Jack of All Trades: Danny's Latest Miracle is Excelling On and Off Court

Stature as a great player has never had anything to do with becoming a superior coach. In fact, it can be a hindrance because of great expectations. But Tulsa's Danny Manning, overcoming a 1-6 season start by the Golden Hurricane, became the 13th individual to coach a team in the NCAA Division I Tournament after earning a spot on an NCAA first- or second-team consensus All-American squad.

Clem Haskins is the All-American who also played in the NBA to have the most NCAA tourney coaching victories. Manning, who spearheaded Kansas' Danny and the Miracles to a 1988 NCAA title, joined the following list of NCAA consensus All-Americans in this rare category:

Coach School Playoff Years Alma Mater All-American Years
Steve Alford Southwest Missouri State 1999 Indiana 1st team in 1986 and 1987
Iowa 2001-05-06
New Mexico 2010-12-13
UCLA 2014
Henry Bibby Southern California 1997 UCLA 1st in 1972
Bob Calihan Detroit 1962 Detroit 2nd in 1939
Bob Cousy Boston College 1967 and 1968 Holy Cross 1st in 1950
Larry Finch Memphis State 1988-89-92-93-95 Memphis State 2nd in 1973
Sidney Green Florida Atlantic 2002 UNLV 2nd in 1983
Clem Haskins Western Kentucky 1981 and 1986 Western Kentucky 1st in 1967
Minnesota 1989-90-94-95-97-99
Walt Hazzard UCLA 1987 UCLA 1st in 1964
Danny Manning Tulsa 2014 Kansas 2nd in 1986/1st in 1987 and 1988
Branch McCracken Indiana 1940-53-54-58 Indiana 1930
Jeff Mullins UNC Charlotte 1988 and 1992 Duke 2nd in 1964
John Shumate Southern Methodist 1993 Notre Dame 1st in 1974
John Wooden UCLA 1950-52-56-62-63-64-65-67-68-69-70-71-72-73-74-75 Purdue 1930 through 1932

NOTES: The NCAA did not distinguish between first- and second-team All-Americas until 1939. . . . Alford (5-7 NCAA Tournament record entering 2014), Bibby (0-1), Cousy (2-2), Green (0-1), Haskins (11-8), Hazzard (1-1), Manning (TBD), Mullins (0-3) and Shumate (0-1) played in the NBA.

From Here to Futility: Why Were Belmont and Green Bay Consigned to NIT?

The "Road to the Final Four" is a highway lined with daydreamers and potholes. But it defies logic why Belmont (Ohio Valley) and Green Bay (Horizon League) were promptly consigned to NIT participation after losing in their conference tournaments as No. 1 seeds. Rather than automatically focusing on underachieving middle-of-the-pack power alliance affiliates, shouldn't 24-win teams warrant extensive consideration as at-large entrants to the NCAA playoffs after defeating ACC marquee members North Carolina (Belmont) and Virginia (Green Bay)?

Season-long excellence needs to count more than always paying homage to a power league. Actually, we got a pretty clear picture the ACC is down this season in pre-league play when Boston College (lost to Massachusetts), Miami, FL (UCF), North Carolina State (North Carolina Central), Notre Dame (Indiana State) and Virginia (VCU) bowed at home against in-state mid-majors. How could anyone get a reading on Pittsburgh when the Panthers played such a lame non-conference slate?

Davidson had two of nine teams from mid-major conferences - Lafayette '78, American '81, Temple '82, William & Mary '83, Coppin State '94, Davidson '96, Austin Peay '04, Davidson '05 and Norfolk State '13 - going undefeated in league round-robin regular-season competition but not participating in the NCAA playoffs after losing by a single-digit margin in their conference tournament since at-large bids were issued to schools other than conference champions in 1975.

Stephen F. Austin, rejected for the second time in six years in 2013 despite a sterling 27-4 worksheet, is a classic example depicting why many mid-level schools have an inferiority complex. Utah State was shunned in 2003-04 despite winning nearly 90% of its games (25-3 record). Louisiana Tech (27-7) and Southern Mississippi (27-6) became the 15th and 16th schools in the last eight seasons denied an at-large bid despite posting in excess of 25 victories.

Prior to joining the Big East Conference, Creighton's splendid season five years ago was downplayed. Jay Bilas and other know-it-all national media types may haughtily belittle their achievements because they're from the other side of the tracks, but following is an alarmingly long track record listing chronologically eligible teams winning more than 25 games yet failing to earn invitations to the NCAA playoffs since the field expanded to at least 64 in 1985:

Season School Conference Coach W-L Pct.
1986-87 Howard University Mid-Eastern Athletic A.B. Williamson 26-5 .839
1989-90 Southern Illinois Missouri Valley Rich Herrin 26-7 .788
2006-07 Akron Mid-American Keith Dambrot 26-7 .788
2007-08 IUPUI Summit League Ron Hunter 26-7 .788
2007-08 Robert Morris Northeast Mike Rice Jr. 26-7 .788
2007-08 Stephen F. Austin Southland Danny Kaspar 26-5 .839
2008-09 College of Charleston Southern Bobby Cremins 26-8 .765
2008-09 Davidson Southern Bob McKillop 26-7 .788
2008-09 Creighton Missouri Valley Dana Altman 26-7 .788
2008-09 Niagara Metro Atlantic Athletic Joe Mihalich 26-8 .765
2008-09 Saint Mary's West Coast Randy Bennett 26-6 .813
2010-11 Cleveland State Horizon League Gary Waters 26-8 .765
2010-11 Coastal Carolina Big South Cliff Ellis 28-5 .848
2011-12 Drexel Colonial Athletic Association Bruiser Flint 27-6 .818
2011-12 Oral Roberts Summit League Scott Sutton 27-6 .818
2012-13 Stephen F. Austin Southland Danny Kaspar 27-4 .871
2013-14 Louisiana Tech Conference USA Michael White 27-7 .794
2013-14 Southern Mississippi Conference USA Donnie Tyndall 27-6 .818

NOTE: Cleveland State (defeated Indiana and Wake Forest), College of Charleston (Maryland), Creighton (Alabama, Florida, Louisville and Texas), Davidson (Georgetown, St. John's and Wisconsin), Louisiana Tech (Ohio State and Pittsburgh), ORU (Louisville and Syracuse), Saint Mary's (Villanova) and SIU (Arizona, Georgia, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech) collectively won NCAA playoff games in other years against 18 different power conference members.

All For None: NCAA Tourney Glass Slipper Still Doesn't Fit on William & Mary

After a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer in the CAA Tournament championship game misfired, the NCAA Tournament remained little more than "Never Never Land" for William & Mary plus the following four other schools never to participate in the national championship tournament despite being designated as major colleges since the late 1940s (number of coaches during that span in parentheses):

School (# of Coaches) Best Season
Army (17) 22-6 in 1969-70
The Citadel (13) 20-7 in 1978-79
Northwestern (13) 20-14 in 2009-10 and 2010-11
St. Francis NY (11) 23-5 in 1953-54
William & Mary (13) 24-10 in 1948-49

Cliff Notes: Ellis Becomes 10th Coach Guiding Four Schools to NCAA Playoffs

Coastal Carolina's Cliff Ellis became the 10th coach to direct at least four different schools to the NCAA Tournament shortly before UCLA's Steve Alford and Iowa's Fran McCaffery became the 11th and 12th. The lone coach in this category compiling a winning playoff record with each university is Eddie Sutton, who notched a 39-26 mark with Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky and Oklahoma State.

Last year, Lon Kruger became the only mentor guiding five different schools to the NCAA tourney during his career - Kansas State (4-4 NCAA playoff mark), Florida (4-2), Illinois (3-3), UNLV (3-4) and Oklahoma (0-1). A play-in game loss against Tennessee left McCaffery as the only coach notching losing NCAA tourney marks with four different schools. Following is an alphabetical list including Ellis, Alford and McCaffery among the 11 coaches directing four different institutions to the NCAA playoffs:

Playoff Coach First School Second School Third School Fourth School
Steve Alford SW Missouri State (2-1) Iowa (1-3) New Mexico (2-3) UCLA (2-1)
John Beilein Canisius (0-1) Richmond (1-1) West Virginia (5-2) Michigan (7-4)
Lefty Driesell Davidson (5-4) Maryland (10-8) James Madison (0-1) Georgia State (1-1)
Cliff Ellis South Alabama (0-2) Clemson (3-3) Auburn (5-3) Coastal Carolina (0-1)
Larry Eustachy Utah State (0-1) Iowa State (3-2) Southern Mississippi (0-1) Colorado State (1-1)
Jim Harrick Pepperdine (1-4) UCLA (13-7) Rhode Island (3-2) Georgia (1-2)
Fran McCaffery Lehigh (0-1) UNC Greensboro (0-1) Siena (2-3) Iowa (0-1)
Tom Penders Rhode Island (2-1) Texas (10-8) George Washington (0-1) Houston (0-1)
Rick Pitino Boston University (0-1) Providence (4-1) Kentucky (22-5) Louisville (22-9)
Tubby Smith Tulsa (4-2) Georgia (2-2) Kentucky (23-9) Minnesota (1-3)
Eddie Sutton Creighton (2-1) Arkansas (10-9) Kentucky (5-3) Oklahoma State (22-13)

Recipe for Success: 68 Tips on Filling Out Your NCAA Tournament Bracket

Participating in pools for major sporting events, whether for money or not, has become as American as apple pie. Everyone who has ever visited a water cooler or copy room knows that no office pool spawns emotional involvement more than the invigorating NCAA Tournament. The allure of the office anarchy can be attributed to the futility of the exercise. Still, a little sophisticated guidance is better than none at all as you strive to meet the deadline for submitting your final NCAA playoff bracket.

If you're among the ardent fans who adore the Final Four and are starving for a handicapping guide to answer vital questions, here is a sane approach for surviving March Madness. Sixty-eight is a magic number for the incisive tips because that is the number of teams in the original NCAA field. If you want to March on Atlanta when pool results are posted on the bulletin board, pay close attention to these time-honored 68 dos and don'ts on how to fill out your bracket. In deference to the number of entrants, they might not all be applicable this year but these handy-dandy points to ponder should help steer you away from potholes on the Road to the Final Four.

* Pick all No. 1 seeds to win their first-round games. This one's a gimme: Top-seeded teams have never lost an opening-round game since the field was expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.
* Pick two teams seeded 13th or worse to defeat teams seeded one through four.
* Pick one No. 3 seed to lose in the first round.
* Pick at least one No. 2 seed to lose in the first two rounds.
* Don't pick a No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four, let alone win the national tournament, if the school wasn't in the NCAA playoffs the previous year.
* Don't automatically pick a perennial power to defeat an opponent with a double-digit seeding.
* Pick a team seeded No. 1 or No. 2 to win the national title.
* Don't pick more than two of the four regional No. 1 seeds to reach the Final Four.
* Pick the better-seeded team to win any second-round game pitting two double-digit seeds against each other.
* Pick one team with a double-digit seed to reach a regional semifinal.
* Don't pick more than one regional to have its top four seeds reach the regional semifinals.
* If two members of the same conference earn No. 1 seeds, don't pick both teams to reach the Final Four. Only once has two #1 seeds from the same league advanced to the national semifinals (Georgetown and St. John's from the Big East in 1985).
* Don't pick all four No. 1 seeds to reach regional finals.

* Pick at least one Big East team to lose in the opening round.
* Pick at least two teams from the Big Ten and/or SEC to incur opening-round defeats.
* Don't pick a team from the Big South to win a first-round game.
* Don't pick an at-large team with a losing conference record to get beyond the second round.
* Pick at least two ACC teams to reach a regional semifinal and at least one to reach the Final Four.
* If an ACC school wins both the league's regular-season and tournament titles, pick the team to reach the Final Four.
* Don't be swayed by a postseason conference tournament title or a poor performance in an elite league tourney. Disregard the "hot team" factor because a defeat in a league tournament is often a better motivational tool than a complacency-inducing victory. * Double your pleasure by picking two teams from the same conference to reach the Final Four.
* Don't choose a different member from the same league as the previous year's champion (Kentucky in the SEC) to capture the crown. There has been just seven times in NCAA playoff history for two different schools from the same conference to win the title in back-to-back years - Big Ten (Indiana '40 and Wisconsin '41); ACC (North Carolina '82 and N.C. State '83); Big East (Georgetown '84 and Villanova '85), ACC (Duke '92 and North Carolina '93); ACC (Duke '01 and Maryland '02); Big East (Syracuse '03 and Connecticut '04) and ACC (North Carolina '09 and Duke '10). Three different members from the same alliance capturing the crown over a three-year span has never happened.
* Don't pick an undisputed Big Ten champion (Michigan this year) to reach the Final Four. If the Wolverines reach the national semifinals, the odds are against them capturing the NCAA championship because none of the first 17 teams to lose at least three times atop the national polls in the same season went on to win the national title (including IU in 1954 and 1993).
* The Big Ten was the nation's premier conference this season but don't get carried away with that credential when picking a national titlist. Only one Big Ten member (Michigan State in 2000) captured an NCAA crown in the previous 24 years.
* Two of your Final Four picks should be teams that didn't finish atop their regular-season conference standings.
* Burnout has a tendency to set in. Remember that the odds are against a conference tournament champion reaching the NCAA Tournament final.
* Don't pick a team to reach the Final Four if it lost in the first round of a postseason conference tournament.
* Don't be too concerned about a regular-season defeat against a conference rival with a losing league record.
* Don't get carried away with the Pac-12 Conference. A Pac-12 team regularly loses an opening-round game to an opponent seeded 12th or worse.
* Don't pick a conference tournament champion winning four games in four nights to reach a regional semifinal.
* Pick one league to have four members reach the regional semifinals. It happened a total of 13 times in a 15-year span from 1989 through 2003.
* Don't be overwhelmed by quantity because six or seven bids for a league is not a recipe for success. Less than half conferences in this category finished with cumulative playoff records better than two games above .500.
* Don't pick a MEAC or SWAC representative to reach the Sweet 16. It has never happened.

* Enjoy the "mid-major" Cinderella stories but know that the clock eventually strikes midnight. Gonzaga faces a challenge because no "mid-major" since San Francisco in 1956 won the NCAA title after entering the tourney ranked atop the national polls.
* If there are as many as four first-time entrants, pick one of the novices to win its opening-round game.
* Don't pick a team with 30 or more victories entering the tournament to win the national title.
* Don't develop an aversion for coaches with impoverished playoff records. Remember: Legendary John Wooden lost his first five playoff games as coach at UCLA by an average of 11.4 points and compiled an anemic 3-9 record from 1950 through 1963 before the Bruins won an unprecedented 10 national titles in 12 years from 1964 through 1975.
* Don't be obsessed with comparing regular-season scores. Two-thirds of the NCAA champions weren't exactly invincible as they combined to lose more than 50 games by double-digit margins.
* Pick a team with at least 25 victories entering the tournament to win the championship. Villanova, entering the 1985 playoffs with 19 triumphs, was the only national champion in more than 35 years to enter the tourney with fewer than 20 wins until Arizona won it all in 1997 after also entering with 19 victories.
* Don't pick the nation's top-ranked team entering the tournament to reach the national championship game, let alone capture the crown. Also, Gonzaga has never reached the Final Four.
* The best place to start selecting the Final Four is in the previous year's round of 16. More than half of the teams reaching the national semifinals since 1988 advanced to a regional semifinal the previous season.
* Don't tamper with a "curse" by picking a team with the nation's leading scorer on its roster to reach the Final Four. No national champion has had a player average as many as 30 points per game.
* Make certain your Final Four picks include at least one 30-game winner and one team with a minimum of six defeats.
* After choosing your Final Four schools, don't automatically select the winningest remaining team to go ahead and capture the title.
* Don't pick a team to win the championship if an underclassman guard is leading the squad in scoring.
* Don't pick a team to win the championship if its top two scorers are Caucasians.
* Don't pick a team with as many as 12 defeats entering the tourney to reach a regional semifinal.
* Don't pick a team entering the tournament undefeated to go ahead and win the title. Of the first 17 teams to enter the playoffs with unblemished records, just seven were on to capture the national championship. Excluding UCLA's dominance under coach John Wooden, the only other unbeaten NCAA champion since North Carolina in 1957 is Indiana in 1976.
* Don't overdose on senior leadership. A senior-laden lineup is not a prerequisite for capturing a national championship. An average of only two seniors were among the top seven scorers for NCAA Tournament titlists since the playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985. Half of the NCAA champions since the early 1990s had only one senior among their top seven scorers.

