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.
Will Wade's departure to Louisiana State enabled Virginia Commonwealth to become the seventh school losing at least seven head coaches over the years to other major colleges or the NBA. VCU lost four bench bosses in the last 12 seasons to a total of three different power conferences.
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)
Virginia Commonwealth (7) - 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), Will Wade (Louisiana State/2017)
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)
After an average of four mid-level schools reached the Sweet 16 in a six-year span from 2006 through 2011, the last six seasons could have cemented the premise about mid-major schools deserving additional at-large consideration. But that was before eight mid-level schools - Gonzaga, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, Saint Mary's, Southern Mississippi, UNLV and Virginia Commonwealth - were eliminated in games against power six conference members by an average of only four points in 2012, the Mountain West Conference flopped in 2013, only two mid-majors reached the Sweet 16 in 2014 and 2015, Northern Iowa and Stephen F. Austin squandered last-minute leads against power-league opponents in 2016 and Rhode Island squandered a significant lead against Oregon.
Butler, Gonzaga, Virginia Commonwealth and Wichita State advancing to the Final Four this decade was invigorating, but the mid-major community missed out on a potential bonanza. Gonzaga reached the second weekend for the seventh time this Century, but it doesn't help mid-majors when Wichita State gets such a raw draw from the Division I Committee. Following is a look at how at least one mid-major conference member advanced to a regional semifinal or beyond since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985:
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 9 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 was the only athlete to lead his championship team in scoring in two Final Four games and pitch in the major leagues the same year? Hint: He was a guard for three consecutive Final Four teams and was selected to the All-NCAA Tournament team as a senior.
2. Name the only school with more than 1,300 victories in the 20th Century never to reach the Final Four. Hint: The school participated in the NCAA playoffs just once (1992) in last 40-plus years.
3. Name the only school to defeat a team three times in a season the opponent captured the NCAA title. Hint: The school also defeated the same conference foe three times the next season as defending national champion.
4. Name the only champion to win its two Final Four games by a total of more than 50 points. Hint: The titlist suffered its only loss that season against one of the Final Four victims.
5. Of the 35 Final Four Most Outstanding Players selected from 1946 through 1981 when there was a national third-place game, who was the only honoree to play for a fourth-place team? Hint: He never averaged as many as nine points per game in four NBA seasons.
6. Name the only school to lose in back-to-back years in the first round to different institutions going on to capture national titles those years. Hint: The school won a total of 47 games in the two seasons. The two defeats were in the middle of six consecutive playoff appearances for the school after it appeared in playoffs just once from 1939 through 1982.
7. Name the only year four teams arrived at the national semifinals with a composite winning percentage of less than 75 percent. Hint: The two schools that met in the national third-place game are traditional football powers. The college losing both of its Final Four games that year is the only national semifinalist to finish a season with as many as 14 defeats.
8. Who is the only player to score more than 60 points in a single playoff game and to score more than 43 points at least twice? Hint: Of the players who scored more than 235 playoff points and/or averaged more than 25 points per tournament game (minimum of three games), he is the only individual from the select group to have a losing playoff record. He is the only one of the top 25 playoff scorers never to reach Final Four.
9. Who is the only male player to score more than 44 points in a single Final Four game? Hint: He is the only player to twice convert more than 12 free throws without a miss in playoff game.
10. Who is the only player to score more than 400 points in his playoff career? Hint: The only individual to start in four straight Final Fours hit two last-second shots to help his team win East Regional final overtime games and is only player with at least 10 championship game free-throw attempts to convert all of them.
X marked the first head coaching spot for Sean Miller when he directed Xavier for five seasons from 2004-05 through 2008-09 before leaving with nine years remaining on a contract to join Arizona. In 2017, the Cincinnati-based Jesuit school meant eXit for the frustrated mentor seeking his initial Final Four appearance. Miller, who guided the Musketeers to a regional semifinal each of his last two campaigns with them, opposed his old stomping grounds in the West Regional for the second time in last three seasons. Oregon's Dana Altman, who directed Creighton to the NCAA tourney seven times, would have met the Bluejays in the Midwest Regional if they hadn't succumbed in their opener against Rhode Island.
Norm Sloan is the only coach to post an NCAA playoff victory against a school he previously guided to the national championship. Sloan was Florida's mentor in 1987 when the Gators notched an 82-70 first-round triumph over North Carolina State, the institution he took to the 1974 title.
Gene Bartow is the only individual to oppose two different schools in the playoffs he previously coached to the Final Four (UAB lost against Memphis State in 1985 and UCLA in 1990). North Carolina's Roy Williams lost three times by double-digit margins against Kansas in a six-year span from 2008 through 2013 after taking the Jayhawks to the Final Four on four occasions (1991, 1993, 2002 and 2003).
Lute Olson is the only coach to twice defeat the same school he previously took to the NCAA playoffs (Arizona beat Iowa in 1988 and 1996). Miller is among the 16 different bench bosses on the following chronological list of "muscle-memory" mentors who opposed a school in the NCAA Tournament they previously directed in the playoffs:
|Tourney Coach||School||Playoff Round||Foe Previously Took to NCAA Playoffs||Tournament Career Summary|
|Ben Carnevale||Navy||1959 First Round||W vs. North Carolina, 76-63||Carnevale compiled 2-1 mark in NCAA playoffs with Tar Heels in 1946 before going 4-6 with Midshipmen (1947-53-54-59-60).|
|Frank McGuire||South Carolina||1972 Regional Semifinal||L vs. North Carolina, 92-69||McGuire was 5-1 with Tar Heels in 1957 and 1959 before going 4-5 with Gamecocks (1971 through 1974).|
|Gene Bartow||UAB||1985 Second Round||L vs. Memphis State, 67-66||Bartow was 3-1 with Tigers in 1973 before going 6-9 with Blazers (1981-82-83-84-85-86-87-90-94).|
