Villanova also lost a regular-season game by 23 points when the Wildcats captured the 1985 NCAA crown. Following are the eight NCAA titlists losing a pre-NCAA playoff contest away from home by more than 20 points:
Champion (Losing Margin) Pre-NCAA Playoff Defeat Away From Home Connecticut '14 (33) at Louisville (81-48) UCLA '65 (27) at Illinois (110-83) North Carolina '93 (26) at Wake Forest (88-62) Villanova '85 (23) at Pittsburgh (85-62) Villanova '16 (23) vs. Oklahoma (78-55) at Hawaii UCLA '75 (22) at Washington (103-81) Duke '91 (22) at Charlotte vs. North Carolina (96-74) Maryland '02 (21) at Duke (99-78)
Extra! Extra! As a new season unfolds, 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.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 12 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
RHP Dick Hall (averaged 13.5 ppg from 1948-49 through 1950-51 for Swarthmore PA 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.
Detroit Tigers RHP Jeff Robinson (two-time NAIA All-District 3 honoree in early 1980s left Azusa Pacific CA as school's No. 9 all-time scorer) won his MLB debut, allowing only one run in seven innings in a 7-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox in 1987.
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 RHP Kent Tekulve (played as freshman for Marietta OH in mid-1960s) commenced a streak of 12 relief appearances in a row without allowing an earned run in 1978.
Pittsburgh Pirates LHP 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.
San Diego Padres RF Will Venable (All-Ivy League first-team selection as junior and second-team choice as senior averaged 9.3 ppg under Princeton coach John Thompson III from 2001-02 through 2004-05) scored four runs against the Atlanta Braves in 2010.
Spreading the wealth has become a trait of recent NCAA kingpins. Kentucky's well-balanced attack, featuring six players averaging from 9.9 to 14.2 points per game in 2011-12, enabled the Wildcats to become the first NCAA Tournament champion to have five different players lead the team in scoring during the playoffs en route to capturing the crown. A quintessential quintet also emerged the past two seasons for titlists Duke and Villanova.
|Titlist With > 3 Team-High Scorers||4 or 5 Different Players Leading Club in Scoring During NCAA Playoffs|
|UCLA '70||Henry Bibby, Curtis Rowe, John Vallely, Sidney Wicks|
|UCLA '75||Dave Meyers, Marques Johnson, Pete Trgovich, Richard Washington|
|Kentucky '78||Truman Claytor, Jack Givens, Kyle Macy, Mike Phillips|
|North Carolina '82||Matt Doherty, Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, James Worthy|
|Louisville '86||Herbert Crook, Pervis Ellison, Billy Thompson, Milt Wagner|
|Indiana '87||Steve Alford, Ricky Calloway, Dean Garrett, Keith Smart|
|UCLA '95||Toby Bailey, Tyus Edney, J.R. Henderson, Ed O'Bannon|
|Florida '07||Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford, Lee Humphrey|
|Kansas '08||Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers, Sasha Kaun, Brandon Rush|
|Kentucky '12||Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Marquis Teague|
|Duke '15||Quinn Cook, Matt Jones, Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow|
|Villanova '16||Ryan Arcidiacono, Phil Booth Jr., Josh Hart, Kris Jenkins, Daniel Ochefu|
Extra! Extra! As a new season unfolds, 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.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 11 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
RHP Roger Craig (forward with North Carolina State's 1949-50 freshman basketball team) released by the Cincinnati Reds and promptly signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966.
RHP 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 St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) supplied 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.
Toronto Blue Jays DH Rick Leach (averaged 15.5 ppg for Michigan's JV squad in 1975-76) registered four hits against the New York Yankees in 1988.
Cleveland Indians CF Kenny Lofton (Arizona's leader in steals for 1988 Final Four team compiling 35-3 record) notched at least one double or triple in each of first six games of 1999 campaign while hitting .467.
Chicago White Sox RF Lyle Mouton (starter in LSU's backcourt with All-American Chris Jackson for 1989 NCAA playoff team) launched a game-winning, three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning against the Texas Rangers in 1996.
In 1961, Hall of Fame RHP 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.
St. Louis Cardinals rookie LF Wally Roettger (Illinois letterman in 1921-22 and 1922-23) registered five RBI against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1928 season opener.
CF 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.
North Carolina's senior class failed to capture an NCAA Tournament title. Nonetheless, they became one of the six Tar Heel recruiting crops among the 20 best groups in college history.
In 1965-66, the best team in the country might have been UCLA's freshman squad. The Bruins' frosh, led by 7-1 Lew Alcindor's 31 points and 21 rebounds, defeated the two-time NCAA champion UCLA varsity, 75-60. The yearlings compiled a 21-0 record, outscoring their opponents 113.2 points per game to 56.6. Starters for what is considered by some as the best freshman team in NCAA history included Alcindor (33.1 ppg and 21.5 rpg), forwards Lynn Shackelford (20.9 ppg and 9.3 rpg) and Kent Taylor (7.2 ppg) and guards Lucius Allen (22.4 ppg and 7.8 rpg) and Kenny Heitz (14.3 ppg).
Freshmen became eligible for varsity competition seven years later, but there are no guarantees despite a recruit's regal high school resume. In fact, UCLA had a couple of the most disappointing classes in memory thus far in the 21st Century. Michigan saw both ends of the spectrum with a couple of its freshman recruiting crops in the 1990s that were highly acclaimed. One lived up to expectations while the other went from feast to famine.
The "Fab Five" in the first half of the decade probably will stand the test of time and earn recognition among the best classes in college basketball history. On the other hand, guard Louis Bullock was all that was left at the conclusion of the Wolverines' promising 1995-96 freshman class that included Tractor Traylor (left early to become an NBA lottery pick) and Albert White (transferred to Missouri where he was the Tigers' leading scorer in 1998-99 with 16.3 ppg). Minus Traylor and White, Michigan posted an anemic 12-19 record in 1998-99 and finished in a tie for ninth place in the Big Ten (5-11).
In the aftermath of Michigan's recruiting hauls, Duke had an amazing series of regal freshman classes. The Blue Devils' 1997-98 freshman crop (William Avery, Shane Battier, Elton Brand and Chris Burgess) dominated the ACC and was well on its way toward challenging Indiana's superb group in the mid-1970s as the premier class of all time until Avery and Brand left school early for the NBA and Burgess transferred to Utah. The splendid original class was eventually regarded as superior to Michigan's "Fab Five" but with only two years intact won't boast the extended excellence to supplant Indiana's brilliant crew that included Quinn Buckner, Scott May and Bobby Wilkerson.
In 1999-00, Duke's stunning freshmen included Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Jason Williams. In 2002-03, the Devils' frosh class included guards Sean Dockery and J.J. Redick plus centers Shavlik Randolph and Shelden Williams. All of these groups were Final Four-bound. As a means of comparison, the Blue Devils' outstanding class comprised of Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas, Johnny Dawkins and David Henderson embarked with an 11-17 mark in 1982-83 before concluding their collegiate careers with an NCAA single-season standard for victories (37-3 in 1985-86). But none of these gifted groups compare to Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen capturing an NCAA title as Blue Devil freshmen in 2015.
Ranking recruiting classes regarding their long-term impact on college basketball is risky business. For instance, does Michigan's Fab Five deserve more acclaim than Butler's mid-major level class that also reached back-to-back NCAA championship games? Where does Kentucky's terrific title trio in 2012 deserve to be ranked insofar as it was around only one year? And what does the future hold for elite recruiting classes assembled again by Duke and Kentucky? Each year's UK crop of late immediately goes to being labeled as perhaps the greatest in collegiate history but they will do well to simply be better than four previous Wildcats classes (1978, 1983, 2013 and 2015).
It is a simplistic copout to accept the instant visibility of icon programs and automatically cite them among the most influential in college history. Classes from Alcorn State, Butler, East Tennessee State, San Francisco, Southern Mississippi and Wichita State are mentioned in this appraisal. In an era of "one 'n done" freshmen, extended impact becomes an even more vital factor in separating the premier recruiting classes.
There is little doubt Kentucky's 2012 title team frosh class would have quickly moved up the pecking order if they had chosen to return. It's unlikely the NCAA will tamper with a nation's fascination with freshmen by making them ineligible. Following is CollegeHoopedia.com's view, factoring in length of tenure (undergraduates declaring for the NBA draft), of the premier recruiting crops (excluding junior college signees) since the introduction of freshman eligibility in 1972-73:
1. Indiana (class of '76)
Recruiting Class: Tom Abernethy, Quinn Buckner, Jim Crews, Scott May, Bobby Wilkerson.
Achievements: Last NCAA champion to go undefeated compiled a 63-1 record in last two seasons this class was intact, climaxing a run of four Big Ten titles. Reached 1973 Final Four with freshmen Buckner and Crews as starting guards under coach Bob Knight (May was ineligible as a freshman for academic reasons). Posted an amazing 59-5 conference mark while capturing four consecutive Big Ten titles. Abernethy, Buckner, May and Wilkerson all played at least five seasons in the NBA while Crews went on to coach Evansville and Army for more than 20 seasons
2. Duke (class of '01)
Recruiting Class: William Avery, Shane Battier, Elton Brand, Chris Burgess (transfer/Utah).
Achievements: Won 31 of 32 ACC games in two seasons together before Avery and Brand left early for the NBA draft. NCAA playoff runner-up in 1999 under coach Mike Krzyzewski
3. Georgetown (class of '85)
Recruiting Class: Ralph Dalton, Patrick Ewing, Anthony Jones (transfer/UNLV), Bill Martin.
Achievements: Won NCAA title in 1984, runner-up in 1985 and reached Final Four in 1982. Went 30-7, 22-10, 34-3 and 35-3 under coach John Thompson. The Hoyas' worst Big East record in that span was 11-5 in 1982-83 although their only conference crown was in 1984. Ewing was the only one of the group to play more than three season in the NBA.
4. Florida (class of '08)
Recruiting Class: Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford, Joakim Noah.
Achievements: Brewer, Horford and Noah were top nine NBA draft choices as undergraduates after capturing back-to-back NCAA crowns in 2006 and 2007.
5. Duke (class of '18)
Recruiting Class: Grayson Allen, Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow.
Achievements: Okafor, Winslow and Jones left after capturing NCAA crown as freshmen to become NBA first-round draft choices. Allen, an improbable hero in the title game, went on to become an All-American the next season.
6. North Carolina (class of '06)
Recruiting Class: Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants, Sean May, David Noel, Bryon Sanders.
Achievements: Felton, McCants and May earned All-ACC honors in their final seasons as juniors when they captured the NCAA crown before becoming top 14 NBA draft choices.
7. Kansas (class of '03)
Recruiting Class: Nick Collison, Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich.
Achievements: Collison, Gooden and Hinrich each became an NBA lottery pick. After Gooden left early for the NBA draft, Collison and Hinrich were All-Americans in 2003 when the Jayhawks finished NCAA Tournament runner-up under coach Roy Williams. KU went unbeaten in the Big 12 Conference in 2002.
8. Duke (class of '03)
Recruiting Class: Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Jason Williams.
Achievements: Might have been the school's best if any of them had exercised all of their eligibility similar to teammate Shane Battier. Reached NCAA playoff final in 1999 and 2001 under coach Mike Krzyzewski.
9. Michigan (class of '95)
Recruiting Class: Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber.
Achievements: NCAA Tournament runner-up in 1992 (25-9) and 1993 (31-5) as freshman and sophomore starters. Howard, Rose and Webber became NBA first-round draft choices as undergraduates and each played more than 12 years in the league. Principal drawback is that none of the "Fab Five" was a member of a Big Ten Conference title team under coach Steve Fisher.
10. North Carolina (class of '10)
Recruiting Class: Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson, Alec Stephenson (transfer/Southern California), Deon Thompson, Brandan Wright.
Achievements: Wright was a "one 'n done" recruit, but core of group cruised to 2009 NCAA crown by winning their playoff games by an average of 20.2 points.
11. Notre Dame (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Tracy Jackson, Gilbert Salinas, Kelly Tripucka, Stan Wilcox, Orlando Woolridge.
