Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 17 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Which school had the only trio to each score at least 20 points in two Final Four games? Hint: All three players finished their college careers with more than 2,000 points and were on roster the next year when school lost its playoff opener. The school is only national runner-up to score more than 85 points in an NCAA final.
2. Name the only school to have three players score more than 20 points in a Final Four game. Hint: The school lost championship game that year by more than 20 points although score was tied at halftime.
3. Who is the only player to score 40 or more points in a Final Four game and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: He was held under 10 points in his other Final Four game that year.
4. Who is the only coach to go more than 40 years from his first to his last appearance in the playoffs? Hint: He and his son, who succeeded him, both compiled a losing tourney record.
5. Who is the only player to compile an NBA playoff scoring average more than 15 points per game higher than his NCAA Tournament average? Hint: He scored just six points in his NCAA playoff debut against a school participating in the tourney for just second time.
6. Who is the only player to lead an NCAA tournament in scoring with more than 120 points and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: He averaged 32.3 points per game in his three-year college career.
7. Who is the only player from 1957 through 1996 to lead a tournament in rebounding and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: His school was making just its second tourney appearance the year he led in rebounding.
8. Who is the only non-guard to be the undisputed leading scorer of an NCAA Tournament and not participate in the Final Four? Hint: He never played in the NBA.
9. Who is the first coach to make more than a dozen NCAA playoff appearances before reaching the Final Four? Hint: He was coach of the first team to win national championship in its first Final Four appearance since Texas Western in 1966.
10. Who is the only player to take more than 40 field-goal attempts in a playoff game his team lost? Hint: The guard was the nation's leading scorer with more than 36 points per game for only school to reach national semifinals of a small-college tournament one year and participate in NCAA Tournament the next season.
Did You Know?: Three of this year's Final Four coaches didn't play college basketball (all but Dana Altman). Naturally, there is a tendency to overindulge at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Anyone digesting the following assortment of did-you-know facts on 2017 Final Four coaches should find that variety is the spice of this smorgasbord:
Dana Altman (Oregon): First coach in Creighton history to participate in at least five consecutive national postseason tournaments. The Bluejays appeared in either the NCAA playoffs or NIT in 12 successive years from 1998 through 2009.
Mark Few (Gonzaga): Never was a head coach at any level before inheriting that position after Dan Monson departed for Minnesota. Few was an assistant for two different Oregon high schools before becoming an aide with the Zags under Dan Fitzgerald and Monson. Few's wedding vows in 1994 were exchanged with Rev. Norm Few, the father of the groom.
Drawing upon all resources including degrees of success to motivate their teams, following are the educational backgrounds of the Final Four coaches:
|Final Four Coach||School||Bachelor's||Master's|
|Dana Altman||Oregon||Business||Business Administration|
|Mark Few||Gonzaga||Physical Education||Athletic Administration|
|Frank Martin||South Carolina||Physical Education|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||Education||Education|
Close likely will determine who gets to smoke the victory cigar. Few boasts the best mark among active coaches in at least 120 tight tilts decided by fewer than six points. Ask Arizona fans if close doesn't count after the Wildcats lost five regional finals from 2003 through 2015 by a total of 14 points. Following is how the Final Four mentors have fared at the major-college level in games decided by fewer than six points:
|Final Four Coach||School||DI Seasons||1||2||3||4||5||Total||Pct.|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||1989-2017||19-14||24-17||25-18||22-22||23-17||113-88||.562|
|Frank Martin||South Carolina||2008-17||5-2||8-11||2-10||13-9||10-8||38-40||.487|
Pat Kelsey's tale when shunning Massachusetts to remain at Winthrop was tame - essentially same as former Winthrop coach Gregg Marshall - compared to a couple of other coaches who reneged on coaching offers. Recent SMU bench boss Larry Brown began his nomadic head coaching career by resigning following only a couple of months at Davidson's helm in 1969. Brown reportedly departed primarily because the Wildcats didn't increase their recruiting budget and lower high academic requirements for prospective recruits. He was also annoyed about the school's summer basketball camp and receiving bills for his temporary residence and carpeting he ordered for his office.
But Brown Out has competition for the most unusual tale for walking away from a new coaching position. In a sidebar to an account several years ago regarding prize West Virginia recruit Jonathan Hargett closing in on finishing a five-year prison sentence, the New York Times reported that Dan Dakich bolted in 2002 about a week after accepting a seven-year, $3.5 million contract upon discerning the "culture of dishonesty" in the Mountaineers' program, including Hargett telling him he had not been paid the full amount of money promised ($20,000 annually).
Dakich, now one of ESPN's most credible commentators, said he told David Hardesty, then the university's president, about Western Union receipts showing Hargett had received money. According to the NYT, Dakich recalls Hardesty threatening him, "If you go any further with this, we'll destroy you."
Hardesty, now a law professor at the school, told the NYT: "I would never condone a corrupt program." Wonder what his classroom stance is on truth serum or the admission of a lie detector test if he and Dakich could be hooked up to help weigh the honesty of Hardesty's assertion that Dakich's story is a "gross exaggeration" and "revisionist history."
A tragic tale unfolded in Evansville's initial season at the NCAA Division I level in 1977-78 when coach Bobby Watson and 13 members of his Purple Aces squad perished in a plane crash moments after taking off en route to their fifth game of the season. Watson, a Vietnam veteran with five Purple Hearts, was hired after former UE All-American Jerry Sloan, who went on to a distinguished coaching career with the NBA's Utah Jazz, had been named coach of the Purple Aces before abruptly changing his mind.
Davidson was also shunned by Dartmouth's Gary Walters in 1976. Bobby Cremins was on both ends of the shunning and subsequent hiring on the following alphabetical list of coaches who had a change of heart and reneged on deals for a variety of reasons:
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 16 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only school to have four players score more than 14,000 points in the pros after never participating in national postseason competition (NCAA playoffs and NIT). Hint: One member of the foursome left college early after just one season of eligibility when he averaged 30 points per game and another is the highest scorer in NBA history to never participate in NBA playoffs.
2. Name the only father-son combination to be on the rosters of two teams from the same school to win NCAA Tournament championships. Hint: Both of them were underclassmen when their teams captured NCAA titles.
3. Who is the only player never to appear in the NBA or ABA after averaging more than 20 points per game for a team reaching an NCAA Tournament final? Hint: A college teammate was member of the NBA championship team drafting him.
4. Who is the only undergraduate non-center to average more than 23 points per game for a national champion? Hint: He is the last player to score the most points in a single game of an NCAA Tournament and play for championship team.
6. Who is the only coach to win an NBA championship after directing a college to the Final Four? Hint: His college squad was implicated in a game-fixing scandal.
7. Who is the only player to grab more than 41 rebounds at a single Final Four? Hint: He is the only player to retrieve more than 21 missed shots in a championship game and only player to score more than 20 points and grab more than 20 rebounds in back-to-back NCAA finals.
8. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to later coach a school other than his alma mater to the playoffs? Hint: He coached for more than 20 years in the same conference against UCLA legend John Wooden. He is also the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to complete his college playing career attending another university.
9. Who is the only junior college player to later be selected Final Four Most Outstanding Player? Hint: He won the award when Final Four was held in his home state and eventually became an NBA head coach.
10. Name the only school with a losing league record to defeat a conference rival by more than 20 points in a season the opponent wound up winning the national championship. Hint: The school with a losing league mark participated in NCAA playoffs the next season for first time since reaching Final Four more than 20 years earlier when a consensus first-team All-American became only player in school history to average more than 25 points in a season.
In 2016, Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, the nation's runner-up in scoring with 25.4 points per game, came close to duplicating one of the most overlooked achievements in NCAA Tournament history. In 1951-52, Clyde Lovellette of champion Kansas became the only player to lead the nation in scoring average (28.4 ppg) while competing for a squad reaching the NCAA tourney title game. Final Four luminaries averaging more than 30 ppg include Elvin Hayes (36.8/Houston '68), Oscar Robertson (33.7/Cincinnati '60 and 32.6/Cincinnati '59), Rick Mount (33.3/Purdue '69), Elgin Baylor (32.5/Seattle '58), Bill Bradley (30.5/Princeton '65) and Len Chappell (30.1/Wake Forest '62).