|Johnny Orr||Iowa State||1986 Second Round||W vs. Michigan, 72-69||Orr was 7-4 with Wolverines from 1974 through 1977 before going 3-6 with Cyclones (1985-86-88-89-92-93).|
|Norm Sloan||Florida||1987 First Round||W vs. N.C. State, 82-70||Sloan was 5-2 with Wolfpack (1970-74-78) before going 3-3 with Gators from 1987 through 1989.|
|Lute Olson||Arizona||1988 Regional Semifinal||W vs. Iowa, 99-79||Olson was 7-6 with Hawkeyes from 1979 through 1983 before going 39-22 with Wildcats from 1985 through 2007.|
|Gene Bartow||UAB||1990 First Round||L vs. UCLA, 68-56||Bartow was 5-2 with Bruins in 1976 and 1977 before going 6-9 with Blazers (1981-82-83-84-85-86-87-90-94).|
|Nolan Richardson Jr.||Arkansas||1994 Regional Semifinal||W vs. Tulsa, 103-84||Richardson was 0-3 with Golden Hurricane (1982-84-85) before going 26-12 with Razorbacks from 1988 through 1996 and 1998 through 2001.|
|Lute Olson||Arizona||1996 Second Round||W vs. Iowa, 87-73||Olson was 7-6 with Hawkeyes from 1979 through 1983 before going 39-22 with Wildcats from 1985 through 2007.|
|Gale Catlett||West Virginia||1998 Second Round||W vs. Cincinnati, 75-74||Catlett was 2-3 with Bearcats from 1975 through 1977 before going 5-8 with Mountaineers (1982-83-84-86-87-89-92-98).|
|Lon Kruger||Illinois||2000 Second Round||L vs. Florida, 93-76||Kruger was 4-2 with Gators in 1994 and 1995 before going 3-3 with Illini (1997-98-00).|
|Lefty Driesell||Georgia State||2001 Second Round||L vs. Maryland, 79-60||Driesell was 10-8 with Terrapins (1973-75-80-81-83-84-85-86) before going 1-1 with Panthers in 2001.|
|Tubby Smith||Kentucky||2002 Second Round||W vs. Tulsa, 87-82||Smith was 4-2 with Golden Hurricane in 1994 and 1995 before going 18-6 with Wildcats from 1998 through 2004.|
|Thad Matta||Ohio State||2007 Second Round||W vs. Xavier, 78-71||Matta was 5-3 with Muskeeters (2002 through 2004) before going 18-9 with Buckeyes from 2006 through 2017.|
|Ben Howland||UCLA||2007 Regional Semifinal||W vs. Pittsburgh, 64-55||Howland was 4-2 with Panthers (2002 and 2003) before going 15-7 with Bruins (2005-06-07-08-09-11-13).|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||2008 National Semifinal||L vs. Kansas, 84-66||Williams was 34-14 with Jayhawks (1990 through 2003) before going 36-10 with Tar Heels from 2004 through 2016.|
|Bill Self||Kansas||2011 Second Round||W vs. Illinois, 73-59||Self was 6-3 with Illini (2001 through 2003) before going 30-12 with Jayhawks from 2004 through 2016.|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||2012 Regional Final||L vs. Kansas, 80-67||Williams was 34-14 with Jayhawks (1990 through 2003) before going 36-10 with Tar Heels from 2004 through 2016.|
|Roy Williams||North Carolina||2013 Second Round||L vs. Kansas, 70-58||Williams was 34-14 with Jayhawks (1990 through 2003) before going 36-10 with Tar Heels from 2004 through 2016.|
|Larry Brown||Southern Methodist||2015 First Round||L vs. UCLA, 60-59||Brown was 5-2 with Bruins before going 0-1 with Mustangs.|
|Sean Miller||Arizona||2015 Regional Semifinal||W vs. Xavier, 68-60||Miller was 6-4 with Musketeers from 2006 through 2009 before going 13-6 with Wildcats from 2011 through 2017|
|Sean Miller||Arizona||2017 Regional Semifinal||L vs. Xavier, 73-71||Miller was 6-4 with Musketeers from 2006 through 2009 before going 13-6 with Wildcats from 2011 through 2017|
First-time entrants into the NCAA playoffs such as Northwestern and UC Davis usually get no sympathy. The average seeding was #14 for the more than 40 schools making their tournament debuts since the bracket included at least 64 teams.
Newbies such as Northwestern assert themselves when they receive a decent draw. A majority of first-timers with seedings of 10th or better in the late 1980s and early 1990s won their first-round games, including all three times when they had better seeds (sixth-seeded Florida in 1987, seventh-seeded New Orleans in 1987 and eighth-seeded Seton Hall in 1988).
Of the schools making their tournament debuts since the field expanded to at least 52 teams, almost one-fourth of them survived the first round. Three opening-round winners in the mid-1980s also won their next game - Georgia '83, Cleveland State '86 and Florida '87. Georgia '83 was the ultimate underdog. The Bulldogs, the only first-time entrant seeded better than fifth (No. 4 seed in the East Regional) since the field expanded to at least 48 teams in 1980, reached the Final Four.
Georgetown and Missouri each lost twice to NCAA playoff virgins in the seeding era. UC Davis and Northwestern joined the following chronological list of newcomers winning their debuts since seeding was introduced in 1979:
After previously toiling in relative obscurity, former small-college standouts Chris Flemmings (transferred from Barton NC to UNC Wilmington) and Duncan Robinson (Williams MA to Michigan) made significant contributions in the last two NCAA DI Tournaments.
But Flemmings and Robinson aren't the only transfer players to go from nowhere to Cloud Nine in the NCAA playoffs. Arkansas, Duke, Gonzaga, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Nevada and Wisconsin featured small-college transfers in regular rotations of previous NCAA tourney squads.
Of course, the most prominent player in history in this category is all-time great Elgin Baylor (Seattle). Consider this alphabetical list of more than 20 transfer players who went from non-Division I schools to center stage in the NCAA Division I Tournament prior to Flemmings and Robinson:
Scott Barnes, C (Eastern Montana 81-82/Fresno State 84-85)
Averaged 9.7 ppg and 4.8 rpg for Eastern Montana before averaging 11.7 ppg and 6.6 rpg for Fresno State. Barnes was an All-PCAA second-team selection as a senior when he led the Bulldogs in rebounding (7.4 rpg). Grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds against Karl Malone-led Louisiana Tech when Fresno bowed to the Bulldogs in the first round of the 1984 NCAA playoffs.
Elgin Baylor, F (College of Idaho 55/Seattle 57-58)
Averaged 31.3 ppg and 18.9 rpg for College of Idaho (now Albertson College) before averaging 31.2 ppg and 19.8 rpg for Seattle. He was an NCAA unanimous first-team All-American and Final Four Most Outstanding Player as a junior in 1957-58.
Davion Berry, G-F (Cal State Montery Bay 10-11/Weber State 13-14)
Game-high 24 points in 68-59 opening-game defeat against Arizona in 2014.
Don Boldebuck, C (Nebraska Wesleyan 52-53/Houston 55-56)
Averaged more than 20 ppg for Nebraska Wesleyan before averaging 23 ppg and 17 rpg in leading Houston in scoring and rebounding both of his seasons with the Cougars. He paced them in scoring in both of their NCAA playoff games in 1956.
Mike Born, G (Nebraska-Omaha 85-86/Iowa State 88-89)
Averaged 10.5 ppg for Nebraska-Omaha before averaging 8.6 ppg and 2.5 apg for two NCAA Tournament teams at Iowa State. Scored six points in each of his NCAA playoff games.
Jim Boylan, G (Assumption MA 74-75/Marquette 77-78)
Fifth-leading scorer for 1977 NCAA Tournament champion. He scored 14 points in the tourney final against Phil Ford-led North Carolina.