Achievements: Final Four participant in 1978 and Midwest Regional runner-up in '79. Irish went 23-8, 24-6, 22-6 and 23-6 under coach Digger Phelps. Jackson, Tripucka and Woolridge were its top three scorers each of their last three seasons. Tripucka (26.5 ppg/15.3) and Woolridge (25.1/10.6) had long NBA careers where they flourished as scorers, posting a pro career-high scoring average significantly higher than their college career mark.
12. North Carolina (class of '16)
Recruiting Class: Joel James, Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige, J.P. Tokoto.
Achievements: Compiled a 108-40 record over four seasons. Reached NCAA Tournament final as seniors despite Tokoto declaring early for the NBA draft after the previous campaign.
13. Louisville (class of '82)
Recruiting Class: Wiley Brown, Jerry Eaves, Scooter McCray, Derek Smith, Pancho Wright.
Achievements: Won NCAA title in 1980 with Brown, Eaves and Smith starting while McCray was sidelined with a knee injury. Reached the 1982 Final Four under coach Denny Crum. Went 24-8, 33-3, 21-9 and 23-10 with Metro Conference crowns the first three years.
14. Kentucky (class of '15)
Recruiting Class: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer (transfer/Gonzaga).
Achievements: Undefeated SEC worksheet before capturing an NCAA title in their lone season together. Outside marksman Wiltjer was the only one not to declare for the NBA draft after their 38-2 freshman campaign under coach John Calipari.
15. North Carolina (class of '97)
Recruiting Class: Guy McInnis, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Serge Zwikker.
Achievements: Zwikker was the only Tar Heels representative for each of their three 28-win campaigns in this four-year span under coach Dean Smith.
16. Kentucky (class of '83)
Recruiting Class: Sam Bowie, Derrick Hord, Charles Hunt, Dirk Minniefield.
Achievements: Oft-injured Bowie played five years, reaching Final Four in 1984. Original class had respective records of 29-6, 22-6, 22-8 and 23-8, but never advanced beyond second game of NCAA playoffs. Captured three SEC championships in that span under coach Joe B. Hall.
17. UCLA (class of '77)
Recruiting Class: Marques Johnson, Wilbert Olinde, Gavin Smith (transfer/Hawaii), Jim Spillane, Richard Washington.
Achievements: Won [John Wooden's](coaches/john-wooden) final NCAA title in 1975. Washington left for the NBA a year early. Bruins went 26-4, 28-3, 28-4 and 25-4 with four Pacific-8 Conference crowns. Reached Final Four in '76 under coach Gene Bartow.
18. Ohio State (class of '10)
Recruiting Class: Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook, David Lighty, Greg Oden.
Achievements: Known as the "Thad Five" (when adding juco recruit Othello Hunter), the Buckeyes compiled a 35-4 as NCAA Tournament runner-up in 2007. Oden and Conley were top four NBA draft choices following freshman campaign.
19. North Carolina (class of '77)
Recruiting Class: Bruce Buckley, Walter Davis, John Kuester, Tom LaGarde.
Achievements: Lost 1977 NCAA playoff final (28-5 record) after posting similar marks (composite of 70-18) the previous three years. Captured ACC regular-season championships their last two seasons under coach Dean Smith.
20. North Carolina (class of '94)
Recruiting Class: Eric Montross, Derrick Phelps, Brian Reese, Clifford Rozier (transfer/Louisville), Pat Sullivan.
Achievements: Won NCAA title in 1993 after reaching 1991 Final Four as freshmen. Compiled records of 29-6, 23-10, 34-4 and 28-7 under coach Dean Smith. Only ACC regular-season championship was in 1993.
21. Illinois (class of '06)
Recruiting Class: James Augustine, Dee Brown, Deron Williams, Kyle Wilson (transfer/Wichita State).
Achievements: Bill Self's recruits became NCAA Tournament runner-up in 2005 under coach Bruce Weber.
22. Kentucky (class of '13)
Recruiting Class: Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton, John Wall.
Achievements: Regional runner-up after winning SEC regular-season and league tournament titles in 2010 in their lone season together. All four recruits became NBA first-round draft choices.
23. Michigan State (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Mike Brkovich, Magic Johnson, Rick Kaye, Jay Vincent.
Achievements: Recovered from embarrassing 18-point defeat to league cellar dweller Northwestern to win 1979 NCAA championship under coach Jud Heathcote with an average victory margin of 20.8 points. Went 25-5 and 26-6 and captured Big Ten titles in Johnson's two seasons before posting losing records (12-15 and 13-14) after he turned pro early.
24. Duke (class of '86)
Recruiting Class: Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas, Johnny Dawkins, David Henderson.
Achievements: Runner-up in 1986 NCAA playoffs with an NCAA-record 37-3 mark after going 24-10 and 23-8 the previous two years following an 11-17 worksheet as freshmen under coach Mike Krzyzewski. Senior season accounted for the group's lone ACC regular-season championship.
25. San Francisco (class of '79)
Recruiting Class: Winford Boynes, Bill Cartwright, Erik Gilberg, Raymond Hamilton (left after two seasons), James Hardy.
Achievements: Went 22-8, 29-2, 22-5 and 22-7 with WCAC championships the last three years. Boynes and Hardy were among the top 13 NBA draft picks after leaving school following their junior season when Dan Belluomini succeeded Bob Gaillard as coach. Cartwright was the third selection overall the next year.
26. Duke (class of '06)
Recruiting Class: Sean Dockery, Lee Melchionni, Shavlik Randolph, J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams.
Achievements: Three seasons with at least 28 victories as All-Americans Redick and Williams exercised all of their collegiate eligibility. Can't be ranked ahead of Michigan's Fab Five because they never reached a Final Four.
27. Kansas (class of '09)
Recruiting Class: Mario Chalmers, Micah Downs (transfer/Gonzaga), Brandon Rush, Julian Wright.
Achievements: Wright left school early for the NBA prior to KU's NCAA title in 2008. None of group was around for the 2008-09 campaign.
28. Syracuse (class of '06)
Recruiting Class: Carmelo Anthony, Billy Edelin, Gerry McNamara.
Achievements: Anthony, the 2003 Final Four MOP, led the champion Orange in scoring in five of its six playoff games. McNamara was Big East Conference Tournament MVP as a senior.
29. Connecticut (class of '07)
Recruiting Class: Josh Boone, Charlie Villanueva, Marcus Williams.
Achievements: Won 2004 NCAA title before each of them left school early for the NBA the next two years.
30. Kansas (class of '05)
Recruiting Class: Keith Langford, Michael Lee, Aaron Miles, Wayne Simien.
Achievements: Splitting time between coaches Roy Williams and Bill Self, this quartet combined for nearly 5,100 points.
31. Marquette (class of '09)
Recruiting Class: Dominic James, Wesley Matthews, Jerel McNeal.
Achievements: Recruited by Tom Crean and playing senior season under Buzz Williams, they combined for more than 5,400 points in compiling four 20-win seasons.
32. Arizona (class of '76)
Recruiting Class: Al Fleming, John Irving (transfer/Hofstra), Eric Money, Coniel Norman, Jim Rappis.
Achievements: Overshadowed by UCLA, UA's "Kiddie Korps" started off 16-10 before members of the original group went 19-7, 22-7 and 24-9 under coach Fred Snowden. Norman averaged 23.9 ppg and Money averaged 18.5 ppg before they turned pro after two seasons. Irving played one season with the Wildcats before transferring to Hofstra, where he led the nation in rebounding in 1975. Fleming became the school's all-time leading rebounder.
33. Purdue (class of '88)
Recruiting Class: Jeff Arnold, Troy Lewis, Todd Mitchell, Dave Stack, Everette Stephens.
Achievements: "The Three Amigos" (Lewis, Mitchell and Stephens) were instrumental in helping the Boilermakers compile a four-year record of 96-28 (.774), including a glittering 29-4 mark as seniors under coach Gene Keady. Lewis and Mitchell still rank among the school's all-time top 10 scorers. Group captured Big Ten Conference titles their last two seasons together. Stephens went on to have the most NBA experience with 38 games.
34. North Carolina (class of '99)
Recruiting Class: Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Ademola Okulaja.
Achievements: Coach Dean Smith must have been frustrated in his last two seasons that teams with talents such as Carter and Jamison lost a total of 18 games in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
35. Arizona (class of '05)
Recruiting Class: Will Bynum (transfer/Georgia Tech), Isaiah Fox, Channing Frye, Dennis Latimore (transfer/Notre Dame), Salim Stoudamire.
Achievements: Might have ranked higher if they didn't go through the turmoil of coach Lute Olson's swan song.
36. Kentucky (class of '78)
Recruiting Class: Jack Givens, Dan Hall (transfer/Marshall), James Lee, Mike Phillips, Rick Robey.
Achievements: Freshmen on UK's national runner-up in 1975. Givens (Final Four MOP), Lee, Phillips and Robey represented four of the Wildcats' top five scorers for the Wildcats' 1978 NCAA titlist under coach Joe B. Hall. UK had to settle for participating in the 1976 NIT when Robey missed more than half of the season because of a knee injury.
37. Kansas State (class of '11)
Recruiting Class: Ron Anderson Jr. (transfer/South Florida), Michael Beasley, Fred Brown, Jacob Pullen, Dominique Sutton (transfer/North Carolina Central), Bill Walker.
Achievements: Notched a 21-12 record in their only season together as Beasley and Walker departed for the NBA after freshman campaign.
38. Maryland (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Ernest Graham, Albert King, Greg Manning.
Achievements: Graham, King and Manning all finished their careers with more than 1,500 points. The Terrapins went 15-13, 19-11, 24-7 (won 1980 ACC regular-season title) and 21-10 under coach Lefty Driesell.
39. Pittsburgh (class of '91)
Recruiting Class: Bobby Martin, Jason Matthews, Sean Miller (RS in 1990), Darelle Porter, Brian Shorter (Prop 48).
Achievements: All five players became 1,000-point scorers in their careers. The Panthers went 24-7 with a Big East Conference title in 1987-88 when they were freshmen before struggling the next couple of seasons under coach Paul Evans.
40. UCLA (class of '83)
Recruiting Class: Darren Daye, Rod Foster, Michael Holton, Cliff Pruitt (transfer/UAB).
Achievements: NCAA Tournament runner-up in 1980 as freshmen under coach Larry Brown. Won Pacific-10 title in '83 under Brown's successor (Larry Farmer). Compiled records of 22-10, 20-7, 21-6 and 23-6.
(Underrated classes that didn't generate the headlines they deserved.)
Alcorn State (class of '85)
Recruiting Class: Eddie Archer, Aaron Brandon, Tommy Collier, Michael Phelps.
Achievements: Archer, Brandon, Collier and Phelps all finished their careers with more than 1,200 points. The Braves won three SWAC championships in four years from 1982 through 1985 under coach Davey Whitney, winning NCAA playoff games in 1983 and 1984 when they were eliminated by Georgetown and Kansas by a total of six points.
Butler (class of '12)
Recruiting Class: Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Ronald Nored, Chase Stigall (redshirt).
Achievements: Hayward nearly hit a game-winning half-court shot in 2010 NCAA title contest. Mack and Nored appeared in back-to-back NCAA championship games. Stigall went on to become one of the Bulldogs' top three-point shooters.
East Tennessee State (class of '91)
Recruiting Class: Greg Dennis, Major Geer, Keith Jennings, Alvin West.
Achievements: All four players became 1,000-point scorers in their careers. East Tennessee State coasted to three consecutive Southern Conference Tournament titles from 1989 through 1991 under coaches Les Robinson and Alan LeForce.
Georgia (class of '83)
Recruiting Class: Terry Fair, Lamar Heard, Dominique Wilkins.
Achievements: The Bulldogs averaged 19 victories annually from 1979-80 through 1982-83 after winning more than 14 games only once the previous 29 seasons.
Illinois (class of '86)
Recruiting Class: Doug Altenberger, Bruce Douglas, Scott Meents, Efrem Winters, Reggie Woodward.
Achievements: Illini won more than 20 games four consecutive campaigns under coach Lou Henson.
