Close likely will determine who gets to smoke the victory cigar. Kentucky, after disappointing by losing eight of its first 10 games decided by fewer than six points, turned things around this season and reached the NCAA championship game by winning five playoff games by a total of only 18 points. Kevin Ollie's sterling start as UConn's coach stems from winning 13 of his first 19 games decided by fewer than six points in his first two campaigns. Florida's Billy Donovan, despite prevailing in seven of eight outings decided by fewer than six points this season, probably would already be in the Naismith Hall of Fame if he had a better career record in close contests, winning only 42% of his first 97 games decided by fewer than four points. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan has one of the five best marks among active coaches in tight tilts decided by fewer than six points.
Ask Arizona fans if close doesn't count after the Wildcats lost four regional finals from 2003 through 2014 by a total of seven points. Following is how the 2014 Final Four coaches have fared at the major-college level in games decided by fewer than six points:
|Final Four Coach||School||DI Seasons||1||2||3||4||5||Total||Pct.|
|Kevin Ollie||Connecticut||2013 and 2014||3-1||2-1||1-0||2-2||5-2||13-6||.684|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 21 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 player to post the highest-scoring game in a single tournament the same year he also played major league baseball? Hint: He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
2. Who is the only Final Four player to become AAU national champion in the decathlon in the same year? Hint: The Final Four team's third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder finished third in the decathlon the previous year.
3. Who is the only Final Four player to finish among the top two high jumpers in four NCAA national track meets? Hint: The starting center for a national championship team is the first athlete to place in the NCAA high jump four consecutive years.
4. Name the only coach in NCAA history to reach an NCAA Division I Tournament regional final in back-to-back years with different schools. Hint: He also reached a regional final in his first season at his next coaching outpost.
5. Name the only top-ranked team entering the tournament to be eliminated by an opponent it defeated by more than 40 points during the regular season. Hint: The school that avenged the embarrassing defeat upended the nation's second-ranked team in its next playoff game.
6. Who is the only individual to play in the NCAA Tournament before setting several major league fielding records for a second baseman? Hint: He was the second-leading scorer for his school's playoff team and one of his teammates has been a prominent college basketball coach for more than 20 years.
7. Who is the only member of the College Football Hall of Fame to participate in back-to-back Final Fours? Hint: He is one of the few athletes to earn consensus football All-American honors at two positions.
8. Who is the only individual to lead a school in scoring in an NCAA Tournament before leading a major league in doubles as a player and manage a team in a World Series? Hint: The outfielder drove in six runs in one inning of an American League game.
9. Name the only university to win a minimum of two games in four different postseason national tournaments - NAIA, NCAA Division II, NIT and NCAA Division I. Hint: Of the schools to win at least one game in all four national tourneys, it is the only one with an overall losing record in postseason competition.
10. Name the only school to win back-to-back basketball championships the same academic school years it participated in New Year's Day football bowl games. Hint: One of the two basketball title teams is the only school to have as many as 26 different players appear in its games in a season it won an NCAA crown. The two titlists helped the school become the only university to reach the NCAA championship game in its first three playoff appearances.
Sports Illustrated supplied one of the best Final Four features focusing on the 25th anniversary of when Seton Hall's Ramon Ramos and Michigan's Rumeal Robinson played prominent roles before encountering extreme difficulties. Ramos has brain damage stemming from an auto accident in mid-December 1989 when he hit a patch of ice speeding in a borrowed Nissan 300ZX. Meanwhile, Robinson joined the "bad boys of basketball" by being imprisoned for shady real estate deals.
But at least Ramos and Robinson are alive. The existence of a Final Four curse is debatable although there is no denying that a striking number of prominent national semifinal players died prematurely. Any tribute isn't enough when a man is buried before his time. The following list of Final Four players (cited chronologically) passed away early, but the deceased left lasting memories:
Three of Oregon's starting five on the first NCAA championship team in 1939 - guards Bobby Anet and Wally Johansen and center Slim Wintermute - all died in their 40s. Wintermute disappeared in Lake Washington in 1977, a case that never has been solved.
Center Bill Menke, the third-leading scorer for Indiana's 1940 NCAA champion who supplied a team-high 10 points in the Hoosiers' national semifinal victory over Duquesne, later became a Navy pilot and served in World War II. In January 1945, he was declared missing in action (and presumed dead) when he didn't return from a flight in the Caribbean.
Thomas P. Hunter, a three-year letterman who was a sophomore member of Kansas' 1940 runner-up, was killed in action against the Japanese on Guam, July 21, 1944, while fighting with the Ninth Marines as a first lieutenant. Hunter was elected posthumously as captain of the Jayhawks' 1945-46 squad that compiled a 19-2 record.
All 11 regulars on Pitt's 1941 Final Four team participated in World War II and one of them, guard Bob Artman, was killed in action.
Three of the top seven scorers for Kentucky's first NCAA Tournament and Final Four team in 1942 died during World War II - Mel Brewer (Army second lieutenant/25 years old in France), Ken England (Army captain of ski troop/23 in Italy) and Jim King (Army second lieutenant and co-pilot/24 in Germany).
Jim Krebs, the leading scorer and rebounder for Southern Methodist's 1956 Final Four squad, was killed in 1965 at the age of 30 in a freak accident. While helping a neighbor clear storm damage, a tree limb fell the wrong way and crushed his skull.
Gary Bradds, a backup to national player of the year Jerry Lucas for Ohio State's 1962 NCAA runner-up before earning the same award himself two years later, died of cancer in July 1983 when he was 40. Bradds was principal of an elementary school in Bowersville, Ohio, at the time of his death.
Bill Buntin, the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer (behind Cazzie Russell) for Michigan's Final Four teams in 1964 and 1965, collapsed and died during an informal workout one day after his 26th birthday in May 1968.
Ken Spain and Theodis Lee, starting frontcourters with All-America Elvin Hayes for Houston's team that entered the 1968 Final Four with an undefeated record, died of cancer. Spain, who overcame cancer after he was first diagnosed with it in 1977, died of the disease 13 years later in October 1990 when he was 44. Lee, who played for the Harlem Globetrotters, was 33 when he passed away in March 1979, one week after the illness was diagnosed.
Danny Knight, the leading scorer and rebounder for Kansas' 1974 Final Four team, was 24 when he died in June 1977, three weeks after sustaining injuries in a fall down the steps at his home. Knight had been suffering headaches for some time and doctors attributed his death to an aneurysm in the brain.
Dan Hall, a frontcourt backup from Kentucky's historic recruiting class as a freshman for UK's 1975 NCAA Tournament runner-up, died of an apparent suicide at age 58 the first full week in January 2013. Hall subsequently transferred to Marshall, where he averaged 10.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg in 1976-77 and 1977-78.
Guard Chad Kinch, the third-leading scorer for UNC Charlotte's 1977 Final Four team as a freshman, died at his parents' home in Cartaret, N.J., from complications caused by AIDS. He passed away on April 3, 1994, the day between the Final Four semifinals and final in Charlotte. The host school happened to be UNC Charlotte. It was the second time Kinch's parents lost a son. Sixteen years earlier, Ray Kinch, a Rutgers football player, was killed in a house fire.
Forward Glen Gondrezick, the leading rebounder and third-leading scorer for UNLV's 1977 third-place club, died in late April 2009 at the age of 53 due to complications stemming from a heart transplant he received the previous September.
Center Lewis Brown, the third-leading rebounder and sixth-leading scorer for UNLV's 1977 national third-place team, spent more than 10 years homeless on the streets of Santa Monica, Calif., before passing away in mid-September 2011 at the age of 56. According to the New York Times, family members said he used cocaine with the Rebels. "drugs were his downfall," said his sister.
Murray State transfer Larry Moffett, the second-leading rebounder for UNLV's 1977 national third-place team, passed away in early May 2011 in Shreveport, La., at the age of 56. He previously was a cab driver in Las Vegas.
Orlando Woolridge, a backup freshman in 1978 when Notre Dame made its lone Final Four appearance before he became a scoring specialist in 13 NBA seasons, died at the end of May 2012 at the age of 52 because of a chronic heart condition.
Matt White, the second-leading rebounder and third-leading scorer for Penn's 1979 Final Four squad as a senior, was fatally stabbed in mid-February 2013 by his wife, who told police she had caught him looking at child pornography. White, the Quakers' all-time leader in field-goal shooting (59.1%), was 55.
Derek Smith, the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer as a sophomore forward for Louisville's 1980 NCAA champion, died of a heart ailment at age 34 on August 9, 1996, while on a cruise with his family. He was the leading scorer and second-leading rebounder for the Cardinals' 1982 Final Four team before averaging 12.8 ppg and 3.2 rpg in the NBA with five different franchises. His son, Nolan, became a starting guard for Duke's 2010 NCAA titlist.
Lorenzo Charles, the second-leading rebounder for N.C. State's 1983 champion, provided one of the tourney's most memorable moments with a game-winning dunk against heavily-favored Houston in the final. Working for a limousine and bus company based in Apex, N.C., he was killed in June 2011 when the charter bus the 47-year-old was driving with no passengers aboard crashed along Interstate 40 in Raleigh.
Melvin Turpin, the leading scorer and second-leading rebounder as a senior for Kentucky's 1984 Final Four team (29-5 record), was 49 and battling diabetes in July 2010 when he committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest.
Baskerville Holmes, a starting forward who averaged 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for Memphis State's 1985 Final Four team, and his girlfriend were found shot to death on March 18, 1997 in an apparent murder-suicide in Memphis. He was 32.
Guard Phil Henderson, the leading scorer and senior captain of Duke's 1990 NCAA Tournament runner-up, died of cardiac arrest in mid-February 2013 at his home in the Philippines at the age of 44. He was the Blue Devils' second-leading scorer as a junior and sixth-leading scorer as a sophomore for two more Final Four squads.
Larry Marks, a backup forward for Arkansas' 1990 Final Four squad after being a starter the previous season, died of an apparent heart attack in mid-June 2000 after playing some recreational basketball. He was 33.
Sean Tunstall, a reserve guard for Kansas' 1991 NCAA Tournament runner-up was shot and killed at age 28 in the parking lot of a recreation center in his native St. Louis on October 16, 1997, in a drug deal gone bad. Tunstall, recruited to KU when Larry Brown was the Jayhawks' coach, had received a prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of selling cocaine in 1993. "He was one of the few kids I never thought I completely reached," KU coach Roy Williams said.
Peter Sauer, a captain and third-leading rebounder for Stanford's 1998 Final Four squad, was 35 when he collapsed during a recreation game in White Plains, N.Y., hit his head and never was revived. His father, Mark Sauer, is a former president of two pro franchises - the NHL's St. Louis Blues and MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates.
An average of four coaches per year leave NCAA playoff teams since seeding started in 1979. The first tournament mentor to depart this season was Danny Manning, who abandoned Tulsa to return to his home state (North Carolina) trying to help Wake Forest return to the first division of the ACC.