Lovellette, an 11-year NBA center who passed away last year, served as sheriff of Vigo County in his native Indiana (noted for raid on Terre Haute brothels). South Carolina fans would be ecstatic if the leading scorer among this campaign's national semifinalists - SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell - raided the Final Four by joining Lovellette as the only other player cracking the 30-point plateau in the national semifinals and championship contest in the same season (33 against both Santa Clara and St. John's).
Hield was the first Final Four player since Georgia Tech's Dennis Scott to average in excess of 25 ppg. Only two other Final Four players notched higher scoring averages than Hield since the playoff field expanded to at least 32 teams in 1975 - Larry Bird (28.6 ppg for Indiana State '79 and Glen Rice (25.6 for Michigan '89). Thornwell, posting the fourth-highest scoring average by a Final Four player in the last 14 seasons, joined the following list of individuals in the last 27 years amassing the highest scoring average from a Final Four club since Scott's mark of 27.7 ppg in 1989-90:
For the eighth straight season, at least one team reached the Final Four after losing a vital player who defected following the previous season to make themselves available for the NBA draft, where they were selected in the first round. Gonzaga was able to reload this year following sophomore Domantas Sabonis becoming the 11th pick overall in 2016 NBA draft choice.
Among schools losing a prominent undergraduate early, Kentucky was the only school to capture a crown (1998 without Ron Mercer) until Duke achieved the feat (2010 without Gerald Henderson) and UK secured another title two years later sans Brandon Knight. In a once-in-a-lifetime achievement, UK returned to the national semifinals in 2011 after losing five undergraduates who became NBA first-round draft choices.
The Final Four has had at least one team arrive after losing a prominent undergraduate to the NBA draft 14 times in the last 16 years. Following is a list of the 32 squads unfazed by the early loss of key player(s) who left college with eligibility still remaining:
Final Four Team Prominent Undergraduate Defection Previous Year Marquette '74 Larry McNeill, F (25th pick overall in 1973 NBA draft) Louisiana State '81 DeWayne Scales, F (36th pick in 1980 draft) Georgia '83 Dominique Wilkins, F (3rd pick in 1982 draft) Houston '83 Rob Williams, G (19th pick in 1982 draft) Houston '84 Clyde Drexler, G-F (14th pick in 1983 draft) Louisiana State '86 Jerry "Ice" Reynolds, G-F (22nd pick in 1985 draft) Syracuse '87 Pearl Washington, G (13th pick in 1986 draft) Kentucky '97 Antoine Walker, F-G (6th pick in 1996 draft) North Carolina '97 Jeff McInnis, G (37th pick in 1996 draft) Kentucky '98 Ron Mercer, G-F (6th pick in 1997 draft) Indiana '02 Kirk Haston, F (16th pick in 2001 draft) Kansas '03 Drew Gooden, F (4th pick in 2002 draft) Georgia Tech '04 Chris Bosh, F (4th pick in 2003 draft) Louisiana State '06 Brandon Bass, F (33rd pick in 2005 draft) UCLA '07 Jordan Farmar, G (26th pick in 2006 draft) North Carolina '08 Brandan Wright, F (8th pick in 2007 draft) Kansas '08 Julian Wright, F (13th pick in 2007 draft) UCLA '08 Arron Afflalo, G (27th pick in 2007 draft) Duke '10 Gerald Henderson, G (12th pick in 2009 draft) Kentucky '11 John Wall, G (1st pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 DeMarcus Cousins, F (5th pick in 2010 draft) Butler '11 Gordon Hayward, F (9th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Patrick Patterson, F (14th pick in 2010 draft) Virginia Commonwealth '11 Larry Sanders, F (15th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Eric Bledsoe, G (18th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Daniel Orton, C-F (29th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '12 Brandon Knight, G (8th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Markieff Morris, F (13th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Marcus Morris, F (14th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Josh Selby, G (49th pick in 2011 draft) Syracuse '13 Dion Waiters, G (4th pick in 2012 draft) Syracuse '13 Fab Melo, C (22nd pick in 2012 draft) Kentucky '14 Nerlens Noel, C (6th pick in 2013 draft) Kentucky '14 Archie Goodwin, G-F (29th pick in 2013 draft) Michigan State '15 Gary Harris, G (19th pick in 2014 draft) Duke '15 Rodney Hood, G-F (23rd pick in 2014 draft) Duke '15 Jabari Parker, F (2nd pick in 2014 draft) Kentucky '15 Julius Randle, F (7th pick in 2014 draft) Kentucky '15 James Young, G (17th pick in 2014 draft) North Carolina '16 J.P. Tokoto, F-G (58th pick in 2015 draft) Syracuse '16 Chris McCullough, G (29th pick in 2015 draft) Gonzaga '17 Domantas Sabonis, F-C (11th pick in 2016 draft)
Unsure how many of his championship team players in 2005 and 2009 circumvented normal final exams while taking bogus no-show classes. But while North Carolina's Roy Williams probably isn't too keen on discussing scholastic standards ("I'm to the point that I don't really care what anybody else thinks of what I say"), he ranks #4 among celebrated coaches showing up for the most Final Four appearances, registering a 7-6 record following a 2016 title tilt defeat. His mentor, Dean Smith, compiled a losing F4 record (8-11).
|Coach||School(s)||F4 Record (Pct.)||Final Four Appearances (Years/Finishes)|
|Mike Krzyzewski||Duke||14-7 (.667)||12 (1986/2nd, 1988/T3rd, 1989/T3rd, 1990/2nd, 1991/1st, 1992/1st, 1994/2nd, 1999/2nd, 2001/1st, 2004/T3rd, 2010/1st and 2015/1st)|
|John Wooden||UCLA||21-3 (.875)||12 (1962/4th, 1964/1st, 1965/1st, 1967/1st, 1968/1st, 1969/1st, 1970/1st, 1971/1st, 1972/1st, 1973/1st, 1974/3rd and 1975/1st)|
|Dean Smith||North Carolina||8-11 (.421)||11 (1967/4th, 1968/2nd, 1969/4th, 1972/3rd, 1977/2nd, 1981/2nd, 1982/1st, 1991/T3rd, 1993/1st, 1995/T3rd and 1997/T3rd)|
|Roy Williams||Kansas/North Carolina||7-6 (.538)||9 (1991/2nd, 1993/T3rd, 2002/T3rd, 2003/2nd, 2005/1st, 2008/T3rd, 2009/1st, 2016/2nd and 2017/TBD)|
Try, try again! Oregon, which captured the inaugural NCAA Tournament title in 1939, has the longest drought between Final Four appearances. Of the schools reaching the national semifinals at least twice, following are the 10 institutions going more than 35 years before returning to the Promised Land:
|Final Four School||Famine Years||Coaches Between Final Fours||NCAA Tournament Appearances During Lapse|
|Oregon||78||Howard Hobson (1939) to Dana Altman (2017)||13: 1945-60-61-95-00-02-03-07-08-13-14-15-16|
|Wisconsin||59||Bud Foster (1941) to Dick Bennett (2000)||four: 1947-94-97-99|
|Stanford||56||Everett Dean (1942) to Mike Montgomery (1998)||five: 1989-92-95-96-97|
|Texas||56||Jack Gray (1947) to Rick Barnes (2003)||17: 1960-63-72-74-79-89-90-91-92-94-95-96-97-99-00-01-02|
|Wichita State||48||Gary Thompson (1965) to Gregg Marshall (2013)||seven: 1976-81-85-87-88-06-12|
|Oklahoma State||44||Hank Iba (1951) to Eddie Sutton (1995)||nine: 1953-54-58-65-83-91-92-93-94|
|Oklahoma||41||Bruce Drake (1947) to Billy Tubbs (1988)||six: 1979-83-84-85-86-87|
|Georgetown||39||Elmer Ripley (1943) to John Thompson Jr. (1982)||five: 1975-76-79-80-81|
|Illinois||37||Harry Combes (1952) to Lou Henson (1989)||eight: 1963-81-83-84-85-86-87-88|
|DePaul||36||Ray Meyer (1943) to Ray Meyer (1979)||seven: 1953-56-59-60-65-76-78|
Final Four debuts were a long time coming the past five seasons for Dana Altman (Oregon), Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Big Ten Conference coaches John Beilein (Michigan) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin). Since the start of the NCAA Tournament in 1939, no coach ever took longer in his four-year college career to reach the DI Final Four than Beilein (31 seasons). Ryan (30) and Altman (28) joined five other coaches to take more than 20 years to achieve the milestone - Jim Calhoun (27), Dick Bennett (24), Gary Williams (23), Jim Larranaga (22) and Norm Sloan (22).