Indiana (class of '93)
Recruiting Class: Calbert Cheaney, Lawrence Funderburke (transfer/Ohio State), Greg Graham, Pat Graham, Chris Lawson (transfer/Vanderbilt), Todd Leary, Chris Reynolds.
Achievements: Reached 1992 Final Four en route to compiling 105-27 record. Cheaney became IU's all-time leading scorer.
Iowa (class of '89)
Recruiting Class: B.J. Armstrong, Ed Horton, Les Jepsen (freshman redshirt), Roy Marble.
Achievements: George Raveling's final recruiting class with the Hawkeyes (including J.C. signee Kevin Gamble) all played in the NBA after helping Tom Davis capture national coach of the year acclaim in 1986-87.
Michigan State (class of '92)
Recruiting Class: Parish Hickman (transfer/Liberty), Mark Montgomery, Mike Peplowski (freshman redshirt), Matt Steigenga.
Achievements: Coming off back-to-back losing campaigns under coach Jud Heathcote, the Spartans averaged almost 22 wins annually the next four seasons from 1988-89 through 1991-92.
North Carolina (class of '69)
Recruiting Class: Jim Bostick (transfer/Auburn), Joe Brown, Bill Bunting, Rusty Clark, Dick Grubar, Gerald Tuttle.
Achievements: In three years of varsity competition (45-6 record against ACC foes and 81-15 overall), this group coached by Dean Smith became the first to finish No. 1 in the regular season, win the ACC Tournament and advance to the Final Four each year.
Ohio State (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Marquis Miller, Kenny Page (transfer/New Mexico), Todd Penn, Carter Scott, Jim Smith, Herb Williams. Achievements: Eldon Miller, Fred Taylor's coaching successor, returned the Buckeyes to national postseason competition with three four-year starters (Scott, Smith and Williams). Page, after starting most of his freshman season with OSU, twice ranked among the nation's top 11 scorers with the Lobos.
Southern California (class of '89)
Recruiting Class: Jeff Connelly (transfer/Santa Clara), Hank Gathers (transfer/Loyola Marymount), Bo Kimble (transfer/Loyola Marymount), Tom Lewis (transfer/Pepperdine).
Achievements: The nucleus of USC's class, recruited by Stan Morrison, left to become stars in the West Coast Conference after a modest freshman season (11-17) when George Raveling arrived as coach.
Southern Mississippi (class of '88)
Recruiting Class: Casey Fisher, Derrick Hamilton, Randolph Keys, John White.
Achievements: Keys, Fisher, Hamilton and White all finished their careers with more than 1,300 points. The Golden Eagles, overshadowed in the Metro Conference by Louisville, won the 1987 NIT under coach M.K. Turk when each of the quartet scored in double digits.
Syracuse (class of '95)
Recruiting Class: Anthony Harris (transfer/Hawaii), Luke Jackson, Lawrence Moten, J.B. Reafsnyder (RS), Glenn Sekunda (transfer/Penn State), Lazarus Sims (RS).
Achievements: The Orange were on NCAA probation in 1993 before Moten finished his career as the school's all-time leading scorer.
UNLV (class of '77)
Recruiting Class: Lewis Brown, Glen Gondrezick, Eddie Owens, Jackie Robinson.
Achievements: Core of freshmen, supplemented by JC signee Ricky Sobers first two seasons, wound up in 1977 Final Four under coach Jerry Tarkanian.
Utah (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Karl Bankowski, Tom Chambers, Scott Martin, Danny Vranes.
Achievements: Formidable frontcourt featuring Bankowski/Chambers/Vranes helped enable Martin to pace the Utes in assists three successive seasons under coach Jerry Pimm.
Wake Forest (class of '82)
Recruiting Class: Mike Helms, Jim Johnstone, Guy Morgan, Alvis Rogers (RS in 1982).
Achievements: All four players finished their careers with more than 1,100 points under coach Carl Tacy. Morgan, Rogers and Johnstone each grabbed more than 550 rebounds. The Demon Deacons posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history (22-7 in 1980-81 and 21-9 in 1981-82 when they finished both years in third place in the ACC).
Wichita State (class of '83)
Recruiting Class: Antoine Carr, James Gibbs, Ozell Jones (transfer/Cal State Fullerton), Cliff Levingston.
Achievements: Posted marks of 17-12, 26-7, 23-6 and 25-3 under coach Gene Smithson. Group is somewhat overlooked because the school was on NCAA probation in 1982 and 1983. Levingston left after his junior year. Captured Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championships in 1981 and 1983. Jones played in the NBA with Carr and Levingston.
Extra! Extra! As a new season gains traction, 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.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 10 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Washington Senators 1B Frank Howard (two-time All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection in 1956-57 and 1957-58 when leading Ohio State in scoring and rebounding) hammered two homers against the New York Yankees in 1969.
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 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.
In 1968 season opener, Cleveland Indians RHP Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Missouri in 1957-58 as All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) tossed a two-hit shutout against the Chicago White Sox.
Atlanta Braves LHP George Stone (averaged 14.7 ppg and 6.5 rpg for Louisiana Tech in 1964-65 and 1965-66) tossed a six-hit shutout against the Houston Astros in his first start of the 1970 campaign.
A pinch-hit grand slam by OF-1B Champ Summers (led SIUE in scoring in 1969-70 after doing same with Nicholls State in 1964-65) propelled the San Diego Padres to a 7-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1984. It was Summers' final MLB homer.
RHP 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.
"I'm gonna make it to heaven, light up the sky like a flame. I'm gonna live forever. Baby, remember my name." - Theme from 1980s film and TV series Fame
Villanova senior guard Ryan Arcidiacono became the ninth Most Outstanding Player in NCAA Tournament history who wasn't an All-American, joining Kansas' B.H. Born (1953), Villanova's Ed Pinckney (1985), Indiana's Keith Smart (1987), UNLV's Anderson Hunt (1990), North Carolina's Donald Williams (1993), Kentucky's Jeff Sheppard (1998), Louisville's Luke Hancock (2013) and Duke's Tyus Jones (2015).
There are questions regarding how much impact, if any, Arcidiacono could have in the NBA. Perhaps that is why he should also think about what happens when the ball stops bouncing. What did the brightest Final Four stars do in the real world after Father Time took its toll on their playing ability? The following individuals weren't always defined solely as basketball standouts after earning acclaim as the Final Four MOP:
Year(s) - Most Outstanding Player, Position, Class, School
1940 - Marv Huffman, G, Sr., Indiana
Played one season with Goodyear in the National Industrial League in 1940-41 (5.1 ppg) and four with the Akron Collegians. After he stopped playing basketball, he was a special assistant to the president of Goodyear. He died in 1984 of multiple sclerosis.
1942 - Howie Dallmar, G, Soph., Stanford
Averaged 9.6 ppg with the Philadelphia Warriors in three NBA seasons from 1946-47 through 1948-49. Compiled a 105-51 record (.673) for Penn in six seasons from 1948-49 through 1953-54 before posting a 264-264 record (.500) for Stanford in 21 seasons from 1954-55 through 1974-75. His best season was a 22-5 mark in 1952-53.
1943 - Kenny Sailors, G, Jr., Wyoming
Averaged 12.6 ppg and 2.8 apg with seven different NBA teams in five seasons from 1946-47 through 1950-51. Lived in Gakona, Alaska, where he owned a guided big-game hunting business with his son. Had a winter home in Arizona.
1944 - Arnie Ferrin, F, Fr., Utah
Averaged 5.8 ppg with the Minneapolis Lakers in three NBA seasons from 1948-49 through 1950-51. General Manager of the ABA's Utah Stars, athletic director for his alma mater and chairman of the NCAA Tournament selection committee in 1988.
1947 - George Kaftan, F-C, Soph., Holy Cross
Averaged 7.5 ppg with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets in five NBA seasons from 1948-49 through 1952-53. Graduated from Georgetown Dental School, coached C.W. Post for 17 seasons and maintained a dental practice.
1948 and 1949 - Alex Groza, C, Jr./Sr., Kentucky
Averaged 22.5 ppg with the Indianapolis Olympians in two NBA seasons in 1949-50 and 1950-51 before his pro career ended because of a college point-shaving scandal. Got a job at General Electric in Louisville before returning to his hometown (Martin's Ferry, Ohio) and running his mother's tavern. Compiled a 91-77 record (.542) as coach for Bellarmine College in seven seasons from 1959-60 through 1965-66. Executive with two ABA franchises (Kentucky Colonels and San Diego Conquistadors) before getting involved with professional volleyball. Joined Reynolds Metals in 1977 and traveled around the country as Pacific Coast manager of its chemical division.
1950 - Irwin Dambrot, F, Sr., CCNY
Became a dentist.
1951 - Bill Spivey, C, Sr., Kentucky
After 16 years in the bush leagues with assorted nondescript teams, he extended his nomadic existence with a series of jobs - salesman, insurance agent, real estate developer, government official (Kentucky's deputy insurance commissioner) and restaurant and bar owner - before relocating to Costa Rica.
1952 - Clyde Lovellette, C, Sr., Kansas
Averaged 17 ppg and 9.5 rpg with the Minneapolis Lakers, Cincinnati Royals, St. Louis Hawks and Boston Celtics in 11 NBA seasons from 1953-54 through 1963-64. Assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers in 1967 when they started their ABA franchise. Served as a sheriff in his native Indiana and taught and coached at White's Institute, a school for troubled youngsters in Wabash, before moving to Munising, Mich.
1953 - B.H. Born, C, Jr., Kansas
Played AAU basketball until the late 1950s with the Peoria (Ill.) Caterpillars before going to work in the personnel office for Caterpillar Bulldozers. He spent his entire career working for Caterpillar until his retirement.
1954 - Tom Gola, C-F, Jr., La Salle
Averaged 11.3 ppg and 8 rpg with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks in 11 NBA seasons from 1955-56 through 1965-66. He invested in driving ranges, apartment complexes, recycling companies and residential sites. Gola owned his own insurance company and a skating rink. He was a spokesman for Texaco, Vitalis and the Army Reserve. In 1966, Gola began a two-term career as a state legislator while coaching his alma mater before becoming Philadelphia's city controller. He later became a vice president of the Valley Forge Investment Corporation and served on the board of the Philadelphia Convention Center.
1955 - Bill Russell, C, Jr., San Francisco
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 15.1 ppg, 22.5 rpg and 4.3 apg with the Boston Celtics in 13 NBA seasons from 1956-57 through 1968-69. Five-time MVP was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). Compiled a 341-290 record (.540) with the Celtics (1966-67 through 1968-69), Seattle SuperSonics (1973-74 through 1976-77) and Sacramento Kings (1987-88) in eight seasons. Network analyst dabbled with acting but retreated to the quiet life on Mercer Island in Washington, and has a clothing line company called Center Court.
1956 - Hal Lear, G, Sr., Temple
Played in three games for the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors in 1956-57 before playing 10 seasons in the Eastern Basketball League, becoming MVP in 1956-57 and averaging 39.7 ppg for Easton in 1960-61. Also averaged 13.1 ppg for Los Angeles and Cleveland in the ABL in 1961-62.
1957 - Wilt Chamberlain, C, Soph., Kansas
Averaged 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg and 4.4 apg with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers in 14 NBA seasons from 1959-60 through 1972-73. Made a fortune in the restaurant business, designed homes, owned racehorses and played professional volleyball. Also wrote four books: Wilt; A View From Above; Chamberlain House: The Possible Dream, and Who's Running the Asylum: The Insane World of Sports Today.
1958 - Elgin Baylor, C, Jr., Seattle
Averaged 27.4 ppg, 13.5 rpg and 4.3 apg with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers in 14 seasons from 1958-59 through 1971-72. Coached the New Orleans Jazz for four seasons in the late 1970s (86-135 record). Executive with the Los Angeles Clippers.
1959 - Jerry West, F-G, Jr., West Virginia
Averaged 27 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 6.7 apg with the Los Angeles Lakers in 14 NBA seasons from 1960-61 through 1973-74. Long-time executive with the Lakers before accepting a similar position with the Memphis Grizzlies.