In every year since 1968, directing a team to the NCAA Tournament has been a springboard to bigger and better things at a "poach-a-coach" school. Following are head coaches since the field expanded to at least 64 entrants in 1985 who had a change of heart and accepted a similar job at a different major college promptly after directing a team to the NCAA playoffs:
1985 (six) - J.D. Barnett (Virginia Commonwealth to Tulsa), Craig Littlepage (Penn to Rutgers), Nolan Richardson Jr. (Tulsa to Arkansas), Andy Russo (Louisiana Tech to Washington), Tom Schneider (Lehigh to Penn), Eddie Sutton (Arkansas to Kentucky)
1987 (two) - Jim Brandenburg (Wyoming to San Diego State), Benny Dees (New Orleans to Wyoming)
1990 (five) - Kermit Davis Jr. (Idaho to Texas A&M), Mike Jarvis (Boston University to George Washington), Lon Kruger (Kansas State to Florida), Mike Newell (UALR to Lamar), Les Robinson (East Tennessee State to North Carolina State)
1992 (one) - Charlie Spoonhour (Southwest Missouri State to Saint Louis)
1993 (one) - Eddie Fogler (Vanderbilt to South Carolina)
1994 (eight) - Tom Asbury (Pepperdine to Kansas State), Rick Barnes (Providence to Clemson), Jeff Capel Jr. (North Carolina A&T to Old Dominion), Kevin O'Neill (Marquette to Tennessee), Skip Prosser (Loyola, Md. to Xavier), Kelvin Sampson (Washington State to Oklahoma), Ralph Willard (Western Kentucky to Pittsburgh), Jim Wooldridge (Southwest Texas State to Louisiana Tech)
1995 (three) - Dick Bennett (Wisconsin-Green Bay to Wisconsin), Scott Edgar (Murray State to Duquesne), Tubby Smith (Tulsa to Georgia)
1996 (one) - Ben Braun (Eastern Michigan to California)
1997 (five) - Ernie Kent (Saint Mary's to Oregon), Mack McCarthy (UT-Chattanooga to Virginia Commonwealth), Jim O'Brien (Boston College to Ohio State), Steve Robinson (Tulsa to Florida State), Al Skinner (Rhode Island to Boston College), Tubby Smith (Georgia to Kentucky)
1998 (seven) - Rick Barnes (Clemson to Texas), Larry Eustachy (Utah State to Iowa State), Rob Evans (Mississippi to Arizona State), Mark Gottfried (Murray State to Alabama), Mike Jarvis (George Washington to St. John's), Melvin Watkins (UNC Charlotte to Texas A&M), Tim Welsh (Iona to Providence)
2002 (three) - Stan Heath (Kent State to Arkansas), Steve Merfeld (Hampton to Evansville), Jerry Wainwright (UNC Wilmington to Richmond)
2003 (eight) - Cy Alexander (South Carolina State to Tennessee State), Ed DeChellis (East Tennessee State to Penn State), Dennis Felton (Western Kentucky to Georgia), Ben Howland (Pittsburgh to UCLA), Oliver Purnell (Dayton to Clemson), Bill Self (Illinois to Kansas), Dereck Whittenburg (Wagner to Fordham), Roy Williams (Kansas to North Carolina)
2004 (eight) - Jessie Evans (Louisiana-Lafayette to San Francisco), Ray Giacoletti (Eastern Washington to Utah), Billy Gillispie (Texas-El Paso to Texas A&M), Trent Johnson (Nevada to Stanford), Thad Matta (Xavier to Ohio State), Matt Painter (Southern Illinois to Purdue), Joe Scott (Air Force to Princeton), John Thompson III (Princeton to Georgetown)
2006 (eight) - Mike Anderson (UAB to Missouri), Brad Brownell (UNC Wilmington to Wright State), Mick Cronin (Murray State to Cincinnati), Mike Davis (Indiana to UAB), Fran Dunphy (Penn to Temple), Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa to Iowa State), Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma to Indiana), Herb Sendek (North Carolina State to Arizona State)
2008 (five) - Jim Christian (Kent State to Texas Christian), Tom Crean (Marquette to Indiana), Keno Davis (Drake to Providence), Darrin Horn (Western Kentucky to South Carolina), Trent Johnson (Stanford to Louisiana State)
2010 (five) - Tony Barbee (Texas-El Paso to Auburn), Steve Donahue (Cornell to Boston College), Bob Marlin (Sam Houston State to Louisiana-Lafayette), Fran McCaffery (Siena to Iowa), Oliver Purnell (Clemson to DePaul).
2011 (seven) - Mike Anderson (Missouri to Arkansas), Patrick Chambers (Boston University to Penn State), Ed DeChellis (Penn State to Navy), Sydney Johnson (Princeton to Fairfield), Lon Kruger (UNLV to Oklahoma), Jim Larranaga (George Mason to Miami, Fla.), Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M to Maryland)
2012 (six) - Larry Eustachy (Southern Mississippi to Colorado State), Jim Ferry (Long Island to Duquesne), John Groce (Ohio University to Illinois), Frank Martin (Kansas State to South Carolina), Tim Miles (Colorado State to Nebraska), Sean Woods (Mississippi Valley State to Morehead State)
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 20 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 athlete to rank among the top five in scoring average in an NCAA Tournament and later start for an NFL champion? Hint: He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection who played in back-to-back Super Bowls. His brother was the first black player for the major leagues' last integrated team.
2. Who is the only player to lead an NCAA championship game in scoring while playing for his father? Hint: The son has the lowest game-high point total in NCAA final history.
4. Who is the only active coach to have played in the NCAA Tournament and College World Series in the same year? Hint: He served as captain on the baseball and basketball teams as a college senior. After graduation, he played minor league baseball before becoming an outstanding fast-pitch softball player who was named to a couple of national All-Star teams.
5. Name the only school to have a single coach guide the same group of players to victories in the NAIA Tournament, NIT and NCAA Tournament. Hint: It's the only school in the last 60 years to enter the NIT with an undefeated record. One of the five regulars from the three national postseason tournament winners was one of the NBA's premier rebounders before becoming an assistant coach in the league and head coach of his alma mater.
6. Who is the only coach to guide teams to the championship game in both the Division I and Division II Tournaments? Hint: He is the only coach to have a career NCAA Division I Tournament record as many as eight games below the .500 mark, only title team coach to compile a non-winning career playoff mark and only coach to lose three consecutive regional final games.
7. Who is the only player to score more than 60% of his team's points in an NCAA Tournament game and be on the losing end of the score? Hint: It was a first-round contest and the individual was national player of the year.
8. Who is the only player to score more than two-thirds of his team's points in an NCAA Tournament game? Hint: He scored more than 50% of his squad's points over three playoff outings.
9. Name the only school to win a small college national postseason tournament before capturing at least one NCAA Division I title. Hint: The school opposed the same coach in the championship game of the small college tournament and the NCAA Final Four. The school also supplied the only team to win an NCAA crown after setting or tying an existing school record for most defeats the previous season.
10. Who is the only individual to participate in the Final Four before playing and coaching in the NFL at least five seasons apiece? Hint: He was a member of an NFL team that moved to another city the year after capturing the league title.
If history means anything, a National Invitation Tournament crown won't serve as a springboard to NCAA playoff success for Minnesota. Defending NIT champions combined for a 12-17 NCAA Tournament record from 1986 through 2014.
The NIT titlists from 1985 through 2004 combined for a losing national postseason tournament record (15-17) the year after capturing an NIT championship - NCAA (8-13) and NIT (7-4) - with three of them not reaching national postseason play. Two more NIT champions in the last eight years - South Carolina '06 and Penn State '09 - also failed to appear in national postseason competition the next season. West Virginia '08, Ohio State '09 and Wichita State '12 combined for a 2-3 NCAA playoff mark the years after winning an NIT title.
This season, Baylor became only the third school in the last 30 years to reach an NCAA regional semifinal the year after capturing an NIT title, joining (Virginia '93 and West Virginia '08). Following is a breakdown of how the NIT champions fared the next season since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985:
Year NIT Champion Season Summary the Following Campaign 1985 UCLA 15-14 record in 1985-86; 9-9 in Pacific-10 (4th place); no postseason 1986 Ohio State 20-13 in 1986-87; 9-9 in Big Ten (6th); lost in NCAA 2nd round 1987 Southern Mississippi 19-11 in 1987-88; 5-7 in Metro (7th); lost in NIT 2nd round 1988 Connecticut 18-13 in 1988-89; 6-10 in Big East (T7th); lost in NIT 3rd round 1989 St. John's 24-10 in 1989-90; 10-6 in Big East (4th); lost in NCAA 2nd round 1990 Vanderbilt 17-13 in 1990-91; 11-7 in SEC (4th); lost in NCAA 1st round 1991 Stanford 18-11 in 1991-92; 10-8 in Pacific-10 (4th); lost in NCAA 1st round 1992 Virginia 21-10 in 1992-93; 9-7 in ACC (5th); lost in NCAA regional semifinal 1993 Minnesota 21-12 in 1993-94; 10-8 in Big Ten (T4th); lost in NCAA 2nd round 1994 Villanova 25-8 in 1994-95; 14-4 in Big East (2nd); lost in NCAA 1st round 1995 Virginia Tech 23-6 in 1995-96; 13-3 in Atlantic 10 (T1st/W); lost in NCAA 2nd round 1996 Nebraska 19-14 in 1996-97; 7-9 in Big 12 (4th/N); lost in NIT 3rd round 1997 Michigan 25-9 in 1997-98; 11-5 in Big Ten (4th); lost in NCAA 2nd round 1998 Minnesota 17-11 in 1998-99; 8-8 in Big Ten (6th); lost in NCAA 1st round 1999 California 18-15 in 1999-00; 7-11 in Pacific-10 (7th); lost in NIT 3rd round 2000 Wake Forest 19-11 in 2000-01; 8-8 in ACC (T5th); lost in NCAA 1st round 2001 Tulsa 27-7 in 2001-02; 15-3 in WAC (T1st); lost in NCAA 2nd round 2002 Memphis 23-7 in 2002-03; 13-3 in C-USA (1st/National); lost in NCAA 1st round 2003 St. John's 6-21 in 2003-04; 1-15 in Big East (14th); no postseason 2004 Michigan 13-18 in 2004-05; 4-12 in Big Ten (9th); no postseason 2005 South Carolina 23-15 in 2005-06; 6-10 in SEC (5th/East); won NIT championship 2006 South Carolina 14-16 in 2006-07; 4-12 in SEC (6th/Eastern); no postseason 2007 West Virginia 26-11 in 2007-08; 11-7 in Big East (T5th); lost in NCAA regional semifinals 2008 Ohio State 22-11 in 2008-09; 10-8 in Big Ten (T4th); lost in NCAA 1st round 2009 Penn State 11-20 in 2009-10; 3-15 in Big Ten (11th); no postseason 2010 Dayton 22-14 in 2010-11; 7-9 in Atlantic 10 (T8th); lost in NIT 1st round 2011 Wichita State 27-6 in 2011-12; 16-2 in Missouri Valley (1st); lost in NCAA 1st round 2012 Stanford 19-15 in 2012-13; 9-9 in Pac-12 (T6th); lost in NIT 2nd round 2013 Baylor 26-12 in 2013-14; 9-9 in Big 12; lost in NCAA regional semifinals 2014 Minnesota To be determined in 2014-15
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 18 of the first 22 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 Conference member Michigan (2nd) in championship game.|
|1980||Purdue (3rd) defeated fellow Big Ten member Iowa (T4th) in national third-place game.|
|1981||North Carolina (2nd) defeated fellow ACC member Virginia (1st) in national semifinals before the Tar Heels bowed against Indiana in final.|
|1985||Villanova (T3rd) defeated fellow Big East member Georgetown (2nd) in national final after the Hoyas defeated St. John's (1st) in national semifinals.|
|1987||Syracuse (T1st) was runner-up to Indiana after defeating fellow Big East member Providence (T4th) in national semifinals.|
|1988||Kansas (3rd) defeated fellow Big Eight member Oklahoma (1st) in championship game.|
|1989||Michigan (3rd) won championship game against Seton Hall after the Wolverines defeated fellow Big Ten member Illinois (2nd) in national semifinals.|
|1990||UNLV defeated ACC members Georgia Tech (T3rd) in national semifinals and Duke (2nd) in championship game.|
|1991||Kansas split two games with ACC members, defeating North Carolina (2nd) in national semifinals before losing against Duke (1st) in championship game.|
|1992||Duke defeated Big Ten members Indiana (2nd) in national semifinals and Michigan (T3rd) in championship game.|
|1994||Arkansas (1st in West Division) won championship game against Duke after the Blue Devils defeated the Hogs' fellow SEC member Florida (T1st in East) in national semifinals.|
|1996||Kentucky (1st in East Division) won championship game against Syracuse after the Orangemen defeated the Wildcats' fellow SEC member Mississippi State (1st in West Division) in national semifinals.|
|1999||Michigan State (1st) and fellow Big Ten member Ohio State (2nd) lost against Duke and Connecticut, respectively, in national semifinals.|
|2000||Michigan State (T1st) won national championship after defeating fellow Big Ten member Wisconsin (6th) in national semifinals.|
|2001||Duke (T1st) won national championship after defeating fellow ACC member Maryland (3rd) in national semifinals.|
|2002||Kansas (1st) and Big 12 rival Oklahoma (2nd) lost against Maryland and Indiana, respectively, in national semifinals.|
|2003||Kansas (1st) finished national runner-up and Big 12 rival Texas (2nd) lost against eventual champion Syracuse in national semifinals.|
|2004||Georgia Tech (T3rd) finished national runner-up and ACC rival Duke (1st) lost against eventual champion Connecticut in national semifinals.|
|2005||Illinois (1st) finished national runner-up and Big Ten rival Michigan State (2nd) lost against eventual champion North Carolina in national semifinals.|
|2006||Florida (2nd in Eastern Division) won national championship and SEC rival LSU (1st in Western Division) lost against UCLA in national semifinals.|
|2009||Big East rivals Connecticut (T2nd) and Villanova (4th) each lost in national semifinals.|
|2013||Louisville (T1st) won national championship against Michigan after the Wolverines defeated Syracuse (T5th) in national semifinals in their Big East swan songs.|
|2014||SEC members Florida (1st) and Kentucky (T2nd) were on opposite sides of the bracket in Arlington, TX. Connecticut defeated top-ranked Florida in national semifinals and preseason #1 UK in national final.|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 19 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 Final Four team to have a trio all average more than 20 points per game in the same season. Hint: The school won its conference tournament that year although none of the threesome shot better than 50% from the floor over the three games.