There was at least one fresh face among bench bosses at the national semifinals all but once (1993) in a 27-year span from 1985 through 2011. Connecticut's Kevin Ollie joined Indiana's Mike Davis and VCU's Shaka Smart as coaches only in their second campaign to steer squads to the Final Four in the 21st Century. Following is a look at the coaches who advanced to the Final Four for the first time since the field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985 (in reverse order):
- 2017 - Dana Altman (Oregon/28th season as head coach at four-year college level), Mark Few (Gonzaga/18th) and Frank Martin (South Carolina/10th).
- 2016 - All returnees.
- 2015 - All returnees.
- 2014 - Kevin Ollie (Connecticut/2nd) and Bo Ryan* (Wisconsin/30th).
- 2013 - John Beilein (Michigan/31st) and Gregg Marshall (Wichita State/15th).
- 2012 - All returnees.
- 2011 - Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth/2nd).
- 2010 - Brad Stevens* (Butler/3rd).
- 2009 - Jay Wright* (Villanova/15th).
- 2008 - Bill Self* (Kansas/15th).
- 2007 - Thad Matta* (Ohio State/7th) and John Thompson III (Georgetown/7th).
- 2006 - John Brady (Louisiana State/15th), Ben Howland* (UCLA/12th) and Jim Larranaga (George Mason/22nd).
- 2005 - Bruce Weber (Illinois/6th).
- 2004 - Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech/7th).
- 2003 - Rick Barnes (Texas/16th) and Tom Crean (Marquette/4th).
- 2002 - Mike Davis (Indiana/2nd) and Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma/20th).
- 2001 - Gary Williams* (Maryland/23rd).
- 2000 - Dick Bennett (Wisconsin/24th) and Billy Donovan* (Florida/6th).
- 1999 - Jim Calhoun* (Connecticut/27th), Tom Izzo* (Michigan State/4th) and Jim O'Brien (Ohio State/17th).
- 1998 - Bill Guthridge* (North Carolina/1st), Rick Majerus (Utah/14th) and Tubby Smith (Kentucky/7th).
- 1997 - Clem Haskins (Minnesota/17th).
- 1996 - John Calipari* (Massachusetts/8th) and Richard Williams (Mississippi State/10th).
- 1995 - Jim Harrick (UCLA/16th).
- 1994 - Lon Kruger (Florida/12th).
- 1993 - All returnees.
- 1992 - Bob Huggins* (Cincinnati/12th).
- 1991 - Roy Williams* (Kansas/3rd).
- 1990 - Bobby Cremins (Georgia Tech/15th) and Nolan Richardson* (Arkansas/10th).
- 1989 - P.J. Carlesimo (Seton Hall/14th) and Steve Fisher* (Michigan/1st).
- 1988 - Billy Tubbs (Oklahoma/14th).
- 1987 - Jim Boeheim* (Syracuse/11th) and Rick Pitino* (Providence/7th).
- 1986 - Mike Krzyzewski* (Duke/11th).
- 1985 - Lou Carnesecca (St. John's/17th), Dana Kirk (Memphis State/14th) and Rollie Massimino (Villanova/14th).
*Subsequently returned to the Final Four.
Despite both of them reaching the 2016 Elite Eight, the odds were against Villanova and Notre Dame advancing to the NCAA Tournament championship game to oppose each other in the playoffs for the first time. They were on the same side of the bracket this year but both bowed in their second assignment. What other powerhouses never have battled each other in the NCAA tourney?
Although the event is in its eighth decade, there are attractive power school match-ups never to have occurred. The potentially entertaining intra-sectional playoff contests between storied programs never to take place in the NCAAs include:
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 15 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only individual to play for two NCAA champions, play for more than two NBA champions and coach two NBA champions. Hint: He was the first of four players to be a member of an NCAA championship team one year and an NBA titlist the next season as a rookie. He won the high jump in the West Coast Relays his senior year.
2. Who is the only individual to average fewer than four points per game as a freshman and then be selected Final Four Most Outstanding Player the next season as a sophomore. Hint: He had more three-point baskets in two Final Four games than contributing his entire freshman season.
3. Who is the only player named to an All-NCAA Tournament team not to score a total of more than 10 points in two Final Four games? Hint: He had the same point total in each Final Four game for a team whose star had same last name.
4. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to later coach his alma mater in the NCAA Tournament? Hint: The guard was named Most Outstanding Player although he was his team's fourth-leading scorer at Final Four that year.
5. Name the only school to have two of the six eligible teams ranked among the top five in the AP and/or UPI final polls to not participate in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT in the days before teams other than the conference champion could be chosen to the NCAA playoffs as at-large entrants. Hint: The school lost three regional finals in one four-year span and hasn't reached Final Four in last 50-plus years.
6. Who is the only coach to lose more than five regional final games? Hint: His regional final defeats were by an average margin of 10 points and his biggest nemesis was the Big Ten Conference.
7. Who is the only individual to become NBA Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player to participate in the NCAA Tournament but never win an NCAA playoff game? Hint: He shared the NBA Rookie of the Year award with another player who was on the losing end in his only NCAA Tournament appearance. Two years later, he was NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player the same season named league MVP.
8. Of the more than 40 different players to be named NBA Most Valuable Player, score more than 20,000 points in the pros or be selected to an All-NBA team at least five times after participating in the NCAA Tournament, who is the only one to average fewer than 10 points per game in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: He is believed to be the youngest Hall of Famer to appear in an NCAA championship game at the tender age of 16 and subsequently was named to 12 consecutive All-NBA teams.
9. Who is the only guard to score more than 35 points in an NCAA final? Hint: He led his team in scoring in back-to-back Final Fours but wasn't named Final Four Most Outstanding Player either year. He is the only championship team player to have a two-game total of at least 70 points at the Final Four and is the shortest undergraduate to average more than 20 points per game for an NCAA titlist.
10. Who is the only player to have as many as 20 field goals in an NCAA championship game? Hint: He scored fewer than seven points in both his tourney debut and final playoff appearance.
After Gonzaga's Mark Few (in 18th tourney appearance) and Oregon's Dana Altman (13th) reached the Final Four for the first time in their careers, the microscope will focus on Notre Dame's Mike Brey as the best active power-league coach participating in more than 10 tourneys never to reach the national semifinals. Brey is among all-time greats such as John Chaney, Lefty Driesell, Gene Keady and Norm Stewart - four retired luminaries failing to advance to the national semifinals in a total of 64 NCAA Tournaments. "It's so difficult not being able to make that final step," said Chaney, who lost five regional finals with Temple.
Driesell made 11 NCAA playoff appearances with Davidson and Maryland from 1966 through 1986. "I always wanted to get to the Final Four, but not as much as some people think," said Driesell, who lost four regional finals. "I'm not obsessed with it."
Only four schools - North Carolina, Duke, Georgetown and Syracuse - supplied more NCAA consensus first- and second-team All-Americans from 1982 through 1992 than Stewart-coached Missouri (seven). It must have been particularly frustrating for Mizzou fans when the Tigers compiled a 4-8 NCAA tourney worksheet in that span.
But some mentors never will receive the accolades they deserve because of failing to reach the Promised Land, including maligned Dave Bliss, who resurfaced as coach of an NAIA school in Texas. Steve Alford and Sean Miller are the most likely candidates to join this dubious list in 2017-18. Let's hope they didn't seek a safe space on campus to curl up in a fetal position, but the following "Generation Hex" list includes prominent coaches without a Final Four berth on their resume despite more than 10 NCAA Tournament appearances:
|Coach||NCAA Tourneys||Playoff Record (Pct.)||Closest to Reaching Final Four|
|Gene Keady||18||19-18 (.514)||regional runner-up with Purdue in 1994 and 2000|
|John Chaney||17||23-17 (.575)||regional runner-up with Temple five times (1988-91-93-99-01)|
|Fran Dunphy||16||3-16 (.158)||won three opening-round games with Penn and Temple (1994, 2011 and 2013)|
|Norm Stewart||16||12-16 (.429)||regional runner-up with Missouri in 1976 and 1994|
|Mike Brey||14||13-14 (.481)||regional runner-up with Notre Dame in 2015 and 2016|
|Lefty Driesell||13||16-14 (.533)||regional runner-up four times with Davidson and Maryland (1968-69-73-75)|
|Dave Bliss||11||8-11 (.421)||regional semifinals with Oklahoma in 1979|
|Pete Carril||11||4-11 (.267)||won two games with Princeton in 1983|
|Gale Catlett||11||7-11 (.389)||regional semifinals with West Virginia in 1998|
|Tom Davis||11||18-11 (.621)||regional runner-up with Boston College in 1982 and Iowa in 1987|
|Mark Gottfried||11||10-11 (.476)||regional final with Alabama in 2004|
|Tom Penders||11||12-11 (.522)||regional final with Texas in 1990|
It doesn't take a genius to deduce All-American players are all-important to teams. Since the national tourney expanded to at least 32 teams in 1975, only two consensus first-team All-Americans never appeared in the NCAA playoffs - Houston guard Otis Birdsong (1977) and Minnesota center Mychal Thompson (1978).