1960 and 1961 - Jerry Lucas, C, Soph./Jr., Ohio State
Seven-time All-Star averaged 17 ppg and 15.6 rpg with the Cincinnati Royals, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks in 11 NBA seasons from 1963-64 through 1973-74. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). Memory expert and motivational speaker lived in Templeton, Calif., while working on revolutionary educational programs. Taught his memory and learning technique to many Fortune 500 companies and countless churches. He authored more than 60 books on learning, including The Memory Book, which was on the New York Times' best-seller list for 50 weeks and reached the No. 2 position behind All the President's Men, the investigative story that uncovered the Watergate scandal.
1962 - Paul Hogue, C, Sr., Cincinnati
Averaged 6.3 ppg and 7.1 rpg with the New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets in two NBA seasons in 1962-63 and 1963-64. Worked with the Tennessee juvenile program before moving back to Cincinnati to work at a milling machine firm. He served as a physical therapist at a state mental hospital, a counselor at a neighborhood youth center and as a counselor in a local school system before becoming the division supervisor for the Postal Services' Employee Assistance Program.
1963 - Art Heyman, F, Sr., Duke
Averaged 10.3 ppg and 2.8 rpg with the New York Knicks, Cincinnati Royals and Philadelphia 76ers in three NBA seasons from 1963-64 through 1965-66 before averaging 15.4 ppg and 6.4 rpg with the New Jersey Americans, Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers and Miami Floridians in three ABA seasons from 1967-68 through 1969-70. Owned and operated several restaurants.
1964 - Walt Hazzard, G, Sr., UCLA
Averaged 12.6 ppg, 3 rpg and 4.9 apg with five different NBA teams in 10 seasons from 1964-65 through 1973-74. Later named Mahdi Abdul-Rahmad, he worked in the Los Angeles Lakers' front office and coached his alma mater and Chapman College before suffering a stroke and undergoing open-heart surgery in 1996.
1965 - Bill Bradley, F, Sr., Princeton
Rhodes Scholar averaged 12.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 3.4 apg with the New York Knicks in 10 NBA seasons from 1967-68 through 1976-77. Three-term U.S. Senator (Democrat-N.J.) until 1995 was a tax and trade expert with a strong voice on race issues and campaign finance reform. The presidential candidate against Al Gore in 2000 authored two basketball books (Life on the Run in 1976 and Values of the Game in 1998).
1966 - Jerry Chambers, F, Sr., Utah
Averaged 8.3 ppg and 3.2 rpg with the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Buffalo Braves, San Diego Conquistadors and San Antonio Spurs in six NBA/ABA seasons from 1966-67 to 1973-74. Worked for the L.A. city parks and recreation department for many years.
1967, 1968 and 1969 - Lew Alcindor, C, Soph./Jr./Sr., UCLA
Six-time league MVP averaged 24.6 ppg and 11.2 rpg in 20 NBA seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969-70 through 1988-89. Nineteen-time All-Star later named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). In 1999, he worked with a high school team at White Mountain Apache Reservation in Whiteriver, Ariz. He was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000 and then worked in training camp with the Indiana Pacers before becoming head coach of the USBL's Oklahoma Storm for one season. Hired by the New York Knicks as a scout in March, 2004 before serving as a Lakers aide helping develop center Andrew Bynum. In January 2012, he was appointed a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State before becoming a TIME columnist.
1970 - Sidney Wicks, F, Jr., UCLA
Averaged 16.8 ppg and 8.7 rpg with the Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics and San Diego Clippers in 10 NBA seasons from 1971-72 through 1980-81. Worked in property management. Served as an assistant coach at his alma mater under Walt Hazzard for four seasons in the mid-1980s. At the completion of his coaching stint with the Bruins, Wicks has been in private business.
1971 - Howard Porter, F, Sr., Villanova
Averaged 9.2 ppg and 4.1 rpg with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets in seven NBA seasons from 1971-72 through 1977-78. Senior probation officer for Ramsey County (Minn.) after getting clean from drugs with the help of a colleague working with him loading furniture for a construction firm in Orlando. Earlier, Porter failed at running a club in Florida and a convenience store. He was trying to trade money and crack cocaine for sex with a prostitute in St. Paul in May, 2007, when the probation officer was beaten to death, according to murder charges filed several months later.
1972 and 1973 - Bill Walton, C, Soph./Jr., UCLA
Averaged 13.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 3.4 apg with the Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics in 10 NBA seasons from 1974-75 to 1986-87. Network commentator for both the NBA and NCAA after and while working in a similar capacity for the Clippers.
1974 - David Thompson, F, Jr., North Carolina State
Averaged 22.7 ppg and 4.1 rpg with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle SuperSonics in nine ABA/NBA seasons from 1975-76 through 1983-84. Motivational speaker with Unlimited Sports Management was also community relations director for the Charlotte Hornets.
1975 - Richard Washington, C-F, Soph., UCLA
Averaged 9.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg with the Kansas City Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers in six NBA seasons from 1976-77 through 1981-82. Contractor in Portland.
1976 - Kent Benson, C, Jr., Indiana
Averaged 9.1 ppg and 5.7 rpg with four different NBA teams in 11 seasons from 1977-78 through 1987-88. Resided in Bloomington, where he worked with Diversified Benefit Services.
1977 - Butch Lee, G, Jr., Marquette
Averaged 8.1 ppg and 3.2 apg with the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers in two NBA seasons in 1978-79 and 1979-80. Owned two restaurants, coached pro ball in Puerto Rico and had a sign business in San Juan.
1978 - Jack Givens, F, Sr., Kentucky
Averaged 6.7 ppg and 2.9 rpg with the Atlanta Hawks in two NBA seasons in 1978-79 and 1979-80. Announcer for the Orlando Magic did not have his contract renewed after he was found not guilty following an arrest during summer of 2004 on charges of sexual battery and lewd molestation of a 14-year-old girl.
1979 - Earvin "Magic" Johnson, G, Soph., Michigan State
Averaged 19.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 11.2 apg with the Los Angeles Lakers in 13 NBA seasons from 1979-80 through 1990-91 and 1995-96. Business entrepreneur emphasized attempting to revitalize a number of minority neighborhoods. He owned the Magic Theatres, an L.A. restaurant chain (Fatburgers), a TGI Friday's and some Starbucks coffee shops. Johnson was a principal in a local black-owned bank and delved into the entertainment business as a concert promoter and owner of the Magic Johnson Record label. Part of ownership group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in the spring of 2012.
1980 - Darrell Griffith, G, Sr., Louisville
Averaged 16.2 ppg and 3.3 rpg with the Utah Jazz in 11 NBA seasons from 1980-81 through 1990-91. Resides in Louisville where he has several real estate investments and business interests. Father-in-law of former NBA standout Derek Anderson established a foundation in his hometown.
1981 - Isiah Thomas, G, Soph., Indiana
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 19.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 9.3 apg with the Detroit Pistons in 13 NBA seasons from 1981-82 through 1993-94. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996) served as president of the New York Knicks from 2003-04 through 2007-08. Executive and part owner of the Toronto Raptors, owner of the CBA and coach of the Indiana Pacers (131-115 record in three seasons from 2000-01 through 2002-03). Served as coach for Florida International three seasons. Named president and part-owner of the Knicks' WNBA sister team, the New York Liberty, subsequent to the re-hiring of Thomas' former Pistons teammate, Bill Laimbeer, as the team's coach.
1983 - Hakeem Olajuwon, C, Soph., Houston
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 21.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg and 3.1 bpg with the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors in 18 seasons from 1984-85 through 2001-02. Six-time All-NBA first-team selection was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). NBA Most Valuable Player in 1993-94 was one of only eight players in league history to amass more than 20,000 points and 12,000 rebounds. Split time between his ranch near Houston (buying real estate in cash-only purchases) and Jordan, where he pursued Islamic studies.
1984 - Patrick Ewing, C, Jr., Georgetown
Eleven-time All-Star averaged 21 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 2.4 bpg with the New York Knicks, Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic in 17 seasons from 1985-86 through 2001-02. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996) became an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats.
1985 - Ed Pinckney, F, Sr., Villanova
Averaged 6.8 ppg and 5 rpg with seven different NBA teams in 12 seasons from 1985-86 through 1996-97. Miami Heat TV analyst while trying to cope with an overactive thyroid.
1986 - Pervis Ellison, C, Fr., Louisville
Averaged 9.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg with the Sacramento Kings, Washington Bullets and Boston Celtics in 10 NBA seasons from 1989-90 through 1997-98 and 1999-00. Lived in Atlanta. Coached basketball for various teams throughout Southern New Jersey, including his son, Malik, at Life Center Academy.
1987 - Keith Smart, G, Jr., Indiana
Played in two games with the San Antonio Spurs in 1988-89 before basketball took him to the Philippines, Venezuela and France. After playing and coaching in the CBA with the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Fury, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as director of player development and assistant coach. Smart was named interim head coach of the Cavs midway through the 2002-03 campaign, replacing John Lucas. Also promoted from assistant to head coach with the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings before becoming an aide for the Miami Heat.
1988 - Danny Manning, F, Sr., Kansas
Two-time All-Star averaged 14 ppg and 5.2 rpg with seven different franchises in 15 NBA seasons from 1988-89 through 2002-03. Assistant coach at his alma mater for nine seasons before accepting head coaching position with Tulsa and subsequently accepting a similar position at Wake Forest.
1989 - Glen Rice, F, Sr., Michigan
Averaged 18.3 ppg and 4.4 rpg with six different NBA franchises in 15 seasons from 1989-90 through 2003-04. Three-time All-Star was the Heat's all-time leading scorer.
1990 - Anderson Hunt, G, Soph., UNLV
Pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with marijuana found in his possession during a traffic stop in October 1993. Worked in real estate in Detroit.
1991 - Christian Laettner, C-F, Jr., Duke
All-Star in 1996-97 averaged 12.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 2.6 apg with six different NBA franchises in 13 seasons from 1992-93 through 2004-05. He and Duke teammate Brian Davis faced huge financial and legal hurdles stemming from a loan their real estate company failed to repay nearly $700,000 to former Duke captain and current Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. Court documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal indicated that Laettner and Davis were defendants in several civil lawsuits seeking repayment of about $30 million.
1992 - Bobby Hurley, G, Jr., Duke
Averaged 3.8 ppg and 3.3 apg with the Sacramento Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies in five NBA seasons from 1993-94 through 1997-98. Owned race horses and did TV commentary on the ACC for Fox Sports. Assistant coach under his brother, Danny, with Wagner and Rhode Island prior to becoming head coach with Buffalo and Arizona State.
1994 - Corliss Williamson, F, Soph., Arkansas
Averaged 11.1 ppg and 3.9 rpg with the Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers in 12 NBA seasons from 1995-96 through 2006-07. Scored a career-high 40 points against the Pistons on 3-4-98. Coached for Arkansas Baptist College and Central Arkansas before returning to the NBA as an assistant coach with the Kings.
1995 - Ed O'Bannon, F, Sr., UCLA
Averaged 5 ppg and 2.5 rpg with the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks in two NBA seasons in 1995-96 and 1996-97. After his brief NBA career, he played professionally in Europe (Italy, Spain, Greece and Poland) before becoming a Toyota salesman/marketing director in the Las Vegas area. Lead plaintiff in highly-publicized lawsuit against the NCAA, disputing the organization's use of the images of its former student-athletes for commercial purposes.
1996 - Tony Delk, G, Sr., Kentucky
Averaged 9.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.9 apg with eight different franchises in 10 NBA seasons from 1996-97 through 2005-06. Scored a career-high 53 points against the Kings on 1-2-01. Played overseas in Greece and Puerto Rico before serving as an assistant coach at his alma mater and New Mexico State.
1997 - Miles Simon, G, Jr., Arizona
Appeared in five games with the NBA's Orlando Magic in 1998-99. Played professionally in Israel in 2000 and Italy in 2001 before joining the Dakota Wizards of the CBA where he earned 2002 Newcomer of the Year and MVP honors. Also played in Venezuela and Turkey before joining his alma mater's staff as an assistant under Lute Olson in 2005. Served as a commentator for ESPN.