* Pick any team defeating North Carolina or Duke in the bracket to already be in or on its way to the Final Four.
* Pick Duke to advance in the bracket if they oppose members of the Big East and Big Ten. Despite Indiana's success against the Blue Devils in the 2002 South Regional and Connecticut's victory over them in the 2004 Final Four, the Dynasty in Durham rarely loses a playoff game against Big East and Big Ten competition.
* Don't pick a member of the MAC or former member of the SWC to reach the Final Four. No Mid-American member has ever reached the national semifinals and the SWC Final Four teams all failed to come home with the national championship trophy.
* Don't pick a Conference USA member to reach a regional final.
* Pick Kansas to win a regional final if the Jayhawks advance that far. KU went to the Final Four six straight times the Jayhawks reached a regional championship game (1971-74-86-88-91-93) until they were upset by Syracuse in the 1996 West Regional. Kansas has continued regional final success much of 21st Century.
* Don't pick a team to win the national title if its coach is in his first season at the school.
* Make certain the coach of your championship team has at least five years of head coaching experience.
* Don't pick a team to capture the title if it is coached by a graduate of the school.
* Pick at least one Final Four team with a coach who will be making his debut at the national semifinals. Just four Final Fours (1951, 1968, 1984 and 1993) had all four coaches arrive there with previous Final Four experience.
* Don't pick the defending champion to repeat as national titlist.
* Don't pick the defending national runner-up to win the championship the next season. The only teams ever to finish national runner-up one year and then capture the title the next season were North Carolina (1981 and 1982) and Duke (1990 and 1991).
* Don't put any stock into justifying a preseason No. 1 ranking. The runner-up won each of the four times the preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams met on the hallowed ground of the NCAA final.
* Pick one team not ranked among the national top 10 entering the tournament to reach the championship game.
* Pick at least a couple of teams coached by African Americans to advance a minimum of two rounds in the tournament.
* Don't pick a school to reach the Final Four if you think a vital undergraduate defector from last season will become a pro star. Of the 10 individuals to score more than 20,000 points in the NBA or be named to at least five All-NBA teams after participating in the NCAA Division I playoffs and then leaving college with eligibility remaining, none of their schools reached the Final Four the year or years they could have still been in college - Auburn (Charles Barkley departed early), Houston (Hakeem Olajuwon), Indiana (Isiah Thomas), Kansas (Wilt Chamberlain), Louisiana Tech (Karl Malone), Michigan State (Magic Johnson), North Carolina (Bob McAdoo and Michael Jordan), Notre Dame (Adrian Dantley) and Seattle (Elgin Baylor).
* Don't be infatuated by a Final Four newbie. Before UConn in 1999, the last team to win a championship in its initial national semifinal appearance was Texas Western (now Texas-El Paso) in 1966.
* Pick at least one of your Final Four teams to have a transfer starter but don't choose a squad in that category to win the title.
* Don't be infatuated with first-team All-Americans when deciding Final Four teams because a majority of NCAA consensus first-team All-Americans failed to reach the national semifinals since seeding was introduced.
* Your star search should focus more on pro prospects. Select Final Four teams that each have a minimum of one player who'll eventually become a No. 1 NBA draft choice with one of the squads reaching the championship game to have at least three players who'll become a No. 1 NBA draft pick.

* The vast majority of NCAA Tournament office pools have a tiebreaker category or two. One of them might be designating a player for most points in a single game of the tournament. If so, avoid selecting a player from the championship team because the highest output normally is achieved by a member of a non-titlist.
* Another possible tiebreaker is projecting the total number of points in the championship game. To get your bearings, you should know the average point total is more than 150 since the inception nationwide of both the shot clock and three-point field goal.

Jumping in Office Pool: Sweet 16 Tips for Success in Filling Out Bracket

Participating in office pools for major sports events, whether for money or not, has become as American in the national workplace as filling out your vacation schedule. Both forms can be perplexing because you frequently second guess yourself on where to go, when to go and exactly what to do. More often than not, you want to modify the submissions moments after turning them in. You feel as if you've flunked Office-Pool Economics 101.

No office pool heightens your frustration more than the NCAA Tournament. The allure of the office anarchy can be attributed to the futility of the exercise. Just ask Pete Rose when he was relaxing at spring training. Still, a little sophisticated guidance is better than none at all as you strive to meet the deadline for submitting your final NCAA playoff bracket.

If you're among the ardent fans who adore the Final Four and are starving for relevant handicapping tips, a sane approach to surviving March Madness has arrived. It is time to start chewing on historical nuggets to avoid making another April Fool appearance when results are posted on the bulletin board. Pay close attention to these sweet 16 dos and don'ts on how to fill out your bracket. As events unfold, you might want to rekindle old memories by assessing CollegeHoopedia.com's most magical playoff moments and All-Time All-NCAA Tournament teams.

DO pick a top three seeded team to win the national title.
In the first 34 years since the NCAA Tournament embraced seeding, 30 of the champions were seeded No. 1 (19 titlists), 2 (six) or 3 (five). The only championship game without at least one No. 1 or No. 2 seed was 1989, when a pair of No. 3 seeds clashed (Michigan and Seton Hall), until last year when #3 Connecticut opposed #8 Butler.

DON'T pick more than two of the four regional No. 1 seeds to reach the Final Four. No. 1 seeds always look tempting (especially after all four advanced to national semifinals in 2008). But the Final Four did not have more than two of them any year from 1979 through 1992 and the last three years.

DO pick two teams seeded 13th or worse to defeat teams seeded two through four and one team seeded 12th to reach a regional semifinal.
Since the seeding process started in 1979, never have all of the top four seeds in each regional survived their opening round. A No. 12 seed advanced to the round of 16 five consecutive years from 1990 through 1994.

DON'T automatically pick a perennial power to defeat a team with a double-digit seed.
More than 100 different coaches have lost at least one tournament game to an opponent with a double-digit seed since the seeding process was introduced. Playoff newcomers shouldn't be shunned if they get any break at all in the seeding process. First-time entrants assert themselves when they receive a decent draw. 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.

DO shun a potential championship team if an underclassman guard is leading the squad in scoring.
The only freshmen to lead a national champion in scoring were Utah forward Arnie Ferrin in 1944 and Syracuse forward Carmelo Anthony in 2003. Of the sophomores to lead national titlists in scoring average, the only guards were Indiana's Isiah Thomas (16 ppg in 1981) and Duke's Jason Williams (21.6 ppg in 2001).

DON'T tamper with a "curse" by picking a team with the nation's leading scorer on its roster to reach the Final Four.
No national champion has had a player average as many as 30 points per game. The only player to lead the nation in scoring average while playing for a school to reach the NCAA Tournament championship game was Clyde Lovellette, who carried Kansas to the 1952 title. The only other player to lead the nation in scoring average while playing for a team advancing to the Final Four was Oscar Robertson, who powered Cincinnati to the national semifinals in 1959 and 1960 before the Bearcats were defeated both years by California. The Bears restricted the Big O to a total of 37 points in the two Final Four games as he was just nine of 32 from the floor.

Unless vital criteria is met to suffice otherwise, DO go with better-seeded teams to win games in the four regionals.
The better-seeded teams win a little over 2/3 of the games in regional competition. However, Final Four games have virtually broken even in regard to the original seedings.

DON'T pick a team to capture the NCAA title if the club lost its conference tournament opener.
No team ever has won an NCAA championship after losing a conference postseason tournament opener.

DO remember the cliche "East is Least."
No Eastern school won the East Regional and the national title in the same season since the tournament went to four regionals until Syracuse achieved the feat in 2003. The first seven national champions from the East Regional since 1956 were all ACC members (North Carolina '57, N.C. State '74, North Carolina '82, Duke '92, North Carolina '93, Duke '01 and Maryland '02) before Carolina won the East Regional again in 2005.

DON'T accept the axiom that the "West is Worst."
What does the Left Coast have to do to shed a misguided image? The Pacific-12 Conference supplied two NCAA champions in a three-year span (UCLA '95 and Arizona '97) before Stanford and Utah reached the 1998 Final Four. Arizona was runner-up in 2001 before UCLA participated in three straight Final Fours from 2006 through 2008. Although the Pac-12 struggled this season, the multiple-bid Mountain West and/or West Coast could take up the slack.

DO pick two of the ten recognizable schools with the all-time best playoff records to reach the Final Four.
There is a strong possibility some familiar faces will arrive in New Orleans since at least two of the ten winningest schools by percentage (minimum of 50 playoff games) usually appear at the Final Four. The top ten schools are Duke (.750 entering the '14 tourney), UCLA (.725), North Carolina (.722), Florida (.714), Kentucky (.707), Kansas (.699), Michigan State (.683), Michigan (.672), Indiana (.667) and Ohio State (.667).

DON'T be too wary of first-rate coaches with dime-store playoff results.
High-profile coaches are occasionally grilled because of their dismal tournament resumes. But they're due to eventually turn things around and shouldn't be written off altogether. Remember: Legendary John Wooden lost his first five playoff games as coach at UCLA by an average of more than 11 points and compiled an anemic 3-9 record from 1950 through 1963 before the Bruins won an unprecedented 10 national titles in 12 years from 1964 through 1975. It doesn't seem possible, but additional elite coaches who didn't win their first NCAA playoff game until their 10th DI season or longer include Dana Altman, Rick Barnes, P.J. Carlesimo, Pete Carril, Bobby Cremins, Tom Davis, Cliff Ellis, Bill E. Foster, Hugh Greer, Leonard Hamilton, Marv Harshman, Terry Holland, Maury John, Mike Krzyzewski, Ralph Miller, Mike Montgomery, Joe Mullaney, Pete Newell, Tom Penders, George Raveling, Kelvin Sampson, Norm Sloan, Butch van Breda Kolff and Ned Wulk.

DO remember the odds about a conference tournament champion reaching the NCAA Tournament final.
There is a theory that burnout has a tendency to set in. But more than half of the NCAA titlists since seeding started in 1979 also won their conference postseason tournament the same year.

DON'T be swayed by a postseason conference tournament title or a poor performance in an elite league tourney.
Disregard the "hot team" factor because a defeat in a league tournament is often a better motivational tool than a complacency-inducing victory.

DO look for a school other than the defending champion (Connecticut in 2011) to become national titlist.
Duke was fortunate to repeat in 1992 when they reached the Final Four on Christian Laettner's last-second basket in overtime in the East Regional final against Kentucky. Florida repeated in 2007 despite winning its last five contests by 10 or fewer points.

DON'T pick the top-ranked team entering the tournament to reach the national championship game, let alone capture the crown.
There is a clear and present danger for pole sitters. Only three of the 29 schools atop the national rankings entering the NCAA playoffs from 1983 through 2011 went on to capture the national championship and only six No. 1 squads in the last 25 seasons of that span reached the title game.

DO pick at least one Final Four team with a coach making his debut at the national semifinals.
Just four Final Fours (1951, 1968, 1984 and 1993) had all four coaches arrive there with previous Final Four experience. There has been at least one fresh face among the bench bosses at the national semifinals all but one of the last 27 years. In 1993, coaches Steve Fisher (Michigan), Rick Pitino (Kentucky), Dean Smith (North Carolina) and Roy Williams (Kansas) returned to familiar surroundings at the Final Four.

DON'T pick a team to win the national title if its coach is in his first season at the school.
Steve Fisher guided Michigan to the 1989 title after succeeding Bill Frieder just before the start of the playoffs. But the only individual to capture an NCAA crown in his first full campaign as head coach at a university was Ed Jucker (Cincinnati '61 after seven years at King's Point and Rensselaer). The average championship team head coach has been at the school almost 13 years and has almost 17 years of college head coaching experience overall. The only championship head coaches with less than five years of experience were Fisher and Fred Taylor (second season at Ohio State '60).

DO realize that senior experience needs to be complemented by the vigor from undergraduates.
A senior-laden lineup is not a prerequisite for capturing a national championship. An average of only two seniors were among the top seven scorers for NCAA Tournament titlists since the playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985. Eight of the 16 NCAA champions from 1991 through 2006 boasted no more than one senior among its top seven scorers. Only three NCAA champions since Indiana '87 - UCLA (1995), Michigan (2000) and Maryland (2002) - had seniors as their top two scorers.

DON'T pick a team to capture the title if it is coached by a graduate of the school.
A champion is almost never guided by a graduate of that university.

DO pick at least one of your Final Four teams to have a transfer starter.
Almost every Final Four features at least one starter who began his college career at another four-year Division I school.

DON'T pick schools that lost a vital undergraduate to reach the Final Four if you think the defectors will become pro stars.
Ten individuals scored more than 20,000 points in the NBA or were named to at least five All-NBA teams after participating in the NCAA Division I playoffs and then leaving college with eligibility remaining - Charles Barkley (departed Auburn early), Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston), Isiah Thomas (Indiana), Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas), Karl Malone (Louisiana Tech), Magic Johnson (Michigan State), Bob McAdoo and Michael Jordan (North Carolina), Adrian Dantley (Notre Dame) and Elgin Baylor (Seattle). None of their schools reached the Final Four the year or years they could have still been in college.

DO pick two teams from the same conference to reach the Final Four, with at least one of them advancing to the championship game.
Double your pleasure: A pair of members from the same conference frequently advance to the Final Four.

DON'T be condescending and overlook quality mid-major conference teams.
It's not a question of if but where will David defeat Goliath. There have been more than 100 Big Boy losses against members of lower-profile conferences seeded five or more places worse than the major university which is currently a member of one of the current consensus top six leagues. A total of 74 different lower-profile schools and current members of 23 different mid-major conferences (all but Great West, Northeast and Summit) have won such games since seeding started in 1979.

DO pick two of your Final Four teams from schools failing to finish atop their regular-season conference standings.
The best is yet to come for a team or two that might have been somewhat of an underachiever during the regular season. Almost half of the entrants since the field expanded to 48 in 1980 did not win outright or share a regular-season league title.

DON'T put much emphasis on comparing regular-season scores.
A striking number of NCAA champions lost at least one conference game to a team with a losing league mark. Many NCAA champions weren't exactly invincible as a majority of them lost a regular-season games by a double-digit margin.

DO avoid picking an at-large team with a losing conference record to go beyond the second round.
An at-large team with a sub-.500 league mark almost never wins more than one NCAA Tournament game.

DON'T pick an at-large team compiling a mediocre record to reach the regional semifinals.
Only a handful of at-large entrants winning fewer than 60 percent of their games manage to reach the second round.

DO pick at least a couple of teams coached by African Americans to advance a minimum of two rounds in the tournament.
More often than not, at least two teams coached by African Americans reach the regional semifinals (round of 16).