Terry Dischinger averaged 28.3 points per game in his three-year varsity career with Purdue in the early 1960s, but he is the only two-time consensus first-team All-American since World War II never to compete in the NCAA Tournament or NIT. Dischinger also endured a star-scorned nine-year NBA career without playing on a squad winning a playoff series. He was named NBA Rookie of the Year as a member of the Chicago Zephyrs in 1962-63 despite playing in only 57 games as he skipped many of the road contests to continue his education. His dedication to the classroom paid off as he became an orthodontist.
Hall of Famer Billy Cunningham averaged 24.8 points per game in his three-year varsity career with North Carolina in the mid-1960s, but he also never appeared in the NCAA tourney or NIT. How good were the players in that era if Cunningham never was a consensus first-team All-American? Auburn's Charles Barkley was an All-American but lost his only NCAA playoff game in 1984. Following is a look at Dischinger and three other multiple-year NCAA consensus first-team All-Americans since the mid-1950s never to participate in the NCAA Tournament:
|Two- or Three-Time NCAA Consensus First-Team A-A||School||Years 1st-Team A-A||NIT Mark|
|Terry Dischinger||Purdue||1961 and 1962||DNP|
|Sihugo Green||Duquesne||1955 and 1956||6-2|
|Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||1968 through 1970||2-2|
|Chet Walker||Bradley||1961 and 1962||3-1|
NCAA Tournament match-ups between members from the same league are relatively rare despite ACC members comprising the entire East and Midwest Regional finals last year. This season, SEC rivals Florida and South Carolina met in the East Regional final. It was the 27th such power-league confrontation but the first for the SEC in a 31-year span.
The Big Ten Conference accounted for seven of the first 18 NCAA Tournament games pitting league members against each other but hasn't been involved in such a contest since 2000. Last season marked the first time a league (ACC) generated three intra-conference playoff confrontations in a single tourney.
|Year||Conference||Playoff Round||NCAA Tourney Result Between Members of Same League|
|1976||Big Ten||national championship||Indiana 86 (May scored team-high 26 points), Michigan 68 (Green 18)|
|1980||Big Ten||regional semifinals||Purdue 76 (Edmonson/Morris 20), Indiana 69 (I. Thomas 30)|
|1980||Big Ten||national third-place||Purdue 75 (Carroll 35), Iowa 58 (Arnold 19)|
|1981||ACC||national semifinals||North Carolina 78 (Wood 39), Virginia 65 (Lamp 18)|
|1983||ACC||regional final||North Carolina State 63 (Whittenburg 24), Virginia 62 (Sampson 23)|
|1985||Big East||national semifinals||Georgetown 77 (Williams 20), St. John's 59 (Glass 13)|
|1985||Big East||national championship||Villanova 66 (McClain 17), Georgetown 64 (Wingate 16)|
|1986||SEC||regional semifinals||Kentucky 68 (Walker 22), Alabama 63 (Coner 20)|
|1986||SEC||regional final||Louisiana State 59 (Williams 16), Kentucky 57 (Walker 20)|
|1987||Big East||regional final||Providence 88 (Donovan/D. Wright 20), Georgetown 73 (Williams 25)|
|1987||Big East||national semifinals||Syracuse 77 (Monroe 17), Providence 63 (Screen 18)|
|1988||Big Eight||regional final||Kansas 71 (Manning 20), Kansas State 58 (Scott 18)|
|1988||Big Eight||national championship||Kansas 83 (Manning 31), Oklahoma 79 (Sieger 22)|
|1989||Big Ten||national semifinals||Michigan 83 (Rice 28), Illinois 81 (Battle 29)|
|1992||Big Ten||regional final||Michigan 75 (Webber 23), Ohio State 71 (Jackson 20)|
|1992||Great Midwest||regional final||Cincinnati 88 (Jones 23), Memphis State 57 (Hardaway 12)|
|2000||Big Ten||regional final||Wisconsin 64 (Bryant 18), Purdue 60 (Cardinal/Cunningham 13)|
|2000||Big Ten||national semifinals||Michigan State 53 (Peterson 20), Wisconsin 41 (Boone 18)|
|2001||ACC||national semifinals||Duke 95 (Battier 25), Maryland 84 (Dixon 19)|
|2002||Big 12||regional final||Oklahoma 81 (Price 18), Missouri 75 (Paulding 22)|
|2009||Big East||regional final||Villanova 78 (Anderson 17), Pittsburgh 76 (Young 28)|
|2013||Big East||regional final||Syracuse 55 (Southerland 16), Marquette 39 (Blue 14)|
|2015||ACC||regional semifinals||Louisville 75 (Harrell 24), North Carolina State 65 (Lacey 18)|
|2016||ACC||regional final||North Carolina 88 (Johnson 25), Notre Dame 74 (Jackson 26)|
|2016||ACC||regional final||Syracuse 68 (Richardson 23), Virginia 62 (Perrantes 18)|
|2016||ACC||national semifinals||North Carolina 83 (Jackson/Johnson 16), Syracuse 66 (Cooney 22)|
|2017||SEC||regional final||South Carolina 77 (Thornwell 26), Florida 70 (Leon 18)|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 14 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only school to compile a losing record in a season it won on the road against a conference rival later capturing the NCAA championship. Hint: The school is a former national titlist itself, but had just one winning league mark in 12 years from 1977-78 through 1988-89.
2. Name the only school to compile a conference record of more than 10 games below .500 in a season it defeated a league rival becoming NCAA champion. Hint: The school, which finished in first or second place in league competition four consecutive seasons in early 1930s, had 44 consecutive non-winning records in conference play before securing its first tourney appearance.
3. Name the only school to trail by at least 10 points at halftime of a tournament game and end up winning the contest by more than 20. Hint: A prominent network broadcaster played for the team. The next year, the school became the only one in tourney history to win back-to-back overtime games by double-digit margins.
4. Who is the only coach to lose in back-to-back seasons to teams seeded 14th or worse? Hint: He captured an NCAA championship later that decade.
5. Name the only double-digit seeded team to reach the Final Four until Virginia Commonwealth achieved the feat last year. Hint: It's the worst-seeded school to defeat a #1 seed, a conference rival that defeated the team a total of three times that year during the regular season and postseason league tournament. The next year, the university became only school to reach back-to-back regional finals as a double-digit seed.
6. Name the only school to win a regional final game it trailed by more than 15 points at halftime. Hint: The school lost its next game at the Final Four to a team that dropped a conference game against the regional final opponent by a double-figure margin. Three years later, it became the only school to score more than 100 points in a championship game and win national final by more than 21 points.
7. Who is the only team-leading scorer to be held more than 25 points under his season average in a Final Four game? Hint: He scored 39 points against the same opponent earlier in the season to help end the third-longest winning streak in major-college history. He is the only player to lead the playoffs in scoring and rebounding in back-to-back seasons although he wasn't named to the All-Tournament team one of those years despite becoming the only player to lead a tourney in scoring by more than 60 points. In addition, he is the only player in tournament history to collect more than 40 points and 25 rebounds in same game.
8. Name the only school to lead the nation in scoring offense and win the NCAA title in the same season. Hint: The top four scorers were undergraduates for the only titlist to win all of its NCAA Tournament games by more than 15 points.
9. Name the only school to play in as many as three overtime games in a single tournament. Hint: One of the three overtime affairs was a national third-place game.
10. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to go scoreless in two NCAA Tournament games in a previous year? Hint: His NBA scoring average decreased each of last nine seasons in the league after becoming Rookie of the Year.