2. Name the only duo to twice reach the Final Four and both players average more than 20 points per game each season. Hint: Their team lost each year at the Final Four by the same score. One of the pair is the only player to score more than 25 points in Final Four defeats in back-to-back years.
3. Who is the only one of UCLA's eight first-team All-Americans from 1964 through 1975 to fail to earn a spot on an All-NCAA Tournament team when the Bruins won 10 national titles? Hint: He averaged more than 15 points per game in two of his three varsity seasons and went on to coach the Bruins' crosstown rival to a regional final.
4. Who is the only NCAA baseball championship coach to direct a basketball team from the same school to the Final Four? Hint: He is the school's all-time winningest basketball coach.
5. Who is the only championship team senior to average seven points per game or less entering the national semifinals before seizing the moment and averaging double digits in scoring in his last two games with an increase of at least six points per game from his pre-Final Four scoring mark? Hint: He was the seventh-leading scorer for the season on a team with just two seniors among its top eight point producers.
6. Who is the only player to score more than half of a championship team's points in a single NCAA Tournament? Hint: He was the team's only player to compile a double-digit season scoring average and no teammate scored more than seven points in either of the two Final Four games.
7. Name the only school to lose three national championship games in a city where it enjoyed a distinct homecourt advantage. Hint: The school lost two of the three title games by one point before capturing the title there in a season it became the only NCAA champion to lose four consecutive conference contests.
8. Name the only team to fail to have at least one player score in double figures in the championship game. Hint: It was the school's only NCAA Tournament appearance until the university started appearing regularly in the tourney since 1975.
9. Name the only Division II school to have three of its former head coaches go on to direct major-college teams to the NCAA Division I Tournament championship game. Hint: None of the three coaches compiled a losing record in any of the total of 11 seasons they coached at the small school, which won the Division II Tournament in 1984 and captured the first two NAIA Tournament titles.
10. Who is the only one of the individuals named NBA Most Valuable Player, score more than 20,000 pro points or be selected to at least five All-NBA teams after participating in more than six NCAA Division I Tournament games and not compile a winning tourney record? Hint: He left college with eligibility remaining, but was involved in two NCAA playoff defeats when the tournament conducted regional third-place games.
One of the biggest questions heading into next season will be who succeeds Steve Wojciechowski with Duke at the halftime fielding of blah lack-of-info babe questions. Let's face it! Candid Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski almost always dispatches one of his minions to endure such aimless interrogation torture apparently in order to reduce risk of reinjuring his back wincing at their incurable futility.
Coaching community shills have immediately proclaimed success for Wojciechowski after accepting the head coaching position with Marquette. But the overall impact of Coach K's 12 disciples in the aftermath of serving under the all-time winningest major-college mentor has been anything but special. They've combined for a losing mark in the NCAA playoffs (59 fewer tourney triumphs than Coach K's all-time high of 82) and only one regional final appearance (Quin Snyder with Missouri in 2002). Reserving judgment at this stage regarding any WoJo mojo, following is an alphabetical list summarizing the impact of Krzyzewski's assistants after they left his incubator and became a DI bench boss on their own:
|Coach K Assistant||NCAA Tourney Mark||Biggest Flaw of DI Head Coaching Career|
|Tommy Amaker||4-4||14 games below .500 in power conference competition in 10 years with Seton Hall and Michigan|
|Bob Bender||2-3||36 games below .500 in power conference competition in nine seasons with Washington|
|Mike Brey||6-11||no NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances in last 11 seasons with Notre Dame|
|Jeff Capel III||4-3||losing power conference record in five seasons with Oklahoma|
|Chris Collins||DNP||losing records overall (14-19) and in Big Ten Conference play (6-12) in first season with Northwestern|
|Johnny Dawkins||2-1||only one NCAA playoff appearance and 10 games below .500 in Pac-10/12 Conference play in first six seasons with Stanford|
|Mike Dement||0-1||losing conference mark in SWC and WAC in nine seasons with Southern Methodist|
|David Henderson||DNP||losing overall record in six seasons with Delaware|
|Tim O'Toole||DNP||losing overall record in eight seasons with Fairfield|
|Quin Snyder||5-4||never finished among undisputed top five in Big 12 Conference and compiled cumulative losing mark in last three of seven seasons with Missouri|
|Chuck Swenson||DNP||lost more than 2/3 of his games in seven seasons with William & Mary|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 18 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 major-college coach to finish his career with more than 500 victories and never participate in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: The coach spent his entire four-year school coaching career at one institution and had nine consecutive winning seasons at the Division I level from 1972-73 through 1980-81.
2. Who is the only player to average more than 26 points per game for an undefeated NCAA champion before averaging less than five points per game in his NBA career? Hint: He averaged the same number of points in the NCAA Tournament as he did for the entire season.
3. Who is the only coach to win three national third-place games? Hint: No coach accumulated as many different All-Americans as he did (16) in his first 20 campaigns at a single school.
4. Who is the only former major-college player to score more than 23,000 points in the NBA after never participating in the NCAA Tournament or NIT? Hint: His alma mater returned to small-college status after being at the Division I level for more than 50 years but never appearing in the NCAA playoffs or NIT.
5. Of the 10 different players to compile season scoring averages of more than 23 points per game for a national champion, who is the only individual in this group to tally fewer than 40 points in two games at the Final Four? Hint: His team won both Final Four games that year by a minimum of 20 points.
6. Who is the only individual to coach a team to the Final Four after becoming an NCAA consensus first-team All-American and NBA first-round draft choice? Hint: He joined Chet Walker and Bob Love as 20-points-per-game scorers for the Chicago Bulls in 1969-70 after becoming the first African-American to earn a league MVP while attending a Southern school.
7. Who is the only national player of the year to score less than 10 points when his school was eliminated in a Final Four contest the same season? Hint: He averaged more than 25 points per game in his four previous playoff contests that year.
8. Name the only Final Four team to have as many as six players still on its roster with double-digit season scoring averages. Hint: All six individuals played in the NBA as did another player on the squad who averaged eight points per game.
9. Who is the only All-Tournament selection to finish his college playing career at another major university? Hint: His brother was a wide receiver for a Super Bowl champion.
10. Who is the only leading scorer for a Final Four team to also play for the school's football squad in a New Year's Day bowl game and win a silver medal in the Olympics as a high jumper? Hint: The Olympics climaxed a superb academic school year for the versatile athlete who won the NCAA high jump crown and led his school's football and basketball teams in scoring. He also appeared in the first two NBA All-Star Games.
Extra! Extra! As a new season commences, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions 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. Did you know that outfielder "Sweet" Lou Johnson, an ex-Kentucky State hoopster, was traded three times the first nine days in April in deals involving Los Angeles-based teams?
The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series 50 years ago with a roster featuring six former college basketball players - Roger Craig, Bob Gibson, Dick Groat, Bobby Humphreys, Ray Washburn and Bill White. The Cards defeated the New York Yankees, a club boasting three pitchers with college hoops connections - Al Downing, Steve Hamilton and Rollie Sheldon.
In the minors, all-time basketball great Michael Jordan made his Organized Baseball debut on April 9, 1994, when the Chicago White Sox farmhand went hitless as an outfielder for the Birmingham Barons (Southern League). What in the world was Jordan thinking? Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only four percent of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
1 - OF Larry Doby (reserve guard for Virginia Union's 1943 CIAA basketball 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 for P Tom Dettore (averaged 14.1 ppg and 9 rpg for Juniata, PA, in 1965-66) and cash in 1974.
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.
3 - 1B Donn Clendenon (played for Morehouse, GA) ended his retirement and reported to the Montreal Expos in 1969. . . . 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.
4 - OF-INF Chuck Hinton (played multiple sports for Shaw, NC, before serving two years in U.S. Army in mid-1950s) traded by the California Angels to the Cleveland Indians in 1969. . . . 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.
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. . . . P Roger Mason (multiple-year letterman for Saginaw Valley State, MI, in late 1970s) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the San Francisco Giants in 1985. . . . 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. . . . Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton in 1999-00) became the first pitcher in New York Mets history to collect two hits in an inning (pair of singles in third against the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011). Young contributed a third single in the fifth in his first start with the Mets.
6 - Oakland A's P Mark Acre (played in 1990 NCAA Tournament with New Mexico State) earned his second relief victory in three days against the New York Yankees in 1997. . . . 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) hurled 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 (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) 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. . . . P Jim Todd (played for Parsons IA before averaging 16 ppg with Millersville PA in 1968-69) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics for a player to be designated and cash in 1975. . . . After 159 MLB starts, Seattle Mariners P Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton in 1999-00) made his debut with the Seattle Mariners as a reliever (two hitless innings against the Oakland Athletics in 2014).
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.
8 - OF Babe Barna (two-year West Virginia letterman in mid-1930s) purchased from the Philadelphia Athletics by the Washington Senators in 1939. . . . Los Angeles Dodgers P Al Downing (attended Muhlenberg, PA, on basketball scholarship but left before playing) yielded Hank Aaron's 715th homer bypassing Babe Ruth. . . . 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.
9 - RF George Altman (appeared in 1953 and 1954 NAIA Tournament with Tennessee State) stroked four hits against the New York Mets on Opening Day 1963 in his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals. . . . 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. . . . In his first start of the 1992 campaign, Baltimore Orioles P Ben McDonald (started six times as freshman forward for LSU in 1986-87 under coach Dale Brown) tossed a two-hit shutout against the Cleveland Indians.
10 - Baltimore Orioles 2B Jerry Adair (one of Oklahoma State's top three scorers in 1956-57 and 1957-58) went 3-for-3 on Opening Day against the New York Yankees in 1962. . . . In 1947, 1B Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) became the first black player of the 20th Century to sign a MLB contract (with the Brooklyn Dodgers). . . . OF Wally Roettger (Illinois letterman in 1921-22 and 1922-23) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the New York Giants in 1930. . . . P Billy Wynne (one of prime hoopsters in mid-1960s for Pfeiffer, NC) returned by the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets in 1967 after he was selected during the winter in the Rule 5 draft.
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 his second MLB game, Boston Red Sox RF Joe Lahoud (New Haven CT letterman in mid-1960s) socked a homer off the Detroit Tigers' Denny McLain in 1968. . . . Chicago Cubs CF Jerry Martin (1971 Southern Conference MVP after he was Furman's runner-up in scoring the previous season) whacked two homers against the New York Mets in 1980. . . . 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.
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. . . . A pinch-hit homer by OF Lynn Jones (averaged 10.4 ppg for Thiel PA from 1970-71 through 1973-74) accounted for the Detroit Tigers' only runs in a 6-2 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays in 1981. . . . 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.
13 - Montreal Expos SS Bill Almon (averaged 2.5 ppg in half a season for Brown's 1972-73 team ending school's streak of 12 straight losing records) stroked four hits in a 5-4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980. . . . In his first MLB game in 1954, Detroit Tigers 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) belted a homer off Baltimore Orioles P Don Larsen. . . . 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. . . . In 1987, the San Diego Padres set a MLB mark when their first three batters of the game each homer off San Francisco Giants P Roger Mason (multiple-year letterman in late 1970s for Saginaw Valley State, MI). . . . 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. . . . California 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.
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 by blanking 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). . . . P Ed Wells (multi-sport athlete graduated in 1924 from Bethany WV) purchased from the New York Yankees by the St. Louis Browns in 1933.
15 - New York Giants 2B Andy Cohen (Alabama letterman in 1924 and 1925) went 3-for-4 for the second time in the first three games of the 1928 campaign. . . . 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). . . . First appearance and start in 1961 for Philadelphia Phillies P Dallas Green (Delaware's second-leading scorer and rebounder in 1954-55) was a five-hit shutout against the San Francisco Giants. . . . 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 against the Dodgers in 2007.