DON'T pick a team to win the championship if its top two scorers are white athletes.
Duke had the only two teams in recent memory to win the NCAA title with white players comprising its top two point producers that season. In 1991, the two two scorers were Christian Laettner and Billy McCaffrey, who subsequently transferred to Vanderbilt. In 2010, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler were Duke's top two scorers. Laettner also led the Blue Devils in scoring when they captured the 1993 crown. The only other white players ranked among the top three scorers for NCAA championship teams since the field expanded to at least 40 teams included: Randy Wittman (third for Indiana '81), Steve Alford (led Indiana '87), Kevin Pritchard (third for Kansas '88), Eric Montross (led North Carolina '93), Jeff Sheppard/Scott Padgett (first and third for Kentucky '98), Gerry McNamara (third for Syracuse '03) and Tyler Hansbrough (led North Carolina '09).

DO pick one "sleeper" team not ranked among the top ten in either of the final wire-service polls entering the tournament to reach the championship game.
There likely will be a Rip Van Winkle finally waking up to advance to the national final after not being ranked among the top ten in an AP final poll.

DON'T pick the national runner-up from one year to win the championship the next season.
The only three teams ever to finish national runner-up one year and then capture the title the next season were North Carolina (1981 and 1982), Duke (1990 and 1991) and Kentucky (1997 and 1998).

Rare Air: Florida is 10th Team in 38 Years to Go Unbeaten in Power League

Top-ranked Florida became only the 10th member of a power conference to go undefeated in league play since Bob Knight-coached Indiana in 1975-76 was the nation's last team to go unscathed overall. The SEC is the lone power league to supply an unbeaten squad in conference competition in the last 12 seasons.

The Big Ten Conference hasn't had a team go unbeaten in league competition since IU and the Big East never has had an undefeated club. Kentucky, under three different coaches, supplied three of the following 10 teams to go unbeaten in a power alliance in the last 38 years:

Year League Unbeaten School Coach (Overall Mark) Leading Scorer Leading Rebounder
1978 Pacific-8 UCLA (14-0) Gary Cunningham (25-3) David Greenwood (17.5) David Greenwood (11.4)
1984 ACC North Carolina (14-0) Dean Smith (28-3) Michael Jordan (19.6) Sam Perkins (9.6)
1987 ACC North Carolina (14-0) Dean Smith (32-4) Kenny Smith (16.9) J.R. Reid (7.4)
1994 Big Eight Missouri (14-0) Norm Stewart (28-4) Melvin Booker (18.1) Jevon Crudup (8)
1996 SEC Kentucky (16-0/East) Rick Pitino (34-2) Tony Delk (17.8) Antoine Walker (8.4)
1999 ACC Duke (16-0) Mike Krzyzewski (37-2) Elton Brand (17.7) Elton Brand (9.8)
2002 Big 12 Kansas (16-0) Roy Williams (33-4) Drew Gooden (19.8) Drew Gooden (11.4)
2003 SEC Kentucky (16-0/East) Tubby Smith (32-4) Keith Bogans (15.7) Chuck Hayes (6.8)
2012 SEC Kentucky (16-0) John Calipari (38-2) Anthony Davis (14.2) Anthony Davis (10.4)
2014 SEC Florida (18-0) Billy Donovan (TBD) Casey Prather (14.6) Dorian Finney-Smith (6.9)

Preseason Treason: Kentucky Finishes With Most Losses for Preseason #1

Kentucky (29-11) came close deep in the heart of Texas but needed to win the NCAA Tournament to avoid posting the most defeats ever for an Associated Press preseason No. 1 selection. Only two of the first nine preseason #1 choices with at least eight reversals - Duke '89 and Arizona '01 - compiled a winning NCAA Tournament record that year.

The lowest winning percentage for a preseason top-ranked squad was registered by John Wooden-coached UCLA, which was 18-8 (.692) in 1965-66 when the Bruins finished second in the AAWU behind Oregon State. Following is a list of the 10 preseason #1 choices compiling a minimum of eight setbacks since 1961-62:

PS #1 Team Season Coach Record Pct. NCAA Tournament Summary
Kentucky 2013-14 John Calipari 29-11 .725 Lost in NCAA title game against Connecticut, 60-54.
Connecticut 1999-00 Jim Calhoun 25-10 .714 Lost in Second Round against Tennessee, 65-61.
Syracuse 1987-88 Jim Boeheim 26-9 .743 Lost in Second Round against Rhode Island, 97-94.
UCLA 1965-66 John Wooden 18-8 .692 DNP after failing to win league title for only time in 18-year span.
Indiana 1979-80 Bob Knight 21-8 .724 Lost in Regional Semifinals against Purdue, 76-69.
Duke 1978-79 Bill E. Foster 22-8 .733 Lost playoff opener against St. John's, 80-78.
North Carolina 1977-78 Dean Smith 23-8 .742 Lost in First Round against San Francisco, 68-64.
Cincinnati 1996-97 Bob Huggins 26-8 .765 Lost in Second Round against Iowa State, 67-66.
Arizona 2000-01 Lute Olson 28-8 .778 Lost in Championship Game against Duke, 82-72.
Duke 1988-89 Mike Krzyzewski 28-8 .778 Lost at Final Four against Seton Hall, 95-78.

Titillating Tourney Tidbits: Only Cliff Clavin Knows These League Factoids

The amazing six-overtime thriller between Connecticut and Syracuse in the 2009 Big East Conference Tournament quarterfinals is relatively easy to remember. But one of the most titillating tourney tidbits among all leagues that gets overlooked because the Southwest Conference is defunct remains Texas Tech's Rick Bullock singlehandedly outscoring the "Triplets" from Arkansas (Ron Brewer, Marvin Delph and Sidney Moncrief) by seven points, 44-37, when he set the SWC's single-game tournament scoring record in the 1976 semifinals.

As league tourney action peaks to a crescendo, don't hesitate to capitalize on the links for the current Division I conferences cited below to refresh your memory about past champions and events. Following are many of the names and numbers of note only Cliff Clavin knows about regarding previous conference tournament competition you can reflect upon as teams tune up for the main event by jockeying for position in the NCAA playoff bracket:

America East - The 1989 North Atlantic Tournament was dubbed the MIT (Measles Invitational Tourney) because all spectators were banned due to a measles outbreak. Delaware competed for 17 years in the East Coast Conference and never won an ECC Tournament championship. But the Blue Hens entered the AEC predecessor, the North Atlantic, in 1992 and won their first-ever title and went to the NCAA playoffs for the initial time. They successfully defended their crown the next year before closing out the decade with another set of back-to-back tourney titles.

Atlantic Coast - Maryland, ranking fourth in both polls, lost in overtime against eventual NCAA champion North Carolina State, 103-100, in the 1974 final in what some believe might have been the greatest college game ever played. Three players from each team earned All-American honors during their careers - North Carolina State's David Thompson, Tom Burleson and Monte Towe plus Maryland's John Lucas, Len Elmore and Tom McMillen. The Terrapins had four players score at least 20 points - Lucas, McMillen, Owen Brown and Mo Howard - in a 20-point victory over 22-6 North Carolina (105-85) in the semifinals. The Terps, of course, didn't participate in the NCAA playoffs that year because a 32-team bracket allowing teams other than the league champion to be chosen on an at-large basis from the same conference wasn't adopted until the next season.

Atlantic Sun - Belmont hit 12 of 19 first-half shots from beyond the arc in the 2007 final against top seed East Tennessee State.

Atlantic 10 - Temple reached the tourney semifinals 19 consecutive seasons in one stretch.

Big East - St. John's doesn't seem to have any advantage at Madison Square Garden. It lost five consecutive tourney games on its homecourt by an average margin of 11.4 points from 1987 through 1991.

Big Sky - Montana, capitalizing on a homecourt advantage, overcame a jinx by winning back-to-back tournament titles in 1991 and 1992. The Grizzlies had just two losing regular-season league records from 1976 through 1990, but they didn't win the tournament title in that span, losing the championship game five times from 1978 through 1984.

Big South - The No. 1 seed won this unpredictable tourney only five times in the first 17 years. Radford failed to reach the postseason tournament final for nine years until capturing the event in 1998.

Big Ten - Illinois won as many games in the 1999 tourney as the Illini did in regular-season conference competition that season (3-13).

Big 12 - Kansas won the first three championship games from 1997 through 1999 by at least 14 points.

Big West - Pacific didn't compile a winning league record from 1979 through 1992, but the Tigers climaxed three consecutive appearances in the tournament semifinals by advancing to the '92 championship game.

Colonial - Navy, seeded No. 8 in 1991 in its last year in the tournament before joining the Patriot League, upset top seed James Madison in overtime, 85-82, in the opening round.

Conference USA - Three of four C-USA Tournament champions from 1997 through 2000 won four games in four days. Cincinnati captured six league tournament titles in seven years from 1992 through 1998 in the Great Midwest and C-USA.

Horizon League - The first two tournament winners (Oral Roberts '80 and Oklahoma City '81) of the league's forerunner, the Midwestern City, subsequently shed Division I status and de-emphasized to the NAIA level. ORU, which also won the crown in 1984, returned to Division I status in 1993-94. Butler lost its first 12 games in the tourney until breaking into the win column in 1992.

Metro Atlantic Athletic - Eight different schools won the tournament title in an eight-year span from 1992 through 1999.

Mid-American - Bowling Green never has won the MAC Tournament.

Mid-Eastern Athletic - North Carolina A&T won seven consecutive titles from 1982 through 1988. The Aggies defeated Howard in the championship game each of the first six years of their streak with the middle four of them decided by a total of only 17 points.

Missouri Valley - Indiana State won only two of its next 20 MVC tourney games after All-American Larry Bird led the Sycamores to the 1979 title.

Mountain West - Not once has Air Force reached the championship game of the WAC or Mountain West.

Northeast - The final pitted the top two seeds against each other 11 times in a 13-year span from 1983 through 1995.

Ohio Valley - Former member Western Kentucky reached the championship game in eight of the OVC's first 10 tourneys. Tennessee Tech won only one tournament game from 1975 through 1992.

Pacific-12 - Arizona won the last three tourney finals from 1988 through 1990 by a minimum of 16 points before the league discontinued the event until reviving it in 2002.

Patriot League - No seed worse than third reached the championship game in the first 20 years of event from 1991 through 2010.

SEC - Seven of the 13 tourney MVPs from 1979 through 1991 didn't play for the champion. One of them, LSU's John Williams, didn't even compete in the 1986 title game. Although Kentucky standout center Alex Groza saw limited action in the 1947 tournament because of a back injury, the Wildcats cruised to victories over Vanderbilt (98-29), Auburn (84-18), Georgia Tech (75-53) and Tulane (55-38). UK was also without Converse All-American guard Jack Parkinson (serving in the military), but the five-man all-tourney team was comprised of nothing but Wildcats - forwards Jack Tingle and Joe Holland, center Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones and guards Ken Rollins and Ralph Beard. UK (24) has won more than half of the SEC's tourneys.

Southern - Furman's Jerry Martin, an outfielder who hit .251 in 11 years with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Kansas City Royals and New York Mets from 1974 through 1984, was named MVP in the 1971 tournament after the 6-1 guard led the Paladins to the title with 22-, 36- and 19-point performances to pace the tourney in scoring. Two years earlier, current Davidson coach Bob McKillop scored three points for East Carolina against the Lefty Driesell-coached Wildcats in the 1969 SC Tournament championship game.

Southland - North Texas State's Kenneth Lyons outscored Louisiana Tech's Karl Malone, 47-6, when Lyons established a still existing single-game scoring record in the 1983 tournament quarterfinals. Malone led the SLC in rebounding (10.3 rpg) and steals (1.9 spg) that season as a freshman before going on to score more than 30,000 points in the NBA. Two years earlier, McNeese State won a first-round game after going winless in regular-season conference competition.

SWAC - Regular-season champion Grambling State lost by 50 points to Southern (105-55) in the 1987 final. An interesting twist that year was the fact Bob Hopkins, Grambling's first-year coach, had coached Southern the previous three seasons.

Summit League - The first tournament final in 1984 featured two teams with losing league records in regular-season competition (Western Illinois and Cleveland State).

Sun Belt - South Alabama's stall didn't prevent the Jaguars from losing to New Orleans, 22-20, on Nate Mills' last-second jumper in the 1978 final. The next season, the Sun Belt became the first league to experiment with a 45-second shot clock. The four different schools that accounted for the participants in six consecutive finals from 1980 through 1985 went on to join other conferences - UAB, Old Dominion, South Florida and Virginia Commonwealth. Two-time champion Charlotte also abandoned ship.

West Coast - The top two seeds didn't meet in the championship game until 2000. The most tragic moment in the history of any conference tournament occurred in the semifinals of the 1990 event at Loyola Marymount when Hank Gathers, the league's all-time scoring leader and a two-time tourney MVP, collapsed on his home court during the Lions' game with Portland. He died later that evening and the tournament was suspended. The Lions earned the NCAA Tournament bid because of their regular-season crown and advanced to the West Regional final behind the heroics of Bo Kimble, who was Gathers' longtime friend from Philadelphia.

Western Athletic - The tourney's biggest upset occurred in 1990 when No. 9 seed Air Force defeated No. 1 seed Colorado State in the quarterfinals, 58-51. Hawaii's Carl English, averaging 3.9 points per game as a freshman during the regular season, had a season-high 25 in a 78-72 overtime victory against host Tulsa in the 2001 final.

Revenge of the Nerds: Harvard First School Earning Berth in NCAA Playoffs

If your RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) isn't satisfactory, then it's time to R.I.P. (Rest in Peace). That certainly was the case for Harvard, the Rip Van Winkle of college basketball, until the Crimson woke up and secured its first NCAA playoff victory last year. It was only two years ago when Harvard secured its first NCAA berth since losing two games in 1946.

Harvard, which has supplied more U.S. presidents (seven) than NBA players (three), frequently is ranked #1 in U.S. News College Compass among the nation's best colleges. Amid all of the bubble bullspit, the Crimson became the first team earning a berth in the 2014 NCAA Tournament by capturing the Ivy League regular-season championship prior to winning an opening-round NCAA tourney game for the second year in a row.

Stanford and Wisconsin, a pair of relatively recent Final Four schools, tied with Brown for the longest dry spell in NCAA Tournament history for prior playoff participants before Harvard ended its long drought. Following are the 16 schools - with Iowa State, Saint Louis and Wisconsin joining Harvard in this year's event - participating in the tourney at least once before enduring playoff appearance droughts of at least 34 years (length of dry spells denoted in parentheses):

School Years Failing to Appear Years Without a Tourney Victory
Harvard 1947 through 2011 (65) Won first game in 2013
Brown 1940 through 1985 (46) Never won a playoff game
Stanford 1943 through 1988 (46) 1943 through 1994 (52)
Wisconsin 1948 through 1993 (46) 1948 through 1993 (46)
Air Force 1963 through 2003 (41) Never won a playoff game
Lafayette 1958 through 1998 (41) Never won a playoff game
Iowa State 1945 through 1984 (40) 1945 through 1985 (41)
Washington State 1942 through 1979 (38) 1942 through 1982 (41)
Baylor 1951 through 1987 (37) 1951 through 2009 (59)
Canisius 1958 through 1994 (37) Hasn't won since 1957
Miami (FL) 1961 through 1997 (37) Won first game in 1999
Drake 1972 through 2007 (36) Hasn't won since 1971
Saint Louis 1958 through 1993 (36) 1953 through 1994 (42)
Butler 1963 through 1996 (34) 1963 through 2000 (38)
Manhattan 1959 through 1992 (34) 1959 through 1994 (36)
Montana State 1952 through 1985 (34) Never won a playoff game

NOTES: Tulsa didn't win an NCAA playoff game from 1956 through 1993 (38 years). . . . Holy Cross (last victory in 1953) and Rice (1954) haven't won an NCAA Tournament game for extended periods. . . . Miami (Fla.) did not field a formal team from 1971-72 through 1984-85.