A game-winning, running three-pointer at the buzzer after coast-to-coast drive in overtime by Florida's Chris Chiozza against Wisconsin and Luke Maye's decisive basket for North Carolina from just inside the three-point arc with 0.3 seconds remaining against Kentucky enabled them to join the striking list of storybook moments in NCAA playoff lore, making it time to shine light on many of those who previously made history. More than one-fourth of the NCAA Tournament's games were determined in overtime or in regulation by fewer than four points since the field expanded to at least 32 teams in 1975. Four riveting national finals in an eight-year span from 1982 through 1989 furnished memories etched indelibly in our minds because clutch players appeared impervious to pressure by producing in last-second situations.
Videos help us remember the buzzer beaters far beyond the actual moment. Butler's Gordon Hayward almost joined this group but his heave from near half-court rimmed out in 2010 national final against Duke. Hayward learned close only counts in hand grenades, horseshoes and drive-in movies. The following alphabetical list details numerous individuals who supplied a memorable field goal as time expired in an NCAA tourney tilt:
|Player||School||Description of Decisive Last-Second Basket|
|Danny Ainge||Brigham Young||Coast-to-coast drive and scoop shot edged #2 seed Notre Dame, 51-50, in 1981 East Regional semifinals.|
|Rolando Blackman||Kansas State||Jumper from 17 feet from right baseline was the difference in 50-48 verdict against #1 seed Oregon State in second round of 1981 West Regional.|
|Nathaniel Burton||Georgetown||Driving layup was final margin in 63-61 nod over Arkansas in first round of 2001 West Regional.|
|Lorenzo Charles||North Carolina State||Sophomore forward, averaging a modest 8 ppg, converted guard Dereck Whittenburg's off-line desperation shot from well beyond the three-point arc into decisive dunk in 54-52 triumph against Houston in 1983 championship game.|
|Chris Chiozza||Florida||The Gators, trailing Wisconsin by two points with fewer than four seconds remaining in OT in East Regional semifinals, got the ball in hands of Chiozza, who went coast-to-coast and sank a running three-pointer at the buzzer for 84-83 triumph.|
|Cameron Dollar||UCLA||Short jumper with less than two seconds remaining after length-of-the-court drive in overtime upended Iowa State, 74-73, in 1997 Midwest Regional semifinals.|
|Bryce Drew||Valparaiso||Signature three-pointer after three-quarter court pass from minor-league baseball player to another hoop teammate gave #13 seed a 70-69 victory against Ole Miss in first round of 1998 Midwest Regional.|
|Tyus Edney||UCLA||Length-of-the-court drive and layup gave #1 seed a 75-74 triumph against Missouri in second round of 1995 West Regional.|
|James Forrest||Georgia Tech||Freshman forward, who didn't attempt a three-pointer all year, nailed a desperation shot from beyond the arc for 79-78 win against Southern California in second round of 1992 Midwest Regional.|
|Rick Fox||North Carolina||Drive along right baseline for leaning bank shot in 79-77 upset of top-ranked Oklahoma in second round of 1990 Midwest Regional.|
|Kevin Gamble||Iowa||Straight-away three-pointer with one second remaining in overtime against Oklahoma provided 93-91 triumph in 1987 West Regional semifinals.|
|Tate George||Connecticut||Turnaround jumper from right baseline after length-of-the-court pass from eventual MLB first-round draft choice Scott Burrell clipped Clemson, 71-70, in 1990 East Regional semifinals.|
|Clarence Gilbert||Missouri||Jumper from 15 feet helped withstand furious Georgia rally, 70-68, in first round of 2001 East Regional.|
|Demetri Goodson||Gonzaga||Short running bank shot lifted Zags to 83-81 triumph against Western Kentucky in second round of 2009 South Regional.|
|Richard Hamilton||Connecticut||Off-balance fall-away in lane gave Huskies a 75-74 win against Washington in 1998 East Regional semifinals.|
|Jeff Hodge||South Alabama||Desperation three-pointer off broken play in waning moments gave USA an 86-84 victory against Alabama in opening round of 1989 Southeast Regional.|
|Shaheen Holloway||Seton Hall||Mercurial point guard drove length of the court through and around a double team to score on an underhanded layup high off the glass with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime to frustrate Oregon, 72-71, in first round of 2000 East Regional.|
|Jeff Hornacek||Iowa State||Fall-away 25-footer off an out-of-bounds play commencing with two seconds remaining in overtime gave the Cyclones their first NCAA playoff victory in 42 years - 81-79 against Miami (Ohio) in opening round of 1986 Midwest Regional.|
|De'Jon Jackson||San Diego||Fade-away 18-footer from right side with 1.2 seconds remaining in overtime for #13 seed accounted for 70-69 decision over UConn in 2008 West Regional.|
|Kris Jenkins||Villanova||On the heels of miracle off-balance three-pointer by North Carolina's Marcus Paige tying the score at 74-74 with fewer than five seconds remaining, Jenkins responded by drilling a game-winning trey from the right side in 2016 title tilt.|
|Paul Jesperson||Northern Iowa||Half-court bank shot after several dribbles crossing from right sideline to middle of hardwood propelled #11 seed to a 75-72 nod over Texas in opening round of 2016 West Regional.|
|Bronson Koenig||Wisconsin||Swished three-pointer from right corner off sideline out-of-bounds play in 66-63 triumph against #2 seed Xavier in second round of 2016 East Regional. His decisive basket left him 16-of-31 from beyond the arc in last five minutes of games during the season.|
|Christian Laettner (1)||Duke||After in-bounding ball with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime, he received it back and converted a contorted leaner from left side for 79-78 win against UConn in 1990 East Regional final.|
|Christian Laettner (2)||Duke||In perhaps most memorable shot in NCAA playoff history, he received pass from opposite baseline from Grant Hill and sank turnaround jumper near top of the key for 104-103 overtime victory against Kentucky in 1992 East Regional final.|
|Gabe Lewullis||Princeton||Layup off a back-door cut in closing seconds proved decisive for #13 seed in 43-41 triumph against UCLA in first round of 1996 Southeast Regional.|
|Chris Lofton||Tennessee||Jumper from 19 feet for #2 seed in 63-61 win against upstart Winthrop in first round of 2006 Washington/East Regional.|
|Brook Lopez||Stanford||Dropped in right-baseline leaner with 1.3 seconds remaining to outlast Marquette in overtime, 82-81, in second round of 2008 South Regional.|
|Korie Lucious||Michigan State||Three-pointer from top of key in 85-83 decision over Maryland in second round of 2010 Midwest Regional.|
|Luke Maye||North Carolina||Jumper from left side just inside the three-point arc with 0.3 seconds remaining was the difference in 75-73 win against Kentucky in 2017 South Regional final.|
|Mike Miller||Florida||Driving layup in overtime gave eventual national runner-up a 69-68 nod over Butler in first round of 2000 East Regional.|
|Maurice Newby||Northern Iowa||Three-point basket with four seconds remaining in 74-71 triumph against #3 seed Missouri in first round of 1990 Southeast Regional.|
|Drew Nicholas||Maryland||Drove much of length of court before firing three-pointer from right side to nip UNC Wilmington, 75-73, in first round of 2003 South Regional.|
|Freddie Owens||Wisconsin||Three-pointer from left corner capped comeback from 13-point deficit in 61-60 success against Tulsa in second round of 2003 Midwest Regional.|
|Kenton Paulino||Texas||Three-pointer propelled #2 seed to 74-71 victory against West Virginia in Sweet 16 of 2006 Atlanta/South Regional.|
|Quincy Pondexter||Washington||Driving short bank shot from left side with 1.7 seconds remaining in 80-78 win against Marquette in opening round of 2010 East Regional.|
|Ken Pryor||Oklahoma||Backup's only basket in 1947 tourney, a long jumper in closing seconds, gave OU a 55-54 success against Texas in national semifinals.|
|U.S. Reed||Arkansas||In aftermath of clutch field goal by Louisville's Derek Smith, a criss-crossing drive to right side of mid-court resulted in heave giving Hogs a 74-73 win in second round of 1981 Midwest Regional.|
|Don Reid||Georgetown||Grabbed Allen Iverson's three-pointer falling short of rim and flipped ball back over his head for basket in 53-51 victory against Weber State in second round of 1995 Southeast Regional.|
|Scottie Reynolds||Villanova||Length-of-court drive and short jumper against #1 seed Pittsburgh for 78-76 triumph in 2009 East Regional final.|
|Ty Rogers||Western Kentucky||Desperation 30-foot three-pointer in overtime against Drake lifted WKU to 101-99 first-round victory in 2008 West Regional.|
|Vic Rouse||Loyola of Chicago||Junior forward jumped high to redirect center Les Hunter's shot from free-throw line into the basket to climax Ramblers' first year in playoffs with 60-58 overtime success against Cincinnati in 1963 championship game.|