16 - Detroit Tigers 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51), en route to hitting .632 through first five games of the 1958 campaign, banged out four hits in a 5-4 win against the Chicago White Sox. . . . 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. . . . Philadelphia Athletics RF Walt French (letterman for Rutgers and Army) had four hits against the Washington Senators in 1926. . . . Debut with San Francisco Giants for P Rich Gale (led New Hampshire with 7.2 rpg in 1975-76) was a success, hurling a three-hit, 6-1 victory against the Cincinnati Reds in 1982. . . . 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 in the Cards' 12-6 win at Philly in 1962. . . . Chicago White Sox C Frank Grube (Lafayette starting guard as senior in 1926-27) went 4-for-4 against the Cleveland Indians in 1932. . . . Milwaukee Braves SS Johnny Logan (played for Binghamton in 1948-49) went 5-for-5 against the Cincinnati Reds in 1955. . . . 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.
17 - Milwaukee Braves 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) smacked two homers in a 5-2 win against the Houston Colt .45s in 1964. . . . Cincinnati Reds CF Harry Craft (four-sport letterman with Mississippi College in early 1930s) had four hits and five RBI in a 7-6 setback against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1941. . . . Kansas City Royals P Dave Frost (averaged 10.5 ppg and 4 rpg for Stanford from 1971-72 through 1973-74) registered his third relief victory in four games early in 1982. . . . 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. . . . Chicago White Sox P Bob Keegan (Bucknell letterman in 1941-42 and 1942-43) toiled at least eight innings for the first of 10 straight starts in 1954, including a pair of shutouts. . . . Milwaukee Braves SS Johnny Logan (played for Binghamton in 1948-49) jacked two homers in a 5-1 win against the Cincinnati Reds in 1954. . . . Pittsburgh Pirates P Elmer Ponder (Oklahoma letterman in 1913-14 and 1915-16) tossed a 13-inning shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1920. . . . 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. . . . In 1989, Cincinnati Reds P Kent Tekulve (played as freshman in mid-1960s for Marietta, OH) passed Hoyt Wilhelm as MLB's all-time leader in relief appearances.
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. . . . San Francisco Giants CF Billy North (played briefly for Central Washington in 1967-68) stole three bases against the Atlanta Braves in 1981. . . . 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). . . . New York Yankees P Roy Sherid (Albright PA center in 1926-27 and 1927-28) toiled 15 innings but lost, 5-4, against the Boston Red Sox in 1931.
19 - Toronto Blue Jays LF Danny Ainge (three-time Brigham Young All-American and national player of year as senior in 1980-81) went 3-for-3 in an 8-1 setback against the Cleveland Indians in 1980. . . . Only MLB decision for P Steve Barber (J.C. starter under coach Jerry Tarkanian before attending La Verne CA) was a 9-8 victory for the Minnesota Twins against the Kansas City Royals in 1971. . . . 3B Bosey Berger (Maryland's first basketball All-American in 1931-32) awarded on waivers from the Cleveland Indians to the Chicago White Sox in 1937. . . . St. Louis Cardinals P Walt Huntzinger (All-Ivy League forward with Penn in 1921-22) toiled 14 innings but lost, 5-4, against the Chicago Cubs in 1926. He was waived to the Cubbies two months later. . . . St. Louis Cardinals 1B George Kernek (Oklahoma letterman in 1959-60 and 1960-61) contributed three hits for the second time in four games in 1966. . . . 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 against the New York Mets. . . . In 1942, Chicago Cubs P Claude Passeau (played for Millsaps, MS, in late 1920s and early 1930s) didn't yield a hit until there was one out in the eighth inning when Harry Craft (played for Mississippi College first half of 1930s) singled for the Cincinnati Reds. . . . 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.
20 - Cincinnati Reds OF Frankie Baumholtz (MVP in 1941 NIT and first player in Ohio University history to score 1,000 career points) contributed four hits against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1948. . . . Boston Red Sox 1B Dick Gernert (Temple letterman in 1948-49) smashed three homers in a doubleheader sweep of the Washington Senators in 1953. . . . Washington Senators RF Chuck Hinton (played multiple sports for Shaw, NC, before serving two years in U.S. Army in mid-1950s) went 4-for-4 against the New York Yankees in 1963. . . . New York Giants P Walt Huntzinger (All-Ivy League forward with Penn in 1921-22) didn't allow an earned run in 8 1/3 innings en route to registering his first MLB victory (2-1 against the Boston Braves in 1924). . . . 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. . . . Relief P Kent Tekulve (played as freshman for Marietta, OH, in mid-1960s) traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1985. . . . 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.
21 - Lone MLB RBI for 3B Ernie Andres (NCAA consensus first-team All-American with Indiana in 1939) helped the Boston Red Sox outlast the Philadelphia Athletics, 12-11, in the opener of a 1946 doubleheader. . . . P Steve Hamilton (All-OVC selection was Morehead State's leading scorer and rebounder in 1956-57 and 1957-58) traded by the Washington Senators to the New York Yankees for P Jim Coates in 1963. . . . Chicago White Sox P Howie Judson (Illinois' third-leading scorer with 8.5 ppg as sophomore in 1944-45) won his 1949 season debut (5-2 against the Detroit Tigers) before dropping next 14 decisions through August. . . . California Angels C Art Kusnyer (led Kent State in field-goal percentage in 1965-66 as team's third-leading scorer and rebounder) contributed a career-high three hits against the Texas Rangers in 1972. . . . Oakland Athletics CF Billy North (played briefly for Central Washington in 1967-68) went 4-for-4 against the Detroit Tigers in 1976.
22 - Cincinnati Reds OF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) provided four hits in a 9-4 triumph against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1929. . . . Seattle Mariners 1B Bruce Bochte (starting forward for Santa Clara's NCAA playoff team in 1969-70 hit safely in first 14 games of 1979 campaign until his streak was snapped by the Minnesota Twins. . . . Milwaukee Braves 2B Jack Dittmer (played for Iowa in 1949-50) hit a homer in his third consecutive contest in 1953. . . . 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 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. . . . Chicago Cubs CF Jerry Martin (1971 Southern Conference MVP after he was Furman's runner-up in scoring the previous season) scored four runs in a 16-12 triumph against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1980. . . . 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.
23 - New York Giants OF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) went 4-for-4 in a 7-2 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1932. . . . Seattle Mariners LF Bruce Bochte (starting forward for Santa Clara's NCAA playoff team in 1969-70 went 4-for-4 against the Minnesota Twins in 1982. . . . In a celebrated fracas, New York Giants SS Alvin Dark (letterman for LSU and USL during World War II) confronted 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. . . . Milwaukee Braves RF John DeMerit (Wisconsin letterman in 1956-57 when averaging 2.2 ppg and 2.1 rpg) contributed a career-high three hits in a 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1961. . . . 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 SS Doc Lavan (played for Hope MI from 1908 through 1910) had four hits against the Cincinnati Reds in 1922. . . . 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. . . . First MLB homer for C Cal Neeman (Illinois Wesleyan's leading scorer in 1947-48 and 1948-49), a 10th-inning blast off the Milwaukee Braves' Lew Burdette, was the difference in a 3-2 win for the Chicago Cubs in 1957. . . . 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.
24 - San Diego Padres SS Bill Almon (averaged 2.5 ppg in half a season for Brown's 1972-73 team ending school's streak of 12 straight losing records) contributed four hits for the second time in four days in 1978. . . . Philadelphia Phillies LF Morrie Arnovich (played for Wisconsin-Superior in early 1930s) went 4-for-4, including three doubles, in a 7-3 win against Brooklyn in 1937. . . . Baltimore Orioles rookie 2B Marv Breeding (played for Samford in mid-1950s) went hitless for the only time in his first 12 MLB games. . . . Boston Braves SS Dick Culler (#9 jersey retired by High Point for Little All-American in 1935 and 1936) went 4-for-4 in an 8-6 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945. . . . Brooklyn Dodgers rookie SS Ben Geraghty (Villanova letterman from 1933-34 through 1935-36) had his fourth straight multiple-hit game in 1936. . . . Oakland Athletics rookie 3B Wayne Gross (led Cal Poly Pomona in assists in 1974-75) went 4-for-4 with four RBI against the Chicago White Sox in the nightcap of a 1977 doubleheader. . . . 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. . . . Toronto Blue Jays P Dave Lemanczyk (averaged 4.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg for Hartwick NY teams compiling 51-21 record from 1969-70 through 1971-72) tossed a one-hitter against the Texas Rangers. It was one of three shutouts for him in 1979. . . . 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, who later had a basketball arena named after him at Piedmont College GA, socked three successive homers for the Giants. . . . San Diego Padres P Roger Mason (multiple-year letterman in late 1970s for Saginaw Valley State MI) didn't allow an earned run through his first nine relief appearances in 1993. . . . New York Yankees SS Gene Michael (led Kent State in scoring with 14 ppg in 1957-58) contributed a career-high four RBI against the Minnesota Twins in 1971. . . . Oakland Athletics CF Billy North (played briefly for Central Washington in 1967-68) stole three bases against the Chicago White Sox in the nightcap of a 1977 twinbill. . . . John Pyecha (led Appalachian State in scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting in 1951-52 and 1954-55) lost his only MLB pitching appearance with the Chicago Cubs in 1954. . . . Chicago White Sox P Matt Thornton (averaged 5.8 ppg and 2.4 rpg for Grand Valley State MI from 1995-96 through 1997-98) yielded his only run in 12 relief appearances during the month in 2012.
25 - New York Yankees P Jim Beattie (Dartmouth's top rebounder in 1974-75 when selected team MVP and honorable mention All-Ivy League) won his MLB debut in 1978 (4-3 against the Baltimore Orioles). . . . Detroit Tigers 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) collected four hits and four RBI against the Cleveland Indians in 1954. . . . 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. . . . Los Angeles Dodgers P Fred Kipp (two-time all-league selection in early 1950s for Emporia State KS) won his first MLB start (5-3 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1958). . . . 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 (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the San Diego Padres in 1969.
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 against the Chicago White Sox in 1948. . . . Cleveland Indians rookie P Wynn Hawkins (Little All-American was all-time leading scorer for Baldwin-Wallace OH upon graduation in 1957) toiled 11 innings in outdueling Jim Bunning in a 2-1 win against the Detroit Tigers in 1960. . . . Cleveland Indians P Oral Hildebrand (Butler All-American in 1928-29 and 1929-30) fired a one-hitter against the St. Louis Browns in 1933, giving him back-to-back shutouts. . . . First appearance of the 1933 campaign for New York Giants P Roy Parmelee (Eastern Michigan letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) resulted in a one-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies. . . . 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.
27 - Pittsburgh Pirates SS Bill Almon (averaged 2.5 ppg in half a season for Brown's 1972-73 team ending school's streak of 12 straight losing records) supplied three extra-base hits in a 13-5 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1986. . . . 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. . . . Minnesota Twins P Bill Krueger (led WCAC in free-throw percentage as freshman en route to averaging 5.1 ppg for Portland from 1975-76 through 1979-80) won for the fourth time in as many starts this month in 1992, compiling an 0.84 ERA in first 32 innings. . . . C Hugh Poland (Western Kentucky letterman from 1931-32 through 1933-34) traded by the New York Giants to the Boston Braves in 1943. . . . P John Stuper (two-time all-conference junior college player in mid-1970s with Butler County PA) tossed his lone complete game with the Cincinnati Reds (two-hit, 2-1 win against the San Francisco Giants in 1985). . . . Boston Braves rookie RF Chuck Workman (two-time All-MIAA first-five selection was leading scorer when Central Missouri won inaugural NAIA Tournament in 1937) went 8-for-11 against the New York Giants in his first three games of the 1943 campaign.
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. . . . In 1928, St. Louis Cardinals CF Taylor Douthit (California letterman from 1922 through 1924) collected four hits against the Chicago Cubs, giving him 13 safeties over the last four games. . . . California Angels P Dave Frost (averaged 10.5 ppg and 4 rpg for Stanford from 1971-72 through 1973-74) fired a six-hit shutout against the Boston Red Sox in 1979. . . . 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. . . . Washington Senators P Dick Such (averaged 8.9 ppg and 7.4 rpg in 1964-65 and 10.5 ppg and 6.9 rpg in 1965-66 for Elon) posted his lone MLB victory (against the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970).