Rushing to Defense of Ukraine's Basketball Contributions at U.S. Universities

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." - Irish statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke

President Barack H. Obama, after seemingly rudderless responses involving Iran and Syria, faced heightened foreign-policy scrutiny amid Russia's Ukrainian incursion. Has Russia's naked aggression occupying Crimea caused Obama Administration personnel to soil their pants or are they too busy with "let's-move" jogging around the White House? Did Secretary of State John Kerry, the self-proclaimed Vietnam War hero, throw his medals at invading troops to exhibit the U.S.'s verve? Does Samantha Power, America's ambassador to the U.N., command more respect from Comrade Russians with her dynamic demeanor or sharing comedy film-festival clips?

After being caught flat-footed by Putin, perhaps the hoopster-in-chief will devote more time on Ukraine than his "Audacity of Hype" NCAA bracket prep if we inject a basketball factor in the equation. CollegeHoopedia.com's treasure chest of information definitely has limited options regarding thwarting Russia flexing its bare chest via military action. Thus we'll exhibit our solidarity with the fertile-farmland nation seeking to retain its freedom by citing, via the following alphabetical list, the breadbasket's across-the-globe basketball contributions at U.S. universities:

Ukrainian Player Pos. U.S. College Playing Career Summary
Volodymyr Gerun F Portland Averaged 3.5 ppg and 2.1 rpg in 2013-14 with the Pilots after transferring from West Virginia.
Denis Ikovlev F Nevada J.C. recruit averaged 4.8 ppg and 2.7 rpg in 2005-06 and 2006-07.
Alexander Kireev F-C George Washington Started two games as a freshman in 2002-03 and 13 as a sophomore in 2003-04 before averaging 2.2 ppg as a junior in 2004-05 and 2.4 ppg as a senior in 2005-06.
Vladyslav Kondratyev F Bryant Member of Northeast Conference All-Rookie Team (averaged career-high 8.9 ppg in 2009-10) finished four-year career with 5.7 ppg and 3.4 rpg.
Oleg Kovalov F IPFW J.C. recruit averaged 3.5 ppg in 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Oleksiy "Alex" Len C Maryland Averaged 9.7 ppg, 7 rpg and 2.1 bpg in 2011-12 and 2012-13 before declaring early for the NBA draft and becoming the fifth pick overall.
Kyryal Natyazhko C Arizona Averaged 1.7 ppg and 2 rpg from 2009-10 through 2011-12.
Vitaly Potapenko C-F Wright State Two-time All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference choice averaged 20.2 ppg and 6.8 rpg in 1994-95 and 1995-96. He led the Raiders in scoring and rebounding both seasons before leaving early for NBA and becoming a first-round draft choice (12th pick overall).
Roman Rubchenko F-C Louisiana State Averaged 10.5 ppg and 6.4 rpg in his final two of four seasons with the Tigers from 1992-93 through 1995-96. Scored a career-high 29 points against Dayton as a senior.
Vladimir Ryzhov F-G Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Averaged 4.4 ppg in 1999-00.

One and Done: NCAA Tournament Knocks the Wind Out of Win Crowd

Regal regular-season records persuade pollsters, arm alumni with arrogance and impress Division I committee members dispensing seeds in the NCAA Tournament. But Wichita State learned anew they don't guarantee postseason success because the "Road to the Final Four" is filled with potholes.

Over the first 37 seasons since the last undefeated team (Indiana '76), 21 schools entered the NCAA playoffs undefeated or with one setback. None of the squads in this group went on to win the national title. Only nine of these teams - Indiana State '79, UNLV '87, Temple '88, UNLV '91, Massachusetts '96, Duke '99, St. Joseph's '04, Illinois '05 and Memphis '08 - reached a regional final. Of the 19 entrants in this category since seeding was introduced, only four weren't accorded a #1 seed - Alcorn State '80, La Salle '90, Texas Tech '96 and Princeton '98. Wichita State joins the following chronological list of 22 schools entering the NCAA tourney either unbeaten or with only one setback since IU went undefeated in 1975-76:

Year School Coach Pre-Tourney Playoff Mark Eliminated By (Score)
1977 Arkansas Eddie Sutton 26-1 0-1 Wake Forest (86-80)
1977 San Francisco Bob Gaillard 29-1 0-1 UNLV (121-95)
1979 #1 Indiana State Bill Hodges 29-0 4-1 Michigan State (75-64)
1980 #8 Alcorn State Davey Whitney 27-1 1-1 Louisiana State (98-88)
1980 #1 DePaul Ray Meyer 26-1 0-1 UCLA (77-71)
1981 #1 DePaul Ray Meyer 27-1 0-1 St. Joseph's (49-48)
1981 #1 Oregon State Ralph Miller 26-1 0-1 Kansas State (50-48)
1982 #1 DePaul Ray Meyer 26-1 0-1 Boston College (82-75)
1987 #1 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian 33-1 4-1 Indiana (97-93)
1988 #1 Temple John Chaney 29-1 3-1 Duke (63-53)
1990 #4 La Salle Speedy Morris 29-1 1-1 Clemson (79-75)
1991 #1 UNLV Jerry Tarkanian 30-0 4-1 Duke (79-77)
1996 #1 Massachusetts John Calipari 31-1 4-1 Kentucky (81-74)
1996 #3 Texas Tech James Dickey 28-1 2-1 Georgetown (98-90)
1997 #1 Kansas Roy Williams 32-1 2-1 Arizona (85-82)
1998 #5 Princeton Bill Carmody 26-1 1-1 Michigan State (63-51)
1999 #1 Duke Mike Krzyzewski 32-1 5-1 Connecticut (77-74)
2004 #1 St. Joseph's Phil Martelli 27-1 3-1 Oklahoma State (64-62)
2004 #1 Stanford Mike Montgomery 29-1 1-1 Alabama (70-67)
2005 #1 Illinois Bruce Weber 32-1 5-1 North Carolina (75-70)
2008 #1 Memphis John Calipari 33-1 5-1 Kansas (75-68 in OT)
2014 #1 Wichita State Gregg Marshall 34-0 1-1 Kentucky (78-76)

From Peon to Pedestal: Heath Helps Canisius Set Postseason Bar High

Will 6-10 Jordan Heath rank high among major-college big men who began their college careers playing for a four-year small college before transferring? Heath joined his brother with Canisius after being named to the NCCAA All-Tournament team in 2010-11 when averaging 14.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 2.8 bpg for Roberts Wesleyan (NY).

Teammate Billy Baron generates most of the headlines but Heath, ranking among the MAAC leaders in rebounding, FG% and blocked shots the past two seasons, might be the key as to whether the Griffs achieve anything in the postseason. Heath has DI career highs of 28 points vs. Saint Peter's plus 13 rebounds and 9 rejections vs. Rider.

Former NBA centers Tom Boswell and Billy Paultz are in this unique category. Following is an alphabetical list of previous DI centers who started their careers at a small four-year college:

Transfer Center Small College Division I School Career Summary
Henry Akin William Carey (MS) Morehead State 64-65 Two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection averaged more than 11 rebounds each of his two seasons with the Eagles.
Scott Barnes 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 FSU bowed to the Bulldogs in first round of 1984 NCAA playoffs.
Andrew Betts C.W. Post (NY) 95-96 Long Beach State 98 Averaged 13.8 ppg and 10.4 rpg while shooting 52.6% from the floor in two years with C.W. Post. All-Big West Conference first-team selection in his only season with the 49ers averaged 18.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 1.7 bpg.
Don Boldebuck 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.
Tom Boswell South Carolina State 72-73 South Carolina 75 Two-time All-MEAC selection (averaged more than 17 points and 11 rebounds each season with SCSU) outscored teammates Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Alex English to lead the Gamecocks' NIT squad in scoring average with 16.5 ppg. Boswell became a first-round draft choice of the Boston Celtics as an undergraduate.
John Bunch Lincoln (PA) 03-04 Monmouth 06-07 Led Division III in blocked shots as a freshman and sophomore, including two games when he rejected an NCAA record 18 shots. Member of Monmouth's 2006 NCAA Tournament team before leading the Northeast Conference in blocked shots with 3.3 per game as a senior in 2006-07.
Pete Cornell Puget Sound (WA) 95 Loyola Marymount 97-98 Averaged 4.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg as a sophomore and 8 ppg and 5.3 rpg as a junior with LMU before graduating early.
Jack Eskridge Graceland (IA) 42-43 Kansas 47-48 After his college career was interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Marines during World War II, he set a Kansas school mark with 30 points in one half against Nebraska. Following a couple of years in the NBA, he returned to KU and served as an assistant coach during the Wilt Chamberlain era.
Tyler Field UC San Diego 98 San Diego 00-01 Division III Freshman of the Year when he averaged 24.2 ppg and 14.3 rpg and shot 65% from the floor. Averaged 8.6 ppg and 6.6 rpg in two years with the Toreros. Led the WCC in field-goal shooting as a sophomore (60.6%) in 1999-00.
Willie "Hutch" Jones Buffalo State 78 Vanderbilt 80-82 Paced the Commodores in scoring (15.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.4 rpg) as a senior. Led Vandy in field-goal shooting all three seasons to finish his DI career at 60.5%. Averaqed 7.1 ppg and 7 rpg as a freshman with Buffalo State.
Marcus Kennedy Ferris State (MI) 87-89 Eastern Michigan 91 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year when he paced the league in scoring (20 ppg) and field-goal percentage (68.2 FG%). Led winningest team in school history in scoring in NCAA playoff victories against Mississippi State and Penn State. Averaged 17.1 ppg and 8 rpg while shooting 60.7% from the floor with Ferris State, leading the team in scoring and rebounding as a sophomore and junior.
Matt Massey Nova Southeastern (FL) 08 Southern Utah 10-11 Averaged 7.1 ppg and 4.9 rpg for Nova. Averaged 8.8 ppg and 3.8 rpg in his first two seasons with the Thunderbirds.
Tony Massop Sacramento State 87 Kansas State 89-90 Averaged 10.3 ppg and 8 rpg as a sophomore for 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.
Bob McCann Upsala (NJ) 83 Morehead State 85-87 Averaged 9.9 ppg and 8 rpg for Upsala. Three-time All-OVC first-team choice paced Morehead in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots all three seasons. He averaged 17.5 ppg and 10.5 rpg in his career with the Eagles.
Bret Mundt Bethel (TN) 85-86 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 against Purdue in 1988 Midwest Regional.
Nick Neumann Binghamton (NY) 99 Florida Atlantic 01-03 Averaged 5.9 ppg and 4.4 rpg with Binghamton. Grabbed 13 rebounds in a game against Campbell in his first season with FAU. Averaged 6.8 ppg and 5.9 rpg as a senior.
Yemi Nicholson Fort Lewis (CO) 02 Denver 04-06 Played in only one game for Fort Lewis. Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year as a junior when he averaged 18.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 3 bpg for Denver's all-time winningest team at the DI level. Averaged 15.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg and 2.4 bpg in three-year career with the Pioneers.
Ime Oduok Pacific Christian (CA) 92 Loyola Marymount 94-96 Two-time All-WCC selection averaged 11.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg while shooting 59% from the floor during his LMU career. The Eket, Nigeria native grabbed 22 rebounds against Buffalo as a sophomore.
Billy Paultz Cameron (OK) 67 St. John's 69-70 Averaged 9.5 ppg and 5 rpg with Cameron before transferring back to the East Coast. Participated in the 1969 NCAA playoffs with the Redmen before averaging 15.8 ppg and 13.4 rpg for 1970 NIT runner-up.
Justin Rowe Clearwater (FL) Christian 99-00 Maine 02-03 Finished among the top four in the nation in blocked shots with more than four per game as a junior and senior. All-America East Conference first-team selection in 2001-02 when he led the league in field-goal shooting (59.4%). Averaged 11.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg and 4.1 bpg with the Black Bears.
Dwayne Scholten Seattle Pacific 83-84 Washington State 86-87 Led the Pacific-10 Conference with 9.2 rpg as a senior when he also contributed 11.5 ppg. Missed half of junior year because of a broken foot. Averaged 12 ppg and team-high 10.3 rpg as a sophomore with Seattle Pacific after contributing a modest 4.6 ppg and 4.6 rpg as a freshman.
Bill Sherwood 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 against Louisville in 1988 Southeast Regional. Averaged a modest 7.7 ppg and 3.9 rpg in two seasons with Oglethorpe.
Bill Simonovich Hamline (MN) 52 Minnesota 54-56 Averaged 15.3 ppg and a team-high 10.9 rpg for Minnesota as a junior in 1954-55.
Anthony Smith Clark (GA) 83 Western Kentucky 88-89 Led WKU in rebounding as a sophomore (10.4 rpg) and junior (10.1 rpg) before he was dismissed from the team. Averaged more than 11 ppg each season with the Hilltoppers. Averaged 1.5 ppg and 1.4 rpg as a freshman with Clark before joining the military. Served in the U.S. Army and played against WKU while with the Ft. Hood Tankers team before joining the Hilltoppers.
Scott Snider 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. Paced 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.
Adam Sonn Lipscomb (TN) 99 Belmont 01-03 Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year as a senior. Two-time all-league first-team selection averaged 16.1 ppg, 10.7 rpg and 3 apg with the Bruins. Runner-up for Freshman of the Year in the TranSouth Conference when he was named to the All-Newcomer team after averaging 12 ppg and 6 rpg.

Bring in the Clowns: Lame-Stream Media Looks Foolish for Preseason #1 Pick

However remote the prospect, Kentucky fans can hold out hope for a prompt turnaround because it has been achieved before. In coach Al McGuire's 1977 swan song, Marquette succeeded in the postseason despite losing an NCAA-champion high five home games, including its last three, to register the school's worst record in 10 years. But even if UK goes on to capture the SEC Tournament title and NCAA playoff championship this year under coach John Calipari, a smug media flopped more than equally-overbearing Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State) with its preseason group-think fawning over the Wildcats. Where was a "smidgeon" of bold enterprising analysis amid the diaper-dandy drivel and blue 40-0 T-shirts implying the 'Cats could go unbeaten?

Reflecting back on their pap, an insufferable groupie-like media desperate to be deemed "cool" was as unglued in the preseason as much as a dejected Calipari when ejected in second half of a loss at lowly South Carolina in the mediocre SEC. Sans point guard Ryan Harrow to sacrifice as a scapegoat, coach Cal is groping for a mature excuse comparable to fully explaining how two of his previous outposts (Massachusetts and Memphis) had their NCAA playoff participation vacated under his stewardship. There is simply no good explanation for possibly becoming the first preseason top-ranked team to finish out of the final Top 20 and first school ranked among preseason Top 5 in back-to-back seasons to finish out of both final polls. If all of UK's freshmen choose to return to college and finally focus on honing their less-than-professional skills, what will Calipari's ethical explanation be to the sizable number of undergraduate players who need to be cast adrift to make room on roster for the next greatest-of-all-time recruiting class? Will coach Cal consult again with cigar-loving President Clinton to possibly learn more about providing initiative to teenagers, interns, whatever?

Incredibly, Lindy's Yearbook was criticized last fall by Bluegrass bloviators for selecting UK (#2) and Louisville (#7) so low. Similarly, Doug Gottlieb, the lone cbssports.com "insider" failing to anoint UK as preseason #1, triggered one of the many websites needing Big Blue Nation drool buckets to claim it "understood the skepticism with ranking a team of freshmen first in a preseason poll, but when nearly everyone else in your profession believe the Wildcats are America's best team, doesn't it seem a little crazy to put them way down at No. 7 (randomly drawing teams from a hat)?" Well, how about way down out of the Top 20 after an over-hyped frosh class failed to live up to billing, enabling the "droolers" to shift their skill and moonlight helping support log rides at amusement parks across the country? No, what's big-time crazy is that, just like their respective websites, the preseason UK narrative from the slobbering stenographers all read virtually the same.