|Keith Smart||Indiana||Junior college recruit, IU's fifth-leading scorer, tallied 12 of the Hoosiers' final 15 points, including 15-foot jumper from left baseline to give them a 74-73 victory against Syracuse in 1987 championship game.|
|Ishmael Smith||Wake Forest||Jumper from right side with less than two seconds remaining capped comeback from eight-point deficit in overtime in 81-80 win against Texas in opening round of 2010 East Regional.|
|John Smith||Saint Joseph's||Converted layup with three seconds remaining in 49-48 decision over top-ranked DePaul in second round of 1981 Mideast Regional.|
|Steve Smith||Michigan State||Three-pointer with one tick remaining beat Wisconsin-Green Bay, 61-58, in 1991 West Regional opener.|
|Dave Sorenson||Ohio State||Banked in shot with three seconds remaining to give OSU an 82-81 victory against Kentucky in 1968 Mideast Regional final at Lexington, Ky., where fifth-ranked UK failed to lose all season.|
|Terence Stansbury||Temple||Swished 25-footer for 65-63 win against St. John's in first round of 1984 East Regional.|
|Terrell Taylor||Creighton||His eighth three-pointer of game gave Bluejays an 83-82 double-overtime win against Florida in first round of 2002 Midwest Regional.|
|Danero Thomas||Murray State||Fall-away jumper from right side just inside three-point arc for #13 seed secured 66-65 verdict over Vanderbilt in 2010 West Regional.|
|Andre Turner||Memphis State||"Little General" contributed back-to-back game-winning shots in Midwest Regional (67-66 vs. UAB in overtime and 59-57 vs. Boston College) to carry Tigers to 1985 Final Four.|
|Jermaine Wallace||Northwestern State||Step-back three-pointer from left corner upset #3 seed Iowa, 64-63, in first round of 2006 Atlanta/South Regional.|
|John Wallace||Syracuse||Lean-in three-pointer with less than three seconds remaining in overtime produced 83-81 win against Georgia in 1996 West Regional semifinals.|
|Jarrod West||West Virginia||Banked in three-pointer with less than one second remaining for 75-74 victory against #2 seed Cincinnati in second round of 1998 West Regional.|
|Herb Wilkinson||Utah||Freshman swingman connected from beyond head of the key with three seconds remaining to give Utes a 42-40 overtime win against Dartmouth in 1944 championship game.|
|Danny Young||Wake Forest||Drove to hoop for basket and 73-71 triumph in overtime against #1 seed DePaul in 1984 Midwest Regional semifinals, spoiling legendary coach Ray Meyer's swan song.|
Never underestimate the occasional astonishing absence of perspective among TV pundits. Amid the boob tube personality-driven showmanship, PT Barnum continues to chortle, "I was right all along!" about "there's a sucker born every minute."
ESPN-turned-CBS-turned-FoxSports commentator Doug Gottlieb, ranked among the Top 20 analysts by CollegeHoopedia.com, never has coached a game of college basketball - even as an assistant. Yet the legend in his own mind proclaimed five years ago he was fit to serve at Kansas State as Frank Martin's successor. The Wildcats weren't suckered, ignoring such ego chicanery and hired former SIU and Illinois mentor Bruce Weber. Although the interviews probably should have been conducted on April Fool's Day the past two years, Gottlieb was considered as a candidate at another Big 12 Conference member after his alma mater's head coaching position became available in back-to-back seasons?
Who does Gottlieb think he is? The collegiate version of Pat Riley? Saying he is "self aware" (a/k/a "full of himself"), Gottlieb must have thought the coaching acumen of his father and brother would rub off on him. Before becoming head coach at Jacksonville and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Gottlieb's father (Bob) was an assistant at K-State in the early 1970s at a time when the program was in the midst of capturing 11 Big Eight Conference championships in an 18-year span. In a battle of Wildcats, mighty Kentucky was the only school at that point boasting more final Top 20 rankings than KSU.
Gottlieb, a Notre Dame credit-card castoff before transferring to Oklahoma State and leading the nation in assists in 1998-99 and finishing runner-up the next season, thought he could assist a Big 12 Conference member as bench boss basically because of the visibility of his mug being on TV (especially celebrity contest of NBA All-Star Weekend). Well, criminals have their head shots at the post office. Would that help them recruit suspect student-athletes? How about throwing his hat in the ring and learning the trade first at Oklahoma Baptist before working your way up the ladder?
The sports TV culture frequently fosters hero worshiped such as creepy ESPN original Keith Olbermann who think the world revolves around them and they develop a sordid sense of "out-of-bounds" entitlement. Gottlieb was no different than Larry "Grandmama" Johnson, who was upset and probably lost "her" wig and outfit when he didn't inherit the UNLV coaching job. Ditto Johnson teammate Stacey Augmon.
"When you are among the high-flying adored, your view of the world becomes blurred," wrote psychologist Stanley Teitelbaum of the flouting-of-the-law behavior in the book Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols: How Star Athletes Pursue Self-Destructive Paths and Jeopardize Their Careers.
"Off the field, some act as if they are above the rules of society; hubris and an attitude of entitlement become central to the psyche of many athletes. They may deny that they are vulnerable to reprisals and feel omnipotent and grandiose as well as entitled."
Eventually, OSU favored authentic coaches over a wannabee. But if Gottlieb's resume boasting significant holes eventually enables him to go straight to a DI head coaching assignment, he'll need to also break ground by hiring an assistant devoted exclusively to free-throw shooting. After all, he is a lifetime member on the All-Gang That Can't Shoot Straight Team (abysmal 45.3% mark from the "foul" line with OSU).
Moreover, if Gottlieb is qualified to go straight to accepting the reins in a power conference where he previously competed, it seems his TV colleagues past and present should be treated in a similar fashion. If ESPN's anticipated on-air cutbacks go too deep, some personnel could consider a career change. Andy Katz should be next in line for the Fresno State position in his old stomping grounds; Alabama grad Rece Davis should be able to anchor any SEC opening; Doris Burke should become the first full-time female coach of a men's program at her alma mater (Providence) or some other Big East member; Skip Baseless should be coaching national POY Buddy Hield at Oklahoma; Screamin' A. Stiff should be guiding any school he wants to in MEAC; Mike Greenberg or Britt "Just Another Petty Face" McHenry should have directed Northwestern to the Wildcats' first NCAA playoff appearance; Stephen Bardo should have been hired by Illinois (not John Groce); Adrian Branch or Scott Van Pelt should be Maryland's coach (not Mark Turgeon); Miles Simon should be at Arizona's helm (not Sean Miller); Sean Farnham should have been groomed as Ben Howland's replacement at UCLA (not passed on to Steve Alford); LaPhonso Ellis should be designated as Mike Brey's successor-in-waiting at Notre Dame, and Pat Summitt protege Kara Lawson should be the odds-on favorite to return to Tennessee and right the Volunteers' ship.
Politically, stand-up comedian reject Seth Davis (CBS commentator) should have been Shrillary Rotten's running mate; especially if his "barking" father, Clinton keg leg-humper Lanny Davis, would send another "no-class(ified)" syrupy email to private server of the Deleter of the Free World. After all, the creepy conflicts of interest go both ways. After the Clintons had "the talk," TV execs deemed their one-percenter daughter full of sufficient journalistic credentials to "earn" a $600,000-a-year position from NBC. Thus, we deride the unhinged mess media because that is precisely what the trumped know-it-alls deserve these days; not head coaching jobs with zero experience for power conference members.
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 13 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only team-leading scorer of a Final Four team to go scoreless when the school was eliminated from championship contention at the national semifinals? Hint: He was a center who along with four teammates averaged between 11 and 12.5 points per game.
2. Who is the only player to twice lead the nation in scoring average while playing for teams advancing to the Final Four? Hint: He is the only team-leading scorer to twice be more than 10 points below his season scoring mark when his school was eliminated at the Final Four.
3. Name the only school to lose two national championship games by at least 18 points after leading the finals at halftime. Hint: The two opponents, 17 years apart, combined to win 66 of 68 games those seasons.
4. Name the only school to make as many as eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from the year it participated in the event for the first time. Hint: The school's last playoff victory wasn't during this streak, but it later handed UCLA its first West Regional defeat in 14 years.
