other than the conference champion could be chosen to the NCAA playoffs as at-large entrants. Hint: The school lost three regional finals in one four-year span and hasn't reached the Final Four in the last 48 years.
6. Who is the only coach to lose more than five regional final games? Hint: His regional final defeats were by an average margin of 10 points and his biggest nemesis was the Big Ten Conference.
7. Who is the only individual to become NBA Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player to participate in the NCAA Tournament but never win an NCAA playoff game? Hint: He shared the NBA Rookie of the Year award with another player who was on the losing end in his only NCAA Tournament appearance. Two years later, he was NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player the same season he was named league MVP.
8. Of the more than 40 different players to be named NBA Most Valuable Player, score more than 20,000 points in the pros or be selected to an All-NBA team at least five times after participating in the NCAA Tournament, who is the only one to average fewer than 10 points per game in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: He is believed to be the youngest Hall of Famer to appear in an NCAA championship game at the tender age of 16 and was later named to 12 consecutive All-NBA teams.
9. Who is the only guard to score more than 35 points in an NCAA final? Hint: He led his team in scoring in back-to-back Final Fours but wasn't named Final Four Most Outstanding Player either year. He is the only championship team player to have a two-game total of at least 70 points at the Final Four and is the shortest undergraduate to average more than 20 points per game for an NCAA titlist.
10. Who is the only player to have as many as 20 field goals in an NCAA championship game? Hint: He scored fewer than seven points in both his tourney debut and final playoff appearance.
Try, try again! Wichita State, which finished in fourth place in the 1965 NCAA Tournament, has the fourth-longest drought between Final Four appearances. Iowa State, which reached the Final Four in 1944, will move atop this list if coach Fred Hoiberg lives up to his new hefty contract. Of the schools reaching the national semifinals at least twice, following are the nine institutions to go more than 35 years before returning to the Promised Land:
|Final Four School||Famine Years||Coaches Between Final Fours||NCAA Tournament Appearances During Lapse|
|Wisconsin||59||Bud Foster (1941) to Dick Bennett (2000)||four: 1947-94-97-99|
|Stanford||56||Everett Dean (1942) to Mike Montgomery (1998)||five: 1989-92-95-96-97|
|Texas||56||Jack Gray (1947) to Rick Barnes (2003)||17: 1960-63-72-74-79-89-90-91-92-94-95-96-97-99-00-01-02|
|Wichita State||48||Gary Thompson (1965) to Gregg Marshall (2013)||seven: 1976-81-85-87-88-06-12|
|Oklahoma State||44||Hank Iba (1951) to Eddie Sutton (1995)||nine: 1953-54-58-65-83-91-92-93-94|
|Oklahoma||41||Bruce Drake (1947) to Billy Tubbs (1988)||six: 1979-83-84-85-86-87|
|Georgetown||39||Elmer Ripley (1943) to John Thompson Jr. (1982)||five: 1975-76-79-80-81|
|Illinois||37||Harry Combes (1952) to Lou Henson (1989)||eight: 1963-81-83-84-85-86-87-88|
|DePaul||36||Ray Meyer (1943) to Ray Meyer (1979)||seven: 1953-56-59-60-65-76-78|
Steve Alford, an All-American for Indiana in 1986 and 1987, is the only active coach to have been an All-American player before coaching an All-American (New Mexico's Darington Hobson in 2010). Indiana native John Wooden is the only All-American player to coach All-Americans for two different universities (Indiana State and UCLA) with neither of them being his alma mater (Purdue). Alford, after being lured to UCLA to try to recapture Wooden's glory years, likely will join Wooden, Howie Dallmar (Penn and Stanford), Jim O'Brien (Boston College and Ohio State) plus John Oldham (Tennessee Tech and Western Kentucky) as former All-Americans who coached comparable players for two different schools.
Indiana's Branch McCracken, the only one of 48 All-Americans who became major-college mentors to compile a higher winning percentage as a coach than as a player, coached 14 All-Americans with his alma mater. He is among the following alphabetical list of 15 major-college All-Americans who went on to coach major-college All-Americans:
|Coach||Alma Mater||A-A Year as Player||All-American(s) Coached|
|Steve Alford||Indiana||1986 and 1987||New Mexico's Darington Hobson (2010)|
|Henry Bibby||UCLA||1972||Southern California's Sam Clancy (2002)|
|Bob Cousy||Holy Cross||1948 through 1950||Boston College's John Austin (1965 and 1966) and Terry Driscoll (1969)|
|Howie Dallmar||Penn||1945||Penn's Ernie Beck (1951 and 1953) and Stanford's Paul Neumann (1959) and Rich Kelley (1975)|
|Larry Finch||Memphis State||1973||Memphis State's Anfernee Hardaway (1993) and Lorenzen Wright (1996)|
|Tom Gola||La Salle||1952 through 1955||La Salle's Larry Cannon (1969)|
|Jack Gray||Texas||1934 and 1935||Texas' John Hargis (1947)|
|Clem Haskins||Western Kentucky||1966 and 1967||Minnesota's Bobby Jackson (1997) and Quincy Lewis (1999)|
|Moose Krause||Notre Dame||1932 through 1934||Notre Dame's Leo Barnhorst (1949), Leo Klier (1944), Kevin O'Shea (1947 through 1950)|
|Branch McCracken||Indiana||1930||Indiana's Ernie Andres (1939), Walt Bellamy (1960), Archie Dees (1957 and 1958), Bill Garrett (1951), Ralph Hamilton (1947), Marv Huffman (1940), Slick Leonard (1953 and 1954), Bill Menke (1940), Jimmy Rayl (1962 and 1963), Don Schlundt (1953 through 1955), Dick Van Arsdale (1965), Tom Van Arsdale (1965), Lou Watson (1950) and Andy Zimmer (1942)|
|Jim O'Brien||Boston College||1971||Boston College's Bill Curley (1994) and Ohio State's Scoonie Penn (1999 and 2000)|
|John Oldham||Western Kentucky||1949||Tennessee Tech's Jimmy Hagan (1959) and Western Kentucky's Clem Haskins (1966 and 1967) and Jim McDaniels (1970 and 1971)|
|Harv Schmidt||Illinois||1957||Illinois' Dave Scholz (1969)|
|John Thompson Jr.||Providence||1964||Georgetown's Patrick Ewing (1982 through 1985), Sleepy Floyd (1981 and 1982), Allen Iverson (1996), Alonzo Mourning (1989 through 1992), Dikembe Mutombo (1991), Charles Smith (1989) and Reggie Williams (1987)|
|John Wooden||Purdue||1932||Indiana State's Duane Klueh (1948) and UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1967 through 1969), Lucius Allen (1968), Henry Bibby (1972), Keith Erickson (1965), Gail Goodrich (1964 and 1965), John Green (1962), Walt Hazzard (1963 and 1964), Dave Meyers (1975), Willie Naulls (1956), Curtis Rowe (1970 and 1971), George Stanich (1950), Walt Torrence (1959), John Vallely (1970), Bill Walton (1972 through 1974), Mike Warren (1967 and 1968), Richard Washington (1975), Sidney Wicks (1970 and 1971) and Keith Wilkes (1973 and 1974)|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 14 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only school to compile a losing record in a season it won on the road against a conference rival that later captured the NCAA championship. Hint: The school is a former national titlist itself, but had just one winning league mark in 12 years from 1977-78 through 1988-89.