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). . . . Detroit Tigers rookie 1B Dale Alexander (starting center for Milligan, TN, in mid-1920s) hit safely in his first 12 MLB games in 1929 before he was held hitless by the St. Louis Browns. . . . OF Taylor Douthit (California letterman from 1922 through 1924) awarded on waivers from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago Cubs in 1933. . . . In 1930, Pittsburgh Pirates P Ralph Erickson (played for Idaho State in mid-1920s) won his lone MLB decision. . . . Brooklyn Robins 2B Jake Flowers (member of 1923 "Flying Pentagon" basketball championship squad for Washington College MD) provided four hits, including three doubles, in a 19-15 win against the New York Giants in 1930. It was one of five games that month where he had at least three safeties. . . . Oakland Athletics rookie 3B Wayne Gross (led Cal Poly Pomona in assists in 1974-75) whacked two homers against the Boston Red Sox in 1977. . . . Detroit Tigers rookie OF Lynn Jones (averaged 10.4 ppg for Thiel PA from 1970-71 through 1973-74) finished his first month with a .389 batting average after notching fourth straight two-hit game in 1979. . . . Toronto Blue Jays P Dave Lemanczyk (averaged 4.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg for Hartwick NY teams compiling 51-21 record from 1969-70 through 1971-72) sustained his fifth setback of the month in as many starts in 1978. . . . P Roger Mason (multiple-year letterman for Saginaw Valley State, MI in late 1970s) purchased from the Philadelphia Phillies by the New York Mets in 1994. . . . 2B Dutch Meyer (letterman for TCU in 1934-35 and 1935-36) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Cleveland Indians in 1945. . . . In a 17-inning marathon where both starting pitchers went the distance, St. Louis Cardinals P Roy Parmelee (Eastern Michigan letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) outdueled New York Giants Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell, 2-1, in 1936. . . . Washington Senators C Les Peden (Texas A&M letterman in 1941-42 and 1942-43) provided his lone MLB homer (against the Chicago White Sox in 1953). . . . 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.
30 - Detroit Tigers 1B Dale Alexander (starting center for Milligan, TN, in mid-1920s) supplied his sixth straight multiple-hit game and 10th in last 17 contests to finish the first month of the 1931 season with a .519 batting average. . . . Philadelphia Phillies OF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) went 4-for-4 in a 5-4 win against the Boston Braves in 1934. . . . 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. . . . OF Richie Scheinblum (averaged 6.1 ppg and 3.6 rpg for C.W. Post, NY, in 1962-63 and 1963-64) traded by the California Angels to the Kansas City Royals in 1974. . . . 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.
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 17 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. Which school had the only trio to each score at least 20 points in two Final Four games? Hint: All three players finished their college careers with more than 2,000 points and were on the roster the next year when the school lost its playoff opener. The school is the only national runner-up to score more than 85 points in an NCAA final.
2. Name the only school to have three players score more than 20 points in a Final Four game. Hint: The school lost the championship game that year by more than 20 points although the score was tied at halftime.
3. Who is the only player to score 40 or more points in a Final Four game and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: He was held under 10 points in his other Final Four game that year.
4. Who is the only coach to go more than 40 years from his first to his last appearance in the playoffs? Hint: He and his son, who succeeded him, both compiled a losing tourney record.
5. Who is the only player to compile an NBA playoff scoring average more than 15 points per game higher than his NCAA Tournament average? Hint: He scored just six points in his NCAA playoff debut against a school participating in the tourney for just the second time.
6. Who is the only player to lead an NCAA tournament in scoring with more than 120 points and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: He averaged 32.3 points per game in his three-year college career.
7. Who is the only player from 1957 through 1996 to lead a tournament in rebounding and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: His school was making just its second tourney appearance the year he led in rebounding.
8. Who is the only non-guard to be the undisputed leading scorer of an NCAA Tournament and not participate in the Final Four? Hint: He never played in the NBA.
9. Who is the first coach to make more than a dozen NCAA playoff appearances before reaching the Final Four? Hint: He was coach of the first team to win the national championship in its first Final Four appearance since Texas Western in 1966.
10. Who is the only player to take more than 40 field-goal attempts in a playoff game his team lost? Hint: The guard was the nation's leading scorer with more than 36 points per game for the only school to reach the national semifinals of a small-college tournament one year and participate in the NCAA Tournament the next season.
Although there is a disenchantment stigma attached to transfers, it shouldn't be considered a crime. The performance of transfer forwards Dorian Finney-Smith (Florida from Virginia Tech) and Lasan Kromah (Connecticut from George Washington) could determine which of those teams advances to the NCAA final. Including injured Kentucky star Derek Anderson in 1997, 27 of the last 31 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 31 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.
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. A classic example is Connecticut's bench boasting several foreign players - center Amida Brimah (Ghana), forward Kentan Facey (Jamaica) and swingman Niels Giffey (Germany).
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 22 years coming from 25 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)
For the fourth 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. Kentucky reloaded after losing Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin 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 two years ago 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 11 times in the last 13 years. Following is a list of the 26 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) Kentucky '14 Nerlens Noel (6th pick in 2013 draft) Kentucky '14 Archie Goodwin (29th pick in 2013 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 never to 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.
No. 7 Connecticut and No. 8 Kentucky, both of whom lost a conference road game by more than 20 points, became the first set of seeds seventh or worse to reach the Final Four in the same year. The only school to win a Final Four game in this category is No. 8 Villanova, which captured the 1985 NCAA championship after dropping a Big East Conference road contest by more than 20 points.
There was a 19-year span from 1987 through 2005 when no team advanced to the national semifinals with a seed seventh or worse. UConn and UK became the seventh and eighth Final Four participant on the following list seeded #7 or worse:
|Year||Seed||Final Four Team||Coach||Worst Regular-Season Defeat|
|1984||#7||Virginia||Terry Holland||85-72 vs. North Carolina|
|1985||#8||Villanova||Rollie Massimino||85-62 at Pittsburgh|
|1986||#11||Louisiana State||Dale Brown||at Alabama and Georgia by 16|
|2006||#11||George Mason||Jim Larranaga||72-52 vs. Creighton|
|2011||#11||Virginia Commonwealth||Shaka Smart||71-51 vs. George Mason|
|2013||#9||Wichita State||Gregg Marshall||68-55 vs. Indiana State|
|2014||#7||Connecticut||Kevin Ollie||81-48 at Louisville|
|2014||#8||Kentucky||John Calipari||85-64 at Florida|
Excluding specialty publications, there are five nationally-recognized Player of the Year awards. None of them, however, comes anywhere close to being the equivalent to college football's undisputed most prestigious honor, the Heisman Trophy. The basketball stalemate stems from essentially the same people voting on the major awards (writers or coaches or a combination) and the announcements coming one after another right around the Final Four when the playoff games dominate the sports page.
United Press International, which was a sixth venue for major awards through 1996, got all of this back slapping started in 1955. Four years later, the United States Basketball Writers Association, having chosen All-American teams in each of the two previous seasons, added a Player of the Year award to its postseason honors. In recent years, the USBWA award was sponsored by Mercedes and then RCA.
The third oldest of the awards comes from the most dominant wire service, the Associated Press. Perhaps because of its vast network of media outlets, the AP award gets more print and broadcast attention than the other honors. The AP award started in 1961 before affiliating in 1972 with the Commonwealth Athletic Club of Lexington, Ky., which was looking for a way to honor Hall of Fame Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp. The result of their merger is the Rupp Trophy.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club initially was associated with UPI before starting its own Naismith Award in 1969. Six years later, the National Association of Basketball Coaches initiated its award, which was sponsored from the outset by the Eastman Kodak Company. In 1977, the Los Angeles Athletic Club began honoring Hall of Fame UCLA coach John Wooden with the Wooden Award.
Duke has had eight different national player of the year winners, including seven of them in a 21-year span from 1986 through 2006. UCLA is runner-up with six individuals earning POY acclaim. Incredibly, perennial power Kentucky never had a representative win one of the six principal national player of the year awards until freshman Anthony Davis achieved the feat in 2012.
Creighton's Doug McDermott became the first Big East Conference player to capture national POY honors since Connecticut's Ray Allen in 1996. The Big East, Pac-10 and SEC combined to go 15 straight seasons from 1996-97 through 2010-11 without a national POY. Following is a look at the seven conferences with at least three different individuals capturing one of the six principal national player of the year awards since UPI's initial winner in 1955:
ACC (16) - Shane Battier (Duke), Elton Brand (Duke), Johnny Dawkins (Duke), Tim Duncan (Wake Forest), Danny Ferry (Duke), Phil Ford (North Carolina), Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Art Heyman (Duke), Antawn Jamison (North Carolina), Michael Jordan (North Carolina), Christian Laettner (Duke), J.J. Redick (Duke), Ralph Sampson (Virginia), Joe Smith (Maryland), David Thompson (North Carolina State), Jason Williams (Duke).
Big Ten (12) - Gary Bradds (Ohio State), Trey Burke (Michigan State), Dee Brown (Illinois), Calbert Cheaney (Indiana), Draymond Green (Michigan State), Jim Jackson (Ohio State), Jerry Lucas (Ohio State), Scott May (Indiana), Shawn Respert (Michigan State), Glenn Robinson Jr. (Purdue), Cazzie Russell (Michigan), Evan Turner (Ohio State).
How competent are the overwhelmingly secular suck-up voters if Final Four coaches Billy Donovan (Florida) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin) never have been named national coach of the year by a major award? Discerning voter expertise at times is akin to searching for a Flight 370 bing.
If voters don't finally see the light, this dynamic duo could eventually join Gary Williams, Maryland's all-time winningest coach who guided the Terrapins to the 2002 NCAA title during a span when he became the only mentor ever to defeat the nation's top-ranked team in four straight seasons (2000-01 through 2003-04), in a difficult-to-believe category. Williams never was courted as national COY by one of the major awards, joining other NCAA championship coaches such as Denny Crum, Joe B. Hall, Don Haskins, Rollie Massimino and Jim Valvano shackled by this dubious distinction.
Misguided voters need to know that Donovan has more NCAA titles (two) than NCAA tourney career victories for national coaches of the year Keno Davis (none), Matt Doherty (one), Frank Haith (one), Don Monson (one) and Dick Versace (one). Also, Donovan has more Final Four appearances (four) than NCAA playoff career wins for national coaches of the year Perry Clark (three), Jim Crews (three), Eddie Fogler (two), Marv Harshman (two), Eddie Hickey (three), Bob McKillop (three), George Raveling (two) and Charlie Spoonhour (three).
Some of the overlooked marquee mentors such as Gonzaga's Mark Few and Oklahoma's Lon Kruger probably will stun you. Following is an alphabetical list of high-profile retired coaches who never received one of the five major national coach of the year awards since 1955 despite their significant achievements:
Dave Bliss - Compiled a total of 14 20-win seasons with three different schools.
Dale Brown - Led LSU to 15 consecutive postseason tournaments (1979 through 1993) en route to becoming the second-winningest coach in SEC history at the time (behind Adolph Rupp) in both overall and SEC games.
Denny Crum - Won 15 regular-season conference championships in the Missouri Valley and Metro in his first 23 seasons with Louisville; only coach to twice win conference and NCAA tournaments in the same year (1980 and 1986).
Don DeVoe - Compiled a total of 12 20-win seasons with three different schools.
Don Donoher - One of first 10 coaches to take his first three teams to the NCAA playoffs guided his first seven Dayton clubs to national postseason competition; posted double digits in victories all 25 seasons.
Lefty Driesell - One of only three different coaches to guide four different schools to the NCAA playoffs; captured conference tournament titles in four different leagues; only coach to win more than 100 games for four different schools en route to total of 786 victories; had 14 final Top 20 rankings.
Jack Gardner - Only coach to direct two different schools to the Final Four at least twice apiece.
Pete Gillen - Remarkable run with Xavier (winning five Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament titles in six-year span from 1986 through 1991) before posting 20-win seasons with Providence in the Big East and Virginia in the ACC.
Don Haskins - Captured four Western Athletic Conference Tournament championships with Texas-El Paso in a seven-year span from 1984 through 1990 while winning more than 20 games each of those seasons; compiled a total of 17 20-win campaigns.
Harry Litwack - Finished third with Temple in three consecutive national postseason tournaments (1956 and 1958 in NCAA and 1957 in NIT). Posted only one losing record in 21 seasons with the Owls through 1973.