Jon Bryant, G (St. Cloud State MN 96-97/Wisconsin 99-00)
All-North Central Conference selection and team MVP with 17.3 ppg as a sophomore after being named NCC Freshman of the Year when he hit 57.4% of his three-point attempts. Third-leading scorer for the Badgers burst on the national scene with seven three-pointers, including four in a zone-busting 1 1/2-minute stretch late in the game, to help the Badgers rally to a 66-56 over Fresno State in the first round of 2000 West Regional.
Ronnie Clark, G (Florida Southern 00/Colorado State 02-04)
Sunshine State Conference freshman of the year was CSU's third-leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer in 2003 when the Rams played Duke tough before bowing in the opening round.
Terry Connolly, F (Shepherd WV 87-88/Richmond 90-91)
Averaged 8.2 ppg each of his two seasons with Spider NCAA playoff teams. Member of first #15 seed to defeat a #2 seed (Syracuse in 1991).
Travis DeCuire, G (Chaminade HI 90/Montana 92-94)
Led Chaminade in scoring with 10.9 ppg as a freshman in 1989-90. Averaged 6.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg and 5 apg for the Grizzlies, including Big Sky Conference-leading 7.1 apg as a senior. Competing against eventual Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward, DeCuire scored six points in a 78-68 reversal against Florida State in the 1992 NCAA playoffs.
Mike Hanson, G (Tennessee-Martin 89/Louisiana State 91-93)
Scored 40 points vs. LSU as a freshman when leading UTM in scoring (20 ppg) and assists. Erupted for 31 points against both Tennessee and Illinois as a sophomore when he was the Tigers' third-leading scorer (12.7 ppg) before his playing time decreased significantly his final two seasons. Member of three LSU teams participating in the NCAA playoffs.
John Harrell, G (North Carolina Central 76/Duke 78-79)
Averaged 15.7 ppg and led N.C. Central in assists in 1975-76. Averaged 5.1 ppg for Duke's NCAA Tournament runner-up in 1977-78 before playing sparingly the next season.
Curtis High, G (Tennessee-Martin 81-82/Nevada-Reno 84-85)
Tennessee-Martin's second-leading scorer as a freshman (14.3 ppg) and sophomore (12.6 ppg). Led UNR in scoring and assists as a junior (13.3 ppg, 6.3 apg) and senior (17.8 ppg, 6 apg) for two NCAA tourney squads. All-Big Sky first-team selection in 1984-85. Scored a team-high 21 points in 1984 first-round loss to Detlef Schrempf-led Washington.
Roy Howard, F (Tarleton State TX 89/Texas-El Paso 91-93)
Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association Freshman of the Year when he led Tarleton State in scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg). UTEP's second-leading rebounder as a senior (6.5 rpg). Averaged 4.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg for 1992 NCAA playoff team that upset #1 seed Kansas in the Midwest Regional.
Avery Johnson, G (Cameron OK 85/Southern LA 87-88)
Averaged a modest 4.3 ppg for Cameron before leading the nation in assists with Southern for two NCAA tourney teams. Distributed a total of 17 assists in NCAA playoff games against Temple and Kentucky. Shares NCAA single-game record for most assists with 22. Went on to become principal playmaker for the San Antonio Spurs' NBA champion before coaching in the pros prior to accepting a similar job at Alabama.
Fred Lewis, F (Tampa 88/South Florida 90-92)
Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year when he averaged 15.2 ppg and 5.7 rpg. Averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game for USF. He was the Bulls' second-leading rebounder all three seasons, including two NCAA playoff teams.
Bob Lochmueller, F (Oakland City IN/Louisville 50-52)
Averaged 15 ppg in his career with the Cardinals, leading their first NCAA Tournament team in scoring as a junior (19 ppg).
Tony Massop, C (Sacramento State 87/Kansas State 89-90)
Averaged 10.3 ppg and 8 rpg as a sophomore at Sacramento State. Averaged 5.9 ppg and 5.6 rpg as a junior and 8.1 ppg and 6.6 rpg as a senior for a pair of NCAA tourney teams. He was the Wildcats' leading rebounder in 1989-90.
Bret Mundt, C (Bethel TN/Memphis State 88-89)
Averaged 5.1 ppg and 3.6 rpg in 1987-88 and 6.2 ppg and 4.2 rpg in 1988-89 for a pair of NCAA tourney teams. Scored 13 points when the Tigers lost to Purdue in 1988 Midwest Regional.
Tucker Neale, G (Ashland OH 91/Colgate 93-95)
Averaged 23.1 ppg for Colgate's first NCAA playoff team in 1995.
Aaron Preece, G (Illinois College/Bradley 49-51)
Sixth-leading scorer for the Braves' 1950 NCAA and NIT runner-up tallied 12 points in each of the NCAA Final Four games.
Nevil Shed, F (North Carolina A&T/Texas Western 65-67)
"The Shadow" sank the free throw in 1966 NCAA championship game against Kentucky, giving the Miners a lead they never relinquished. He averaged 10.6 ppg and 7.9 rpg for the national titlist.
Bill Sherwood, C-F (Oglethorpe GA 84-85/Oregon State 87-88)
Averaged 7.7 ppg in 1986-87 and 14.7 ppg in 1987-88 for the Beavers. Outscored teammate Gary Payton with 17 points in OSU's 70-61 loss to Louisville in 1988 Southeast Regional.
Scott Snider, C (Pacific Lutheran WA 92-93/Gonzaga 95-96)
Led Pacific Lutheran in scoring as a freshman with 11.9 ppg before averaging 14 ppg and 5.6 rpg as a sophomore. Led the WCC in field-goal shooting (62.9%) as a senior when he averaged 10.4 ppg and 7.4 rpg after averaging 5.2 ppg and 4.2 rpg the previous year for the Zags' first NCAA Tournament team.
Johnny Taylor, F (Knoxville TN 94/Tenn.-Chattanooga 96-97)
Averaged 18.2 ppg and 8.1 rpg with UTC before becoming an NBA first-round draft choice. Southern Conference Player of the Year for UTC team upsetting Georgia and Illinois in the 1997 Southeast Regional.
Chad Townsend, G (St. Edward's TX 95/Murray State 97-98)
Averaged 22.4 ppg and 4.4 rpg in his final season at St. Edward's. All-OVC second-team selection averaged 13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg and a school-record 7.1 apg as a junior when he was OVC Tournament MVP. Played in two NCAA tourneys with the Racers.
Joel Tribelhorn, G (Fort Lewis CO 85-87/Colorado State 89)
Finished third on Fort Lewis' career scoring list with 1,390 points after setting school single-season records for most points (635 in 1986-87), highest scoring average (24.4 ppg in 1985-86) and best three-point field-goal shooting (50% in 1986-87). The NAIA All-American second-team selection as a junior became an All-WAC second-team pick as a senior when he was CSU's second-leading scorer (13.8 ppg), led the Rams in field-goal shooting (53.9%) and paced the league in three-point shooting (56.3%). Scored a game-high 20 points when CSU upset Florida, 68-46, in the 1989 Midwest Regional.