2. Name the only school to compile a conference record of more than 10 games below .500 in a season it defeated a league rival that became NCAA champion. Hint: The school, which finished in first or second place in league competition four consecutive seasons in the early 1930s, has 44 consecutive non-winning records in conference play.
3. Name the only school to trail by at least 10 points at halftime of a tournament game and end up winning the contest by more than 20. Hint: A prominent network broadcaster played for the team. The next year, the school became the only one in tourney history to win back-to-back overtime games by double-digit margins.
4. Who is the only coach to lose in back-to-back seasons to teams seeded 14th or worse? Hint: He captured an NCAA championship later that decade.
5. Name the only double-digit seeded team to reach the Final Four until Virginia Commonwealth achieved the feat last year. Hint: It's the worst-seeded school to defeat a #1 seed, a conference rival that defeated the team a total of three times that year during the regular season and postseason league tournament. The next year, the university became the only school to reach back-to-back regional finals as a double-digit seed.
6. Name the only school to win a regional final game it trailed by more than 15 points at halftime. Hint: The school lost its next game at the Final Four to a team that dropped a conference game against the regional final opponent by a double-figure margin. Three years later, it became the only school to score more than 100 points in a championship game and win a national final by more than 21 points.
7. Who is the only team-leading scorer to be held more than 25 points under his season average in a Final Four game? Hint: He scored 39 points against the same opponent earlier in the season to help end the third-longest winning streak in major-college history. He is the only player to lead the playoffs in scoring and rebounding in back-to-back seasons although he wasn't named to the All-Tournament team one of those years despite becoming the only player to lead a tourney in scoring by more than 60 points. In addition, he is the only player in tournament history to collect more than 40 points and 25 rebounds in the same game.
8. Name the only school to lead the nation in scoring offense and win the NCAA title in the same season. Hint: The top four scorers were undergraduates for the only titlist to win all of its NCAA Tournament games by more than 15 points.
9. Name the only school to play in as many as three overtime games in a single tournament. Hint: One of the three overtime affairs was a national third-place game.
10. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to go scoreless in two NCAA Tournament games in a previous year? Hint: His NBA scoring average decreased each of his last nine seasons in the league after becoming Rookie of the Year.
Should I stay or should I go? Steve Alford was experienced in dealing with that question when he virtually ignored a 10-year commitment to New Mexico after the bright lights of UCLA came wooing him. Alford previously had three years remaining on his contract with Southwest Missouri State when he left for Iowa and four years left upon departing the Hawkeyes to join the Lobos.
It's a good thing some universities play in mammoth arenas because the egos of their "Pompous Pilots" wouldn't fit any other place. Much of the excess in the canonization of coaches is perpetrated by coaches-turned-television commentators who shamelessly fawn over their former colleagues.
The analysts should be more concerned about encouraging coaches to spare fans the pious blather about the sanctity of a contract or agreement. Granted, it's survival of the fittest amid the offer-you-can't-refuse backdrop. But in a great many cases, schools have been little more than convenient steppingstones for "larger-than-life" coaches along their one-way street to success. It's understandable in many instances that mercenaries are leaving the minute they're appointed because coaches are in a distasteful "hired-to-be-fired" vocation, where a pink slip is only one losing season or poor recruiting year away.
Nevertheless, loyalty has become too much of a one-way street. Players considering their options occasionally are grilled by coaches and commentators for contemplating transfers or leaving early for the NBA. There are countless examples of schools holding a player's eligibility hostage out of sheer vindictiveness. How much more one-sided can it be when that lame double standard exists?
After all, the value systems for high-profile coaches are sufficiently open-minded to permit running out on contracts when more lucrative jobs come open. Contracts are understood to be for the protection of the coach, not the team, whose players are somehow indentured to the schools for as many as four years of eligibility unless of course a coach chooses not to renew their scholarships. Perhaps that's why many believe incoming recruits should be allowed out of their letter-of-intent to seek another destination if the coach they signed with departs before they even get to campus.
Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but that's most definitely the way it is as contracts don't appear to mean squat to a striking number of meandering mentors who abandon ship like so many rats at high tide. Lon Kruger departed three different schools with at least four years remaining on pacts before leaving UNLV with two seasons left.