Discerning an equivalency to Ronan Farrow on training wheels, let's revisit the following widespread predictable preseason pundit plaudits replete with amateurish and snobbish historical perspectives on what comprises the "best":

Associated Press - "To say a ninth national championship is this season's goal is an understatement considering Kentucky has social media and blogs suggesting an unbeaten season is possible."

Athlon Sports - "On paper, it is the best of Calipari's five straight national-best recruiting classes. In theory, it is the greatest haul of all-time. Frontcourt is as impressive a collection of talent as you'll see. If competition fuels a team that is among the most talented the sport has ever seen, who knows what might happen? Calipari isn't shying away from 40-0 talk."

C.J. Moore, Bleacher Report - "Calipari turned the most frustrating team he's ever coached (NIT first-round defeat at Robert Morris) into the most admired by signing what could go down as the greatest recruiting class of all-time. From the NIT to the top. From flawed to flaunted."

Chris Dortch, Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook - "Top to bottom I'm not sure any team in history is as talented."

Jeff Borzello and Gary Parrish, cbssports.com - "Calipari brought in arguably the best recruiting class in the history of the sport. What Calipari is enrolling is literally the best collection of prospects anybody has ever enrolled. Ever. In history. That is not hyperbole. How could anybody not rank Kentucky No. 1? The question isn't whether UK is capable of winning it all as much as it's if UK has a chance at completing a season without losing at all."

Andy Katz, Jason King and Myron Medcalf, ESPN - "Kentucky's epic recruiting class make the Wildcats the preseason No. 1. A lot of folks have been asking if Calipari's latest batch of one-and-dones can win a national championship. My answer: How could they not? I don't understand any arguments against that (Kentucky as No. 1 team in America)."

Rob Dauster, NBC Sports (CollegeBasketballTalk) - "Kentucky is so ridiculously talented. Have we ever seen a recruiting class as strong as the one coach Cal landed this season? Have we ever seen a team amass quite the amount of talent Kentucky has amassed this year? NBA teams might as well get a six-month lease on an apartment in Lexington for the season. Kentucky is much closer to being the Kentucky of 2012 than the Kentucky of 2013."

Mike DeCourcy, Sporting News - "What the Wildcats really needed in order for their overwhelming influx of young talent - the No. 1 prospect in the 2013 class at four of the five positions - to help the team confidently challenge for an NCAA championship was physical maturity in the frontcourt along with at least a hint of veteran leadership. And they've got that now."

Luke Winn, Sports Illustrated - "The Wildcats will take aim at the Fab Five's legacy. Julius Randle, a LeBron-like freight train headed to the rim, could very well be national player of the year."

Eric Prisbell and Nicole Auerbach, USA Today - "Calipari's successful formula has been to rely heavily on freshmen, and this season should be no different. Getting ahead of ourselves? Perhaps. But some folks are going further, predicting an undefeated season or something close to that. Let's look at the "five" teams most likely to put an end to any talk of a perfect season."

Jeff Eisenberg, Yahoo Sports - "Unprecedented recruiting class might give Calipari his best chance yet to chase perfection."

We don't expect the national press to be perfect but if you don't believe there has been a dramatic dumbing down of America, then you've never seen man-on-the street segments on Jay Leno's Jaywalking, Jimmy Kimmel making fun of the news or Watters' World on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor. Unfit for much presidential "R-S-P-E-C-T" (even with Aretha singing in the background), the extent to which the ignorance stems from peer-pressure media shortcomings contaminating the scene is debatable. For those who believe the quality of play on the court is not as good as it was several decades ago, the same premise could also apply to press coverage. This is not exactly the golden age of sports media. Where is the next Dick "Hoops" Weiss or budding John Feinsteins and Alexander Wolffs of the digital/publishing world?

There are ample reasons why the majority of Americans fail to have confidence in a misguided mass media reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly. It only takes a few minutes assessing Twitter incest and the flock of fake followers to reveal much of the follow-the-pack pathetic press doing little more than kissing butts like a pack of puppies in a municipality without a dog catcher. A "climate change" hoopdom needs is a whole new set of "experts." Based on their across-the-board Kentucky preseason prognosis reminiscent of Pravda, the shameless sports scribes should be kicked in their cans because they don't care to budget a fair share of basketballs for the job and are as derelict in their duties as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Dem.-Nevada) failing again to offer a budget while calling American citizens liars for citing Obamacare deficiencies and domestic terrorists if they don't bow down and worship his colossal failures. If you like your (health-care) plan, then you can keep your plan (if counselors keep "doing the Lord's work" luring "knuckleheads" according to the First Lady)! If you like your (preseason hoops) previews, then you can keep your error-prone analysis (if "knucklehead" readers fail to do enough work to move off their butt and find more incisive impartial observations)!

We can't get any Keystone pipeline leadership, but our entitlement society can at least look forward to POTUS' postseason prognostication expertise via name-dropping ESPN manufacturing news. The "Audacity-of-Hype" Oval Office NCAA bracket selections will be as authoritative as the media's preseason kissing of the championship ring in coach Cal's back pocket. Outmaneuvered by "Peacemaker" Putin, shouldn't the West Wing be a mite more selective in how it spends its precious "FUNNYORDIE.COM" time? If so, the selfie-taking/Bush-league-blaming hoopster-in-chief wouldn't exhibit a Sgt. Schultz "I-know-nothing" routine while chronically pleading ignorance about less vital matters such as the Benghazi terrorist attack, IRS targeting of conservatives, Fast and Furious gun-running, health-care exchange ineptitude, NSA spying on allies, Justice Department snooping on national media, etc. But we can count on the know-it-all left-leaning fourth-rate estate to be there holding the powerful accountable, providing as many candid answers as I-R-Mess public servant Loser Lerner pleading the Fifth while grazing at the public trough on her six-figure retirement.

Senior Celebrations: Little and Big Things Pensive Parents Need to Know

Naturally, parental pride displayed from coast to coast during Senior Night or Day last week and this week doesn't necessarily need to stem from athletics. Amid proper priorities, your child didn't have to be the best but he had to try his level best.

A parent knows life goes on after the anticipation of a senior salute. But how can a mom and dad express appreciation for all of the memories shared together?

Adding sports as a factor makes the lessons-learned equation more complex. Culminating at bittersweet senior celebration, it takes a significant amount of resilience to endure withdrawal from all of the devotion and emotion, last-second decisive shots, motivational talks coping with occasional slump, chance to dance in postseason competition, title dream dashed in close contest, team awards banquet, etc., etc., etc.

Who would have thought the first time he picked up a ball that he would make such a difference and stand so tall? Reflecting on all they've experienced, the parent is fortunate to still have a pulse whether their offspring is a walk-on or team standout.

Rather than promoting me-myself-and-I ideals stemming from the "one-and-done" crowd likely attending more games than classes this semester, fans should ignore much of the lame-stream media by paying sufficient deference to steadfast individuals investing four years of emotion and devotion at a single school such as staying-power seniors Keith Appling (Michigan State), Cameron Bairstow (New Mexico), James Bell (Villanova), Ben Brust (Wisconsin), Bryce Cotton (Providence), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Dwayne Evans (Saint Louis), C.J. Fair (Syracuse), Joe Harris (Virginia), Justin Jackson (Cincinnati), Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), Roy Devyn Marble (Iowa), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Shabazz Napier (Connecticut), Jake Odum (Indiana State), Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Casey Prather (Florida), Russ Smith (Louisville), Chaz Williams (Massachusetts), Kendall Williams (New Mexico) and Patric Young (Florida).

It's easy enough to substitute girl for boy in the following poem portraying a parent trying to come to terms with an impending spread-their-wings departure; whether it be from high school to college or from college to the "real world." These reflections might be therapeutic if you went through a similar range of emotions amid whatever success your own flesh and blood enjoyed along the way.

Lord, there's a little thing I need to know
Where in the world did my little boy go?
Packed and ready to depart might seem totally wrong
But it's a calling taking him where he does belong
Perplexed from time to time but one thing I know today
I'm a proud parent beyond words; what more can I say
Kids go through stages but not with this sort of speed
It was only yesterday he was unable to read
Wasn't it just months ago he went from crawl to walk
Hard-headed as a mule; certainly knew how to balk
Took one day at a time raising him the very best we could
Now inspires those around him just like we believed he would
High achiever turning a corner in his life
He has got what it takes to cope with any strife
Can't carry a tune but set school shooting star records
Now, the game-of-life clock dwindles from minutes to seconds
So angels above please watch over him daily
Although some of his antics may drive you crazy
He represents everything that I value the most
For that very reason, I'm offering a toast
But if he feels sorry for himself and about to give up
Do not hesitate to give him a gentle kick in the rump
Remembering what I did wrong but at least a couple things right
Always said you could do it; just try with all your might
I just yearn to see all of his grandest plans come true
God, it's my turn to have a great commission for You
Be with him, bless him and give him nothing but success
Aid his climb up that mountain; settle for nothing less
Guide his steps in the dark and rain
Pick up the pieces and ease any pain
Time to share our best with the remainder of the world
It is much like having a family flag unfurled
How can a once infant son make grown man cry
Groping for right words trying to say goodbye
To me, he'll always be a pure and spotless lamb
Cradled in our arms or holding his little hand
If I was Elton John, I'd tell everyone this is "Your Poem"
Simply sing how wonderful life was with you in our home
My soul swells with pride at any mention of you
How long gone are you going to be; wish I knew
Sure don't believe it is at all out of line
To seek to rebound for you just one more time
Although you're going to be many miles away
I will see you in my heart each and every day
So go down that windy path; don't you dare look back
You've found faith; it will keep you on the right track
He's headed for real world and all it offers
But first, here are your final marching orders
Always do the very best you possibly can
Refuse to lose even when you don't understand
There's no telling the goals you will be able to reach
By giving proper respect to instructors who teach
Aspire each and every day you wake
Not to waste a single breath you take
Might as well let all of your ability show
Because those gifts turn to dust whenever you "go"
Don't bury your talents in the ground
Lend helping hand to those you're around
I'll never forget the times when you were all you could be
Rose to the occasion and sent playoff game to OT
Cherish all the moments - the hugs and tears
For all your passion play through these years
My little guy is bound far beyond a Final Four
Poised for more success; prosperity at his door
All things are possible; he has found out
How much I love him is what I'm thinking about
Wherever you go, you'll be best from beginning to end
To that most truthful statement, I say Amen and Amen
After Senior Night, I'll stroll into your off-limits room
Try to keep my composure when it seems like doom and gloom
You will always be on my mind
But nothing like gut-wrenching time
When I ask the Lord a big thing I need to know
Where in His big world will His maturing man go?

On This Date: Memorable Games in March College Basketball History

Existing single-game rebounding records for San Francisco (Bill Russell) and Santa Clara (Ken Sears) were set on the same day in West Coast Conference competition in 1955. In another oddity, Yale's single-game scoring and rebounding marks against a major-college opponent were established in the same game against Harvard in 1956. Following is a day-by-day calendar citing memorable moments in March college basketball history:

1 - Kentucky's Cliff Hagan (42 points vs. Georgia in 1952 semifinals) set SEC Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . New Hampshire's Matt Alosa (39 vs. Hartford in opening round of 1996 North Atlantic Conference Tournament at Newark, DE), Saint Louis' Anthony Bonner (45 at Loyola of Chicago in overtime in 1990), Southern Illinois' Dick Garrett (46 vs. Centenary in 1968) and Southern Utah's Davor Marcelic (43 at Cal State Northridge in 1991) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . In 1952, Penn State and Pittsburgh combined for only nine field-goal attempts (fewest in a game since 1938). . . . North Carolina State ended South Carolina's school-record 32-game winning streak (43-24 in 1934) and Southern Methodist's school-record 44-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Texas A&M (43-42 in 1958). . . . Tom Heinsohn (42 vs. Boston College in 1956) set Holy Cross' single-game rebounding record. . . . Chris Collier (23 vs. Centenary in 1990) set Georgia State's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
2 - San Francisco's Tim Owens (45 points vs. Loyola Marymount in 1991 quarterfinals) set WCC Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Colgate's Jonathan Stone (52 vs. Brooklyn in 1992), Eastern Michigan's Gary Tyson (47 vs. Wheaton, IL, in 1974), McNeese State's Michael Cutright (51 at Stephen F. Austin in double overtime in 1989), New Mexico's Marvin Johnson (50 vs. Colorado State in 1978) and Southern Methodist's Gene Phillips (51 at Texas in 1971) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Johnson's output is also a Western Athletic Conference record in league competition. . . . Oklahoma tied an NCAA single-game record by converting all 34 of its free-throw attempts (against Iowa State in 2013). . . . Penn State's school-record 45-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Penn (85-79 in 1955).
3 - Jacksonville's Dee Brown (41 points vs. Old Dominion in 1990 quarterfinals) set Sun Belt Conference Tournament single-game scoring record and Monmouth's Rahsaan Johnson (40 vs. St. Francis, NY, in 2000 quarterfinals) set Northeast Conference Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Drake's Philip "Red" Murrell (51 vs. Houston in overtime in 1958), Lafayette's Bobby Mantz (47 vs. Wilkes College, PA, in 1958), Maine's Jim Stephenson (54 vs. Colby in 1969), Robert Morris' Gene Nabors (38 vs. St. Francis, PA, in 2000 Northeast Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Trenton, NJ), St. John's Bob Zawoluk (65 vs. St. Peter's in 1950), Santa Clara's Carlos "Bud" Ogden (55 at Pepperdine in 1967), Temple's Bill Mlkvy (73 at Wilkes College, PA, in 1951), Tulsa's Willie Biles (48 vs. Wichita State in 1973) and UNLV's Trevor Diggs (49 vs. Wyoming in 2001) set school single-game scoring records. Diggs' output is also a Mountain West Conference record in league competition. . . . Florida State's Al Thornton (45 vs. Miami in 2007), Iona's Sean Green (43 vs. Siena in 1991) and Tennessee-Martin's Lester Hudson (42 vs. Tennessee Tech in 2009) set school single-game scoring records against a Division I opponent. . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 800 victories the fastest with a 90-86 win at Auburn in 1969 (974 games in 37th season). . . . Army's Todd Mattson (24 vs. Holy Cross in 1990), Iowa's Chuck Darling (30 vs. Wisconsin in 1952) and Minnesota's Larry Mikan (28 vs. Michigan in 1970) set school single-game rebounding records.
4 - Marshall's Skip Henderson (55 points vs. The Citadel in 1988 Southern Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Asheville, NC) and Montana State's Tom Storm (44 vs. Portland State in 1967) set school single-game scoring records. Henderson's output is also a Southern Conference Tournament single-game record. . . . William & Mary's Quinn McDowell (35 vs. James Madison in 2011 quarterfinals) set CAA Tournament single-game scoring record and Army's Mark Lueking (43 vs. Bucknell in 1995 quarterfinals) tied Patriot League Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Villanova's school-record 72-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by St. Francis, PA (70-64 in 1958). . . . San Francisco's Bill Russell (35 vs. Loyola Marymount in 1955) and Santa Clara's Ken Sears (30 vs. Pacific in 1955) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Collis Jones (25 vs. Western Michigan in 1971) set Notre Dame's single-game rebounding record against a Division I opponent. . . . One of the most tragic moments in college basketball history occurred in semifinals of 1990 West Coast Conference Tournament at Loyola Marymount when Hank Gathers, the league's all-time scoring leader and a two-time tourney MVP, collapsed and died on his home court during the Lions' game with Portland.
5 - Bradley's Hersey Hawkins (41 points vs. Indiana State in 1988 Missouri Valley quarterfinals), Holy Cross' Rob Feaster (43 vs. Navy in 1994 Patriot League semifinals) and Texas Tech's Rick Bullock (44 vs. Arkansas in 1976 SWC semifinals) set conference tournament single-game scoring records. Radford's Kenny Thomas (35 vs. UNC Asheville in 2009 semifinals) tied Big South Conference Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Cal State Northridge's Mike O'Quinn (39 vs. Eastern Washington in overtime in 1998 Big Sky Tournament quarterfinals at Northern Arizona), Cornell's George Farley (47 at Princeton in 1960), Michigan's Cazzie Russell (48 vs. Northwestern in 1966), Minnesota's Eric Magdanz (42 at Michigan in 1962) and Wichita State's Antoine Carr (47 vs. Southern Illinois in 1983) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Carnegie Tech's Melvin Cratsley set Eastern Intercollegiate Conference single-game scoring record with 34 points vs. West Virginia in 1938. . . . Boston University's Kevin Thomas (34 vs. Boston College in 1958), Pacific's Keith Swagerty (39 vs. UC Santa Barbara in 1965) and Saint Louis' Jerry Koch (38 vs. Bradley in 1954) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Baylor's Jerome Lambert (26 vs. Southern Methodist in 1994) and Wyoming's Leon Clark (24 vs. Arizona in 1966) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
6 - Texas Christian's Mike Jones (44 points vs. Fresno State in 1997 quarterfinals) set WAC Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Duquesne's Ron Guziak (50 vs. St. Francis, PA, at Altoona in 1968), Fairfield's George Groom (41 vs. Assumption in 1972), Minnesota's Ollie Shannon (42 vs. Wisconsin in 1971), Missouri's Joe Scott (46 vs. Nebraska in 1961) and Sam Houston State's Senecca Wall (45 vs. Texas-Arlington in double overtime in 2001 Southland Conference Tournament quarterfinals) set school Division I single-game scoring records.
7 - North Carolina's Len Rosenbluth (45 points vs. Clemson in 1957 quarterfinals) set ACC Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Houston Baptist's Reggie Gibbs (43 vs. Georgia Southern in 1989 TAAC Tournament quarterfinals), Lehigh's Daren Queenan (49 vs. Bucknell in double overtime in 1987 ECC Tournament semifinals at Towson State), Notre Dame's Austin Carr (61 vs. Ohio University in first round of 1970 NCAA Tournament Mideast Regional) and Rhode Island's Tom Garrick (50 vs. Rutgers in 1988 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament quarterfinals at West Virginia) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Carr's output is also an NCAA playoff single-game record and outputs by Garrick and Gibbs are single-game records in respective league tourneys. . . . Oklahoma State center Arlen Clark established an NCAA standard for most successful free throws in a game without a miss when he converted all 24 of his foul shots against Colorado in 1959. . . . In 1928, Butler beat Notre Dame, 21-13, in inaugural game at Hinkle Fieldhouse, which was the largest basketball arena in the U.S. and retained that distinction until 1950.
8 - Wright State's Bill Edwards (38 points vs. Illinois-Chicago in 1993 final) set Summit League Tournament single-game scoring record and Kentucky's Melvin Turpin (42 vs. Georgia in 1984 quarterfinals) tied SEC Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Harvard's Brady Merchant (45 vs. Brown in 2003), Miami of Ohio's Ron Harper (45 vs. Ball State in 1985 Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals) and Vanderbilt's Tom Hagan (44 at Mississippi State in 1969) set school single-game scoring records. Harper's output is also a MAC Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Brown's Gerry Alaimo (26 vs. Rhode Island in 1958) and Georgia's Bob Lienhard (29 vs. Louisiana State in 1969) set school single-game rebounding records against a Division I opponent.
9 - Greg Ballard (43 points at Oral Roberts in 1977 NIT first round) set Oregon's single-game scoring record. . . . Marcus Mann (28 vs. Jackson State in 1996) set Mississippi Valley State's single-game rebounding record against a Division I opponent.
10 - North Texas State's Kenneth Lyons (47 points vs. Louisiana Tech in 1983 Southland quarterfinals), Northwestern's Michael Thompson (35 vs. Minnesota in 2011 Big Ten opening round) and Washington State's Klay Thompson (43 vs. Washington in 2011 Pac-12 quarterfinals) set single-game scoring records in their respective conference tournaments. Lyons' output is also a school single-game scoring record. . . . Paul Williams (45 at Southern California in 1983) set Arizona State's single-game scoring record. . . . John Lee (41 vs. Harvard in 1956) set Yale's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Lamar's school-record 80-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Louisiana Tech (68-65 in 1984 SLC Tournament). . . . Ed Robinson (32 vs. Harvard in 1956) set Yale's single-game rebounding record.
11 - Connecticut's Donyell Marshall (42 points vs. St. John's in 1994 Big East quarterfinals), Texas Tech's Mike Singletary (43 vs. Texas A&M in 2009 Big 12 opening round) and Cal State Fullerton's Josh Akognon (37 vs. UC Riverside in 2009 Big West opening round) set single-game scoring records in their respective conference tournaments. . . . Brigham Young's Jimmer Fredette (52 vs. New Mexico in 2011 Mountain West Tournament semifinals at Las Vegas), Montana's Anthony Johnson (42 at Weber State in 2010 Big Sky Tournament final) and Nebraska's Eric Piatkowski (42 vs. Oklahoma in 1994 Big Eight Tournament quarterfinals at Kansas City) set school single-game scoring records. Outputs for Fredette, Johnson and Piatkowski are also single-game scoring records in their respective conference tourneys. . . . Indiana (95) and Michigan (57) combined for an NCAA single-game record of 152 rebounds in 1961. . . . Walt Bellamy (33 vs. Michigan in 1961) set Indiana's single-game rebounding record.
12 - Bradley's Bob Carney (23 against Colorado in 1954 regional semifinals) set NCAA Tournament single-game record by converting 23 free-throw attempts. . . . Texas-El Paso's Stefon Jackson (38 points vs. Houston in 2009 quarterfinals) set Conference USA Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . DePaul's George Mikan (53 vs. Rhode Island State in 1945 NIT semifinals), Fairleigh Dickinson's Elijah Allen (43 vs. Connecticut in 1998 NCAA Tournament first round) and Navy's David Robinson (50 vs. Michigan in first round of 1987 NCAA Tournament East Regional) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Syracuse outlasted Connecticut, 127-117, in six overtimes in 2009 Big East Conference Tournament quarterfinals in longest postseason game in NCAA history.
13 - Vermont's Taylor Coppenrath (43 points vs. Maine in 2004 final) set America East Conference Tournament single-game scoring record.
14 - Louisville's Russ Smith (42 points vs. Houston in 2014 semifinals) set American Athletic Conference Tournament single-game scoring record.
15 - Andrew Goudelock (39 points vs. Dayton in 2011 NIT first round) set College of Charleston's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent.
16 - Kentucky's Kenny Walker (11-of-11 vs. Western Kentucky in 1986 second round) became only player in NCAA Tournament history to make all of more than 10 field-goal attempts in a single playoff game. . . . Temple's Fred Cohen (34 vs. Connecticut in 1956 NCAA Tournament East Regional semifinals) set a school and NCAA Tournament single-game rebounding record. . . . Nate Thurmond (31 vs. Mississippi State in 1963 Mideast Regional third-place game) set Bowling Green's single-game rebounding record against a Division I opponent.
17 - Texas' Travis Mays (23-of-27 vs. Georgia in 1990 first round) tied NCAA Tournament single-game record for most free-throws made. . . . Maurice Stokes (43 points vs. Dayton in 1955 NIT semifinals) set Saint Francis (PA) single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . In 1939, Villanova defeated Brown, 42-30, in the first NCAA Tournament game ever played. . . . Al Inniss (37 vs. Lafayette in 1956 NIT first round) set St. Francis (NY) single-game rebounding record.
18 - Loyola Marymount's Jeff Fryer (11 three-pointers vs. Michigan in 1990 second round) became only player in NCAA playoff history to make more than 10 three-point field-goals in a single playoff game.
19 - Louisiana State's Shaquille O'Neal (11 rejections vs. Brigham Young in 1992 first round) set NCAA Tournament single-game record for most blocked shots.
20 - Michigan State's Adrien Payne (17-for-17 from free-throw line vs. Delaware in 2014 opener) set NCAA Tournament single-game record for most successful foul shots without a miss.
21 - UNC Wilmington's John Goldsberry became only player in NCAA Tournament history to make as many as eight three-pointers without a miss in single playoff game (against Maryland in 2003 first round).
22 - The only time in major-college history two undefeated major colleges met in a national postseason tournament was the 1939 NIT final between Loyola of Chicago and Long Island University (LIU won, 44-32). . . . University of Chicago ended Penn's school-record 31-game winning streak (28-24 in 1920) and LIU ended Seton Hall's school-record 41-game winning streak (49-26 in 1941 NIT semifinals).
23 - Hal Lear (48 points vs. Southern Methodist in 1956 NCAA Tournament third-place game) set Temple's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent.
24 - Askia Jones (62 points vs. Fresno State in 1994 NIT quarterfinals) set Kansas State's single-game scoring record.
28 - UNLV's Mark Wade (18 vs. Indiana in 1987 national semifinals) set NCAA Tournament single-game record for most assists.
30 - Princeton's Bill Bradley (58 points vs. Wichita State in 1965 NCAA Tournament national third-place game) and Siena's Doremus Bennerman (51 vs. Kansas State in 1994 NIT third-place game at Madison Square Garden) set school single-game scoring records.

Memorable Moments in February College Basketball History

Memorable Moments in January College Basketball History

Memorable Moments in December College Basketball History

Memorable Moments in November College Basketball History

Blessing in Disguise: Would Wichita Rather Have Turgeon Coaching Shockers?

Unless you're clairvoyant, there is no reason to get exorcised about a coach departing for another apparently better situation. For instance, there was considerable angst among Gonzaga loyalists after a 28-7 record in 1998-99 when Dan Monson left the Zags for Minnesota. Although successor Mark Few boasted no prior DI head coaching experience, all he did the past 15 seasons was become one of the most successful mentors in NCAA history.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Mark Turgeon was hailed with Wichita State before plying his trade in a couple of power conferences. But after what has transpired the past three campaigns, would Shocker fans prefer having Turgeon at their helm rather than Gregg Marshall? It is doubtful that any of the following schools would want a do-over after a successful bench boss abandoned ship seeking greener pastures in a power alliance:

School Success Summary of Current Coach Predecessor's Subsequent Struggles
Colorado Tad Boyle won more than 20 games each of first four seasons. Jeff Bzdelik compiled a losing record with Wake Forest.
Creighton Greg McDermott won more than 25 games each of last three seasons whether in MVC or Big East. Dana Altman posted two losing league records with Oregon.
Iona Tim Cluess compiled four consecutive 20-win campaigns. Kevin Willard compiled losing Big East Conference record each of first four seasons with Seton Hall.
Kansas State Bruce Weber tied KU for Big 12 regular-season title last season and appears bound for an NCAA playoff berth this year. A powerful magnifying glass is needed to discern any significant progress South Carolina has made in a mediocre SEC under Frank Martin.
Miami (Fla.) Jim Larranaga notched a school all-time best 29-7 worksheet last season. Frank Haith's dismal postseason record is expected to continue with this year's disappointing Mizzou squad.
Massachusetts Derek Kellogg won more than 20 games each of last three seasons. Travis Ford registered one NCAA playoff win in first five years with Oklahoma State before Pokes' turmoil this season.
Virginia Commonwealth Shaka Smart won at least 27 games each of previous four seasons. Anthony Grant notched no NCAA Tournament triumph in first five seasons with Alabama.
Wichita State Gregg Marshall averaged more than 30 victories annually over the last three seasons. Mark Turgeon has a minimum of 13 defeats and no NCAA playoff appearances in first three years with Maryland after stint at Texas A&M.

Family Honor Code: In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Post

An old adage portends that "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." You know the father-son deal whether they boasted big-man credentials enabling them to dominate in the post or were adept as a playmaker driving to the post! A challenging dynamic exists when playing for the same school where your dad was a standout. Whether or not it's a fair sampling (majority of dads are better), comparing the following father-son duos might provide a window depicting when the quality of play was superior.

The Marble Collection (Roy and Roy Devyn) is posting headlines at Iowa although the Hoskets from Ohio State (Wilmer Clemens and Bill) decades ago are the only father-son combination to become All-Big Ten Conference first-team selections. Next season, the next Big Ten family affair for the same school making the most impact probably will be at Purdue (son Kendall Stephens following in footsteps of father Everette).

Marques Johnson was the third-leading scorer and fourth-leading rebounder for UCLA's 1975 NCAA champion and son Kris was a backup freshman for the Bruins' 1995 titlist. They are the only father-son duo to capture NCAA crowns for the same institution, propelling them atop the list of father-son combos. At any rate, there is something in the family DNA for the following all-time father-son tandems making the most impact for same major university factoring in how long they attended school:

Rank Family School Father's College Career Summary Son's College Career Summary
1. Johnson UCLA Marques, the national player of the year as a senior, averaged 14.4 ppg and 7.8 rpg from 1973-74 through 1976-77. Kris averaged 11.6 ppg and 3.7 rpg from 1994-95 through 1997-98.
2. Marble Iowa Roy, a three-time All-Big Ten Conference selection and the Hawkeyes' all-time leading scorer (2,116 points), averaged 15.8 ppg and 5 rpg from 1985-86 through 1988-89. Roy Devyn averaged 12 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.7 apg and 1.3 spg from 2010-11 through 2013-14, ranking among the school's all-time top seven in points, rebounds, assists and steals.
3. Burtt Iona Steve Sr., a two-time MAAC MVP, became the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,534 points by finishing among nation's top 17 scorers each of his last three seasons from 1981-82 through 1983-84. Steve Jr., a three-time All-MAAC selection, is school runner-up with 2,034 points from 2002-03 through 2005-06, finishing seventh in country in scoring as a senior.
4. Paxson Dayton James, a starter for two NIT runner-up teams, averaged 10.9 ppg and 7.6 rpg in three seasons in mid-1950s. Jim, an All-American as a senior, averaged 18 ppg and 4.5 rpg from 1975-76 through 1978-79.
5. Perry Holy Cross Ronnie Sr. averaged 13.6 ppg from 1951-52 through 1953-54. Ronnie Jr., a three-time All-American, averaged 23.2 ppg and 3.9 apg while shooting 88.5% at free-throw line from 1976-77 through 1979-80.
6. Hosket Ohio State Wilmer Clemens was named to third five on College Humor Magazine A-A in 1932-33 when he was fourth-leading scorer in Big Ten (8 ppg) as member of league co-champion. Bill, a member of the U.S. Olympic squad after appearing in Final Four as a senior, averaged 19.5 ppg and 12.3 rpg in three seasons from 1965-66 through 1967-68.
7. Haws Brigham Young Marty, an All-WAC first-team selection as a senior when leading the Cougars in scoring with 18.5 ppg, averaged 10.9 ppg and 4.1 apg from 1986-87 through 1989-90. Tyler averaged 18.6 ppg and 4.3 rpg in his first three seasons, ranking among the nation's top seven scorers as a sophomore and junior.
8. Rautins Syracuse Leo, who led the Orangemen in rebounds and assists as a senior when he was an All-Big East Conference third-team selection, averaged 12.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 5 apg from 1980-81 through 1982-83 after transferring from Minnesota. Andy, an All-Big East second-team selection as a senior, averaged 8.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.7 apg and 1.4 spg from 2005-06 through 2009-10.
9. Brewer Arkansas Ron, an All-American as a senior for a 1978 Final Four team, averaged 15.8 ppg and 3.3 rpg after one season at JC level. Ronnie, a two-time All-SEC selection, averaged 15.7 ppg and 5 rpg from 2003-04 through 2005-06 before declaring early for NBA draft.
10. Robinzine DePaul William Sr. averaged 15.3 ppg in 1954-55 and 1955-56. William Jr. averaged 16.6 ppg and 11.4 rpg from 1972-73 through 1974-75, including team highs of 19.4 ppg and 13.5 rpg as a senior.
11. Young Houston Michael, an All-American as a senior, was top scorer for back-to-back Final Four teams featuring Akeem Olajuwon (1983 and 1984), averaging 18.6 ppg over final two years. Joseph averaged 14.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 2.4 apg in 2011-12 and 2012-13 with UH before transferring to Oregon.
12. Warren North Carolina State Tony Sr. averaged 9.3 ppg and 4.3 rpg from 1976-77 through 1978-79 under coach Norm Sloan, leading Wolfpack in field-goal percentage as junior. Tony "T.J." Jr. was an All-American and ACC Player of the Year as sophomore in 2013-14 before declaring early for NBA draft.
13. Price Oklahoma Dennis averaged 10.9 ppg from 1957-58 through 1959-60. Brent averaged 18 ppg and 5.8 apg for the Sooners in 1990-91 and 1991-92 after transferring from South Carolina.
14. Hummer Princeton Edward, a Final Four teammate of All-American Bill Bradley before becoming an All-Ivy League second-team selection, averaged 10.2 ppg and 7 rpg from 1964-65 through 1966-67. Ian, a three-time All-Ivy League selection, averaged 13.2 ppg and 5.9 rpg from 2009-10 through 2012-13.
15. Cox San Francisco Chubby, setting stage for first father-son tandem to both be two-time all-conference selection for same school in same league, averaged team-high 5.4 apg in each of his final two seasons in 1976-77 and 1977-78. John averaged 15.8 ppg and 4.2 rpg from 2001-02 through 2004-05, leading the WCC in scoring as a senior.
16. Evans Oklahoma Eddie averaged 11.9 ppg from 1960-61 through 1962-63, including a team-high 16.4 ppg as a senior. Terry averaged 11.1 ppg and 5.3 apg from 1989-90 through 1992-93, setting school records in assists (628) and three-point field goals (259).
17. Raivio Portland Rick, a three-time All-WCAC selection who led the Pilots in FG% all four seasons, finished as their all-time leading rebounder (910/9.4 rpg) while averaging 17.2 ppg before becoming 1980 fifth-round draft choice by L.A. Lakers. Nik, a J.C. recruit, was an All-WCC selection as a junior in 2008-09 when he averaged 16 ppg and 6.5 rpg before heading overseas to play professionally after concluding his college career with 14.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg.
18. Temple Louisiana State Collis Jr., the first African-American varsity player in LSU history in 1971-72, averaged 10.1 ppg and 8.1 rpg in three seasons, ranking second in SEC in rebounding (11.1 rpg) and seventh in field-goal shooting (54.9%) as a senior. Collis III averaged 10.2 ppg from 1999-00 through 2002-03, including career-high 14.3 ppg as sophomore when he scored 30 points in regular-season finale at Tennessee. Garrett was defensive whiz for 2006 Final Four club before becoming an All-SEC second-team pick as senior in 2008-09.
19. Ainge Brigham Young Danny, a three-time All-American who averaged 20.9 ppg, was named national player of the year as a senior in 1980-81. Austin posted career highs of 9.5 ppg and 4.1 apg as a sophomore in 2004-05 en route to career marks of 6.6 ppg and 3.5 apg.
20. Guokas St. Joseph's Matt Sr. was tallest player and an original member of the famed "Mighty Mites" who asserted themselves in the Philly Big Five by winning 54 of 71 games in the late 1930s. Matt Jr. averaged 15.4 ppg and 4.6 rpg for the Hawks in 1964-65 and 1965-66 after transferring from Miami (Fla.).
21. Komives Bowling Green Howard averaged 25.8 ppg from 1961-62 through 1963-64, leading nation in scoring as senior All-American with 36.7 ppg. Shane averaged 10.6 ppg from 1992-93 through 1995-96, including career-high 14.3 ppg as a sophomore.
22. Ellis San Francisco Joe, a three-time All-WCAC first-team selection from 1963-64 through 1965-66, averaged 13.5 ppg and 8.9 rpg. Kevin averaged 9.1 ppg and 3 rpg his final two seasons in 1988-89 and 1989-90.
23. Springer Iona Gary Sr., a three-time All-MAAC selection, averaged 15.4 ppg and 8.4 rpg from 1980-81 through 1983-84. Gary Jr., an All-MAAC third-team selection as a senior in 2008-09, averaged 7.6 ppg and 5.2 rpg.
24. Becker Arizona State Art, a two-time All-WAC selection, averaged 15.7 ppg and 9 rpg from 1961-62 through 1963-64, ranks among school career leaders in rebound average, FG% (52.4) and FT% (79.7). Teammate of Joe Caldwell had two games with more than 20 points and 20 rebounds as a junior when leading team with 11.2 rpg. Mark averaged 8.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg from 1986-87 through 1989-90, leading team in rebounding as a sophomore with 5.5 per game.
25. Henry Kansas Carl, an OCU transfer, averaged 17.1 ppg and 6.4 rpg in 1982-83 and 1983-84 as a two-time All-Big Eight Conference selection. Xavier, an All-Big 12 Conference Rookie Team choice, averaged 13.4 ppg and 4.4 rpg as freshman in 2009-10 before leaving school early for NBA draft.
26. Frederick South Carolina Zam Sr. led nation in scoring as a senior in 1980-81 with 28.9 ppg to finish career with 13.7 ppg. Zam II, an All-SEC second-team selection as a senior, averaged 15.1 ppg with the Gamecocks in 2007-08 and 2008-09 after transferring from Georgia Tech.
27. Payne Iowa Tom was leading the Hawkeyes in scoring and rebounding at end of first semester of junior season (1956-57) when declared academically ineligible. Michael averaged 9.6 ppg and 7.3 rpg from 1981-82 through 1984-85, pacing team in rebounding his first two seasons.
28. Howard Brigham Young Orin was a multi-sport Hall of Famer for the school in the 1920s. Doug, a second-team All-WAC selection as a junior in 1968-69 (15.4 ppg, 4 rpg, 85.3 FT%) and senior in 1969-70 (18.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 85.3 FT%) led Cougars in scoring his last two years.
29. Butler Richmond Jeff, a transfer from Robert Morris (Pa.) when it was a junior college, led UR in scoring and rebounding in 1975-76 and 1976-77, averaging 15.2 ppg and 9.6 rpg. Ryan, a starter much of stint from 2006-07 through 2009-10, finished his career fifth in total steals and three-pointers, averaging 6.6 ppg and 2.8 rpg.
30. Ewing Georgetown Patrick Sr., the national player of the year as a senior, averaged 15.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg from 1981-82 through 1984-85. Patrick Jr. averaged 5.1 ppg and 3.1 rpg with the Hoyas in 2006-07 and 2007-08 after transferring from Indiana.
31. Valentine Michigan State Carlton was the Spartans' leading scorer and rebounder as a senior in 1987-88, finishing his career with 8.5 ppg and 4.1 rpg. Denzel averaged 6.2 ppg and 5 rpg for NCAA playoff teams in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
32. Stockton Gonzaga John, MVP of the WCAC as a senior, averaged 12.5 ppg and 5.2 apg from 1980-81 through 1983-84. David averaged 4.6 ppg and 2.9 apg for four NCAA playoff teams from 2010-11 through 2013-14.
33. Mimlitz St. Louis Jack, a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection, averaged 14.2 ppg from 1955-56 through 1957-58. Ted averaged 7 ppg for SLU in 1985-86 and 1986-87 after transferring from Missouri.
34. Morningstar Kansas Roger, runner-up in scoring for a Final Four squad, averaged 11.7 ppg and 4.8 rpg in 1973-74 and 1974-75 after transferring from a junior college. Brady averaged 5.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg and 2.6 apg from 2006-07 through 2010-11.
35. Shepherd Butler Bill Sr. averaged 5.9 ppg in 1947-48 and 6.6 ppg in 1948-49. Billy Jr., who scored 49 points in a game at Arizona as a junior, averaged 24.1 ppg from 1969-70 through 1971-72 (career-low senior mark of 19.3 ppg while contributing team-high 5.8 apg).
36. Fife Michigan Dan averaged 12.6 ppg and 4.9 rpg from 1968-69 through 1970-71. Dugan, a backup on the last Fab Five Final Four team, averaged 4.6 ppg and 2 rpg from 1992-93 through 1995-96.
37. Suttle Pepperdine Dane Sr., co-MVP of the WCAC as a senior, averaged 16.2 ppg from 1979-80 through 1982-83 before playing briefly in NBA. Dane Jr. averaged 5.6 ppg from 2009-10 through 2011-12.
38. Rose Houston Lynden, a J.C. recruit who became co-captain of 1982 Final Four squad, averaged 7.5 ppg and 3.3 apg. L.J. averaged 8.1 ppg and 5.1 apg as a UH sophomore in 2013-14 after transferring from Baylor.
39. Wilkins Illinois State Jeff averaged 16.4 ppg and 9.8 rpg from 1974-75 through 1976-77, leading team in scoring, rebounding and FG% as a senior before becoming an NBA second-round draft choice. John, a J.C. transfer, averaged 7.1 ppg and 3.8 rpg from 2010-11 through 2012-13.
40. Whitehead Louisville Eddie averaged 5.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg from 1963-64 through 1965-66, finishing runner-up in rebounding behind All-American Wes Unseld as a senior. Luke averaged 9.1 ppg and 3.8 rpg from 2000-01 through 2003-04, including NCAA playoff squads his final two seasons (leading rebounder and runner-up in scoring as senior).
41. Mills Kentucky Terry averaged 6.7 ppg for three NCAA Tournament teams from 1968-69 through 1970-71. Cameron, who averaged 4.3 ppg from 1994-95 through 1996-97, led UK in three-point FG% as a junior when he averaged 11.8 ppg in the NCAA playoffs.
42. Sutton Oklahoma State Eddie averaged 6.6 ppg and 2.6 rpg while shooting 82.1% from free-throw line in the late 1950s. Sean, pacing the Pokes in assists and three-point shooting both seasons, averaged 11 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 4.4 apg in 1990-91 and 1991-92 for two NCAA playoff teams after transferring from UK.
43. Melchionni Duke Gary averaged 10.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg from 1970-71 through 1972-73. Lee averaged 4.5 ppg and 2.2 rpg while shooting 35.9% from beyond the arc from 2002-03 through 2005-06.
44. Altenberger Illinois Bill averaged 7.7 ppg from 1954-55 through 1956-57. Doug averaged 9.6 ppg from 1982-83 through 1986-87, including 13.6 ppg as a senior when he was an All-Big Ten third-team selection.
45. McElwain Stanford Les played in early 1930s. Mal averaged 10.9 ppg and 6.3 rpg as a three-year starting forward in late 1960s.
46. Urzetta St. Bonaventure Sam, who led the nation in FT% as a sophomore and senior, averaged 6.2 ppg from 1946-47 through 1949-50. Nick averaged 8.7 ppg in late 1970s.
47. Vopicka Illinois James was second-leading scorer in 1935-36 and a starter on 1936-37 club tying for Big Ten title. Jim averaged 5.7 ppg in 1963-64 and 3.8 ppg in 1964-65.
48. Christensen Brigham Young Harold, a member of 1951 NIT championship team, averaged 7.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg before he was chosen by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1953 NBA draft. Todd averaged 5.8 ppg in 1995-96, 1998-99 and 1999-00.
49. Parkinson Purdue Bruce, an All-Big Ten first-team selection as a junior, averaged 10.9 ppg and 4.3 rpg from 1972-73 through 1976-77. Austin averaged 2.2 ppg and 3.2 apg from 2000-01 through 2003-04.
T50. Hall Vanderbilt Jerry Don averaged 6.3 ppg and 1.7 rpg from 1960-61 through 1962-63. Dan, who led Vandy in rebounding as a sophomore, averaged 7.1 ppg and 4.7 rpg in 1989-90 and from 1991-92 through 1993-94.
T50. Craig Brigham Young Robert, a member of 1951 NIT titlist, averaged 3.5 ppg in 1949-50 and 1950-51. Steve, a teammate of All-American Danny Ainge, averaged 7.2 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 1975-76 and from 1978-79 through 1980-81.

Last of the Unbeatens: Odds Showed It Would Be Shocker If Wichita Won Title

Wichita State, the last unbeaten team this season (only squad ever to win as many as 35 games until bowing against Kentucky in second round of NCAA Tournament), should have known all good things must come to an end. No NCAA Division I men's team has compiled an undefeated record since Indiana in 1975-76. Historical odds came into play and were against the Shockers winning the NCAA title because only three final undefeated teams in the previous 36 years (Duke '92, UConn '99 and Florida '06) went on to capture the national crown. Only 1/3 of the first 37 teams (two in 1991-92) since IU '76 in this category reached the Final Four.

Clemson, losing nine of 11 games upon incurring its initial setback in 2006-07, is the only school in the last-of-the-unbeaten category to fail to participate in the NCAA playoffs. The Tigers, shaky down the stretch in the regular season akin to POTUS facing off against Putin, finished runner-up in the NIT.

Two years ago, Murray State became the 10th of these 37 last-remaining-standing teams to suffer their first defeat at home. Following are vital facts on final unbeaten teams since the Hoosiers in 1975-76 (in reverse order):

Season Last Unbeaten (Wins) First Defeat Date Score Final Record/Postseason
2013-14 Wichita State (35)* Kentucky 3-23-14 78-76 35-1/Second Round
2012-13 Michigan (16) at Ohio State 1-13-13 56-53 31-8/NCAA Runner-up
2011-12 Murray State (23)* Tennessee State 2-9-12 72-68 31-2/Second Round
2010-11 Ohio State (24) at Wisconsin 2-12-11 71-67 34-3/Regional Semifinal
2009-10 Kentucky (19) at South Carolina 1-26-10 68-62 35-3/Regional Final
2008-09 Wake Forest (16) Virginia Tech 1-21-09 78-71 24-7/First Round
2007-08 Memphis (26) Tennessee 2-23-08 66-62 38-2/National Runner-up
2006-07 Clemson (17)* at Maryland 1-13-07 92-87 25-11/NIT Runner-up
2005-06 Florida (17)* at Tennessee 1-21-06 80-76 33-6/NCAA Champion
2004-05 Illinois (29)* at Ohio State 3-6-05 65-64 37-2/NCAA Runner-up
2003-04 Saint Joseph's (27)* vs. Xavier 3-11-04 87-67 30-2/Regional Final
2002-03 Duke (12) at Maryland 1-18-03 87-72 26-7/Regional Semifinal
2001-02 Duke (12) at Florida State 1-6-02 77-76 31-4/Regional Semifinal
2000-01 Stanford (20) UCLA 2-3-01 79-73 31-3/Regional Final
1999-00 Syracuse (19) Seton Hall 2-7-00 69-67 26-6/Regional Semifinal
1998-99 Connecticut (19) Syracuse 2-1-99 59-42 34-2/NCAA Champion
1997-98 Utah (18) at New Mexico 2-1-98 77-74 30-4/NCAA Runner-up
1996-97 Kansas (22) at Missouri (2OT) 2-4-97 96-94 34-2/Regional Semifinal
1995-96 Massachusetts (26)* George Washington 2-24-96 86-76 35-2/NCAA Semifinal
1994-95 Connecticut (15) at Kansas 1-28-95 88-59 28-5/Regional Final
1993-94 UCLA (14) at California 1-30-94 85-70 21-7/First Round
1992-93 Virginia (11) at North Carolina 1-20-93 80-58 21-10/Regional Semifinal
1991-92 Duke (17) at North Carolina 2-5-92 75-73 34-2/NCAA Champion
1991-92 Oklahoma State (20) at Nebraska 2-5-92 85-69 28-8/Regional Semifinal
1990-91 UNLV (34) vs. Duke 3-30-91 79-77 34-1/NCAA Semifinal
1989-90 Georgetown (14) at Connecticut 1-20-90 70-65 24-7/Second Round
1988-89 Illinois (17) at Minnesota 1-26-89 69-62 31-5/NCAA Semifinal
1987-88 Brigham Young (17)* at UAB 2-6-88 102-83 26-6/Sweet 16
1986-87 DePaul (16) at Georgetown 1-25-87 74-71 28-3/Regional Semifinal
1985-86 Memphis State (20) at Virginia Tech 2-1-86 76-72 28-6/Second Round
1984-85 Georgetown (18) St. John's 1-26-85 66-65 35-3/NCAA Runner-up
1983-84 North Carolina (21) vs. Arkansas 2-12-84 65-64 28-3/Regional Semifinal
1982-83 UNLV (24) at Cal State Fullerton 2-24-83 86-78 28-3/Second Round
1981-82 Missouri (19) Nebraska 2-6-82 67-51 27-4/Regional Semifinal
1980-81 Oregon State (26)* Arizona State 3-7-81 87-67 26-2/Second Round
1979-80 DePaul (26)* at Notre Dame (2OT) 2-27-80 76-74 26-2/Second Round
1978-79 Indiana State (33)* vs. Michigan State 3-26-79 75-64 33-1/NCAA Runner-up
1977-78 Kentucky (14) at Alabama 1-23-78 78-62 30-2/NCAA Champion
1976-77 San Francisco (29) at Notre Dame 3-5-77 93-82 29-2/First Round

*All-time top winning streaks.
NOTES: Indiana State lost in NCAA Tournament championship game at Salt Lake City. . . . North Carolina lost in Pine Bluff, Ark. . . . Saint Joseph's lost in Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Dayton. . . . UNLV lost against Duke in 1991 NCAA Tournament national semifinals in Indianapolis. . . . Wichita State lost against Kentucky in 2014 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Second Round in St. Louis.