Roosevelt Wallace, F (Virginia Union/Arkansas 91-92)
Averaged 8.8 ppg and 5.7 rpg for the Razorbacks' 1992 NCAA playoff squad.
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 8 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. Name the only school to reach the Final Four three consecutive years on two separate occasions in the 20th Century. Hint: In the first three-year stretch, it became the only school to lose three straight national semifinal games. In the second three-year stretch, the school was involved in only times two teams from same state met each other in championship game.
2. What was the only year two undefeated teams reached the Final Four? Hint: One of the squads had a perfect ending after winning in the national semifinals and championship game by an average of 16 points, while the other club that was unbeaten lost in national semifinals and third-place game by an average of 15 points.
3. Who is the shortest player to lead an NCAA champion in scoring average? Hint: He was part of a three-guard starting lineup, averaging under 5-10 in height, playing the entire championship game for the only current Division I school to capture an NCAA title despite never having an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American.
4. Who is the only U.S. Olympic basketball coach to win the NCAA and NIT titles with different schools? Hint: He never participated in a national postseason tournament with the third university he coached (Michigan State).
5. Who was the only coach to direct two different schools to the Final Four twice apiece in the 20th Century? Hint: He is the only coach to compile a record of more than four games under .500 in Final Four contests and only coach to guide three teams to national fourth-place finishes.
6. Who is the only coach of a championship team other than Rick Pitino to subsequently coach another university and compile a winning NCAA playoff record at his last major-college job? Hint: He is the only coach to win a national title at a school where he stayed less than five seasons.
7. Of the coaches to reach the national semifinals at least twice, who is the only one to compile an undefeated Final Four record? Hint: He won both of his championship games against the same school. He is also the only NCAA consensus first-team All-American to later coach his alma mater to an NCAA title.
8. Name the only school to lead UCLA at halftime in the 22 Final Four games for the Bruins' 11 titlists. Hint: The school leading one of the 11 UCLA champions at intermission of a Final Four game was coached by a John Wooden protege.
9. Of the coaches hired by NBA teams after winning an NCAA championship, who is the only one to compile a non-losing NBA playoff record? Hint: He is one of four different men to coach an undefeated NCAA championship team.
10. Name the only school to defeat a team by as many as 27 points in a season the opponent wound up winning the national title. Hint: The school is also the only one to defeat an eventual national titlist twice in same season by at least 12 points.
Illinois-bound Brad Underwood is deemed an ascending star in the coaching profession after compiling a 20-13 record (.606) in his only season with Oklahoma State. But what a majority of media mavens fail to point out is there have been numerous "won-and-done" mentors, including Grant McCasland (going from Arkansas State to North Texas) and Paul Weir (New Mexico State to New Mexico) this season, posting even better winning percentages in "short-and-sweet" one-year stints since the generally recognized start of the modern era of college basketball in the early 1950s.
Fordham improved by 14 games in Digger Phelps' only season with the Rams in 1970-71, a mark that stood for one-year wonders until Chris Beard broke it last year with a 15-game improvement after UALR (30-5) went 13-18 in 2014-15. UNC Wilmington's Buzz Peterson, the only coach to win a national postseason championship in his only season at a school (Tulsa), is among the following "one-and-done" coaches who won more than 60% of their games in one-year tenures in the last 50-plus years:
|Coach||School||Single Season||W-L||Pct.||Reason for One-Year Stint|
|Lute Olson||Long Beach State||1973-74||24-2||.923||Became coach at Iowa.|
|Digger Phelps||Fordham||1970-71||26-3||.897||Became coach at Notre Dame.|
|Chris Beard||UALR||2015-16||30-5||.857||Became coach at UNLV.|
|Carl Tacy||Marshall||1971-72||23-4||.852||Became coach at Wake Forest.|
|Keno Davis||Drake||2007-08||28-5||.848||Became coach at Providence.|
|Matt Painter||Southern Illinois||2003-04||25-5||.833||Became coach at Purdue.|
|Stan Heath||Kent State||2001-02||29-6||.829||Became coach at Arkansas.|
|Paul Weir||New Mexico State||2016-17||28-6||.824||Became coach at New Mexico.|
|Thad Matta||Butler||2000-01||24-8||.750||Became coach at Xavier.|
|Bill Fitch||Bowling Green||1967-68||18-7||.720||Became coach at Minnesota.|
|Jim Harding*||La Salle||1967-68||20-8||.714||Forced out by administration.|
|Buzz Peterson||Tulsa||2000-01||26-11||.703||Became coach at Tennessee.|
|Bob Vanatta||Army||1953-54||15-7||.682||Became coach at Bradley.|
|Larry Shyatt||Wyoming||1997-98||19-9||.679||Became coach at Clemson.|
|Rick Barnes||George Mason||1987-88||20-10||.667||Became coach at Providence.|
|Ron Greene||Mississippi State||1977-78||18-9||.667||Became coach at Murray State.|
|Art Tolis||New Orleans||1987-88||21-11||.656||Forced out by administration.|
|Scott Drew||Valparaiso||2002-03||20-11||.645||Became coach at Baylor.|
|Louis Orr||Siena||2000-01||20-11||.645||Became coach at Seton Hall.|
|Bob Huggins||Kansas State||2006-07||22-13||.629||Became coach at West Virginia.|
|Grant McCasland||Arkansas State||2016-17||20-12||.625||Became coach at North Texas.|
|Brad Underwood||Oklahoma State||2016-17||20-13||.606||Became coach at Illinois.|
*Harding became coach for Minnesota (ABA) for portion of 1968-69 season.
For all the bitter disappointment experienced by fans of a highly-ranked team bowing out of the provocative NCAA Tournament such as defending champion Villanova, there is an equal amount of euphoria emanating from supporters of the victor (Wisconsin). The range of disparate emotions is one of the reasons there is such a fascination with upsets because nothing is guaranteed as evidenced by a power team knocked off its high horse by a darkhorse.
The ultimate in March Madness materialized in 1993 when Arizona, ranked fifth by AP, was stunned in the first round of the West Regional by Santa Clara (64-61). In terms of point spreads, it was the biggest upset in NCAA playoff history because Santa Clara was a 20-point underdog. The next largest point spread to not hold up occurred in 1986 when 17 1/2-point underdog Arkansas-Little Rock shocked Notre Dame in the Midwest Regional (90-83).