Many "leveraged" coaches have been preoccupied of late with attempting to virtually extort raises and extensions on already hefty packages. But in recent years, administrations at Boston College, Kent State, Marist, Miami (Fla.), St. John's and Wyoming seemed to be guinea pigs of sorts by fighting back via adherence to buyout clauses in trying to regain control of the situation in this big business atmosphere.
In mid-July 2010, a New York State Supreme Court Justice made a possible precedent-setting ruling in favor of Marist, which contended that coach Matt Brady's contract required him to secure written consent before negotiating with another school and forbade him from offering "a scholarship to current Marist players or to persons that he or his staff recruited to play at Marist" if he ever took a comparable job.
Brady clearly negotiated with James Madison in 2008 without "written" consent and Marist compiled a list of 19 prospects Brady recruited on behalf of Marist that it believed he should have been unable to recruit to JMU per the details of his contract. Four players on that "off-limits" list - Trevon Flores, Devon Moore, Andrey Semenov and Julius Wells - ultimately signed with JMU.
The judge ruled in favor of Marist's claims that Brady had an enforceable contract when he discussed leaving Marist with JMU, that JMU knew of the contract's existence, that JMU intentionally induced Brady to violate his fiduciary obligations under the contract, and that Marist incurred damages as a result of the breach of those obligations. Marist also filed a separate civil suit against Brady. In mid-May 2011, Kent State sued Geno Ford for more than $1.2 million in damages stemming from his departure for Bradley.
Five of Tulsa's previous seven coaches - Nolan Richardson, Tubby Smith, Steve Robinson, Bill Self and Buzz Peterson - left the school for more prestigious positions despite each of them having at least three years remaining on their contracts. Tulsa is one of three universities from which Self has bailed. He signed a five-year extension with Illinois in December, 2002, that included a bump in salary to $900,000 and payout of $500,000 if he stayed the life of the contract. There also was a buyout of $100,000 per year remaining on the pact.
Deal or no deal? The length of contracts doesn't seem to carry any weight as a factor in the equation. Although precise information on terms of contracts frequently is akin to Swiss bank account material, following is an alphabetical list detailing coaches who reportedly still had contractual obligations to schools of more than five seasons when they left for greener pastures at some point in their careers:
- Steve Alford (10 years remaining on contract) - left New Mexico/hired by UCLA
- Rick Barnes (6) - Clemson/Texas
- John Beilien (6) - Richmond/West Virginia
- Tony Bennett (6) - Washington State/Virginia
- Dave Bliss (6) - New Mexico/Baylor
- Mike Brey (7) - Delaware/Notre Dame
- John Calipari (10) - Massachusetts/New Jersey Nets
- Jeff Capel III (6) - Virginia Commonwealth/Oklahoma
- Tom Crean (9) - Marquette/Indiana
- Matt Doherty (6) - Florida Atlantic/Southern Methodist
- Larry Eustachy (6) - Utah State/Iowa State
- Dennis Felton (6) - Western Kentucky/Georgia
- Tim Floyd (6) - New Orleans/Iowa State
- Tim Floyd (8) - Iowa State/Chicago Bulls
- Travis Ford (7) - Massachusetts/Oklahoma State
- Billy Gillispie (8) - Texas A&M/Kentucky
- Brian Gregory (7) - Dayton/Georgia Tech
- Leonard Hamilton (7) - Miami (Fla.)/Washington Wizards
- Ben Howland (6) - Pittsburgh/UCLA
- Jeff Lebo (8) - Chattanooga/Auburn
- Gregg Marshall (8) - Winthrop/Wichita State
- Thad Matta (9) - Xavier/Ohio State
- Fran McCaffery (7) - Siena/Iowa
- Sean Miller (9) - Xavier/Arizona
- Dan Monson (10) - Gonzaga/Minnesota
- Lute Olson (7) - Iowa/Arizona
- Buzz Peterson (9) - Appalachian State/Tulsa
- Skip Prosser (6) - Xavier/Wake Forest
- Oliver Purnell (6) - Clemson/DePaul
- Mike Rice Jr. (7) - Robert Morris/Rutgers
- Steve Robinson (7) - Tulsa/Florida State
- Kelvin Sampson (6) - Washington State/Oklahoma
- Tubby Smith (6) - Georgia/Kentucky
- Mark Turgeon (9) - Wichita State/Texas A&M
Ten power league members always classified as major colleges - with majority of them from the South - finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll at least twice although they didn't make their initial NCAA appearance until after 1970. Among the late-bloomer group, Nebraska is winless in the NCAA playoffs while Florida is a two-time NCAA champion.
Major School 1st NCAA Tourney Alabama 1975 Auburn 1984 Clemson 1980 Florida 1987 Georgia 1983 Minnesota 1972 Nebraska 1986 Seton Hall 1988 South Carolina 1971 Virginia 1976
NCAA Tournament matchups between members from the same league are relatively rare. When Big East Conference rivals Marquette and Syracuse (departing for ACC) met in the East Regional final, it was the 22nd such confrontation but only the second in the last 11 years.
The Big Ten Conference accounted for seven of the first 18 NCAA Tournament games pitting league members against each other. Florida coach Billy Donovan played in one of the playoff intraconference matchups in 1987 when he scored 20 points for Providence in an 88-73 triumph over Georgetown in the Southeast Regional final.