1998 - Jeff Sheppard, G, Sr., Kentucky
After playing the 1998-99 season with the Atlanta Hawks, he played professionally in Italy. Married former UK women's player Stacey Reed. They own an apparel company.
2000 - Mateen Cleaves, G, Sr., Michigan State
Averaged 3.6 ppg and 1.9 apg with four different NBA franchises in six seasons from 2000-01 through 2005-06 before becoming a color commentator for Fox Sports Detroit and the CBS Sports Network prior to being investigated for a sexual assault charge.
2002 - Juan Dixon, G, Sr., Maryland
Averaged 8.4 ppg with five different NBA franchises in seven seasons from 2002-03 through 2008-09 before playing overseas in Greece, Spain and Turkey and subsequently becoming an assistant coach for his alma mater.
2005 - Sean May, C-F, Jr., North Carolina
Averaged 6.9 ppg and 4 rpg with the Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings in four injury-plagued seasons from 2005-06 through 2009-10 before playing overseas. Joined his alma mater's staff under Roy Williams as assistant to the director of player development.
2007 - Corey Brewer, F, Jr., Florida
Averaged 9.9 ppg and 3 rpg with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets in nine seasons from 2007-08 through 2015-16. He scored 51 points in a single game against the Houston Rockets.
2009 - Wayne Ellington, G, Jr., North Carolina
Averaged 7.1 ppg and 2.1 rpg with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets in seven seasons from 2009-10 through 2015-16.
2010 - Kyle Singler, F, Jr., Duke
Second-round draft choice by the NBA's Detroit Pistons played overseas two seasons in Spain before averaging 7.1 ppg and 3.1 rpg from 2012-13 through 2015-16 with the Pistons and Oklahoma Thunder.
2012 - Anthony Davis, C, Fr., Kentucky
Averaged 20.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg and 2.4 bpg with the New Orleans Pelicans from 2012-13 through 2015-16, becoming an NBA All-Star in his second season and sparking the Pelicans to the playoffs in 2015.
2013 - Luke Hancock, G, Jr., Louisville
Averaged 12.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 2.2 apg for the Cardinals as a senior, helping defeat 2014 NCAA champion-to-be Connecticut a total of three times. Played professionally in Greece.
2014 - Shabazz Napier, G, Sr., Connecticut
Averaged 4.4 ppg and 2.2 apg with the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
2015 - Tyus Jones, G, Fr., Duke
Averaged 4.2 ppg and 2.6 apg as a rookie with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015-16.
Extra! Extra! As a new season gains steam, 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?
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 the 31-year-old Jordan thinking en route to a .202 batting average in 127 games?
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 9 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
RF George Altman (appeared in 1953 and 1954 NAIA Tournament with Tennessee State's basketball squad) 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 first high school player named state's "Mr. Basketball") traded by the Milwaukee Braves to the Cincinnati Reds in 1956.
LF "Sweet" 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 RHP 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.
At the time, it seemed equivalent to betting everything on a penny stock. But it can turn into a bonanza as evidenced by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski going on to become the all-time winningest major-college mentor after arriving in Durham to homestead Krzyzewskiville on the heels of a season W-L record eight games below .500 with Army.
There were mixed reactions recently when Josh Pastner, retained by Memphis because of a $10 million-plus buyout, wound up at Georgia Tech after the Yellow Jackets were stung by a parade of coaches unwilling to accept the position. Memphis not only got what it wanted but even received $500,000 stemming from Pastner willingly leaving. At least Pastner, compiling a mediocre 37-29 record and .500 mark in conference competition the past two campaigns, isn't among the following active coaches such as Travis Ford hired by their current school despite coming off a season when they posted a losing record:
Active Coach Current School Losing Season Record With Previous School Rod Barnes Cal State Bakersfield (since 2011-12) 11-18 with Georgia State in 2010-11 Duggar Baucom The Citadel (since 2015-16) 11-19 with Virginia Military in 2014-15 Mike Davis Texas Southern (since 2012-13) 15-16 with UAB in 2011-12 Tommy Dempsey Binghamton (since 2012-13) 13-19 with Rider in 2011-12 Travis Ford Saint Louis (since 2016-17) 12-20 with Oklahoma State in 2015-16 Jeff Jones Old Dominion (since 2013-14) 10-20 with American University in 2012-13 Mike Krzyzewski Duke (since 1980-81) 9-17 with Army in 1979-80 Jeff Lebo East Carolina (since 2010-11) 15-17 with Auburn in 2009-10 Jim Les UC Davis (since 2011-12) 12-20 with Bradley in 2010-11 Greg McDermott Creighton (since 2010-11) 15-17 with Iowa State in 2009-10 Rick Ray Southeast Missouri State (since 2015-16) 13-19 with Mississippi State in 2014-15 Lorenzo Romar Washington (since 2002-03) 15-16 with Saint Louis in 2001-02
Oklahoma's Buddy Hield became the fifth Big 12 Conference product to become national player of the year. In the latest tribute to players who keep improving, Hield is the fourth consecutive national POY who wasn't a Top 100 recruit coming out of high school.
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 sponsored by Wendy's.
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.
In 2015, Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky became the fourth Big Ten Conference player to capture national POY honors in a six-year span. 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 (14) - Gary Bradds (Ohio State), Trey Burke (Michigan State), Dee Brown (Illinois), Calbert Cheaney (Indiana), Draymond Green (Michigan State), Jim Jackson (Ohio State), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), Jerry Lucas (Ohio State), Scott May (Indiana), Shawn Respert (Michigan State), Glenn Robinson Jr. (Purdue), Cazzie Russell (Michigan), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State).
Extra! Extra! As a new season gains steam, 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.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 8 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
OF Babe Barna (two-year West Virginia basketball letterman in mid-1930s) purchased from the Philadelphia Athletics by the Washington Senators in 1939.
In 1974, Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Al Downing (attended Muhlenberg PA on hoop scholarship but left school before playing) yielded Hank Aaron's 715th homer bypassing Babe Ruth.
Cincinnati Reds rookie LF Gary Redus (J.C. player for Athens AL and father of Centenary/South Alabama guard) went 4-for-4 and chipped in with five RBI against the Chicago Cubs in 1983.
RHP Pete Sivess (played for Dickinson PA in 1935-36) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with cash to the New York Yankees in 1939.
New York Yankees RF Dave Winfield (starting forward for Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) whacked two homers against the Milwaukee Brewers, igniting his streak of seven consecutive multiple-hit contests in 1988.
The departure of Zach Spiker to Drexel enabled Army to join the list of schools losing at least six head coaches over the years to other major colleges or the NBA. Army coaches in this category include luminaries Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski.
Incredibly, Tulsa lost four coaches in a seven-year period from 1995 to 2001. The following list shows Idaho (11 years from 1983 to 1993), Princeton (12 years from 2000 to 2011), Murray State (14 years from 1985 to 1998), New Orleans (14 years from 1994 to 2007), Penn (15 years from 1971 to 1985) and Louisiana Tech (16 years from 1974 to 1989) losing four coaches in comparable short spans:
Idaho (7) - Dave MacMillan (left for Minnesota/1927), Dave Strack (Michigan/1960), Joe Cipriano (Nebraska/1963), Don Monson (Oregon/1983), Tim Floyd (New Orleans/1988), Kermit Davis (Texas A&M/1990), Larry Eustachy (Utah State/1993)
Kansas State (7) - Jack Gardner (Utah/1953), Tex Winter (Washington/1968), Cotton Fitzsimmons (Phoenix Suns/1970), Lon Kruger (Florida/1990), Dana Altman (Creighton/1994), Bob Huggins (West Virginia/2008), Frank Martin (South Carolina/2012)
Montana (7) - Jud Heathcote (Michigan State/1976), Jim Brandenburg (Wyoming/1978), Mike Montgomery (Stanford/1986), Stew Morrill (Colorado State/1991), Pat Kennedy (Towson/2004), Larry Krystkowiak (assistant with Milwaukee Bucks/2006), Wayne Tinkle (Oregon State/2014)
Murray State (7) - Ron Greene (Indiana State/1985), Steve Newton (South Carolina/1991), Scott Edgar (Duquesne/1995), Mark Gottfried (Alabama/1998), Mick Cronin (Cincinnati/2006), Billy Kennedy (Texas A&M/2011), Steve Prohm (Iowa State/2015)
Penn (7) - Howie Dallmar (Stanford/1954), Jack McCloskey (Wake Forest/1966), Dick Harter (Oregon/1971), Chuck Daly (assistant with Philadelphia 76ers/1977), Bob Weinhauer (Arizona State/1982), Craig Littlepage (Rutgers/1985), Fran Dunphy (Temple/2006)
Tulsa (7) - Ken Hayes (New Mexico State/1975), Nolan Richardson Jr. (Arkansas/1985), Tubby Smith (Georgia/1995), Steve Robinson (Florida State/1997), Bill Self (Illinois/2000), Buzz Peterson (Tennessee/2001), Danny Manning (Wake Forest/2014)
Dartmouth (6) - Ozzie Cowles (Michigan/1946), Dave Gavitt (Providence/1969), George Blaney (Holy Cross/1972), Gary Walters (Providence/1979), Reggie Minton (Air Force/1984), Paul Cormier (Fairfield/1991)
Louisiana Tech (6) - Scotty Robertson (New Orleans Jazz/1974), J.D. Barnett (Virginia Commonwealth/1979), Andy Russo (Washington/1985), Tommy Joe Eagles (Auburn/1989), Jim Wooldridge (assistant with Chicago Bulls/1998), Michael White (Florida/2015)
Marquette (6) - Tex Winter (Kansas State/1953), Rick Majerus (assistant with Milwaukee Bucks/1986), Kevin O'Neill (Tennessee/1994), Mike Deane (Lamar/1999), Tom Crean (Indiana/2008), Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech/2014)
New Orleans (6) - Ron Greene (Mississippi State/1977), Benny Dees (Wyoming/1987), Tim Floyd (Iowa State/1994), Tic Price (Memphis/1997), Monte Towe (assistant with North Carolina State/2006), Buzz Williams (Marquette/2007)
Princeton (6) - Butch van Breda Kolff (Los Angeles Lakers/1967), Pete Carril (assistant with Sacramento Kings/1996), Bill Carmody (Northwestern/2000), John Thompson III (Georgetown/2004), Joe Scott (Denver/2007), Sydney Johnson (Fairfield/2011)
Virginia Commonwealth (6) - Dana Kirk (Memphis State/1979), J.D. Barnett (Tulsa/1985), Mike Pollio (Eastern Kentucky/1989), Jeff Capel III (Oklahoma/2006), Anthony Grant (Alabama/2009), Shaka Smart (Texas/2015)
Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead provided three outings with at least 20 points against Villanova. But Providence's Ben Bentil and Georgetown's L.J. Peak secured the satisfaction of posting the highest single-game output this season against NCAA champion-to-be Nova when the sophomores each scored 31 points against the Wildcats.