5. Name the only school to lose as many as 15 opening-round games in the NCAA Tournament. Hint: The university also lost a first-round game in 1984 after winning a qualifying round contest when playoff field was 53 teams.
6. Who is the only athlete to collect more than 3,000 major league hits, including 465 homers, after playing the entire basketball game for a school when it appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Hint: The outfielder appeared in 12 All-Star Games and two World Series after never playing in minors.
7. Who is the only player to have a single-digit point total in a national semifinal game and then increase his output by more than 20 points in the championship game? Hint: The center for two years between two three-time consensus first-team All-Americans shot just over 40% from the floor for the season entering title game where he had a game-high and career-high point total.
8. Who is the only player to have a decrease of more than 25 points from his national semifinal game scoring total to his championship game output? Hint: He was a member of the first undefeated NCAA champion and subsequently became an NBA first-round draft choice.
9. Name the only school to defeat two eventual Final Four teams by double-digit margins in their conference tournament. Hint: The school was handily eliminated in the NCAA playoffs by one of the two Final Four teams it decisively defeated in their league tourney.
10. Name the only school to reach the NCAA championship game in back-to-back seasons it was defeated by double-digit margins in its conference tournament. Hint: The school swept its home-and-home series in regular-season conference competition against the teams defeating it in league tourney.
Weep On It/Think On It/Sleep On It/Drink On It. That could be the motto for Xavier after the Musketeers remained a "Susan Lucci" school in Division I by losing to Gonzaga in NCAA Tournament West Regional final, preventing them from reaching the Promised Land. Brigham Young, Missouri and Xavier are the only three schools participating in more than 25 NCAA Tournaments but never advancing to a Final Four.
Missouri has reached a regional final on four occasions but fell short in advancing to the Final Four. Boston College is another bridesmaid multiple times comparable to Xavier, losing three regional finals (1967, 1982 and 1994) in 18 tourney appearances (22-19 record) since the field expanded beyond eight teams in 1950.
The following list of five frustrated institutions are in a quagmire because they've made a minimum of 20 appearances without reaching the Final Four:
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 12 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only championship team player to have a season scoring average of less than six points per game entering a Final Four but tally more than 30 points in the national semifinals and final? Hint: He is the only player with a single-digit season scoring average to score more than 25 points in an NCAA championship game.
2. Who is the only player to score at least 25 points in eight consecutive NCAA playoff games? Hint: He is the only player to rank among top five in scoring average in both NCAA Tournament and NBA playoffs. He was denied a championship ring in his only Final Four appearance when a player who would become an NBA teammate tipped in decisive basket in the closing seconds.
3. Name the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player who wasn't among the top five scorers on his team. Hint: The only other player to earn the award who wasn't among top four scorers on his team attended same university.
5. Who is the only U.S. Congressman to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee after playing in the NCAA Tournament championship game? Hint: Starting out as a Democrat, he became a 12-term Republican Congressman from Illinois.
6. Who is the only individual to be named Final Four Most Outstanding Player and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in back-to-back seasons? Hint: He holds the NBA Finals single-game record for most points by a rookie.
7. Name the freshman who had the highest season scoring average for a team to reach the NCAA Tournament championship game until Carmelo Anthony achieved the feat for 2003 champion Syracuse. Hint: The word "Boss" is tattooed to his chest for a good reason because he also led his team in assists as freshman.
8. Who is the only freshman to score more than 30 points in a national semifinal or championship game before failing to score more than half that total in his next four playoff outings? Hint: He didn't score more than 15 points in any of his next four NCAA playoff games, all defeats, and averaged a modest 8.2 points per game in an eight-year NBA career with an all-time pro season high of 11.4 ppg and game high of 28.
9. Who is the only freshman on a Final Four team to score more than 20 points in as many as four tournament games? Hint: He did not play in the national championship game and his school lost in the NCAA playoffs to opponents with double-digit seeds each of four seasons before he arrived.
10. Name the only season-leading scorer of a titlist to be held more than 14 points below his average in the NCAA championship game. Hint: He was named national player of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He is one of four Final Four Most Outstanding Players held scoreless in their NCAA Tournament debuts in a previous season. He is also the only individual to become a member of three NCAA titlists after playing one season in junior college.
One of the biggest questions popping up from time to time deals with who is most likely to eventually succeed Mike Krzyzewski as coach at Duke. Let's face it! We won't get the answer from halftime fielding of blah lack-of-info babe how-do-you-feel questions. Krzyzewski almost always dispatches one of his minions to endure such aimless interrogation torture apparently in order to reduce risk of re-injuring his back wincing at their incurable futility.
Coaching community shills frequently proclaim automatic success for Duke assistants when they become bench bosses. But the overall impact of Coach K's 12 disciples in the aftermath of serving under the all-time winningest major-college mentor has been anything but special. They've combined for a losing mark in the NCAA playoffs (60 fewer tourney triumphs than Coach K's all-time high of 91) and only three regional final appearances (Quin Snyder with Missouri in 2002 before Mike Brey with Notre Dame in 2015 and 2016). Following is an alphabetical list summarizing the impact of Krzyzewski's assistants after they left his incubator and became a DI bench boss on their own:
|Coach K Assistant||NCAA Tourney Mark||Biggest Flaw of DI Head Coaching Career|
|Tommy Amaker||4-5||14 games below .500 in power conference competition in 10 years with Seton Hall and Michigan|
|Bob Bender||2-3||36 games below .500 in power conference competition in nine seasons with Washington|
|Mike Brey||13-14||no NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances in first 11 seasons with Notre Dame|
|Jeff Capel III||4-3||losing power conference record in five seasons with Oklahoma|
|Chris Collins||1-1||losing record in Big Ten Conference play in first four seasons with Northwestern|
|Johnny Dawkins||2-1||only one NCAA playoff appearance and 10 games below .500 in Pac-10/12 Conference play in eight seasons with Stanford before dismissal led him to UCF|
|Mike Dement||0-1||losing conference mark in SWC and WAC in nine seasons with Southern Methodist|
|David Henderson||DNP||losing overall record in six seasons with Delaware|
|Tim O'Toole||DNP||losing overall record in eight seasons with Fairfield|
|Quin Snyder||5-4||never finished among undisputed top five in Big 12 Conference and compiled cumulative losing mark in last three of seven seasons with Missouri|
|Chuck Swenson||DNP||lost more than 2/3 of his games in seven seasons with William & Mary|
|Steve Wojciechowski||0-1||losing Big East Conference record in first three seasons with Marquette|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 11 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only one of the 60 or so two-time consensus first-team All-Americans since 1946 never to participate in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT? Hint: His school was a total of 10 games over .500 in Big Ten Conference competition in his junior and senior seasons. He never played on a team to win playoff series in his nine-year NBA career.
2. Who is the only player to score more than 20,000 pro points yet never reach the conference finals in the NBA playoffs after playing at least two seasons of varsity basketball at a major college and never participating in the NCAA Division I playoffs? Hint: The college he attended made its NCAA Tournament debut the first year after he left school early to become third pick overall in NBA draft.
3. Who is the only coach since the tourney field expanded to at least 48 teams to take two different universities to the playoffs when the schools appeared in the tournament for the first time? Hint: His last name begins with a "F" and he no longer is Division I head coach.
4. Name the only school with a losing record to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs by winning a regular-season conference title. Hint: The league started a postseason tournament two years later and the school in question has lost all six times it reached conference tourney championship game.
5. Name the only major university to have two graduates score more than 17,000 points in the NBA after playing at least three varsity seasons in college and failing to appear in the NCAA Tournament. Hint: The school has had three other players score more than 10,000 points in the NBA after never appearing in NCAA playoffs.
6. Name the only former titlist to have an all-time playoff record 10 games below the .500 mark. Hint: Longtime network broadcaster Curt Gowdy played in the tournament for the school.
7. Name the only state with three schools to compile tournament records at least nine games below .500. Hint: The three institutions from same state are members of different conferences.
8. Who was the only player shorter than Bobby Hurley, Duke's 6-0 guard, to play for a championship team and be selected as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player? Hint: There was another Final Four MOP who was also shorter than 6-0, but he played for a national third-place finisher in the mid-1950s.
9. Who is the only individual to play in an NCAA Tournament championship game and later coach his alma mater to a final? Hint: He served as an assistant to the coach with the most NCAA playoff victories and a college teammate is one of the winningest coaches of all time.