|Year||Conference||Playoff Round||NCAA Tourney Result Between Members of Same League|
|1976||Big Ten||championship||Indiana 86 (May scored team-high 26 points), Michigan 68 (Green 18)|
|1980||Big Ten||regional semifinals||Purdue 76 (Edmonson/Morris 20), Indiana 69 (I. Thomas 30)|
|1980||Big Ten||national third-place||Purdue 75 (Carroll 35), Iowa 58 (Arnold 19)|
|1981||ACC||national semifinals||North Carolina 78 (Wood 39), Virginia 65 (Lamp 18)|
|1983||ACC||regional final||North Carolina State 63 (Whittenburg 24), Virginia 62 (Sampson 23)|
|1985||Big East||national semifinals||Georgetown 77 (Williams 20), St. John's 59 (Glass 13)|
|1985||Big East||championship||Villanova 66 (McClain 17), Georgetown 64 (Wingate 16)|
|1986||SEC||regional semifinals||Kentucky 68 (Walker 22), Alabama 63 (Coner 20)|
|1986||SEC||regional final||Louisiana State 59 (Williams 16), Kentucky 57 (Walker 20)|
|1987||Big East||regional final||Providence 88 (Donovan/D. Wright 20), Georgetown 73 (Williams 25)|
|1987||Big East||national semifinals||Syracuse 77 (Monroe 17), Providence 63 (Screen 18)|
|1988||Big Eight||regional final||Kansas 71 (Manning 20), Kansas State 58 (Scott 18)|
|1988||Big Eight||championship||Kansas 83 (Manning 31), Oklahoma 79 (Sieger 22)|
|1989||Big Ten||national semifinals||Michigan 83 (Rice 28), Illinois 81 (Battle 29)|
|1992||Big Ten||regional final||Michigan 75 (Webber 23), Ohio State 71 (Jackson 20)|
|1992||Great Midwest||regional final||Cincinnati 88 (Jones 23), Memphis State 57 (Hardaway 12)|
|2000||Big Ten||regional final||Wisconsin 64 (Bryant 18), Purdue 60 (Cardinal/Cunningham 13)|
|2000||Big Ten||national semifinals||Michigan State 53 (Peterson 20), Wisconsin 41 (Boone 18)|
|2001||ACC||national semifinals||Duke 95 (Battier 25), Maryland 84 (Dixon 19)|
|2002||Big 12||regional final||Oklahoma 81 (Price 18), Missouri 75 (Paulding 22)|
|2009||Big East||regional final||Villanova 78 (Anderson 17), Pittsburgh 76 (Young 28)|
|2013||Big East||regional final||Syracuse 55 (Southerland 16), Marquette (Blue 14)|
Florida's ballyhooed intrastate clash with Cinderella Florida Gulf Coast showed again why some major schools should be ashamed of themselves for ducking nearby quality opponents. It pales in comparison to other natural rivalries across the country such as Kansas/Wichita State. But why in the world did they have to resort to a national tournament assignment hundreds of miles from their fan base to oppose each other?
In a "Days of Whine and Hoses" era when many cash-strapped athletic departments are begging for revenue, they still schedule numerous poorly-attended home games against inferior opponents. It defies logic as to why tradition-rich schools forsake entertaining non-conference contests with natural rivals while scheduling more than their share of meaningless "rout-a-matics" at home.
The normal intensity of an NCAA Tournament assignment escalates even more in "bragging rights" games between neighboring opponents that rarely if ever tangle on the same floor unless forced to compete against each other by a postseason bracket. For instance, it is a sad state of affairs for Show-Me State fans to need to hope Missouri and Saint Louis advanced in the 2012 West Regional and 2013 Midwest Regional for them to finally meet on the hardwood again. The chances of that occurring were remote insofar as neither school ever has reached the Final Four.
A classic example of the scheduling neglect was an intense 2001 West Regional matchup between Maryland and Georgetown. Of course, the Washington, D.C., area isn't the only region with a scheduling complex. As emotional as it was, the Hoya Paranoia-Terrapin Trepidation confrontation didn't stack up among the following top 10 intrastate contests in NCAA playoff history:
1. 1961 NCAA Championship Game (Cincinnati 70, Ohio State 65 in OT)
Paul Hogue, a 6-9 center who hit just 51.8% of his free-throw attempts during the season, sank only two of 10 foul shots in his two previous contests before putting Cincinnati ahead to stay with a pair of pivotal free throws in overtime in a victory over previously undefeated Ohio State.
2. 1998 East Regional second round (North Carolina 93, UNCC 83 in OT)
UNC Charlotte forward DeMarco Johnson outplayed national player of the year Antawn Jamison of the Tar Heels, but Carolina got a total of 55 points from Shammond Williams and Vince Carter to withstand the 49ers' bid for an upset.
3. 1983 Mideast Regional final (Louisville 80, Kentucky 68 in OT)
The first meeting between in-state rivals Kentucky and Louisville in more than 24 years was memorable as the Cardinals outscored the Wildcats 18-6 in overtime to reach the Final Four.
4. 1981 Midwest Regional semifinals (Wichita State 66, Kansas 65)
Mike Jones hit two long-range baskets in the last 50 seconds for Wichita State in the first game between the intrastate rivals in 36 years.
5. 1989 Southeast Regional first round (South Alabama 86, Alabama 84)
In an exciting intrastate battle, South Alabama erased a 16-point halftime deficit. Jeff Hodge and Gabe Estaba combined for 55 points for USA.
6. 1971 West Regional final (UCLA 57, Long Beach State 55)
The closest result for UCLA during the Bruins' 38-game playoff winning streak from 1967 to 1973 came when they had to erase an 11-point deficit despite 29 percent field-goal shooting to edge Jerry Tarkanian-coached Long Beach State.
7. 1971 Mideast Regional semifinals (Western Kentucky 107, Kentucky 83)
This year's game wasn't anything like when WKU, long regarded as poor country cousins by Kentucky, whipped the Wildcats in their first-ever meeting when All-American Jim McDaniels poured in 35 points for the Hilltoppers.
8. 1959 Mideast Regional semifinals (Louisville 76, Kentucky 61)
Second-ranked Kentucky (24-3) hit less than one-third of its field-goal attempts in blowing a 15-point lead against intrastate rival Louisville (19-12). The Cardinals had lost to Georgetown (KY) earlier in the season.