A total of 23 No. 1 seeds, including DePaul three straight years from 1980 through 1982, failed to reach the regional semifinals since seeding was introduced in 1979. Villanova, bowing out in this category for the second time in three seasons, became the sixth #1 seed in the last eight years - losing by an average of fewer than three points - joining the following crestfallen top-seeded teams:
|Year||No. 1 Seed||Regional||Loss in Second Round||Score|
|1979||North Carolina||East||#9 seed Penn||72-71|
|1981||DePaul||Mideast||#9 St. Joseph's||49-48|
|1981||Oregon State||West||#8 Kansas State||50-48|
|1982||DePaul||Midwest||#8 Boston College||82-75|
|1986||St. John's||West||#8 Auburn||81-65|
|1990||Oklahoma||Midwest||#8 North Carolina||79-77|
|1992||Kansas||Midwest||#9 Texas-El Paso||66-60|
|1994||North Carolina||East||#9 Boston College||75-72|
|1998||Kansas||Midwest||#8 Rhode Island||80-75|
|2000||Stanford||South||#8 North Carolina||60-53|
|2002||Cincinnati||West||#8 UCLA||105-101 (2OT)|
|2004||Kentucky||St. Louis/Midwest||#9 UAB||76-75|
|2010||Kansas||Midwest||#9 Northern Iowa||69-67|
|2013||Gonzaga||West||#9 Wichita State||76-70|
|2014||Wichita State||Midwest||#8 Kentucky||78-76|
|2015||Villanova||East||#8 North Carolina State||71-68|
Annually, there is a clear and present danger for pole sitters such as Villanova. Five years ago, Kentucky became only the fourth of 35 schools atop the national rankings entering the NCAA playoffs since North Carolina '82 to capture the national championship.
In 2006, Duke became the ninth No. 1 team in 17 years to fail to advance to a regional final when the Blue Devils were eliminated by LSU. In 1992, Duke defied a trend by becoming the first top-ranked team in 10 years entering the NCAA Tournament to win a national title. The five top-ranked teams prior to Duke failed to reach the championship game. UNLV lost twice in the national semifinals (1987 and 1991) and Temple '88, Arizona '89 and Oklahoma '90 failed to reach the Final Four.
Temple, a 63-53 loser against Duke in the 1988 East Regional final, and Kansas State, an 85-75 loser against Cincinnati in the 1959 Midwest Regional final, are the only teams ranked No. 1 by both AP and UPI entering the tourney to lose by a double-digit margin before the Final Four.
The school gaining the sweetest revenge against a top-ranked team was St. John's in 1952. Defending NCAA champion Kentucky humiliated the Redmen by 41 points (81-40) early in the season when the Catholic institution became the first to have a black player on the floor at Lexington, Ky. The African-American player, Solly Walker, played only a few minutes before he took a hit sidelining him for three weeks. But St. John's, sparked by center Bob Zawoluk's 32 points, avenged the rout by eliminating the Wildcats (64-57) in the East Regional, ending their 23-game winning streak. The Redmen, who subsequently defeated second-ranked Illinois in the national semifinals, lost against Kansas in the NCAA final.
In the 1982 championship game, North Carolina needed a basket with 16 seconds remaining from freshman Michael Jordan to nip Georgetown, 63-62, and become the only top-ranked team in 13 years from 1979 through 1991 to capture the NCAA title. It was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for seven of the 11 top-ranked teams to lose in the NCAA championship game in overtime or by two or three points in regulation.
Nova is the latest #1 to learn it's win or go home as the Wildcats became the third top-ranked team in the last eight years to be eliminated in the second round. Less than one-third of the top-ranked squads captured the NCAA crown. Following is analysis sizing up how the No. 1 teams fared in the NCAA playoffs since the Associated Press introduced national rankings in 1949:
20 - Won national title (Kentucky '49; Kentucky '51; Indiana '53; San Francisco '56; North Carolina '57; UCLA '64; UCLA '67; UCLA '69; UCLA '71; UCLA '72; UCLA '73; North Carolina State '74; UCLA '75; Indiana '76; Kentucky '78; North Carolina '82; Duke '92; UCLA '95, Duke '01, and Kentucky '12).
13 - Finished national runner-up (Bradley '50/defeated by CCNY; Ohio State '61/Cincinnati; Ohio State '62/Cincinnati; Cincinnati '63/Loyola of Chicago; Michigan '65/UCLA; Kentucky '66/Texas Western; Indiana State '79/Michigan State; Houston '83/North Carolina State; Georgetown '85/Villanova; Duke '86/Louisville; Duke '99/Connecticut; Illinois '05/North Carolina, and Ohio State '07/Florida).
9 - Lost in national semifinals (Cincinnati '60/defeated by California; Houston '68/UCLA; UNLV '87/Indiana; UNLV '91/Duke; Massachusetts '96/Kentucky; North Carolina '98/Utah; North Carolina '08/Kansas; Florida '14/Connecticut, and Kentucky '15/Wisconsin).
9 - Lost in regional final (Kentucky '52/defeated by St. John's; Kansas State '59/Cincinnati; Kentucky '70/Jacksonville; Michigan '77/UNC Charlotte; Temple '88/Duke; Indiana '93/Kansas; Kentucky '03/Marquette; Louisville '09/Michigan State), and Kansas '16/Villanova).
7 - Lost in regional semifinals (North Carolina '84/defeated by Indiana; Arizona '89/UNLV; Kansas '97/Arizona; Duke '00/Florida; Duke '02/Indiana); Duke '06/Louisiana State, and Ohio State '11/Kentucky).
8 - Lost in second round (DePaul '80/defeated by UCLA; DePaul '81/St. Joseph's; Oklahoma '90/North Carolina; North Carolina '94/Boston College; Stanford '04/Alabama; Kansas '10/Northern Iowa), Gonzaga '13/Wichita State) and Villanova '17/Wisconsin).
1 - Lost in first round (West Virginia '58/defeated by Manhattan).
1 - Declined a berth (Kentucky '54).
NOTE: After United Press International started ranking teams in 1951, UPI had just three different No. 1 teams entering the national playoffs than AP - Indiana lost in 1954 East Regional semifinals against Notre Dame, California finished as 1960 national runner-up to Ohio State and Indiana lost in 1975 Mideast Regional final against Kentucky.
In 2015-16, Yale's Brandon Sherrod, setting himself apart from anyone who ever played major-college basketball, established an NCAA Division I record by making 30 consecutive field-goal attempts covering five mid-season games. Singing his praises in helping the Bulldogs participate in the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 1962, Sherrod returned to them after taking a year off from school to tour the world as one of only 14 singers with Yale's a cappella group - the Whiffenpoofs.
Sherrod relinquished college basketball's lead-singer role this season to Wisconsin starting forward Vitto Brown, who participated with quartet singing the Star-Spangled Banner at the 2015 Final Four when the Badgers finished national runner-up to Duke.