10. Name the only one of the schools with multiple national titles to have two teams participate in the NCAA playoffs as defending champions but lose their opening-round game. Hint: Both of the opening-round setbacks for the school when it was defending champion occurred in East Regional.
What was he thinking? The devil is in the details, but a 3.8 or 3.9 gpa doesn't appear to be in Harry Giles' Duke wheelhouse. After playing the equivalent of 6 1/4 full NBA games in his only season in Krzyzewskiville, Giles "feels" he is ready to wheel and deal in the NBA. He probably should have crossed the threshold into KnowSomethingVille to discern what happened to a striking number of big men who left for the pros after just one collegiate campaign. Among recent one-'n-done big men posting NBA scoring averages comparable to what Giles did in college include Deyonta Davis (Michigan State/1.7 ppg in one NBA season), Cheick Diallo (Kansas/3.6 in one season), Henry Ellenson (Marquette/1.4 in one season), Grant Jerrett (Arizona/2 in one season), Kevon Looney (UCLA/2.5 in two seasons), Chris McCullough (Syracuse/3.8 in two seasons), Daniel Orton (Kentucky/2.8 in three seasons), Diamond Stone (Maryland/1.4 in one season), Noah Vonleh (Indiana/3.7 in three seasons) and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV/1.2 in one season).
Brandon Ingram (Kinston, NC) came close to becoming an All-American selection last year but fell short; especially following a 10-turnover outing at Louisville. This campaign, Giles (Winston-Salem, NC) was hyped as a freshman phenom but averaged an anemic 3.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg while contributing only nine assists in 26 games after incurring a knee injury. Neither Giles nor Ingram achieved a distinction generated by no other A-A in the school's illustrious history.
This season, Ohio product Luke Kennard became the 39th different individual to become an All-American for Duke (28 under coach Mike Krzyzewski). Incredibly, none of them spent their formative years in any of North Carolina's 100 counties and can be counted as in-state recruits. It doesn't seem possible, but North Carolina laid a Blue Devils' goose egg while states such as Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma and Oregon contributed to their list of All-Americans.
By contrast, the North Carolina Tar Heels had in-state talent account for multiple-year All-Americans such as Phil Ford, Antawn Jamison, Michael Jordan, Rashad McCants and James Worthy. The official web site of the State of North Carolina says the state is "a better place." But it hasn't been for Duke in regard to securing premium players prior to Ingram. Following is an alphabetical list detailing the hometowns of Duke's 39 All-Americans coming from 20 different states plus the District of Columbia:
Duke All-American Pos. A-A Season(s) Hometown Mark Alarie F 1986 Phoenix, AZ Grayson Allen G 2016 Jacksonville, FL Tommy Amaker G 1987 Fairfax, VA Gene Banks F 1979 and 1981 Philadelphia, PA Shane Battier F 2000 and 2001 Birmingham, MI Carlos Boozer C 2002 Juneau, AK Elton Brand C 1999 Peekskill, NY Chris Carrawell F 2000 St. Louis, MO Johnny Dawkins G 1985 and 1986 Washington, DC Chris Duhon G 2004 Slidell, LA Mike Dunleavy F 2002 Lake Oswego, OR Danny Ferry F-C 1988 and 1989 Hyattsville, MD Mike Gminski C 1978 through 1980 Monroe, CT Dick Groat G 1951 and 1952 Swissvale, PA Gerald Henderson G-F 2009 Merion, PA Art Heyman F 1961 through 1963 Oceanside, NY Grant Hill F-G 1992 through 1994 Reston, VA Bobby Hurley G 1992 and 1993 Jersey City, NJ Luke Kennard G-F 2017 Franklin, OH Ed Koffenberger F-C 1946 and 1947 Wilmington, PA Christian Laettner C-F 1991 and 1992 Buffalo, NY Trajan Langdon G 1998 and 1999 Anchorage, AK Mike Lewis C 1968 Missoula, MT Jack Marin F 1966 Farrell, PA Jeff Mullins F 1963 and 1964 Lexington, KY DeMarcus Nelson G-F 2008 Elk Grove, CA Jahlil Okafor C 2015 Chicago, IL Jabari Parker F 2014 Chicago, IL Mason Plumlee C 2013 Warsaw, IN Jonathan "J.J." Redick G 2004 through 2006 Roanoke, VA Austin Rivers G 2012 Winter Park, FL Jon Scheyer G 2010 Northbrook, IL Kyle Singler F 2011 Medford, OR Nolan Smith G 2011 Upper Marlboro, MD Jim Spanarkel G 1978 and 1979 Jersey City, NJ Jim Thompson F 1934 Washington, DC Bob Verga G 1966 and 1967 Belmar, NJ Jason "Jay" Williams G 2001 and 2002 Plainfield, NJ Shelden Williams C 2005 and 2006 Forest Park, OK
The Atlantic Coast Conference, reinvigorated with the additions of Notre Dame and Syracuse, provided more than three teams among the Sweet 16 for the first time in 20 years two seasons ago. Last year, the ACC continued on an upward path by setting an NCAA Tournament record with six Sweet 16 participants. Newcomer Louisville, after finishing in fourth place, might have been a seventh ACC squad but the postseason-banished Cardinals apparently were more interested in sex ed independent study raining dollar bills in their dormitory. This campaign, the national media proclaimed the ACC as perhaps the greatest league in history but that assessment came before the nine-bid alliance was fortunate to have one representative among regional semifinalists (North Carolina overcame five-point deficit in last three minutes against Arkansas).
In 2009, the Big East became the first conference to boast five playoff teams reaching the regional semifinals in the same year until the ACC duplicated the feat two years ago. The ACC boasted four members advancing that far on eight occasions in a 12-year stretch from 1984 through 1995.
The ACC in 1985 was the only league in this category not to have at least one of the quartet reach the Final Four until the Big East was foiled in 2006. Four power leagues boast three delegates among the 2017 Sweet 16 but failed to join the following list of thoroughbred leagues supplying at least four Sweet 16 participants a total of 26 times since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to at least 48 teams in 1980:
x-Won NCAA championship
y-Finished national runner-up
z-Reached Final Four
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 10 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only All-American to coach three different schools in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: He was the leading scorer for an NCAA champion.
2. Who is the only coach to take three different schools to a regional final in a 10-year span? Hint: He is the only individual to meet two different schools in the playoffs he had previously coached to the Final Four. He had a chance to become the first coach to guide three different universities to national semifinals, but retired and turned reins over to his son.
3. Who is the only seven-foot player to lead a Final Four in scoring and win a conference high jump title in the same year? Hint: He is the only player to lead the NBA in rebounds and assists in same season.
4. Of the total of 10 different teams in the 1980s to defeat a school twice in a season the opponent eventually won the national title, name the only one of the 10 to fail to win its NCAA Tournament opener. Hint: The team had the misfortune of opening playoffs on home court of its opponent.
5. Of the Final Four teams in the last several decades to have standouts whose high school coach was reunited with a star player as a college assistant, name the only school to win a national championship. Hint: The high school coach who tagged along with his prep All-American as a college assistant was also first minority player to play for his alma mater.
6. Who is the only coach to take a team more than two games below .500 one season to the national title the next year? Hint: He is the only championship team coach to finish his college career with a losing record. He is also the only major-college coach to stay at a school at least 25 seasons and finish with a losing career record at that institution.
7. Who is the only coach to reach the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament and NIT at least five times apiece? Hint: Of the coaches to win basketball championships at every major level (the NCAA, NIT and Summer Olympics), he is the only one to capture the "Triple Crown" in a span of less than 10 years.
8. Of the players to score more than 225 points in the playoffs and/or average in excess of 25 points per tournament game (minimum of six games), who is the only individual to score more than 22 points in every postseason contest? Hint: He is the only player from group to have a single-digit differential between his highest-scoring game and his lowest-scoring game.
9. Who is the only one of the first 20 players to accumulate at least 235 points in NCAA playoff competition to fail to score at least 25 points in a tournament game? Hint: He is the only one of the more recent Most Outstanding Players to score fewer than 28 points in two Final Four games and his highest-scoring playoff performance couldn't avert a defeat in the only one of his four years he didn't participate in Final Four.
10. Among the all-time leading scorers in NCAA Tournament history, who is the only player in this group to go scoreless in a playoff game? Hint: He scored less than 10 points in six consecutive tournament games before averaging 20 points per game in his last 11 playoff outings.