10. 1962 NCAA Championship Game (Cincinnati 71, Ohio State 59)
Ohio State All-American center Jerry Lucas wrenched his left knee in the national semifinals against Wake Forest, limiting his effectiveness against Cincinnati counterpart Paul Hogue in the Bearcats' 71-59 triumph in the final.
New Northwestern coach Chris Collins knows all about the NCAA Tournament as a player and assistant coach with Duke. But the NCAA playoffs are little more than "Never Never Land" for the Wildcats and the following four other schools never to participate in the national championship tournament despite being designated as major colleges since the late 1940s (number of coaches during that span in parentheses):
In the Sweet 16, Kansas and Michigan met each other for the first time in NCAA Tournament competition. After coming from behind to beat KU, the Wolverines flogged Florida en route to the Final Four and opposing Syracuse for the first time in the NCAA playoffs at the national semifinals and meeting Louisville for the first time in NCAA competition in the championship game.
Although the NCAA tourney is in its eighth decade, there are attractive power school matchups that haven't occurred. Among the potentially entertaining intersectional playoff contests between storied programs never to take place in the NCAAs include:
- Georgetown vs. Indiana
- Georgetown vs. Michigan
- Georgetown vs. UCLA
- Louisville vs. Notre Dame
- Michigan vs. St. John's
- North Carolina vs. St. John's
- Notre Dame vs. St. John's
- Notre Dame vs. Syracuse
- Notre Dame vs. UCLA
- Notre Dame vs. Villanova
- St. John's vs. UCLA
- Syracuse vs. UCLA
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 13 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only team-leading scorer of a Final Four team to go scoreless when the school was eliminated from championship contention at the national semifinals? Hint: He was a center who along with four teammates averaged between 11 and 12.5 points per game.
2. Who is the only player to twice lead the nation in scoring average while playing for teams advancing to the Final Four? Hint: He is the only team-leading scorer to twice be more than 10 points below his season scoring mark when his school was eliminated at the Final Four.
3. Name the only school to lose two national championship games by at least 18 points after leading the finals at halftime. Hint: The two opponents, 17 years apart, combined to win 66 of 68 games those seasons.
4. Name the only school to make as many as eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from the year it participated in the event for the first time. Hint: The school's last playoff victory wasn't during this streak, but it later handed UCLA its first West Regional defeat in 14 years.
5. Name the only school to lose as many as 15 opening-round games in the NCAA Tournament. Hint: The university also lost a first-round game in 1984 after winning a qualifying round contest when the playoff field was 53 teams.
6. Who is the only athlete to collect more than 3,000 major league hits, including 465 homers, after playing the entire basketball game for a school when it appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Hint: The outfielder appeared in 12 All-Star Games and two World Series after never playing in the minors.
7. Who is the only player to have a single-digit point total in a national semifinal game and then increase his output by more than 20 points in the championship game? Hint: The center for two years between two three-time consensus first-team All-Americans shot just over 40% from the floor for the season entering the title game where he had a game-high and career-high point total.
8. Who is the only player to have a decrease of more than 25 points from his national semifinal game scoring total to his championship game output? Hint: He was a member of the first undefeated NCAA champion and subsequently became an NBA first-round draft choice.
9. Name the only school to defeat two eventual Final Four teams by double-digit margins in their conference tournament. Hint: The school was handily eliminated in the NCAA playoffs by one of the two Final Four teams it decisively defeated in their league tourney.
10. Name the only school to reach the NCAA championship game in back-to-back seasons it was defeated by double-digit margins in its conference tournament. Hint: The school swept its home-and-home series in regular-season conference competition against the teams defeating it in the league tourney.
North Carolina A&T State appeared in the NCAA playoffs the most times (nine) without winning a tournament game until prevailing in a First Four outing this year. Northeast Louisiana, now known as Louisiana-Monroe, inherited this dubious category with an 0-7 record. But N.C. A&T and ULM still have a long way to go to join the ranks of the "quick exit" schools with more than a dozen opening-round defeats.
Connecticut, after absorbing nine opening-round losses in 17 years from 1951 through 1967, had the most opening-round setbacks for years. But the Huskies, ineligible this season, didn't incur an opening-round reversal for 28 years until suffering two in a recent five-year span. St. John's suffered eight opening-round losses in a 20-year stretch from 1973 through 1992.
Maryland was the first school to incur at least 10 NCAA Tournament defeats but never absorb an opening-round setback until the Terrapins lost to Santa Clara in 1996. Missouri showed this year with its third straight first-round reversal why the Tigers are on the following list of schools most prone to sustaining an opening-round defeat:
School (Playoff Losses) NCAA Tournament Opening-Round Defeats Brigham Young (30) 17 (1950-57-65-69-72-79-80-87-90-92-95-01-03-04-07-08-09) Princeton (28) 16 (1952-55-60-63-69-76-77-81-89-90-91-92-97-01-04-11) Utah State (20) 16 (1939-63-71-75-79-80-83-88-98-00-03-05-06-09-10-11) Missouri (26) 14 (1944-78-81-83-86-87-88-90-93-99-00-11-12-13) Temple (31) 14 (1944-64-67-70-72-79-90-92-95-98-08-09-10-12) St. John's (30) 13 (1961-68-73-76-77-78-80-84-88-92-98-02-11) West Virginia (26) 13 (1955-56-57-58-62-65-67-83-86-87-92-09-12)
Texas has had more different schools (23) participate in the NCAA Tournament than any state. But the Lone Star State didn't have a lone entrant in this year's event.
Meanwhile, Florida became the 37th school to appear in more than 50 NCAA playoff games. At least 10 of the 37 schools failed to participate each year since the field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985, including 11 outcasts this season.