Rollie Massimino - Averaged more than 20 victories annually in the 1980s; participated in 14 consecutive national postseason tournaments with Villanova and UNLV before coaching at small-school level in Florida.
Joe Mullaney - Reached the 20-win plateau nine straight seasons from 1958-59 through 1966-67, directing Providence to the NIT semifinals four times in the first five years of that stretch; won more than two-thirds of his games with the Friars decided by fewer than five points.
Tom Penders - Won at least 20 games with three different schools (Rhode Island, Texas and George Washington) a total of 10 times in a 13-year span from 1987 through 1999 before winning more than 20 games three times in six seasons with Houston.
Fred Schaus - Won Southern Conference Tournament championships each of his six seasons with West Virginia from 1955 through 1960 before posting winning records in Big Ten competition all six years with Purdue.
Billy Tubbs - Directed Oklahoma to 12 consecutive 20-win seasons, a Big Eight Conference best; took the Sooners to national postseason play his last 13 years with them before moving on to TCU and Lamar.
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 50 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.
Final Four debuts were a long time coming the past two seasons for Big Ten Conference coaches John Beilein (Michigan) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin). 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). Ryan (30) joined five other coaches to take more than 20 years - 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 30 years (1993 and 2012). Connecticut's Kevin Ollie joined Indiana's Mike Davis and VCU's Shaka Smart as coaches only in their second campaign to steer squads to the Final Four in the 21st Century. 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 (in reverse order):
- 2014 - Kevin Ollie (Connecticut/2nd season as head coach at four-year college level) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin/30th).
- 2013 - John Beilein (Michigan/31st) 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) and 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.
Two-time NCAA championship coach Billy Donovan, returning to the national semifinals with Florida on the heels of three straight regional final setbacks, was the leading scorer (20.6 points per game) for Providence's 1987 Final Four team although he hit only 3 of 12 shots from the floor when the Friars lost to fellow Big East Conference member Syracuse in the national semifinals.
Bill Guthridge, who guided North Carolina to the Final Four in 1998 and 2000, was a sophomore member of Kansas State's national fourth-place squad in 1958, but he played in only six games that season and did not participate in the Final Four at Louisville.
Donovan is among the six individuals to both play and coach in the Final Four. The first five were Vic Bubas, Dick Harp, Bob Knight, Bones McKinney and Dean Smith. McKinney, who averaged 9.8 points per game as a junior center for 1946 NCAA runner-up North Carolina, was the only one of the first five individuals in this category to average more than 5.5 points per game as a player in the season his alma mater reached the Final Four. McKinney had attended Carolina arch-rival North Carolina State as a sophomore in 1941-42 when he led the Southern Conference in scoring before spending three years in the Army.
Knight and Smith, the only men to play for and coach national champions, compiled modest career scoring averages of 3.8 and 1.6 points per game, respectively. Knight, hitting 14 of 36 field-goal attempts, scored 30 points in 11 NCAA Tournament games for Ohio State and Smith scored four points in seven playoff games for Kansas. Knight and Smith combined for half as many points as players in 10 Final Four games (eight) than their total of Final Four appearances as coaches (16).
Harp averaged 4.9 points per game for 1940 runner-up Kansas and Bubas averaged 5.5 points per game for 1950 third-place finisher North Carolina State. Following is a capsule look at the six individuals to experience the glory of the Final Four both as a player and as a head coach:
|Final Four Participant||School as Player||School as Head Coach|
|Vic Bubas||North Carolina State (1950)||Duke (1963, 1964 and 1966)|
|Billy Donovan||Providence (1987)||Florida (2000, 2006, 2007 and 2014)|
|Dick Harp||Kansas (1940)||Kansas (1957)|
|Bob Knight||Ohio State (1960, 1961 and 1962)||Indiana (1973, 1976, 1981, 1987 and 1992)|
|Bones McKinney||North Carolina (1946)||Wake Forest (1962)|
|Dean Smith||Kansas (1952 and 1953)||North Carolina (1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997)|
NOTE: McKinney played two seasons for North Carolina State prior to World War II military duty.
Only three of 16 All-Americans named by AP, NABC and USBWA this season were homegrown in-state products - Arizona's Nick Johnson (Gilbert, AZ), North Carolina State's T.J. Warren (Durham, NC) and Florida's Scottie Wilbekin (Winter Haven, FL).
Texas became the 11th state to supply at least 20 All-Americans beyond their borders - New York (89), Illinois (56), Pennsylvania (48), Indiana (42), California (40), New Jersey (39), Ohio (23), Georgia (22), Maryland (22), Missouri (20) and Texas (20). Following are the players who attended high school in a state other than where they earned All-American recognition while attending a four-year university:
Alabama (11) - Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins (2010), Jacksonville's Artis Gilmore (1970 and 1971), Kentucky State's Travis Grant (1972), Colorado State's Bill Green (1963), Memphis State's Larry Kenon (1973), Southern Illinois' Joe C. Meriweather (1975), Louisville's Allen Murphy (1975), Kansas' Bud Stallworth (1972), Texas Southern's Ben Swain (1958), Southwestern Louisiana's Andrew Toney (1980), Indiana's D.J. White
Arkansas (8) - Oklahoma State's James Anderson (2010), Texas Western's Jim Barnes (1964), Gonzaga's Frank Burgess (1961), San Diego State's Michael Cage (1984), Memphis State's Keith Lee (1982-83-84-85), Minnesota's Quincy Lewis (1999), Seattle's Eddie Miles (1963), Memphis State's Dexter Reed (1977)
California (40) - UNLV's Stacey Augmon (1991), Oregon's Greg Ballard (1977), Oregon State's Fred Boyd (1982), Arizona State's Joe Caldwell (1963), Oregon State's Lester Conner (1982), New Mexico's Michael Cooper (1978), Penn's Howie Dallmar (1945), Boston College's Jared Dudley (2007), Brigham Young's John Fairchild (1965), Kansas' Drew Gooden (2002), Utah State's Cornell Green (1962), Texas' Jordan Hamilton (2011), Arizona State's James Harden (2009), Brigham Young's Mel Hutchins (1951), Oregon State's Steve Johnson (1980 and 1981), Arizona's Steve Kerr (1988), Weber State's Damian Lillard (2012), Oregon's Stan Love (1971), Oregon State's John Mandic (1942), Utah's Billy McGill (1960 through 1962), Utah's Andre Miller (1998 and 1999), Arizona's Chris Mills (1993), Duke's DeMarcus Nelson (2008), Notre Dame's Kevin O'Shea (1947 through 1950), Oregon State's Gary Payton (1990), Kansas' Paul Pierce (1998), Kentucky's Tayshaun Prince (2001 and 2002), UNLV's J.R. Rider (1993), Creighton's Paul Silas (1962 through 1964), Arizona's Miles Simon (1998), Boston College's Craig Smith (2005 and 2006), Brigham Young's Michael Smith (1988), Temple's Terence Stansbury (1984), Oregon's Vic Townsend (1941), Vanderbilt's Jan van Breda Kolff (1974), Utah's Keith Van Horn (1996 and 1997), Kansas' Jacque Vaughn (1995 through 1997), Arizona's Derrick Williams (2011), Portland State's Freeman Williams (1977 and 1978), Kansas' Jeff Withey (2013)
Colorado (9) - Utah's Art Bunte (1955 and 1956), Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll (1979 and 1980), Iowa's Chuck Darling (1952), Nevada's Nick Fazekas (2006 and 2007), Wyoming's Bill Garnett (1982), Notre Dame's Pat Garrity (1998), Wyoming's Harry Jorgensen (1955), Kansas' Mark Randall (1990), North Carolina State's Ronnie Shavlik (1955 and 1956)
Connecticut (11) - Boston College's John Bagley (1982), Dartmouth's Gus Broberg (1940 and 1941), Massachusetts' Marcus Camby (1996), UCLA's Rod Foster (1981 and 1983), Duke's Mike Gminski (1978 through 1980), Providence's Ryan Gomes (2004), Niagara's Calvin Murphy (1968 through 1970), Seattle's Frank Oleynick (1975), Villanova's John Pinone (1983), Rhode Island's Sly Williams (1978 and 1979), Michigan's Henry Wilmore (1971 and 1972)
District of Columbia (12) - Seattle's Elgin [Baylor](schools/baylor) (1957 and 1958), Syracuse's Dave Bing (1965 and 1966), Notre Dame's Austin Carr (1970 and 1971), Utah's Jerry Chambers (1966), Duke's [Johnny Dawkins](coaches/johnny-dawkins) (1985 and 1986), Syracuse's Sherman Douglas (1988 and 1989), San Francisco's Ollie Johnson (1965), North Carolina's Bob Lewis (1966 and 1967), Syracuse's Lawrence Moten (1995), Kansas' Thomas Robinson (2012), Duke's Jim Thompson (1934), Providence's John Thompson Jr. (1964)
Florida (14) - Houston's Otis Birdsong (1977), North Carolina's Vince Carter (1998), North Carolina State's Chris Corchiani (1991), Oklahoma State's Joey Graham (2005), Georgia Tech's Tom Hammonds (1989), Illinois' Derek Harper (1983), Wake Forest's Frank Johnson (1981), Vanderbilt's Will Perdue (1988), Villanova's Howard Porter (1969 through 1971), Kansas State's Mitch Richmond (1988), Duke's Austin Rivers (2012), Louisville's Clifford Rozier (1994), Minnesota's Mychal Thompson (1977 and 1978), Kansas' Walt Wesley (1966)
Georgia (22) - California's Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996), Providence's Marshon Brooks (2011), Marquette's Jae Crowder (2012), North Carolina's Hook Dillon (1946 and 1947), Florida State's Toney Douglas (2009), Tennessee's Dale Ellis (1982 and 1983), Louisville's Pervis Ellison (1989), southern Illinois' Walt Frazier (1967), Oklahoma's Harvey Grant (1988), Clemson's Horace Grant (1987), Grambling's Charles Hardnett (1961 and 1962), Utah's Merv Jackson (1968), Tennessee's Reggie Johnson (1980), Mississippi State's Jeff Malone (1983), Kentucky's Jodie Meeks (2009), Auburn's Mike Mitchell (1978), Clemson's Tree Rollins (1977), Kentucky State's Elmore Smith (1971), Kentucky's Bill Spivey (1950 and 1951), Florida State's Al Thornton (2007), Kentucky's Kenny Walker (1985 and 1986), North Carolina's Al Wood (1980 and 1981)