Since UCLA's first NCAA championship in 1964, Louisville's Russ Smith has the lowest scoring average (11.5 ppg in 2011-12) for any player who posted the single-game high against an NCAA titlist. Some of the names probably will be surprising, but following is a look in reverse order at the last 53 individuals notching the season-high scoring total against the NCAA kingpin:
Year Opposing High Scorer vs. NCAA Titlist Avg. Single-Game High 2016 Ben Bentil, F, Soph., Providence 21.1 31 points vs. Villanova 2016 L.J. Peak, G, Soph., Georgetown 12.3 31 vs. Villanova 2015 Michael Gbinije, F, Jr., Syracuse 12.7 27 vs. Duke 2014 Dustin Hogue, F, Jr., Iowa State 11.6 34 vs. Connecticut in NCAA playoffs 2013 Tyler Brown, G, Sr., Illinois State 18.1 25 at Louisville 2012 Russ Smith, G, Soph., Louisville 11.5 30 at Kentucky 2011 Dwight Hardy, G, Sr., St. John's 18.3 33 vs. Connecticut 2010 Trevon Hughes, G, Sr., Wisconsin 15.3 26 vs. Duke 2009 Kyle McAlarney, G, Sr., Notre Dame 15.0 39 vs. North Carolina at Maui 2008 Michael Beasley, F-C, Fr., Kansas State 26.2 39 at Kansas 2007 Al Thornton, F, Sr., Florida State 19.7 28 vs. Florida 2006 Chris Lofton, G, Soph., Tennessee 17.2 29 vs. Florida 2005 Will Bynum, G, Sr., Georgia Tech 12.5 35 vs. North Carolina in ACC Tournament 2004 Chris Thomas, G, Jr., Notre Dame 19.7 31 vs. Connecticut 2003 Chris Hill, G, Soph., Michigan State 13.7 34 vs. Syracuse 2002 Jason "Jay" Williams, G, Jr., Duke 21.3 34 vs. Maryland 2001 James "J.J." Miller, G, Sr., North Carolina A&T 16.0 34 at Duke 2000 A.J. Guyton, G, Sr., Indiana 19.7 34 vs. Michigan State 1999 Trajan Langdon, G, Sr., Duke 17.3 25 vs. Connecticut 1998 Brian Williams, G, Jr., Alabama 16.1 28 vs. Kentucky in SEC Tournament 1997 Isaac Fontaine, G, Sr., Washington State 21.9 32 vs. Arizona 1996 Marcus Camby, C, Jr., Massachusetts 20.5 32 vs. Kentucky at Great Eight 1995 Ray Allen, G, Soph., Connecticut 21.1 36 vs. UCLA in NCAA playoffs 1994 Gary Collier, F, Sr., Tulsa 22.9 35 vs. Arkansas in NCAA playoffs 1993 Chris Webber, F, Soph., Michigan 19.2 27 vs. North Carolina at Honolulu 1993 Randolph Childress, G, Soph., Wake Forest 19.7 27 vs. North Carolina 1993 James Forrest, F, Soph., Georgia Tech 19.5 27 vs. North Carolina in ACC Tournament 1993 Lester Lyons, G, Jr., East Carolina 15.4 27 vs. North Carolina in NCAA playoffs 1992 Malik Sealy, F, Sr., St. John's 22.6 37 vs. Duke at Greensboro 1991 Jeff Webster, F, Fr., Oklahoma 18.3 32 vs. Duke 1990 Greg "Bo" Kimble, F-G, Sr., Loyola Marymount 35.3 42 vs. UNLV in NCAA playoffs 1989 Roy Marble, F, Sr., Iowa 20.5 32 vs. Michigan 1988 Mitch Richmond, G-F, Sr., Kansas State 22.6 35 vs. Kansas 1987 Freddie Banks, G, Sr., UNLV 19.5 38 vs. Indiana in NCAA playoffs 1986 Ron Harper, F, Sr., Miami (oh) 24.4 36 vs. Louisville in Big Apple NIT at Cincinnati 1985 Len Bias, F, Jr., Maryland 18.9 30 vs. Villanova 1984 Chris Mullin, G-F, Jr., St. John's 22.9 29 vs. Georgetown in Big East Tournament 1983 Ralph Sampson, C, Sr., Virginia 19.1 33 vs. North Carolina State 1982 Ralph Sampson, C, Jr., Virginia 15.8 30 at North Carolina 1981 Mike McGee, F, Sr., Michigan 24.4 29 vs. Indiana 1980 Jeff Ruland, C, Jr., Iona 20.1 30 vs. Louisville 1979 Joe Barry Carroll, C, Jr., Purdue 22.8 27 vs. Michigan State 1979 Calvin Roberts, F-C, Jr., Cal State Fullerton 15.3 27 vs. Michigan State 1978 Freeman Williams, G, Sr., Portland State 35.9 39 at Kentucky 1977 Dave Corzine, C, Jr., DePaul 19.0 26 vs. Marquette 1976 Terry Furlow, F, Sr., Michigan State 29.4 40 vs. Indiana 1975 Kevin Grevey, F, Sr., Kentucky 23.5 34 vs. UCLA in NCAA final 1974 Billy Cook, G, Soph., Memphis State 16.2 33 vs. North Carolina State 1973 Billy Knight, F, Jr., Pittsburgh 23.7 37 vs. UCLA 1972 Fred Boyd, G, Sr., Oregon State 19.8 37 vs. UCLA 1971 Austin Carr, G, Sr., Notre Dame 38.0 46 vs. UCLA 1970 Pete Maravich, G, Sr., Louisiana State 44.5 38 vs. UCLA 1970 Rich Yunkus, C, Jr., Georgia Tech 30.1 38 vs. UCLA 1969 Vic Collucci, G, Soph., Providence 15.4 36 vs. UCLA 1968 Elvin Hayes, F-C, Sr., Houston 36.8 39 vs. UCLA 1967 Bill Hewitt, F, Jr., Southern California 19.5 39 vs. UCLA 1966 Jerry Chambers, F-C, Sr., Utah 28.8 38 vs. Texas Western in NCAA playoffs 1965 Ollie Johnson, C, Sr., San Francisco 21.6 37 vs. UCLA 1964 Tom Dose, C, Sr., Stanford 20.0 38 vs. UCLA
Extra! Extra! As a new season shifts into high gear, 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.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 7 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Minnesota Twins LF Brant Alyea (Hofstra's leading scorer and rebounder in 1960-61 after finishing runner-up in both categories the previous basketball 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.
RHP Bobby Humphreys (four-year letterman for Hampden-Sydney VA in mid-1950s) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Chicago Cubs in 1965.
Boston Red Sox LHP Gary Peters (played 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.
There have been times at the Final Four when a player not recognized as an All-American supplied a Herculean performance. One that stands out was in 1984 when Georgetown's Michael Jackson, a 6-1 guard averaging 1.4 rebounds per game entering the Final Four, retrieved 10 missed shots against Kentucky's formidable frontline to help the Hoyas overcome a seven-point halftime deficit in the national semifinals.
Last year, Duke freshman guard Grayson Allen, averaging a modest 3.9 points per game entering the Final Four, became an overnight sensation by erasing a nine-point, second-half deficit virtually by himself to spark a rally against Wisconsin in the NCAA championship game before blossoming into an All-American this campaign. This season, Villanova sophomore guard Phil Booth Jr. filled Allen's shoes as improbable hero of the F4 by canning 10-of-13 field-goal attempts en route to a total of 30 points in the national semifinals and title tilt. Booth's father was an All-MEAC first-team selection as a sophomore in 1987-88 before playing for Coppin State in the Eagles' NCAA playoff debut in 1990.
From a historical perspective, only one unsung player in history had significantly more of Final Four impact than Allen and Booth. Nothing compares to the version of Washington coming "out-of-the-valley forge" when UCLA's Kenny Washington was instrumental in helping venerable coach John Wooden capture his first NCAA Tournament championship in 1964. Washington, the only player with a single-digit season scoring average (6.1) to tally more than 25 points in a championship game, scored 26 points in a 98-83 triumph over Duke in the final. Teammate Gail Goodrich contributed 27 points as he and Washington became the only duo to each score more than 25 in an NCAA final.
Although Washington became the only player to score 25 or more points in a final and not be named to the All-Tournament team, he wasn't rebuffed again the next year. Washington, averaging a modest 8.9 points per game entering the 1965 Final Four, scored a total of 27 points in victories over Wichita State and Michigan as the Bruins successfully defended their title en route to 10 crowns in 12 years under Wooden. Washington joined teammates Goodrich and Edgar Lacey on the 1965 All-Tournament team with co-national players of the year Bill Bradley (Princeton) and Cazzie Russell (Michigan).
In 1969, UCLA was without two-time All-Tournament team selection Lucius Allen because of academic problems, but the Bruins got another significant increase in point production at the Final Four from an unlikely source. Guard John Vallely averaged 22 points in victories against Drake and Purdue after arriving at the national semifinals with a 10.2-point average. Only one senior is on the following list of seven championship team rank-and-file players averaging fewer than seven points per game entering the Final Four before seizing the moment and averaging double digits in scoring in their last two games with an increase of more than seven points per game from their pre-Final Four scoring mark:
|Unsung Hero||Class||Pos.||NCAA Champion||Season Avg.||Avg. Before Final 4||Final 4 Avg.||Avg. Increase|
|Kenny Washington||Soph.||F-G||UCLA '64||6.1||5.2||19.5||14.3|
|Grayson Allen||Fr.||G||Duke '15||4.4||3.9||12.5||8.6|
|Norm Mager||Sr.||F||CCNY '50||3.6||3.0||11.5||8.5|
|Phil Booth Jr.||Soph.||G||Villanova '16||7.0||6.6||15.0||8.4|
|John Dick||Jr.||F||Oregon '39||6.7||6.3||14.5||8.2|
|Gene Brown||Soph.||G||San Francisco '56||7.1||6.6||14.0||7.4|
|Tommy Curtis||Jr.||G||UCLA '73||6.4||5.8||13.0||7.2|
NOTE: Washington State junior guard Kirk Gebert, who scored 21 points in a 39-34 loss against Wisconsin in 1941 final to finish the year with a 6.6-point average, is the only player other than Washington with a single-digit season average to score more than 20 points in a title game.
Guard Dylan Ennis not only missed majority of this season with West Regional #1 seed Oregon because of a broken foot but he also missed out on some championship bling because he transferred from Villanova after averaging 7.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 2.7 apg for the Wildcats in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Ennis led Rice with 4.1 apg as a freshman in 2011-12 before departing for Nova.
Duke got playmaker Derryck Thornton to leave high school early and cross the country to join the Blue Devils last season. But Thornton is transferring after his freshman campaign despite early projections promoting Duke as the nation's #1 team entering the 2016-17 campaign. He could become the 12th ex-Blue Devil on the following alphabetical list of transfer players such as Ennis denied receiving an NCAA championship ring because they left a school subsequently capturing a national crown:
*Played for a junior college between four-year schools
NOTES: McCaffrey and Palmer played for an NCAA champion with Duke in 1991 and Huertas did with Florida in 2006. . . . King played only one season for Villanova in 2009-10. . . . E. Williams left Memphis after 2009-10 campaign when he declared early for the NBA draft. Likewise for Smith at UNLV following 2013-14 season.
Extra! Extra! Amid the opening week of a new season, 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.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 6 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Baltimore Orioles CF Al Bumbry (Virginia State's runner-up in scoring with 16.7 ppg as freshman in 1964-65) scored four runs against the Kansas City Royals in 1983.
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. Eight years later, Clark clobbered back-to-back homers for the Arizona Diamondbacks in a season-opening, 9-8 win against the Colorado Rockies in 2009.
In 2006, LHP 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).
Los Angeles Dodgers 2B Davey Lopes (NAIA All-District 15 selection for Iowa Wesleyan averaged 16.9 ppg as freshman in 1964-65 and 12.1 ppg as sophomore in 1965-66) collected three runs and three stolen bases against the San Diego Padres in 1974.
RHP 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.
In his first start with the St. Louis Cardinals, RHP Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Missouri in 1957-58 as All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) tossed a four-hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1974.
RHP 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.
RHP 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, RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection as Princeton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1999-00) made his debut with the Seattle Mariners as a reliever (two hitless innings against the Oakland Athletics in 2014).
Notre Dame has a significant lead in compiling the most all-time victories against teams in a season they went on to capture the NCAA championship. The Fighting Irish, boasting 14 such triumphs despite never winning a Final Four contest, are joined by Maryland (eight), Kentucky (seven), Louisville (seven), St. John's (seven) and Wake Forest (seven) as the only schools defeating more than six eventual NCAA playoff titlists. Louisville leveled Connecticut a total of five times in 2011 and 2014.
St. John's and Wake Forest (achieved feat twice) are among 16 different institutions to prevail in back-to-back seasons against eventual NCAA tourney kingpins. St. John's is the only school to upend three different NCAA-champions-to-be in as many consecutive years (Georgetown '84/Villanova '85/Louisville '86). Wake Forest knocked off four different North Carolina titlists in a 28-year span (1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009). Saint Louis, which kayoed four different national kingpins in a 13-year span from 1949 through 1961 (champions combining to win 94.3% of their other games those seasons), never has reached an NCAA tourney regional final.