Nearly half of the "star schools" stayed home in 2004, including Houston being in the midst of a 17-year drought from 1993 through 2009. Following is a chronological list of big-name universities not in the tourney during since 1985:
1985 (14) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1986 (12) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Kansas State, Marquette, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Wake Forest
1987 (13) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Utah, Villanova, Wake Forest
1988 (12) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1989 (15) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, Utah, Wake Forest
1990 (12) - Cincinnati, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1991 (14) - Cincinnati, Florida, Illinois, Houston, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, West Virginia
1992 (11) - Florida, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Maryland, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Purdue, UNLV, Utah, Villanova
1993 (15) - Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Texas, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
1994 (13) - Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, St. John's, UNLV, Utah, Villanova, West Virginia
1995 (11) - Duke, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, St. John's, UNLV, West Virginia
1996 (11) - Florida, Houston, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, UNLV, West Virginia
1997 (16) - Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Kansas State, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, UNLV, West Virginia
1998 (14) - Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Memhis, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Villanova, Wake Forest
1999 (12) - Georgetown, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, UNLV, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2000 (12) - Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Villanova, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2001 (14) - Connecticut, Houston, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Purdue, St. John's, UNLV, Utah, Villanova, West Virginia
2002 (15) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina, Purdue, Syracuse, Temple, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2003 (14) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, St. John's, Temple, UCLA, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2004 (18) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UCLA, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2005 (15) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UNLV
2006 (14) - Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UNLV, Utah, Wake Forest
2007 (15) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, Temple, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2008 (14) - Cincinnati, Florida, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, Utah, Wake Forest
2009 (13) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, St. John's, UNLV
2010 (15) - Arizona, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, St. John's, UCLA, Utah
2011 (10) - Arkansas, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Utah, Wake Forest
2012 (13) - Arizona, Arkansas, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, St. John's, UCLA, Utah, Villanova, Wake Forest
2013 (11) - Arkansas, Connecticut, Houston, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Purdue, St. John's, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 12 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only championship team player to have a season scoring average of less than six points per game entering a Final Four but tally more than 30 points in the national semifinals and final? Hint: He is the only player with a single-digit season scoring average to score more than 25 points in an NCAA championship game.
2. Who is the only player to score at least 25 points in eight consecutive NCAA playoff games? Hint: He is the only player to rank among the top five in scoring average in both the NCAA Tournament and NBA playoffs. He was denied a championship ring in his only Final Four appearance when a player who would become an NBA teammate tipped in a decisive basket in the closing seconds.
3. Name the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player who wasn't among the top five scorers on his team. Hint: The only other player to earn the award who wasn't among the top four scorers on his team attended the same university.
5. Who is the only U.S. Congressman to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee after playing in the NCAA Tournament championship game? Hint: Starting out as a Democrat, he became a 12-term Republican Congressman from Illinois.
6. Who is the only individual to be named Final Four Most Outstanding Player and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in back-to-back seasons? Hint: He holds the NBA Finals single-game record for most points by a rookie.
7. Name the freshman who had the highest season scoring average for a team to reach the NCAA Tournament championship game until Carmelo Anthony achieved the feat for 2003 champion Syracuse. Hint: The word "Boss" is tattooed to his chest for a good reason because he also led his team in assists as a freshman.
8. Who is the only freshman to score more than 30 points in a national semifinal or championship game before failing to score more than half that total in his next four playoff outings? Hint: He didn't score more than 15 points in any of his next four NCAA playoff games, all defeats, and he averaged a modest 8.2 points per game in an eight-year NBA career with an all-time pro season high of 11.4 ppg and game high of 28.
9. Who is the only freshman on a Final Four team to score more than 20 points in as many as four tournament games? Hint: He did not play in the national championship game and his school lost in the NCAA playoffs to opponents with double-digit seeds each of the four seasons before he arrived.
10. Name the only season-leading scorer of a titlist to be held more than 14 points below his average in the NCAA championship game. Hint: He was named national player of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He is one of four Final Four Most Outstanding Players held scoreless in their NCAA Tournament debuts in a previous season. He is also the only individual to become a member of three NCAA titlists after playing one season in junior college.
After an average of four mid-level schools reached the Sweet 16 in a six-year span from 2006 through 2011, the past two seasons could have cemented the premise about mid-major schools deserving more at-large consideration.
But that was before eight mid-level schools - Gonzaga, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, Saint Mary's, Southern Mississippi, UNLV and Virginia Commonwealth - were eliminated in games against power six conference members by an average of only four points in 2012 and the Mountain West Conference flopped this season.