Brown and Sherrod aren't the only talented singers who also made music as a college basketball player. Acclaimed jazz vocalist Al Jarreau, who passed away shortly before this year's Grammy Awards, is among the following crooners who didn't whiff in the music industry:
ISHMAEL BUTLER, Massachusetts
Known as Butterfly with the hip-hop group Digable Planets, which was nominated for a 1994 Grammy Award as the "Best New Artist."
JOHN FRED GOURRIER, Southeastern Louisiana
Lead vocalist and harmonica player for the rock-and-roll group John Fred and the Playboy Band boasting a hit single "Judy in Disguise" in 1967 and 1968.
The 6-5, 185-pound forward averaged eight points per game for Southeastern Louisiana as a junior in 1962-63 before scoring 248 points as a senior. The Baton Rouge native also played two seasons for SLU's baseball team and still shares the school single-game record for most RBI with eight.
VAUGHN HARPER, Syracuse
New York City disc jockey, the host with the mellow voice on "The Quiet Storm," for more than a quarter century in the New York City area.
One of the Orange's all-time leaders in rebounds per game (11.1). Harper also averaged 13.5 ppg from 1965-66 through 1967-68, leading Syracuse in scoring as a senior (15.8 ppg). Teammate of All-American Dave Bing and all-time winningest coach Jim Boeheim grabbed team-high 10 rebounds in 91-81 loss to Duke in 1966 East Regional final. Ninth-round selection in the 1968 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons.
AL JARREAU, Ripon (Wis.)
Innovative musical expressions made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time, winning five Grammys, including best jazz vocalist in 1978 and 1979. He began singing at the age of four, and was soon harmonizing with his brothers and performing solo at a variety of local events in his hometown of Milwaukee. Following an extended stint in Los Angeles, he was spotted by Warner Brothers Records talent scouts and signed to a recording contract in 1975. Two years later, Jarreau embarked on his first world tour. While on a break from touring in 1996, he accepted a three-month stint on Broadway playing the role of the Teen Angel in the hit musical Grease!
Member of Ripon's basketball team from 1958-59 through 1961-62 posted career highs of 5.9 ppg and 4.3 rpg as a sophomore. While attending college, he performed locally with a group called The Indigos on weekends and holidays before graduating with a B.S. in Psychology.
MARK MILLER, Central Florida
Front man and principal songwriter for Sawyer Brown, one of the nation's most popular and enduring country music bands. Sawyer Brown, the top grossing country group in 1994, has sold more than 11 million records since getting a jump start in 1984 on Ed McMahon's Star Search and was named the Top Vocal Group in 1997 by the Academy of Country Music. Sawyer Brown's "Six Days on the Road" video, which came out in early 2000, emphasized the baldheaded Miller's shooting ability.
The 5-8 guard was scoreless in a total of 13 minutes in seven games for Central Florida in 1978-79. He had one assist and committed three turnovers. "I play whenever I can," Miller said. "I go at it really hard. I think my greatest strength in basketball is just seeing the floor and having a feel for where everything should go. And maybe that's my strength in music, too."
Miller, who majored in physical education, joined UCF the year after it went to the Final Four in Division II, and coach Torchy Clark was a local legend. "He (Torchy) wanted you to play hard, but he also wanted you to be a good person," Miller said. "If it came between winning and being a good person, he would rather you be a good person. He helped me as a player, and the lessons I learned from him have helped me in my career. Late at night while on tour, I still call him."
PERCY ROMEO MILLER JR., Southern California
Rapper/actor, son of entertainment mogul and entrepreneur Master P, has released multiple studio albums and compilation albums. His debut album titled after his original alias Lil' Romeo contained the hit single "My Baby" that charted #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-hop Singles.
Signed with the Trojans at same time as friend Demar DeRozan, who left for the NBA after only one season. Romeo, a 5-9 point guard, played 19 minutes in nine games in 2008-09 and 2009-10, scoring a total of five points.
DAVID PALACIO, Texas Western
Executive vice president of EMI Latin, which is affiliated with Capitol Records in Hollywood, Calif.
Backup guard for Texas Western's 1966 NCAA championship team scored a season-high four points against Loyola (La.). Contributed a second-half field goal when the Miners erased a 16-point halftime deficit to win in overtime at New Mexico, 67-64. In their next outing, he chipped in with another basket in a 69-67 triumph over Arizona State. Palacio averaged 7.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game the next season as a junior.
KENNY PARKER, St. Peter's
Brother of one of the most influential rap and hip-hop artists of the 1980s and early 1990s - KRS-ONE (born Kris Parker). Kenny, who performed as a DJ alongside his brother and in music videos as part of the hard-core hip-hop outfit Boogie Down Productions, was a producer for BDP recordings. He has produced TV commercials for Nike.
DARRYL SHEPHERD, Pittsburgh
Produced two No. 1 hits on the R&B charts. An accomplished keyboard player, he also has worked on movie soundtracks and for numerous artists (including Smokey Robinson).
Participated in the NIT and NCAA playoffs in the mid-1980s with the Panthers. His wife, attorney Renee Henderson, was a former Pitt sprinter who won the 60- and 200-meter dashes in France at the 2008 World Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships (setting two American Records en route to winning gold).
Should I stay or should I go? It's a good thing universities play in mammoth arenas because the egos of their "Pompous Pilots" wouldn't fit any other place.
Much of the excess in the canonization of coaches is perpetuated by coaches-turned-television commentators who shamelessly fawn over their former colleagues. Instead, the analysts should be more concerned about encouraging mentors to spare fans the pious blather about school loyalty and the sanctity of a contract.
Granted, it's survival of the fittest amid the offer-you-can't-refuse backdrop. But in many instances, schools have been little more than convenient steppingstones for "larger-than-life" coaches along their one-way street to success. It's understandable in many instances why mercenaries are leaving the minute they're appointed because coaches are in a distasteful "hired-to-be-fired" vocation, where a pink slip is only one losing season or poor recruiting class away.
Nevertheless, it's a black eye on the sport when loyalty seems to have become too much of a one-way street. At times, it makes one wonder how the bench bosses can look themselves in the mirror. Five of Tulsa's six coaches in one stretch - Nolan Richardson, Tubby Smith, Steve Robinson, Bill Self and Buzz Peterson - abandoned ship for more prestigious positions despite each of them having at least three years remaining on their deals.