Michigan State, despite advancing to seven Final Fours under coach Tom Izzo, never has beaten an eventual NCAA champion. Other prominent universities with that dubious distinction include Arizona State, Baylor, Brigham Young, Butler, Colorado, Creighton, Dayton, Penn State, Saint Joseph's, San Francisco, Texas A&M, Texas Christian, Texas-El Paso, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech. Xavier left this list in 2015-16 by handing Nova one of the Wildcats' five setbacks.
Surprisingly, Northwestern has notched three triumphs against NCAA titlists despite never participating in the national tourney. Additional schools with more wins against NCAA kingpins during the regular season than playoff victories include Bowling Green (one tourney triumph), Nebraska (winless), Niagara (two tourney wins), Texas-Pan American (never appeared) and Wright State (winless). DII Alaska-Anchorage is among more than 25 non-power league members on the following alphabetical list of schools defeating NCAA DI champions-to-be:
|School (Total Wins vs. Eventual DI Titlists)||Pre-NCAA Tournament Victories Against National Champions-to-Be|
|Alabama (three)||Kentucky (won title in 1978), Arkansas (1994) and Florida (2006)|
|Alaska-Anchorage (one)||Michigan (1989)|
|Arizona (four)||Duke (1991), Kentucky (1998), Michigan State (2000) and Maryland (2002)|
|Arkansas (three)||Oklahoma A&M (1945), Duke (1991) and Florida (2006)|
|Auburn (one)||Kentucky (1958)|
|Boston College (two)||Villanova (1985) and North Carolina (2009)|
|Bowling Green (two)||Oklahoma A&M (1946) and Loyola of Chicago (1963)|
|Bradley (three)||Oregon (1939) and Cincinnati (1961 and 1962)|
|California (two)||UCLA (1995) and Arizona (1997)|
|UC Santa Barbara (one)||UNLV (1990)|
|Canisius (one)||CCNY (1950)|
|Cincinnati (three)||Marquette (1977), Louisville (1986) and Connecticut (2014)|
|City College of New York (one)||Oregon (1939)|
|Clemson (one)||Indiana (1981)|
|Connecticut (two)||Syracuse (twice in 2003)|
|DePaul (four)||Oklahoma A&M (1945 and 1946), Marquette (1977) and Georgetown (1984)|
|Detroit (one)||Marquette (1977)|
|Duke (five)||Kansas (1988), North Carolina (1993 and 2005), Maryland (2002) and Louisville (2013)|
|Duquesne (two)||Wyoming (1943) and Holy Cross (1947)|
|Florida (one)||Kentucky (1998)|
|Florida State (two)||Florida (2007) and North Carolina (2009)|
|Georgetown (five)||Villanova (twice in 1985), Duke (1991 and 2010) and Louisville (2013)|
|Georgia (one)||Villanova (1985)|
|Georgia Tech (five)||Kentucky (1958), North Carolina (1993 and 2005), Connecticut (2004) and Duke (2010)|
|Houston (two)||UCLA (1968) and Connecticut (2014)|
|Illinois (six)||UCLA (1965), Louisville (1980), Indiana (1987), Kansas (1988) and Michigan (twice in 1989)|
|Indiana (six)||Ohio State (1960), Michigan State (1979 and 2000), Michigan (twice in 1989) and Kentucky (2012)|
|Iona (one)||Louisville (1980)|
|Iowa (five)||UCLA (1965), Indiana (twice in 1981 and once in 1987) and Kansas (1988)|
|Iowa State (one)||Kansas (1988)|
|Kansas (four)||Louisville (twice in 1986), UNLV (1990) and Florida (2007)|
|Kansas State (six)||Kansas (1952, twice in 1988 and once in 2008), Indiana (1953) and California (1959)|
|Kentucky (seven)||Utah (1944), La Salle (1954), Ohio State (1960), Indiana (1981), Louisville (1986), Arkansas (1994) and Michigan State (2000)|
|Louisiana State (three)||Kentucky (1978), UNLV (1990) and Florida (2007)|
|Louisville (seven)||North Carolina State (1983), Kentucky (1998) and Connecticut (twice in 2011 and three times in 2014)|
|Loyola of Chicago (two)||Kentucky (1949 and 1958)|
|Marquette (two)||Wisconsin (1941) and Connecticut (2011)|
|Maryland (eight)||Kentucky (1958), Marquette (1977), North Carolina State (twice in 1983), Villanova (1985), Duke (2001 and 2010) and North Carolina (2009)|
|Massachusetts (one)||Kentucky (1996)|
|Memphis (three)||North Carolina State (1983), Louisville (1986) and Syracuse (2003)|
|Miami FL (two)||Connecticut (1999) and Duke (2015)|
|Michigan (five)||Marquette (1977), Michigan State (1979), Indiana (1981), North Carolina (1993) and Arizona (1997)|
|Minnesota (five)||Indiana (1940 and 1953), Wisconsin (1941), Marquette (1977) and Michigan (1989)|
|Mississippi (one)||Kentucky (1998)|
|Mississippi State (two)||Arkansas (1994) and Kentucky (1996)|
|Missouri (one)||North Carolina State (1983)|
|Nebraska (one)||Kansas (1988)|
|New Mexico (one)||Arizona (1997)|
|New Mexico State (one)||UNLV (1990)|
|Niagara (three)||CCNY (1950) and La Salle (twice in 1954)|
|North Carolina (six)||Indiana (1981), North Carolina State (1983), Duke (1991, 1992 and 2001) and Connecticut (2004)|
|North Carolina State (five)||Louisville (1986), Duke (1991, 2010 and 2015) and Maryland (2002)|
|Northwestern (three)||Indiana (1940), Holy Cross (1947) and Michigan State (1979)|
|Notre Dame (14)||Kentucky (1948), Indiana (1953), UCLA (1971 and 1975), Michigan State (1979), Indiana (1981), North Carolina State (1983), Kansas (1988), Connecticut (2004 and twice in 2011), Louisville (2013), Duke (twice in 2015)|
|Ohio State (two)||Indiana (1940) and Michigan State (2000)|
|Oklahoma (six)||CCNY (1950), Kansas (twice in 1988), UNLV (1990), Maryland (2002) and Villanova (2016)|
|Oklahoma State (two)||Kansas (1952 and 2008)|
|Oregon (four)||California (1959), UCLA (1970 and 1995) and Arizona (1997)|
|Oregon State (two)||Oregon (1939) and Stanford (1942)|
|Pittsburgh (five)||Wisconsin (1941), Villanova (1985), Syracuse (2003) and Connecticut (2004 and 2011)|
|Providence (two)||Connecticut (2004) and Villanova (2016)|
|Purdue (four)||Michigan State (1979 and 2000) and Indiana (1981 and 1987)|
|Rutgers (one)||Syracuse (2003)|
|St. John's (seven)||Georgetown (1984), Villanova (three times in 1985), Louisville (1986), Kansas (1988) and Connecticut (2011)|
|Saint Louis (four)||Kentucky (1949 and 1951), California (1959) and Cincinnati (1961)|
|Santa Clara (two)||Stanford (1942) and North Carolina (2005)|
|Seattle (one)||Texas Western (1966)|
|Seton Hall (two)||Cincinnati (1961) and Villanova (2016)|
|South Carolina (two)||Florida (twice in 2006)|
|Southern California (four)||Stanford (1942), UCLA (1969 and 1970) and Arizona (1997)|
|Southern Methodist (three)||Kentucky (1958) and Connecticut (twice in 2014)|
|Stanford (six)||Oregon (1939), California (1959), UCLA (1975), Arizona (1997), Duke (2001) and Connecticut (2014)|
|Syracuse (six)||CCNY (1950), Villanova (1985), Connecticut (1999, 2004 and 2011) and Louisville (2013)|
|Temple (three)||Oklahoma A&M (1945), Kentucky (1948) and La Salle (1954)|
|Tennessee (three)||Florida (twice in 2006 and once in 2007)|
|Texas (two)||Michigan State (2000) and Kansas (2008)|
|Texas-Pan American (one)||Indiana (1981)|
|UCLA (five)||CCNY (1950), San Francisco (1955), North Carolina State (1974) and Arizona (twice in 1997)|
|Utah (two)||Ohio State (1960) and Louisville (1980)|
|Vanderbilt (four)||Kentucky (1951 and 2012), Indiana (1987) and Florida (2007)|
|Villanova (two)||Georgetown (1984) and Louisville (2013)|
|Virginia (six)||North Carolina (1982), North Carolina State (twice in 1983), Duke (1991 and 2001) and Villanova (2016)|
|Wake Forest (seven)||North Carolina (1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009), North Carolina State (1983) and Duke (1991 and 1992)|
|Washington (two)||UCLA (1975) and Arizona (1997)|
|Washington State (one)||Oregon (1939)|
|West Virginia (two)||Kentucky (1958) and Connecticut (2011)|
|Wichita State (three)||Cincinnati (1962), Loyola of Chicago (1963) and Marquette (1977)|
|Wisconsin (three)||Michigan State (1979), Michigan (1989) and Duke (2010)|
|Wright State (one)||Michigan State (2000)|
|Wyoming (one)||Holy Cross (1947)|
|Xavier (one)||Villanova (2016)|
NOTE: During World War II, NCAA champions Stanford lost to the Athens Club in 1942, Wyoming lost at Denver Legion in 1943, Utah lost to Ft. Warren, Salt Lake AB and Dow Chemical in 1944 and Oklahoma A&M lost to NATTS Skyjackets in 1945.
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.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 5 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
INF Frank Baker (Southern Mississippi basketball letterman in 1965-66 and 1966-67) traded by the New York Yankees to the Baltimore Orioles in 1973.
Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) smacked two homers among his four hits in a 15-12 win against the Chicago White Sox in 1997. Four years later, Clark contributed four hits against the Minnesota Twins in 2001.
LHP 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.
RHP 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 in 1972.
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.
RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection as Princeton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1999-00) became the first hurler 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.
They were vital but only two of Villanova's eight-man rotation was a senior, showing again why a senior-laden lineup is not a prerequisite for capturing a national championship. An average of only two seniors were among the top seven scorers for NCAA Tournament titlists since Nova the captured the NCAA crown in 1985 when the playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams.
Eight of the 16 NCAA champions from 1991 through 2006 boasted no more than one senior among its top seven scorers, which is what Duke had last year. Only three NCAA champions since Indiana '87 - UCLA (1995), Michigan (2000) and Maryland (2002) - featured seniors as their top two scorers. Following is a look at the vital seniors for the last 32 basically youthful championship teams (in reverse order):
2016 - Villanova (two players in eight-man rotation were seniors/Ryan Arcidiacono was third-leading scorer and Daniel Ochefu was fourth).
2015 - Duke (one of eight-man rotation was a senior/Quinn Cook was second-leading scorer).
2014 - Connecticut (four of top 10 scorers were seniors/Shabazz Napier was leading scorer, Niels Giffey was fourth, Lasan Kromah was fifth and Tyler Olander was 10th).
2013 - Louisville (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Peyton Siva was second-leading scorer).
2012 - Kentucky (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Darius Miller was fifth-leading scorer).
2011 - Connecticut (none of top six scorers was a senior).
2010 - Duke (three of nine-man rotation were seniors/Jon Scheyer was leading scorer, Brian Zoubek was fourth and Lance Thomas was sixth).
2009 - North Carolina (two of top eight in scoring average were seniors/Tyler Hansbrough was leading scorer and Danny Green was fourth).
2008 - Kansas (one of top six scorers was a senior/Darnell Jackson was fourth-leading scorer).
2007 - Florida (two of nine-man rotation were seniors/Lee Humphrey was fifth and Chris Richard was sixth).
2006 - Florida (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
2005 - North Carolina (one of top five scorers was a senior/Jawad Williams was third).
2004 - Connecticut (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Taliek Brown was sixth).
2003 - Syracuse (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Keith Duany was fourth).