Wichita State advancing to the Final Four plus victories by Lehigh, Norfolk State and Florida Gulf Coast the past two years were invigorating but the mid-major community missed out on a potential bonanza. Following is a look at how at least one mid-major conference member advanced to a regional semifinal or beyond since the field was expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985:
Year Mid-Major School Coach Conference Playoff Advancement 1985 Louisiana Tech Andy Russo Southland Sweet 16 1985 Loyola of Chicago Gene Sullivan Midwestern City Sweet 16 1986 Cleveland State Kevin Mackey Mid-Continent Sweet 16 1986 Navy Paul Evans Colonial Regional Final 1986 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian PCAA Sweet 16 1987 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian PCAA Final Four 1987 Wyoming Jim Brandenburg Western Athletic Sweet 16 1988 Rhode Island Tom Penders Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 1988 Richmond Dick Tarrant Colonial Sweet 16 1988 Temple John Chaney Atlantic 10 Regional Final 1989 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian Big West Regional Final 1990 Ball State Dick Hunsaker Mid-American Sweet 16 1990 Loyola Marymount Paul Westhead West Coast Regional Final 1990 Texas Tom Penders Southwest Regional Final 1990 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian Big West NCAA Champion 1990 Xavier Pete Gillen Midwestern Collegiate Sweet 16 1991 Eastern Michigan Ben Braun Mid-American Sweet 16 1991 Temple John Chaney Atlantic 10 Regional Final 1991 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian Big West Final Four 1991 Utah Rick Majerus Western Athletic Sweet 16 1992 Massachusetts John Calipari Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 1992 New Mexico State Neil McCarthy Big West Sweet 16 1992 Texas-El Paso Don Haskins Western Athletic Sweet 16 1993 George Washington Mike Jarvis Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 1993 Temple John Chaney Atlantic 10 Regional Final 1993 Western Kentucky Ralph Willard Sun Belt Sweet 16 1994 Tulsa Tubby Smith Missouri Valley Sweet 16 1995 Massachusetts John Calipari Atlantic 10 Regional Final 1995 Tulsa Tubby Smith Missouri Valley Sweet 16 1996 Cincinnati Bob Huggins Conference USA Regional Final 1996 Massachusetts John Calipari Atlantic 10 Final Four 1996 Utah Rick Majerus Western Athletic Sweet 16 1997 St. Joseph's Phil Martelli Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 1997 UT Chattanooga Mack McCarthy Southern Sweet 16 1997 Utah Rick Majerus Western Athletic Regional Final 1998 Rhode Island Jim Harrick Atlantic 10 Regional Final 1998 Utah Rick Majerus Western Athletic NCAA Title Game 1998 Valparaiso Homer Drew Mid-Continent Sweet 16 1999 Gonzaga Dan Monson West Coast Regional Final 1999 Miami (Ohio) Charlie Coles Mid-American Sweet 16 1999 SW Missouri State Steve Alford Missouri Valley Sweet 16 1999 Temple John Chaney Atlantic 10 Regional Final 2000 Gonzaga Mark Few West Coast Sweet 16 2000 Tulsa Bill Self Western Athletic Regional Final 2001 Gonzaga Mark Few West Coast Sweet 16 2001 Temple John Chaney Atlantic 10 Regional Final 2002 Kent State Stan Heath Mid-American Regional Final 2002 Southern Illinois Bruce Weber Missouri Valley Sweet 16 2003 Butler Todd Lickliter Horizon League Sweet 16 2004 Nevada Trent Johnson Western Athletic Sweet 16 2004 St. Joseph's Phil Martelli Atlantic 10 Regional Final 2004 UAB Mike Anderson Conference USA Sweet 16 2004 Xavier Thad Matta Atlantic 10 Regional Final 2005 Utah Ray Giacoletti Mountain West Sweet 16 2005 Wisconsin-Milwaukee Bruce Pearl Horizon League Sweet 16 2006 Bradley Jim Les Missouri Valley Sweet 16 2006 George Mason Jim Larranaga Colonial Final Four 2006 Gonzaga Mark Few West Coast Sweet 16 2006 Memphis John Calipari Conference USA Regional Final 2006 Wichita State Mark Turgeon Missouri Valley Sweet 16 2007 Butler Todd Lickliter Horizon League Sweet 16 2007 Memphis John Calipari Conference USA Regional Final 2007 Southern Illinois Chris Lowery Missouri Valley Sweet 16 2007 UNLV Lon Kruger Mountain West Sweet 16 2008 Davidson Bob McKillop Southern Regional Final 2008 Memphis John Calipari Conference USA NCAA Title Game 2008 Western Kentucky Darrin Horn Sun Belt Sweet 16 2008 Xavier Sean Miller Atlantic 10 Regional Final 2009 Gonzaga Mark Few West Coast Sweet 16 2009 Memphis John Calipari Conference USA Sweet 16 2009 Xavier Sean Miller Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 2010 Butler Brad Stevens Horizon League NCAA Title Game 2010 Cornell Steve Donahue Ivy League Sweet 16 2010 Northern Iowa Ben Jacobsen Missouri Valley Sweet 16 2010 Saint Mary's Randy Bennett West Coast Sweet 16 2010 Xavier Chris Mack Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 2011 Brigham Young Dave Rose Mountain West Sweet 16 2011 Butler Brad Stevens Horizon League NCAA Title Game 2011 Richmond Chris Mooney Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 2011 San Diego State Steve Fisher Mountain West Sweet 16 2011 Virginia Commonwealth Shaka Smart Colonial Final Four 2012 Ohio University John Groce Mid-American Sweet 16 2012 Xavier Chris Mack Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 2013 Florida Gulf Coast Andy Enfield Atlantic Sun Sweet 16 2013 La Salle John Giannini Atlantic 10 Sweet 16 2013 Wichita State Gregg Marshall Missouri Valley Final Four
If the upper-crust elite snobbily look down their noses, they might find their opponents boast the upper hand by looking down the barrel of a gun such as Ohio State against an "angry" Wichita State. Georgetown, which was embarrassed by Florida Gulf Coast, is one of 18 former national champions to lose multiple times in the tourney against members of lower-profile conferences seeded five or more places worse than the major university currently a member of one of the consensus power six leagues. Kansas has a high of six setbacks as a total of 12 former NCAA titlists have lost three or more such contests.
A total of 78 different lower-profile schools (after FGCU and La Salle) and current members of 23 different mid-major conferences (all but Great West, Northeast and Summit) have won such games since seeding was introduced in 1979. The mid-major school with the most "David vs. Goliath" victories among the following list is Richmond with six.