Illinois (56) - Minnesota's Jim Brewer (1973), Seattle's Charley Brown (1958 and 1959), Indiana's Quinn Buckner (1974 through 1976), Iowa's Carl Cain (1956), Penn's Corky Calhoun (1973), Detroit's Bob Calihan (1939), Kansas' Sherron Collins (2009 and 2010), Wisconsin's Bobby Cook (1947), Kentucky's Anthony Davis (2012), Indiana's Archie Dees (1957 and 1958), Detroit's Bill Ebben (1957), Marquette's Bo Ellis (1975 through 1977), California's Larry Friend (1957), William & Mary's Chet Giermak (1950), Michigan's Rickey Green (1976 and 1977), Indiana's A.J. Guyton (2000), Notre Dame's Tom Hawkins (1958 and 1959), Michigan's Juwan Howard (1994), Kentucky's Dan Issel (1969 and 1970), Central Missouri's Earl Keth (1938), Minnesota's Tom Kondla (1967), Notre Dame's Moose Krause (1932 through 1934), Iowa's Ronnie Lester (1979 and 1980), Oklahoma A&M's Bob Mattick (1954), Marquette's Jerel McNeal (2009), Colorado's Cliff Meely (1971), Dartmouth's George Munroe (1942), Iowa's Don Nelson (1961 and 1962), Wisconsin's Ab Nicholas (1952), Duke's Jabari Parker (2014), Houston's Gary Phillips (1961), Kansas State's Jacob Pullen (2011), Murray State's Bennie Purcell (1952), Wisconsin's Don Rehfeldt (1950), Notre Dame's Eddie Riska (1941), Marquette's Doc Rivers (1982 and 1983), Wyoming's Flynn Robinson (1965), Kansas' Dave Robisch (1971), Memphis' Derrick Rose (2008), Michigan's Cazzie Russell (1964 through 1966), Duke's Jon Scheyer (2010), Evansville's Jerry Sloan (1965), Purdue's Forrest Sprowl (1942), Notre Dame's Jack Stephens (1955), Indiana's Isiah Thomas (1981), Wisconsin's Alando Tucker (2007), Ohio State's Evan Turner (2010), Wichita State's Fred VanVleet (2014), Marquette's Dwyane Wade (2003), Arkansas' Darrell Walker (1983), Marquette's Lloyd Walton (1976), Marquette's Jerome Whitehead (1978), Cincinnati's George Wilson (1963), Kansas' Julian Wright (2007), Arizona's Michael Wright (2001), Georgia Tech's Rich Yunkus (1970 and 1971)
Indiana (42) - Michigan State's Chet Aubuchon (1940), Tennessee State's Dick Barnett (1958 and 1959), Cincinnati's Ron Bonham (1963 and 1964), Denver's Vince Boryla (1949), Louisville's Junior Bridgeman (1975), Wyoming's Joe Capua (1956), Memphis' Rodney Carney (2006), East Tennessee State's Tom Chilton (1961), Kentucky's Louie Dampier (1966 and 1967), North Carolina State's Dick Dickey (1948 and 1950), Kentucky's LeRoy Edwards (1935), Arizona's Jason Gardner (2002 and 2003), Western Michigan's Harold Gensichen (1943), Florida's Joe Hobbs (1958), Georgia Tech's Roger Kaiser (1960 and 1961), Wyoming's Milo Komenich (1943), Texas' Jim Krivacs (1979), Kansas' Clyde Lovellette (1950 through 1952), Kentucky's Kyle Macy (1978 through 1980), North Carolina's Sean May (2005), Drake's Willie McCarter (1969), Tennessee State's Porter Merriweather (1960), North Carolina State's Vic Molodet (1956), North Carolina's Eric Montross (1993 and 1994), Texas Christian's Lee Nailon (1998), Kentucky's Cotton Nash (1962 through 1964), Ohio State's Greg Oden (2007), Kentucky's Jack Parkinson (1946), Duke's Mason Plumlee (2013), Louisville's Jim Price (1972), Northwestern's Ray Ragelis (1951), North Carolina State's Sam Ranzino (1950 and 1951), Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson (1958 through 1960), Michigan State's Scott Skiles (1986), Wake Forest's Jeff Teague (2009), Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas (2013), Tennessee's Gene Tormohlen (1959), North Carolina State's Monte Towe (1974), Michigan's John Townsend (1937 and 1938), Southern California's Ralph Vaughn (1940), UCLA's Mike Warren (1967 and 1968), North Carolina's's Tyler Zeller (2012)
Iowa (8) - North Carolina's Harrison Barnes (2012), Creighton's Ed Beisser (1943), Kansas' Nick Collison (2003), Kansas' Kirk Hinrich (2002 and 2003), Creighton's Kyle Korver (2003), Kansas' Raef LaFrentz (1997, Creighton's Doug McDermott (2012 through 2014) and 1998), Carleton's Wayne Sparks (1937)
Kentucky (18) - Navy's Buzz Borries (1934), Florida State's Dave Cowens (1970), Cincinnati's Ralph Davis (1960), Tennessee Tech's Jimmy Hagan (1959), Alabama's Jerry Harper (1956), Tennessee's Allan Houston (1992 and 1993), Virginia's Jeff Lamp (1980 and 1981), Tennessee's Chris Lofton (2006 through 2008), Louisiana State's Rudy Macklin (1980 and 1981), Duke's Jeff Mullins (1963 and 1964), Ohio State's Arnie Risen (1945), Tennessee's Danny Schultz (1964), Furman's Frank Selvy (1952 through 1954), Army's Mike Silliman (1966), Xavier's Hank Stein (1958), Cincinnati's Tom Thacker (1963), Duquesne's Jim Tucker (1952), South Carolina's Grady Wallace (1957)
Louisiana (13) - Texas' D.J. Augustin (2008), Creighton's Benoit Benjamin (1985), Duke's Chris Duhon (2004), Houston's Louis Dunbar (1974), Iowa State's Marcus Fizer (2000), Vanderbilt's Shan Foster (2008), Houston's Elvin Hayes (1966 through 1968), Villanova's Kerry Kittles (1995 and 1996), Georgetown's Greg Monroe (2010), Kentucky's Cotton Nash (1962 through 1964), Oklahoma's Hollis Price (2003), Jacksonville's James Ray (1980), Kentucky's Rick Robey (1977 and 1978)
Maryland (22) - Boston College's John Austin (1965 and 1966), Kansas State's Michael Beasley (2008), Wyoming's Charles Bradley (1981), North Carolina State's Kenny Carr (1976 and 1977), San Francisco's Quintin Dailey (1982), Notre Dame's Adrian Dantley (1975 and 1976), Texas' Kevin Durant (2007), Syracuse's C.J. Fair (2014), Duke's Danny Ferry (1988 and 1989), North Carolina's Joseph Forte (2001), Connecticut's Rudy Gay (2006), Kansas' Tony Guy (1982), Davidson's Fred Hetzel (1963 through 1965), North Carolina's Ty Lawson (2009), North Carolina State's Rodney Monroe (1991), Indiana's Victor Oladipo (2013), Duke's Nolan Smith (2011), Virginia Tech's Dale Solomon (1982), Saint Joseph's Delonte West (2004), North Carolina State's Hawkeye Whitney (1980), Georgetown's Reggie Williams (1987), Pittsburgh's Sam Young (2009)
Massachusetts (12) - Rutgers' James Bailey (1978 and 1979), Villanova's Michael Bradley (2001), Georgetown's Patrick Ewing (1982 through 1985), Rhode Island State's Chet Jaworski (1939), Yale's Tony Lavelli (1946 through 1949), Oregon's Ron Lee (1974 through 1976), Marshall's Russell Lee (1972), Rhode Island State's Stan Modzelewski (1942), Connecticut's Shabazz Napier (2014), Ohio State's Scoonie Penn (1999 and 2000), Michigan's Rumeal Robinson (1990), Providence's Jimmy Walker (1965 through 1967)
Michigan (19) - Duke's Shane Battier (2000 and 2001), Dayton's Bill Chmielewski (1962), Syracuse's Derrick Coleman (1989 and 1990), New Mexico's Mel Daniels (1967), Memphis' Chris Douglas-Roberts (2008), Arizona's Bob Elliott (1977), Canisius' Larry Fogle (1974), Iowa State's Jeff Grayer (1988), Texas Western's Bobby Joe Hill (1966), Florida's Al Horford (2007), Arkansas' George Kok (1948), North Carolina's Tom LaGarde (1977), Alabama State's Kevin Loder (1981), Temple's Mark Macon (1988), Tennessee State's Carlos Rogers (1994), Purdue's Steve Scheffler (1990), Missouri's Doug Smith (1990 and 1991), Bradley's Chet Walker (1960 through 1962), Iowa's Sam Williams (1968)
Mississippi (5) - Missouri's Melvin Booker (1994), Murray State's Isaiah Canaan (2012), Louisiana State's Chris Jackson (1989 and 1990), UC Irvine's Kevin Magee (1981 and 1982), Alabama's Derrick McKey (1987)
Missouri (20) - UCLA's Lucius Allen (1968), Princeton's Bill Bradley (1963 through 1965), Idaho State's Lawrence Butler (1979), Duke's Chris Carrawell (2000), Notre Dame's Ben Hansbrough (2011), North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough (2006 through 2009), Tulsa's Steve Harris (1985), Southern Methodist's Jon Koncak (1985), Southern Methodist's Jim Krebs (1957), Oklahoma A&M's Bob Kurland (1944 through 1946), Kansas' Ben McLemore (2013), Drake's Red Murrell (1958), Tulsa's Bob Patterson (1955), Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr. (2013), Kansas' Fred Pralle (1938), Texas-Pan American's Marshall Rogers (1976), Notre Dame's Dick Rosenthal (1954), Kansas' Brandon Rush (2008), Kansas' Jo Jo White (1967 through 1969), Memphis State's Win Wilfong (1957)
New Jersey (39) - Miami's Rick Barry (1964 and 1965), Temple's Mike Bloom (1938), West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler (2010), DePaul's Clyde Bradshaw (1980), Illinois' Tal Brody (1965), Notre Dame's Gary Brokaw (1974), George Washington's Corky Devlin (1955), Providence's Vinnie Ernst (1963), Morehead State's Kenneth Faried (2011), Dayton's Henry Finkel (1966), Columbia's Chet Forte (1957), Villanova's Randy Foye (2006), South Carolina's Skip Harlicka (1968), Holy Cross' Tom Heinsohn (1955 and 1956), Duke's Bobby Hurley (1992 and 1993), North Carolina's Tommy Kearns (1957 and 1958), Kentucky's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2012), Pittsburgh's Brandin Knight (2002), Stanford's Brevin Knight (1997), Southern California's Mo Layton (1971), Villanova's Bill Melchionni (1966), Providence's Eric Murdock (1991), Notre Dame's Troy Murphy (2000 and 2001), Seattle's Eddie O'Brien (1953), Seattle's Johnny O'Brien (1952 and 1953), North Carolina's Mike O'Koren (1978 through 1980), Holy Cross' Togo Palazzi (1953 and 1954), Notre Dame's David Rivers (1988), Massachusetts' Lou Roe (1994 and 1995), Iowa's Ben Selzer (1934), Notre Dame's John Shumate (1974), Duke's Jim Spanarkel (1978 and 1979), Kansas' Tyshawn Taylor (2012), Notre Dame's Kelly Tripucka (1979 through 1981), Duke's Bob Verga (1966 and 1967), Saint Joseph's Bryan Warrick (1981 and 1982), Xavier's David West (2002 and 2003), Long Island's Sherman White (1950), Duke's Jason Williams (2001 and 2002)
New York (89) - UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1967 through 1969), Georgia Tech's Kenny Anderson (1990 and 1991), Penn State's Jesse Arnelle (1955), Minnesota's Ron Behagen (1973), Kansas State's Rolando Blackman (1980 and 1981), Duke's Elton Brand (1999), North Carolina's Pete Brennan (1958), Dartmouth's Audie Brindley (1944), Utah's Ticky Burden (1975), North Carolina State's Lorenzo Charles (1984), Missouri's Derrick Chievous (1987), New Mexico State's Jimmy Collins (1970), Holy Cross' Bob Cousy (1948 through 1950), North Carolina's Billy Cunningham (1964 and 1965), Wake Forest's Charlie Davis (1971), Wichita State's Cleanthony Early (2014), Maryland's Len Elmore (1974), Massachusetts' Julius Erving (1971), Georgia's Vern Fleming (1984), Brigham Young's Jimmer Fredette (2010), Louisville's Francisco Garcia (2005), Louisville's Don Goldstein (1959), Louisiana State's Al Green (1979), Duquesne's Sihugo Green (1954 through 1956), UNLV's Sidney Green (1983), Tennessee's Ernie Grunfeld (1976 and 1977), North Carolina State's Tom Gugliotta (1992), Penn's Ron Haigler (1975), Loyola of Chicago's Jerry Harkness (1963), Notre Dame's Billy Hassett (1945), Hawaii's Tom Henderson (1974), Villanova's Larry Hennessy (1952 and 1953), Duke's Art Heyman (1961 through 1963), North Carolina State's Julius Hodge (2004), Xavier's Tu Holloway (2011), Baylor's Vinnie Johnson (1979), West Virginia's Kevin Jones (2012), South Carolina's Kevin Joyce (1973), Holy Cross' George Kaftan (1947 and 1948), Guilford's Bob Kauffman (1968), Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick (2014), Maryland's Albert King (1980 and 1981), Tennessee's Bernard King (1975 through 1977), North Carolina's Mitch Kupchak (1975 and 1976), Duke's Christian Laettner (1991 and 1992), North Carolina's York Larese (1959 through 1961), Marquette's Butch Lee (1977 and 1978), Davidson's Mike Maloy (1968 through 1970), Georgia Tech's Stephon Marbury (1996), Kentucky's Jamal Mashburn (1993), Louisville's Rodney McCray (1983), Richmond's Bob McCurdy (1975), Marquette's Dean Meminger (1970 and 1971), North Carolina's Doug Moe (1961), Notre Dame's John Moir (1936-37-38), Florida's Joakim Noah (2007), Boston College's Jim O'Brien (1971), Kentucky's Bernie Opper (1939), Idaho's Ken Owens (1982), North Carolina's Sam Perkins (1982 through 1984), Connecticut's A.J. Price (2008), Villanova's Allan Ray (2006), Arizona's Khalid Reeves (1994), South Carolina's Tom Riker (1972), Kentucky's Pat Riley (1966), South Carolina's John Roche (1969 through 1971), North Carolina's Lennie Rosenbluth (1956 and 1957), Georgia Tech's John Salley (1986), North Carolina's Charlie Scott (1968 through 1970), Rutgers' Phil Sellers (1975 and 1976), Iowa State's Don Smith (1968), North Carolina's Kenny Smith (1987), Louisville's Russ Smith (2013 and 2014), Providence's Kevin Stacom (1974), DePaul's Rod Strickland (1988), Miami of Ohio's Wally Szczerbiak (1999), Marquette's Earl Tatum (1976), Princeton's Chris Thomforde (1967), Marquette's George Thompson (1969), Iowa State's Jamaal Tinsley (2001), Marquette's Bernard Toone (1979), Connecticut's Kemba Walker (2011), Providence's Lenny Wilkens (1960), Southern California's Gus Williams (1975), Austin Peay's Fly Williams (1973), Michigan's Henry Wilmore (1971 and 1972), Wyoming's Tony Windis (1959), Tennessee's Howard Wood (1981), Marquette's Sam Worthen (1980)