2002 - Maryland (three of top eight regulars were seniors/Juan Dixon was top scorer, Lonny Baxter was second and Byron Mouton was fourth).
2001 - Duke (two of top nine scorers were seniors/Shane Battier was second and Nate James was fifth).
2000 - Michigan State (three of top 11 scorers were seniors/Morris Peterson was first, Mateen Cleaves was second and A.J. Granger was fifth).
1999 - Connecticut (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Ricky Moore was fifth).
1998 - Kentucky (two of top seven scorers were seniors/Jeff Sheppard was first and Allen Edwards was fifth).
1997 - Arizona (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
1996 - Kentucky (three of top 10 scorers were seniors/Tony Delk was first, Walter McCarty was third and Mark Pope was sixth).
1995 - UCLA (three of top seven scorers were seniors/Ed O'Bannon was first, Tyus Edney was second and George Zidek was fourth).
1994 - Arkansas (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Roger Crawford was eighth).
1993 - North Carolina (one of top seven scorers was a senior/George Lynch was second).
1992 - Duke (two of top 10 scorers were seniors/Christian Laettner was first and Brian Davis was fifth).
1991 - Duke (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Greg Koubek was seventh).
1990 - UNLV (two of top eight scorers were seniors/David Butler was third and Moses Scurry was sixth).
1989 - Michigan (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Glen Rice was first and Mark Hughes was sixth).
1988 - Kansas (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Danny Manning was first and Chris Piper was fourth).
1987 - Indiana (two of top eight scorers were seniors/Steve Alford was first and Daryl Thomas was second).
1986 - Louisville (three of top nine scorers were seniors/Billy Thompson was first, Milt Wagner was second and Jeff Hall was fifth).
1985 - Villanova (three of top eight scorers were seniors/Ed Pinckney was first, Dwayne McClain was second and Gary McLain was fourth).
Kentucky (31), buttressed by Louisville (NCAA DI) and Georgetown (NAIA) in 2013, moved ahead of California three years ago as the state with the most national titles from each level of four-year college men's basketball - NCAA Division I, NIT, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA. But California moved into a tie with Kentucky two seasons ago when Vanguard (Calif.) captured the NAIA crown and moved back ahead of Kentucky last campaign when Stanford won the NIT.
Illinois and Ohio are the only states to boast at least one champion from all five levels. Among the 12 states amassing a total of more than 10 national crowns, Missouri is the only one in that group without a Division I championship. Drury (Mo.) and Central Missouri won back-to-back DII titles earlier this decade but the state's two headline schools - Mizzou and Saint Louis - never have reached the NCAA Final Four.
The biggest surprise among states never to capture a national title is Iowa. Following is how states stack up by national titles including the NIT and various levels of small-college basketball:
State DI NIT DII DIII NAIA Total California 15 8 5 0 4 32 Kentucky 11 3 10 0 7 31 Ohio 3 6 3 5 2 19 North Carolina 12 2 3 0 1 18 Oklahoma 2 2 1 0 11 16 Illinois 1 6 1 6 1 15 New York 2 10 0 3 0 15 Wisconsin 2 1 0 12 0 15 Indiana 5 2 6 0 1 14 Missouri 0 1 3 2 8 14 Pennsylvania 3 6 2 3 0 14 Kansas 3 1 1 0 6 11 Minnesota 0 3 2 2 3 10 Texas 1 2 0 0 7 10 Virginia 0 4 5 1 0 10 Michigan 3 3 0 2 0 8 Tennessee 0 2 1 1 4 8 Georgia 0 0 1 0 6 7 Alabama 0 0 3 0 3 6 Connecticut 4 1 1 0 0 6 Massachusetts 1 1 1 3 0 6 Maryland 1 1 2 0 1 5 Arizona 1 0 0 0 3 4 District of Columbia 1 1 1 1 0 4 Florida 2 0 2 0 0 4 South Carolina 0 2 0 0 2 4 Utah 1 3 0 0 0 4 West Virginia 0 2 0 0 2 4 Colorado 0 1 2 0 0 3 Louisiana 0 0 0 0 3 3 New Jersey 0 2 0 1 0 3 South Dakota 0 0 3 0 0 3 Arkansas 1 0 0 0 1 2 Rhode Island 0 2 0 0 0 2 Washington 0 0 2 0 0 2 Hawaii 0 0 0 0 1 1 Mississippi 0 1 0 0 0 1 Montana 0 0 0 0 1 1 Nebraska 0 1 0 0 0 1 Nevada 1 0 0 0 0 1 New Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 1 Oregon 1 0 0 0 0 1 Wyoming 1 0 0 0 0 1
NOTE: Eight states - Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont - never have had a four-year school win a men's national championship.
There has been some smooth sailing, but it is usually a rugged road en route to becoming NCAA kingpin such as Villanova after the Wildcats won a pair of playoff games by fewer than six points and four by at least 19. Talk of the Kentucky squad four years ago hailed as one of the all-time greatest teams was somewhat silly insofar as intra-state rival Louisville, erasing 12-point deficits in both the semifinals and final three years ago, became the 42nd NCAA champion posting higher average victory margins than UK in the tournament.
North Carolina '09 became the 12th NCAA Tournament champion to win all of its playoff games by double-digit margins. The first nine champions in this category came before the NCAA field was expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.
A total of 49 champions won a minimum of one playoff game by fewer than five, including 22 titlists to win at least one contest by just one point. Wyoming '43 would have become the only champion to trail at halftime in every tournament game if the Cowboys didn't score the last three baskets of the first half in the national final to lead Georgetown at intermission (18-16). Four titlists trailed at intermission in both of their Final Four games - Kentucky '51, Louisville '86, Duke '92 and Kentucky '98.
UCLA '67, the first varsity season for Lew Alcindor (became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), set the record for largest average margin of victory for a champion when the Bruins started a dazzling streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances. They won their 12 NCAA playoff games with Alcindor manning the middle by an amazing average margin of 21.5 points.
Which of John Wooden's 10 national champion UCLA teams did the Wizard of Westwood perceive as his best?
"I've never come out and said it," Wooden said before passing away two years ago, "but it would be hard to pick a team over the 1968 team. I will say it would be the most difficult team to prepare for and play against offensively and defensively. It created so many problems. It had such great balance. We had the big center (Alcindor) who is the most valuable player of all time. Mike Warren was a three-year starter who may have been the most intelligent floor leader ever, going eight complete games once without a turnover. Lucius Allen was a very physical, talented individual who was extremely quick. Lynn Shackleford was a great shooter out of the corner who didn't allow defenses to sag on Jabbar. Mike Lynn didn't have power, but he had as fine a pair of hands around the boards as I have ever seen."
The roster for UCLA's 1968 national champion included six players with double-digit season scoring averages, but senior forward Edgar Lacey dropped off the team with an 11.9-point average following a dispute with Wooden after a ballyhooed mid-season defeat against Houston before 52,693 fans at the Astrodome. Lacey, assigned to defend Cougars star Elvin Hayes early in the game, was annoyed with Wooden for singling him out following Hayes' 29-point first-half outburst. Lacey, the leading rebounder for the Bruins' 1965 NCAA titlist when he was an All-Tournament team selection, missed the 1966-67 campaign because of a fractured left kneecap.
The three Lew-CLA teams rank among the seven NCAA champions with average margins of victory in a tournament of more than 19 points per game. It's no wonder a perceptive scribe wrote the acronym NCAA took on a new meaning during the plunderous Alcindor Era - "No Chance Against Alcindor."
"Bill Walton might have been a better all-around player (than Alcindor)," Wooden said. "If you were grading a player for every fundamental skill, Walton would rank the highest of any center who ever played. But Alcindor is the most valuable, owing to the pressure he put on the other team at both ends of the court."
North Carolina won all six of its playoff contests by double digits in 2009 but the only titlist to win all of its tournament games by more than 15 points was Ohio State '60. Center Jerry Lucas, a first-team All-American as a sophomore, averaged 24 points and 16 rebounds in four playoff contests for the Buckeyes. He collected 36 points and 25 rebounds to help them erase a six-point halftime deficit in their Mideast Regional opener against Western Kentucky.
Duke's five kingpins under Mike Krzyzewski have all came with average winning margin of at least 12.5 points per playoff game. Villanova ranks seventh in the following breakdown of point differential and average margin of victory in the NCAA playoffs for the first 78 national champions:
*All-time tournament record (111-42 first-round victory over Tennessee Tech).
NOTE: Fifteen teams participated in a total of 21 overtime games en route to national titles - Utah (1944), North Carolina (two triple overtime Final Four games in 1957), Cincinnati (1961), Loyola of Chicago (1963), Texas Western (two in 1966, including a double overtime), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1974), UCLA (two in 1975), Louisville (two in 1980), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1983), Michigan (1989), Duke (1992), North Carolina (1993), Arizona (two in 1997), Kentucky (1998), Kansas (2008) and Connecticut (2014).
Which cliche is most accurate? If a team is on a winning streak entering the NCAA Tournament, it has momentum on its side and is peaking at the right time. On the other hand, some observers contend a loss before the start of the playoffs is deemed a wake-up call. After squandering a 10-point lead in the last five minutes, Villanova's championship this season marked the fourth time in the last five years the titlist entered the playoffs after a defeat in their conference tourney. All five of Duke's champions under coach Mike Krzyzewski entered the NCAA tourney with fewer than eight straight triumphs.
Since the last undefeated team in Division I (Indiana was 32-0 in 1975-76), there have been 40 national champions. Twenty-two of those teams entered the tourney with a victory; 18 entered with a defeat after Nova bowed against Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament final. The longest winning streak of a champion-to-be in that span was by UCLA, which won 13 in a row in 1995 before posting six more triumphs in the playoffs. Louisville accounted for two of the other double-digit victory streaks for champions-to-be entering the playoffs.
Of the 22 aforementioned squads entering on a winning note, the average winning streak was six in a row. Following in reverse order is how those 40 post-unbeaten IU titlists entered the NCAA playoffs (including conference tournaments):
Woulda/Coulda/Shoulda! Disappointment about not being there firsthand had to be particularly pronounced for Virginia, which defeated both teams in the NCAA Tournament championship contest earlier in the campaign. The Cavaliers also achieved this distinction in 1982-83. They are among the following teams in this what-might-have-been category:
|Season||School||Record||Victories Against Both Teams in NCAA Tourney Final|
|2015-16||Virginia||29-8||Defeated Villanova and North Carolina by total of 16 points.|
|2010-11||Louisville||25-10||Connecticut and Butler by total of 16 points.|
|2009-10||Georgetown||23-11||Duke and Butler by total of 19 points.|
|2008-09||Maryland||21-14||North Carolina and Michigan State by total of 21 points.|
|2003-04||North Carolina||19-11||Connecticut and Georgia Tech by total of 18 points.|
|2000-01||Stanford||31-3||Duke and Arizona by total of 10 points.|
|1999-00||Kentucky||24-10||Michigan State and Florida by total of 17 points.|
|1999-00||Purdue||24-10||Michigan State and Florida by total of 14 points.|
|1995-96||Massachusetts||35-2||Kentucky and Syracuse by total of 28 points.|
|1992-93||Duke||24-8||North Carolina and Michigan by total of 25 points.|
|1987-88||Kansas State||25-9||Kansas and Oklahoma by total of 18 points.|
|1984-85||St. John's||31-4||Villanova (three times) and Georgetown by total of 23 points.|
|1984-85||Syracuse||22-9||Villanova and Georgetown by total of 15 points.|
|1982-83||Virginia||29-5||North Carolina State (twice) and Houston by total of 28 points.|
|1962-63||Wichita||19-8||Loyola of Chicago and Cincinnati each by one point.|
|1952-53||Kansas State||17-4||Indiana and Kansas by total of 8 points.|
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.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% 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 4 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
LF "Sweet" Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary HBCU coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) traded in 1969 by the Cleveland Indians to the California Angels.
OF-INF Chuck Hinton (played multiple sports for Shaw NC before serving two years in U.S. Army in mid-1950s) traded in 1969 by the California Angels to the Cleveland Indians.