ACC (16 defeats to mid-major opponents seeded five or more places worse) - Boston College (lost to #12 Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005); Clemson (lost to #13 Southwest Missouri State in 1987 and #11 Western Michigan in 1998); Duke (lost to #11 Virginia Commonwealth in 2007 and #15 Lehigh in 2012); Florida State (lost to #13 Middle Tennessee State in 1989); Georgia Tech (lost to #13 Richmond in 1988 and #13 Southern in 1993); Maryland (lost to #12 College of Charleston in 1997); North Carolina (lost to #9 Penn in 1979, #14 Weber State in 1999 and #11 George Mason in 2006); North Carolina State (lost to #14 Murray State in 1988); Virginia (lost to #12 Wyoming in 1987 and #12 Gonzaga in 2001); Wake Forest (#13 Cleveland State in 2009)
BIG EAST (27) - Connecticut (lost to #11 George Mason in 2006 and #13 San Diego in 2008); DePaul (#12 New Mexico State in 1992); Georgetown (#10 Davidson in 2008, #14 Ohio University in 2010, #11 Virginia Commonwealth in 2011 and #15 Florida Gulf Coast in 2013); Louisville (#12 Ball State in 1990, #12 Butler in 2003 and #13 Morehead State in 2011); Marquette (#12 Tulsa in 2002); Notre Dame (lost to #14 UALR in 1986, #11 Winthrop in 2007 and #11 Old Dominion in 2010); Pittsburgh (#10 Kent State in 2002, #13 Bradley in 2006 and #8 Butler in 2011); Providence (#12 Pacific in 2004); St. John's (#10 Gonzaga in 2000 and #11 Gonzaga in 2011); Seton Hall (#7 Western Kentucky in 1993); Syracuse (#7 Navy in 1986, #11 Rhode Island in 1988, #15 Richmond in 1991 and #13 Vermont in 2005); Villanova (#14 Old Dominion in 1995 and #10 Saint Mary's in 2010)
BIG TEN (23) - Illinois (lost to #14 Austin Peay State in 1987, #12 Dayton in 1990, #14 Chattanooga in 1997 and Western Kentucky in 2009); Indiana (#14 Cleveland State in 1986, #13 Richmond in 1988, #11 Pepperdine in 2000 and #13 Kent State in 2001); Iowa (#14 Northwestern State in 2006); Michigan (#11 Loyola Marymount in 1990 and #13 Ohio University in 2012); Michigan State (#14 Weber State in 1995 and #11 George Mason in 2006); Nebraska (#14 Xavier in 1991 and #11 Penn in 1994); Ohio State (#12 Utah State in 2001 and #9 Wichita State in 2013); Purdue (#11 Virginia Commonwealth in 2011); Wisconsin (#12 Southwest Missouri State in 1999, #11 Georgia State in 2001, #7 UNLV in 2007, #10 Davidson in 2008 and #12 Cornell in 2010)
BIG 12 (17) - Iowa State (lost to #15 Hampton in 2001); Kansas (#9 Texas-El Paso in 1992, #8 Rhode Island in 1998, #14 Bucknell in 2005, #13 Bradley in 2006, #9 Northern Iowa in 2010 and #11 Virginia Commonwealth in 2011); Kansas State (#11 Tulane in 1993 and #13 La Salle in 2013); Oklahoma (#13 Southwestern Louisiana in 1992, #13 Manhattan in 1995, #13 Indiana State in 2001 and #11 Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006); Oklahoma State (#12 Princeton in 1983, #10 Temple in 1991 and #12 Tulsa in 1994); Texas Tech (#11 Southern Illinois in 2002)
PACIFIC-12 (17) - Arizona (lost to #14 East Tennessee State in 1992, #15 Santa Clara in 1993 and #12 Miami of Ohio in 1995); California (#12 Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1994); Oregon State (#10 Lamar in 1980, #11 Evansville in 1989 and #12 Ball State in 1990); Southern California (#13 UNC Wilmington in 2002); Stanford (#14 Siena in 1989 and #10 Gonzaga in 1999); UCLA (#12 Wyoming in 1987, #13 Penn State in 1991, #12 Tulsa in 1994, #13 Princeton in 1996 and #12 Detroit in 1999); Utah (#10 Miami of Ohio in 1999); Washington State (#12 Penn in 1980)
SEC (30) - Alabama (lost to #11 Lamar in 1983, #11 South Alabama in 1989, #10 Kent State in 2002 and #12 Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005); Auburn (#12 Richmond in 1984); Florida (#12 Creighton in 2002, #12 Manhattan in 2003 and #8 Butler in 2011); Georgia (#14 Chattanooga in 1997 and #11 Southern Illinois in 2002); Kentucky (#7 UAB in 1981, #11 Middle Tennessee State in 1982 and #9 UAB in 2004); Louisiana State (#13 Navy in 1985 and #11 UAB in 2005); Mississippi (#13 Valparaiso in 1998); Mississippi State (#12 Eastern Michigan in 1991, #12 Butler in 2003 and #7 Xavier in 2004); Missouri (#13 Xavier in 1987, #11 Rhode Island in 1988, #14 Northern Iowa in 1990 and #15 Norfolk State in 2012); South Carolina (#15 Coppin State in 1997 and #14 Richmond in 1998); Tennessee (#12 Southwest Missouri State in 1999 and #7 Wichita State in 2006); Vanderbilt (#13 Siena in 2008, #13 Murray State in 2010 and #12 Richmond in 2011)
NOTES: Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were members of the Big Eight until 1997. Mizzou left the Big 12 for SEC in 2013. . . . Notre Dame was an independent in 1986. . . . Florida State, Louisville and Tulane were members of the Metro Conference in 1989, 1990 and 1993, respectively. . . . Dayton was a member of the Midwestern Collegiate in 1990. . . . DePaul was a member of the Great Midwest in 1992. . . . Texas-El Paso and Utah were members of the WAC in 1992 and 1999, respectively. . . . Marquette and Louisville were members of Conference USA in 2002 and 2004, respectively. . . . Tulsa was a member of Missouri Valley in 1994 and 2002. . . . Boston College was a member of the Big East in 2005.
Bobby Hurley Jr., who won more than 4/5 of his games as an All-American playmaker with Duke in the early 1990s (119-26, .821), assumes control of the Buffalo coaching position with an impressive pedigree including playing under his famous father in high school and all-time winningest DI coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Blue Devils.
But the odds are overwhelmingly against Hurley compiling a higher winning percentage as a coach than he did as a player. Indiana's Branch McCracken is the only one of the first 47 All-Americans who became major-college mentors to compile a higher winning percentage as a coach.