North Carolina (18) - Fresno State's Courtney Alexander (2000), Indiana's Walt Bellamy (1960), UCLA's Henry Bibby (1972), Kansas State's Mike Evans (1978), Furman's Darrell Floyd (1955 and 1956), Georgetown's Sleepy Floyd (1981 and 1982), Minnesota's Lou Hudson (1965 and 1966), Minnesota's Bobby Jackson (1997), Maryland's John Lucas (1974 through 1976), Kansas' Danny Manning (1986 through 1988), Louisiana State's Pete Maravich (1968 through 1970), Lamar's Mike Olliver (1981), Texas' P.J. Tucker (2006), Kentucky's John Wall (2010), Xavier's David West (2002), Tennessee's Tony White (1987), Georgia's Dominique Wilkins (1981 and 1982), Maryland's Buck Williams (1981)
Ohio (23) - Michigan's Trey Burke (2013), Southern California's Sam Clancy (2002), Washington State's Don Collins (1980), Northwestern's Evan Eschmeyer (1999), Notre Dame's Bob Faught (1942), Michigan's Gary Grant (1987 and 1988), Michigan State's Johnny Green (1958 and 1959), Kentucky's Kevin Grevey (1974 and 1975), Kentucky's Alex Groza (1947 through 1949), Michigan's Phil Hubbard (1977), Southwestern Louisiana's Bo Lamar (1972 and 1973), Pittsburgh's Jerome Lane (1987 and 1988), Kentucky's Jim Line (1950), Indiana's Scott May (1975 and 1976), Purdue's Todd Mitchell (1988), Notre Dame's John Paxson (1982 and 1983), Kentucky's Mike Pratt (1970), Long Beach State's Ed Ratleff (1972 and 1973), Arkansas' Alvin Robertson (1984), Davidson's Dick Snyder (1966), North Carolina State's Bobby Speight (1953), Oklahoma Baptist's Albert Tucker (1966 and 1967), Kansas State's Chuckie Williams (1976)
Oklahoma (7) - Texas Western's Jim Barnes (1964), San Francisco's Winford Boynes (1978), Arkansas' Lee Mayberry (1992), Kansas State's Willie Murrell (1964), Georgia Tech's Mark Price (1984 through 1986), Syracuse's Etan Thomas (2000), Duke's Shelden Williams (2005 and 2006)
Oregon (7) - Brigham Young's Danny Ainge (1979 through 1981), Duke's Mike Dunleavy (2002), UCLA's Kevin Love (2008), Gonzaga's Blake Stepp (2004), Arizona's Damon Stoudamire (1995), Arizona's Salim Stoudamire (2005), UCLA's Richard Washington (1975 and 1976)
Pennsylvania (48) - Duke's Gene Banks (1979 and 1981), Kentucky's Sam Bowie (1981 and 1984), Kansas' Wilt Chamberlain (1957 and 1958), Wake Forest's Len Chappell (1961 and 1962), DePaul's Dallas Comegys (1987), Seton Hall's Bob Davies (1941 and 1942), Cincinnati's Danny Fortson (1996 and 1997), Loyola Marymount's Hank Gathers (1989 and 1990), UNLV's Armon Gilliam (1987), North Carolina's George Glamack (1940), Duke's Dick Groat (1951 and 1952), Connecticut's Richard Hamilton (1998 and 1999), UCLA's Walt Hazzard (1963 and 1964), Duke's Gerald Henderson (2009), Kansas' Wayne Hightower (1960 and 1961), West Texas State's Simmie Hill (1969), George Washington's Joe Holup (1956), Loyola Marymount's Bo Kimble (1990), Duke's Ed Koffenberger (1946 and 1947), Rutgers' Bob Lloyd (1967), Drake's Lewis Lloyd (1980 and 1981), Navy's Elliott Loughlin (1933), Marquette's Maurice Lucas (1974), Duke's Jack Marin (1966), Connecticut's Donyell Marshall (1994), Vanderbilt's Billy McCaffrey (1993), Michigan State's Julius McCoy (1956), Maryland's Tom McMillen (1972 through 1974), North Carolina's Larry Miller (1967 and 1968), Winston-Salem State's Earl Monroe (1967), Kansas' Marcus Morris (2011), Syracuse's Billy Owens (1990 and 1991), Virginia's Barry Parkhill (1972 and 1973), North Carolina State's Lou Pucillo (1959), North Carolina State's John Richter (1959), West Virginia's Wil Robinson (1972), North Carolina's Lee Shaffer (1959 and 1960), West Virginia's Lloyd Sharrar (1958), Virginia's Sean Singletary (2007), Utah's Mike Sojourner (1974), Weber State's Willie Sojourner (1971), Cincinnati's Jack Twyman (1955), Michigan State's Horace Walker (1960), Virginia's Wally Walker (1976), North Carolina's Rasheed Wallace (1995), Syracuse's Hakim Warrick (2004 and 2005), North Carolina's Dennis Wuycik (1972)
Tennessee (13) - Wake Forest's Skip Brown (1977), Arkansas' Todd Day (1991 and 1992), Kentucky's Tony Delk (1996), Oral Roberts' Richie Fuqua (1972 and 1973), Oklahoma A&M's Bob Harris (1949), Indiana's Kirk Haston (2001), Cincinnati's Paul Hogue (1961 and 1962), Mississippi State's Bailey Howell (1958 and 1959), Western Kentucky's Tom Marshall (1954), Kentucky's Ron Mercer (1997), Mississippi's Johnny Neumann (1971), Oral Roberts' Anthony Roberts (1977), Tulsa's Bingo Smith (1969)
Texas (20) - Oklahoma's Mookie Blaylock (1989), Kentucky's Bob Burrow (1955 and 1956), Wyoming's Fennis Dembo (1988), Arizona State's Ike Diogu (2005), Purdue's Keith Edmonson (1982), UNLV's Larry Johnson (1990 and 1991), Syracuse's Wesley Johnson (2010), Oklahoma State's John Lucas III (2004), Cincinnati's Kenyon Martin (2000), Oklahoma's Eduardo Najera (2000), Connecticut's Emeka Okafor (2003 and 2004), Louisiana State's Shaquille O'Neal (1991 and 1992), UNLV's Eddie Owens (1977), Kentucky's Julius Randle (2014), Mississippi State's Lawrence Roberts (2004), Mississippi's Ansu Sesay (1998), Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart (2013 and 2014), Wichita State's Dave Stallworth (1963 through 1965), South Carolina's Freddie Tompkins (1934), Illinois' Deron Williams (2005)
Virginia (18) - Duke's Tommy Amaker (1987), Maryland's Bosey Berger (1932), Kentucky's Keith Bogans (2003), Wake Forest's Randolph Childress (1995), Duke's Grant Hill (1992 through 1994), Georgetown's Allen Iverson (1996), East Tennessee State's Mister Jennings (1991), North Carolina's Kendall Marshall (2012), Georgetown's Alonzo Mourning (1989 through 1992), Kansas State's Jack Parr (1957 and 1958), Tulsa's Paul Pressey (1982), Duke's J.J. Redick (2004 through 2006), North Carolina's J.R. Reid (1988 and 1989), Villanova's Scottie Reynolds (2010), Navy's David Robinson (1986 and 1987), Georgia Tech's Dennis Scott (1990), Maryland's Joe Smith (1994 and 1995), Xavier's David West (2002 and 2003)
Wisconsin (8) - St. Louis' Dick Boushka (1955), Iowa's Fred Brown (1981), Connecticut's Caron Butler (2002), Louisville's Reece Gaines (2003), Iowa's John Johnson (1970), Utah's Jeff Jonas (1977), Minnesota's Chuck Mencel (1953 and 1955), Cincinnati's Nick Van Exel (1993)
NOTE: Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont are the only states not to supply an All-American for an out-of-state college.
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.
Delusional or dynamic? Freshman center Noah Vonleh, averaging a modest 11.3 points per game and posting an anemic total of 18 assists in 30 games, thinks he is sufficiently well-rounded for rigors of the NBA after failing to help Indiana participate in the NCAA playoffs.
Vonleh's attitude runs rampant throughout the sport, triggering a series of questions even for the young and restless who appeared in the NCAA tourney. Where was the heart of their principal loyalty - alma mater or professional potential? How much did outside influences affect their performance in recent days when eliminated in NCAA Tournament? Did they attend more classes or play in more games this semester? Would you have performed better (a/k/a played harder) or stayed in school longer if you were a union member? While waiting for cheerleaders and/or water-boys to unionize, sure would like the following undergraduate players to answer these questions:
|Undergraduate||Pos.||School||Class||Summary of Elimination Game in NCAA Playoffs|
|Kyle Anderson||G||UCLA||Soph.||11 points and 3 turnovers vs. Florida|
|Isaiah Austin||C||Baylor||Soph.||12 points and 1 assist vs. Wisconsin|
|Semaj Christon||G||Xavier||Soph.||14 points and 7 turnovers vs. North Carolina State|
|Branden Dawson||F||Michigan State||Jr.||5 points, 0 assists and 3 turnovers vs. Connecticut|
|Joel Embiid||C||Kansas||Fr.||did not play during NCAA tourney because of back ailment|
|Tyler Ennis||G||Syracuse||Fr.||7-of-21 from floor vs. Dayton|
|Aaron Gordon||F||Arizona||Fr.||8 points on 3-of-11 field-goal shooting vs. Wisconsin|
|Jerami Grant||F||Syracuse||Soph.||4 points, 0 assists and 2 turnovers vs. Dayton|
|Montrezl Harrell||F-C||Louisville||Soph.||6 points, 4 rebounds and 0 assists vs. Kentucky|
|Aaron Harrison||G||Kentucky||Fr.||7 points, 0 assists and 3 turnovers vs. Connecticut|
|Andrew Harrison||G||Kentucky||Fr.||8 points and 4 turnovers vs. Connecticut|
|Alex Kirk||C||New Mexico||Jr.||3 points and 0 blocked shots vs. Stanford|
|Zach LaVine||G||UCLA||Fr.||5 points, 1 rebound and 0 assists vs. Florida|
|James Michael McAdoo||F||North Carolina||Jr.||14 points on 5-of-14 field-goal shooting vs. Iowa State|
|Jabari Parker||F||Duke||Fr.||4-of-14 from floor, 0 assists and 4 turnovers vs. Mercer|
|Julius Randle||F||Kentucky||Fr.||10 points and 0 steals vs. Connecticut|
|Glenn Robinson III||F||Michigan||Soph.||14 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist vs. Kentucky|
|LaQuinton Ross||F||Ohio State||Jr.||10 points and 2 rebounds vs. Dayton|
|Marcus Smart||G||Oklahoma State||Soph.||5-of-14 from floor and 6 turnovers vs. Gonzaga|
|Jarnell Stokes||F||Tennessee||Jr.||11 points and 2 turnovers vs. Michigan|
|T.J. Warren||F||North Carolina State||Soph.||28 points, 6-of-14 from free-throw line and 1 assist vs. Saint Louis|
|Andrew Wiggins||G-F||Kansas||Fr.||4 points, 1 assist and 4 turnovers vs. Stanford|