More than 70 different active coaches had at least three years remaining on their pacts when leaving for greener pastures. Cuonzo Martin, leaving California for Missouri, joined the following alphabetical list of coaches who departed three or four schools before their contracts expired:
Lon Kruger - four years remaining on contract when he left Kansas State for Florida; five when left Florida for Illinois; four when left Illinois for the Atlanta Hawks, and two when left UNLV for Oklahoma
Buzz Peterson - nine years remaining on contract when he left Appalachian State for Tulsa; four when left Tulsa for Tennessee; two when left Coastal Carolina for the Charlotte Bobcats (director of player personnel), and four when left Appalachian State again for UNC Wilmington
Deal or no deal? The length of contracts doesn't seem to carry any weight as a factor in the equation as long as your brain cells or ethical standards don't put any stock into length of an existing pact. Following is an alphabetical list detailing coaches such as Keith Dambrot (leaving alma mater Akron for Duquesne) and Will Wade (Virginia Commonwealth for Louisiana State) reportedly still having contractual obligations of more than five seasons when they left a school for greener pastures during their careers:
- Steve Alford (10 years remaining on contract) - left New Mexico/hired by UCLA
- Rick Barnes (6) - Clemson/Texas
- John Beilein (6) - Richmond/West Virginia
- Tony Bennett (6) - Washington State/Virginia
- Dave Bliss (6) - New Mexico/Baylor
- Mike Brey (7) - Delaware/Notre Dame
- John Calipari (10) - Massachusetts/New Jersey Nets
- Jeff Capel III (6) - Virginia Commonwealth/Oklahoma
- Tom Crean (9) - Marquette/Indiana
- Keith Dambrot (6) - Akron/Duquesne
- Jamie Dixon (7) - Pittsburgh/Texas Christian
- Matt Doherty (6) - Florida Atlantic/Southern Methodist
- Bryce Drew (7) - Valparaiso/Vanderbilt
- Larry Eustachy (6) - Utah State/Iowa State
- Dennis Felton (6) - Western Kentucky/Georgia
- Tim Floyd (6) - New Orleans/Iowa State
- Tim Floyd (8) - Iowa State/Chicago Bulls
- Travis Ford (7) - Massachusetts/Oklahoma State
- Billy Gillispie (8) - Texas A&M/Kentucky
- Brian Gregory (7) - Dayton/Georgia Tech
- Leonard Hamilton (7) - Miami (Fla.)/Washington Wizards
- Fred Hoiberg (8) - Iowa State/Chicago Bulls
- Ben Howland (6) - Pittsburgh/UCLA
- Jeff Lebo (8) - Chattanooga/Auburn
- Gregg Marshall (8) - Winthrop/Wichita State
- Thad Matta (9) - Xavier/Ohio State
- Fran McCaffery (7) - Siena/Iowa
- Sean Miller (9) - Xavier/Arizona
- Dan Monson (10) - Gonzaga/Minnesota
- Lute Olson (7) - Iowa/Arizona
- Buzz Peterson (9) - Appalachian State/Tulsa
- Skip Prosser (6) - Xavier/Wake Forest
- Oliver Purnell (6) - Clemson/DePaul
- Mike Rice Jr. (7) - Robert Morris/Rutgers
- Steve Robinson (7) - Tulsa/Florida State
- Kelvin Sampson (6) - Washington State/Oklahoma
- Shaka Smart (8) - Virginia Commonwealth/Texas
- Tubby Smith (6) - Georgia/Kentucky
- Mark Turgeon (9) - Wichita State/Texas A&M
- Brad Underwood (6) - Stephen F. Austin/Oklahoma State
- Will Wade (7) - Virginia Commonwealth/Louisiana State
Since Gonzaga's Mark Few in 1999-00, 12 of the next 17 winningest first-year head coaches subsequently moved on to other similar jobs. Paul Weir (28-6 record with New Mexico State before leaving for New Mexico) posted the most first-year victories for an NCAA Division I coaching newcomer this season. En route to becoming the eighth first-year mentor in last 16 seasons to compile at least 28 triumphs, the Canadian's victory total established a NMSU single-season record. Following are rookie NCAA Division I head coaches with the best winning percentages going back to 1963-64 when Tates Locke became Bob Knight's predecessor at Army:
|Season||First-Year Head Coach||School||W-L||Pct.||Predecessor|
|1963-64||Tates Locke||Army||19-7||.731||George Hunter|
|1964-65||Gary Thompson||Wichita State||21-9||.700||Ralph Miller|
|1965-66||Lou Carnesecca||St. John's||18-8||.692||Joe Lapchick|
|1965-66||Bob Knight||Army||18-8||.692||Tates Locke|
|1966-67||Tommy Bartlett||Florida||21-4||.840||Norm Sloan|
|1967-68||John Dromo||Louisville||21-7||.750||Peck Hickman|
|1968-69||Tom Gola||La Salle||23-1||.958||Jim Harding|
|1969-70||Terry Holland||Davidson||22-5||.815||Lefty Driesell|
|1970-71||Richard "Digger" Phelps||Fordham||26-3||.897||Ed Conlin|
|1971-72||Chuck Daly||Penn||25-3||.893||Dick Harter|
|1972-73||Norm Ellenberger||New Mexico||21-6||.778||Bob King|
|1973-74||Lute Olson||Long Beach State||24-2||.923||Jerry Tarkanian|
|1974-75||Tom Apke||Creighton||20-7||.741||Eddie Sutton|
|1974-75||Wayne Yates||Memphis State||20-7||.741||Gene Bartow|
|1975-76||Bill Blakeley||North Texas State||22-4||.846||Gene Robbins|
|1976-77||Jim Boeheim||Syracuse||26-4||.867||Roy Danforth|
|1976-77||Charlie Schmaus||Virginia Military||26-4||.867||Bill Blair|
|1977-78||Gary Cunningham||UCLA||25-3||.893||Gene Bartow|
|1978-79||Bill Hodges||Indiana State||33-1||.971||Bob King|
|1979-80||Bob Dukiet||St. Peter's||22-9||.710||Bob Kelly|
|1979-80||Dave "Lefty" Ervin||La Salle||22-9||.710||Paul Westhead|
|1980-81||Pat Foster||Lamar||25-5||.833||Billy Tubbs|
|1981-82||Jim Boyle||St. Joseph's||25-5||.833||Jim Lynam|
|1982-83||Ed Tapscott||American University||20-10||.667||Gary Williams|
|1983-84||Rick Huckabay||Marshall||25-6||.806||Bob Zuffelato|
|1984-85||Newton Chelette||Southeastern Louisiana||18-9||.667||Ken Fortenberry|
|1985-86||Pete Gillen||Xavier||25-5||.833||Bob Staak|
|1986-87||Pete Herrmann||Navy||26-6||.813||Paul Evans|
|1987-88||Rick Barnes||George Mason||20-10||.667||Joe Harrington|
|1988-89||Kermit Davis||Idaho||25-6||.806||Tim Floyd|
|1989-90||Jim Anderson||Oregon State||22-7||.759||Ralph Miller|
|1990-91||Alan LeForce||East Tennessee State||28-5||.848||Les Robinson|
|1991-92||Blaine Taylor||Montana||27-4||.871||Stew Morrill|
|1992-93||Fran Fraschilla||Manhattan||23-7||.767||Steve Lappas|
|1993-94||Kirk Speraw||Central Florida||21-9||.700||Joe Dean Jr.|
|1994-95||George "Tic" Price||New Orleans||20-11||.645||Tim Floyd|
|1995-96||Mike Heideman||Wisconsin-Green Bay||25-4||.862||Dick Bennett|
|1996-97||Bill Carmody||Princeton||24-4||.857||Pete Carril|
|1997-98||Bill Guthridge||North Carolina||34-4||.895||Dean Smith|
|1998-99||Tevester Anderson||Murray State||27-6||.818||Mark Gottfried|
|1999-00||Mark Few||Gonzaga||26-9||.743||Dan Monson|
|2000-01||Thad Matta||Butler||24-8||.750||Barry Collier|
|2001-02||Stan Heath||Kent State||29-6||.829||Gary Waters|
|2002-03||Brad Brownell||UNC Wilmington||24-7||.774||Jerry Wainwright|
|2003-04||Jamie Dixon||Pittsburgh||31-5||.861||Ben Howland|
|2004-05||Mark Fox||Nevada||25-7||.781||Trent Johnson|
|2005-06||Rob Jeter||Wisconsin-Milwaukee||22-9||.710||Bruce Pearl|
|2006-07||Anthony Grant||Virginia Commonwealth||28-7||.800||Jeff Capel III|
|2007-08||Brad Stevens||Butler||30-4||.882||Todd Lickliter|
|2008-09||Ken McDonald||Western Kentucky||25-9||.735||Darrin Horn|
|2009-10||Shaka Smart||Virginia Commonwealth||27-9||.750||Anthony Grant|
|2010-11||B.J. Hill||Northern Colorado||21-11||.656||Tad Boyle|
|2011-12||Steve Prohm||Murray State||31-2||.939||Billy Kennedy|
|2012-13||Kevin Ollie||Connecticut||20-10||.667||Jim Calhoun|
|2013-14||Brad Underwood||Stephen F. Austin||32-3||.914||Danny Kaspar|
|2014-15||David Richman||North Dakota State||23-10||.697||Saul Phillips|
|2015-16||Matt McCall||Chattanooga||29-5||.853||Will Wade|
|2016-17||Paul Weir||New Mexico State||28-6||.824||Marvin Menzies|
Most coaches leaving a school on heels of appearing in the NCAA playoffs are bound for a program in turmoil or requiring rehab. Prior to aligning with Illinois, Brad Underwood's narrow defeat against Michigan in his first campaign with Oklahoma State after departing Stephen F. Austin prevented him from becoming the 15th coach to win at least one NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back seasons with different schools. An Oklahoma State alumnus is a specialist in this category. Kansas' Bill Self, the only individual to achieve the feat twice, is the lone mentor to reach a regional final in back-to-back seasons with two different schools (Tulsa in 2000 and Illinois in 2001).
Tippy Dye (Ohio State in 1950 and Washington in 1951) went 35 years as the only coach in this category until Eddie Sutton duplicated the achievement (Arkansas in 1985 and Kentucky in 1986). Following is a chronological list of coaches promptly continuing their winning ways in the NCAA playoffs after switching jobs (three from Tulsa):
|Playoff Coach in Back-to-Back Years||1st School (Season/Record)||2nd School (Season/Record)|
|William "Tippy" Dye||Ohio State (1950/1-1)||Washington (1951/2-1)|
|Eddie Sutton||Arkansas (1985/1-1)||Kentucky (1986/3-1)|
|Paul Evans||Navy (1986/3-1)||Pittsburgh (1987/1-1)|
|Tom Penders||Rhode Island (1988/2-1)||Texas (1989/1-1)|
|Orlando "Tubby" Smith||Tulsa (1995/2-1)||Georgia (1996/2-1)|
|Ben Braun||Eastern Michigan (1996/1-1)||California (1997/2-1)|
|Steve Robinson||Tulsa (1997/1-1)||Florida State (1998/1-1)|
|Bill Self||Tulsa (2000/3-1)||Illinois (2001/3-1)|
|Thad Matta||Butler (2001/1-1)||Xavier (2002/1-1)|
|Bill Self||Illinois (2003/1-1)||Kansas (2004/3-1)|
|Roy Williams||Kansas (2003/5-1)||North Carolina (2004/1-1)|
|Bruce Pearl||Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2005/2-1)||Tennessee (2006/1-1)|
|Trent Johnson||Stanford (2008/2-1)||Louisiana State (2009/1-1)|
|John Calipari||Memphis (2009/2-1)||Kentucky (2010/3-1)|
|John Groce||Ohio University (2012/2-1)||Illinois (2013/1-1)|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 7 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. Name the only coach to grace the NCAA playoffs in five decades. Hint: He achieved the feat with four different universities.
2. Who is the only player to score a team-high point total in his prominent school's first NCAA Tournament victory the same year he earned All-American honors as a quarterback for a national football champion? Hint: He later became executive director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame after coaching two different universities when they participated in the Rose Bowl.
3. Who is the only individual to be more than 10 games below .500 in his initial campaign as a major-college head coach and subsequently guide a team to a national championship? Hint: He won his last 10 NCAA Tournament games decided by fewer than five points. In his last two playoff appearances with the former titlist, it became the only school to receive at-large bids in back-to-back years with as many as 14 defeats entering the tourney.
4. Name the only school to be denied three NCAA Tournament berths because it was on probation. Hint: The three times the school didn't participate in the national playoffs because of NCAA probation were from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s.
5. Who was the only player to score more than 40 points in his first tournament game? Hint: The university left the Division I level for 28 years and was UCLA's first victim when the Bruins started a 38-game winning streak in the playoffs. He and his twin brother were infielders together with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
6. Name the only school to deploy just five players in an entire championship game. Hint: The school, participating in the playoffs for the first time that year, set a record for largest winning margin with a 69-point victory in its first-round game. The school is the only former NCAA champion never to compete against legendary coaches Bob Knight and Dean Smith.
7. Who is the only individual to go as many as 25 years between coaching teams in the NCAA Tournament? Hint: His first two playoff teams were eliminated in their tourney openers by eventual championship game participants.
8. Name the only school to have more than one two-time first-team All-American never reach the Final Four. Hint: One of the players is the only three-time first-team All-America to fail to appear in the NCAA playoffs. The school is the only top four seed to lose a first-round game by more than 20 points.
9. Who is the only player to have season scoring averages of fewer than 10 points per game in back-to-back years he was named to the All-NCAA Tournament team? Hint: His school reached the national championship game each season and had two different centers named Final Four Most Outstanding Player. Also, he is part of the only set of brothers to play together in two NCAA title games. One of their teammates became a marquee coach.
10. Who is the only individual to play for an NCAA basketball champion and in a major league baseball World Series? Hint: He was primarily a relief pitcher for six different teams in 13 big league seasons from 1975 through 1989.