Shock the World: Wichita Aspires to Avoid Repeat of What It Did to Zags

A weekly ritual began on January 18, 1949, when the Associated Press announced the results of the first weekly basketball poll. Cliff Clavin might be the only individual knowing St. Louis was ranked atop the initial poll. The Billikens, who have never been a member of a power league, placed third in the final rankings. They returned to the Top 10 recently for the first time in nearly 50 years (early in 1964-65 when Wichita State was briefly atop the national poll).

We've traversed from one mid-level school all the way to a couple more - (Gonzaga) last year and possibly Wichita State this season. After the Zags won the 2013 WCC Tournament, they became the ninth mid-major school entering the NCAA playoffs ranked #1 before being shocked by the Shockers in the second round of the tourney. This year, WSU could be bound to become No. 10 in this category if it remains unbeaten through the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

The term "mid-major" annoys some loyalists. But following is a chronological list assessing what happened to nationally top-ranked teams that haven't been members of one of the generally-accepted power conferences since AP national rankings were introduced in the late 1940s:

Season Date(s) Mid-Major Ranked #1 Score Team(s) Upsetting #1 Final AP Ranking (Record)
1948-49 1-20-49 St. Louis 29-27 in OT at Oklahoma A&M 3rd (22-4)
1949-50 3-4-50 Holy Cross 61-54 at Columbia 4th (27-4)
1949-50 3-28-50 Bradley 71-68 CCNY at New York in NCAA Tournament final 1st (32-5)
1950-51 12-9-50 CCNY 54-37 Missouri unranked
1950-51 1-11-51 Bradley 68-59 at St. John's 6th (32-6)
1952-53 1-17-53 La Salle 68-62 at DePaul 6th (25-3)
1953-54 2-26/27-54 Duquesne 66-52 & 64-54 at Cincinnati and Dayton 5th (26-3)
1954-55 12-18-54 La Salle 79-69 Utah 3rd (26-5)
1955-56 San Francisco (29-0) was ranked #1 entire season.
1963-64 12-27-63 Loyola (Ill.) 69-58 Georgetown at Philadelphia in Quaker City Tournament 8th (22-6)
1964-65 12-14-64 Wichita State 87-85 Michigan at Detroit unranked (21-9)
1967-68 3-22/23-68 Houston 101-69 & 89-85 UCLA and Ohio State at Final Four in Los Angeles 1st (31-2)
1978-79 3-26-79 Indiana State 75-64 Michigan State at Salt Lake City in NCAA Tournament final 1st (33-1)
1982-83 1-10-83 Memphis State 69-56 at Virginia Tech 17th (23-8)
1982-83 2-24/27-83 UNLV 86-78 & 87-78 at Cal State Fullerton and West Virginia 6th (28-3)
1982-83 4-4-83 Houston 54-52 North Carolina State at Albuquerque in NCAA Tournament final 1st (31-3)
1986-87 1-17-87 UNLV 89-88 at Oklahoma 1st (37-2)
1986-87 3-28-87 UNLV 97-93 Indiana at New Orleans in NCAA Tournament national semifinals 1st (37-2)
1987-88 3-26-88 Temple 63-53 Duke at East Rutherford, NJ, in NCAA Tournament East Regional final 1st (32-2)
1990-91 3-30-91 UNLV 79-77 Duke at Indianapolis in NCAA Tournament national semifinals 1st (34-1)
1994-95 12-3-94 Massachusetts 81-75 Kansas at Anaheim 7th (29-5)
1994-95 2-4-95 Massachusetts 78-75 at George Washington 7th (29-5)
1995-96 2-24-96 Massachusetts 86-76 George Washington 1st (35-2)
1995-96 3-30-96 Massachusetts 81-74 Kentucky at East Rutherford, NJ, in NCAA Tournament national semifinals 1st (35-2)
2003-04 3-11-04 St. Joseph's 87-67 Xavier at Dayton in Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals 5th (30-2)
2007-08 2-23-08 Memphis 66-62 Tennessee 2nd (38-2)
2012-13 3-23-13 Gonzaga 76-70 Wichita State at Salt Lake City in NCAA Tournament second round 1st (30-2)

Boston College Finishes Season With Worst Mark for Team Upsetting No. 1

Will there be an ex-cuse? Boston College (8-24), despite posting the season's biggest upset with a win at Syracuse, has the dubious distinction of finishing a season with the worst mark for a team knocking off the nation's top-ranked club. Two separate Nebraska teams in an eight-year span from 1958 through 1965 finished with an overall losing record despite knocking off a nationally top-ranked club during the same season. BC, the only school in this losing-record group to beat a top-ranked foe on the road, joined the following chronological list of 10 opponents finishing a campaign with a sub-.500 mark despite upending a #1 team:

  • Northwestern (9-13 record in 1953-54; tied for fifth place in Big Ten; defeated Indiana, 100-90, on 2-13-54 for second of five straight conference victories after the Wildcats lost eight of their previous nine outings)

  • Nebraska (10-13 record in 1957-58; tied for fourth place in Big Seven; defeated Kansas State, 55-48, on 3-3-58 for the Huskers' fourth straight league victory after dropping eight of their first nine)

  • Maryland (10-13 record in 1958-59; tied for third place in ACC; defeated North Carolina, 69-51, on 2-21-59 after the Terrapins lost six of their previous seven games)

  • Nebraska (10-15 record in 1964-65; tied for sixth place in Big Eight; defeated Michigan, 74-73, on 12-12-64 before the Huskers lost 10 of their next 13 games)

  • Washington (11-16 record in 1978-79; tied for eighth place in Pacific-10; defeated UCLA, 69-68, on 2-22-79 as the Huskies lost 11 of their last 15 league games)

  • Wake Forest (13-15 record in 1988-89; seventh-place finish in ACC; defeated Duke, 75-71, on 1-21-89 in the midst of a streak where the Deacons lost six of eight games)

  • Clemson (12-19 record in 2000-01; ninth-place/last-place finish in ACC; defeated North Carolina, 75-65, on 2-18-01 to snap an eight-game losing streak in league competition for the Tigers before they subsequently lost four more in a row)

  • Florida State (12-17 record in 2001-02; tied for seventh place in ACC; defeated Duke, 77-76, on 1-6-02 before the Seminoles lost 12 of their last 16 games)

  • South Carolina (15-16 record in 2009-10; fifth-place finish in Eastern Division of SEC; defeated Kentucky, 68-62, on 1-26-10 to snap a three-game losing streak in league competition for the Gamecocks)

  • Boston College (8-24 record in 2013-14; 14th place in ACC; defeated Syracuse, 62-59, on 2-19-14 after cellar dweller Virginia Tech was the only DI school the Eagles had beaten since Thanksgiving)

Rousing Rowsey: Obscure Big South Freshman Joins Little-Known Scoring List

"Good habits formed at youth make all the difference." - Aristotle

Andrew Rowsey isn't a card-carrying member of the freshman watch list the national media regularly drools on. But Rowsey, adhering to Aristotle's admonition about forming good habits, is on a short list of yearlings who had an early explosion, tying UNC Asheville's DI single-game scoring record with 41 points at Radford.

The Big South Conference boasted a comparable high-scoring freshman in 2008-09 when Liberty's Seth Curry contributed 102 three-pointers to finish with an average of 20.2 ppg before he transferred to Duke. Rowsey, hitting more than 40% of his shots from beyond the arc, is on pace to challenge Curry's freshman total for treys. Many power league members are in dire need of outside marksmen. Could Rowsey, despite scoring only two points at Duke in non-league competition, be the next Curry moving up to a major university after proving himself at the mid-major level?

One of the single-game scoring marks for an NCAA Division I school set by a freshman goes back nearly 100 years and another came courtesy of a current coach in the ACC (Virginia's Tony Bennett). Following is a chronological list Virginia native Rowsey joined of the modest number of 10 different freshmen who established existing school single-game scoring records at the DI level (Austin Peay's Fly Williams tied his own mark):

School Frosh Record Holder HG Opponent Date
Toledo Clarke "Pinky" Pittenger 49 Bluffton (Ohio) 12-13-18
Centenary Robert Parish 50 Lamar 12-12-72
Austin Peay James "Fly" Williams 51 Georgia Southern 12-30-72
Austin Peay James "Fly" Williams 51 Tennessee Tech 1-20-73
Green Bay Tony Bennett 44 Cleveland State 2-11-89
Mississippi Valley State Alphonso Ford 51 Texas Southern 2-19-90
Lipscomb Jeff Dancy 38 Tennessee State 1-14-02
Albany Jamar Wilson 39 New Hampshire 2-16-03
Eastern Washington Rodney Stuckey 45 Northern Arizona 1-5-06
Kennesaw State Andre Morgan 35 North Florida 2-3-06
UNC Asheville Andrew Rowsey 41 Radford 2-13-14

Professional Grade: Assessing What Next Town Brown Has Done For SMU

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." - Eleanor Roosevelt

What can Brown do for SMU or what will Brown do to SMU? That was the question when the Mustangs hired coaching fossil Larry Brown. After returning to the national polls for the first time in 29 years, his short stewardship has already generated more national publicity than Southern Methodist basketball enjoyed collectively since 1988, which was Brown's last year as a college coach and the Mustangs' final year to post an NCAA playoff victory.

Brown, unafraid to taste experience to the utmost, is probably comfortable with nomadic SMU because the Mustangs joined their third different league since the SWC disbanded in 1996. If Brown guides SMU to the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 1993, it will be the equivalent of him directing UCLA to an NCAA runner-up finish in his debut season with the Bruins in 1980. If he can win an NCAA Tournament game with the Mustangs, it will be the equivalent of him capturing a national title in his swan song with Kansas in 1988. After all, SMU was a total of 55 games under .500 over the 24 seasons prior to Brown's arrival.

Only a splendid tactician can be the lone individual ever to win NCAA and NBA titles. And Brown, who coached nearly half of the franchises regularly in recent NBA playoffs, has capitalized on his shot at turning things around quickly for the Mustangs because the American Athletic Conference is a shell of the old Big East after Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia departed for other premier leagues.

Brown, one of six men to be hired by an NBA team after winning an NCAA championship, is the only one in this category to compile a winning NBA playoff record. Three other coaches directed teams to the NCAA Final Four and the NBA championship series - Jack Ramsay (St. Joseph's 1961 and Portland Trail Blazers 1977), Fred Schaus (West Virginia 1959 and the Los Angeles Lakers 1962), 1963, 1965, 1966) and Butch van Breda Kolff (Princeton 1965 and the Lakers 1968, 1969). Neither Ramsay (8-11) nor Schaus (6-7) finished their collegiate coaching careers with winning NCAA playoff records, however.

Only Phil Jackson and Pat Riley coached in and won more NBA playoff games than Brown. Brad Stevens, after leaving Butler for the Boston Celtics, is discerning that it's a star-crossed crossing over from college to the NBA. Just compare Brown's pro credentials to the losing NBA coaching records of the last two NCAA titlists - Kentucky's John Calipari and Louisville's Rick Pitino. Following is an alphabetical list summarizing the NBA careers of Brown and 14 additional individuals who aligned with NBA franchises as head coaches after marshaling a college team to the Final Four:

Coach NCAA Final Four Team(s) NBA Years Regular-Season Playoff Record
Larry Brown UCLA '80/Kansas '86 & '88 27 1,098-904 100-93
John Calipari Massachusetts '96/Memphis '08/Kentucky '11 & '12 3 72-112 0-3
P.J. Carlesimo Seton Hall '89 8 204-296 3-9
*Bob Feerick Santa Clara '52 2 63-74 0-2
Ed Jucker Cincinnati '61, '62 & '63 2 80-84 0-0
Doggie Julian Holy Cross '47 & '48 2 47-81 0-0
Frank McGuire St. John's '52/North Carolina '57 1 49-31 6-6
Mike Montgomery Stanford '98 2 68-96 0-0
Harold Olsen Ohio State '39, '44, '45 & '46 3 95-63 7-11
Rick Pitino PC '87/Kentucky '93, '96 & '97/Louisville '05 & '12 6 192-220 6-7
Jack Ramsay St. Joseph's '61 21 864-783 44-58
Fred Schaus West Virginia '59 7 315-245 23-38
Jerry Tarkanian UNLV '77, '87, '90 & '91 1 9-11 0-0
Butch van Breda Kolff Princeton '65 9 266-253 21-12
Tex Winter Kansas State '58 & '64 2 51-78 0-0

*Feerick's NBA record includes one season with the Washington Capitols (1949-50) before he was named coach at Santa Clara.

NOTES: Jucker (Rollins), Julian (Dartmouth), McGuire (South Carolina), Olsen (Northwestern), Pitino (Kentucky and Louisville), Schaus (Purdue), Tarkanian (Fresno State), van Breda Kolff (Lafayette and Hofstra) and Winter (Northwestern and Long Beach State) returned to college as head coaches after their stints in the NBA. . . . Ken Loeffler was coach of the St. Louis Bombers and Providence Steamrollers for three seasons (1946-47 through 1948-49) before directing La Salle to back-to-back Final Fours (1954 champion and 1955 runner-up). . . . Phil Woolpert, coach of San Francisco's back-to-back NCAA champions (1955 and 1956), coached the San Francisco Saints for one season in the old American Basketball League.

Junior Achievement: Cleanthony Early May Be Latest Juco MVP in DI League

"Some kids need those two years to prepare them to come to a four-year school. We should not look down on those kids." - Western Kentucky/Minnesota coach Clem Haskins, an All-American for WKU

It wasn't long ago when only a splinter group of maverick coaches were sufficiently bold to liberally dot their rosters with junior college players stereotyped as discipline problems, academic risks or simply unsuitable to go directly from high school to major college programs. "Jucoland" was labeled by misguided observers as little more than basketball rehabilitation where free-lance players enjoyed free rein to make Great Plains arenas their own personal H-O-R-S-E stables

But a glance at NBA rosters over the years and the backgrounds of many of the nation's prominent Division I coaches suggests there probably never should have been a stigma attached to the J.C. ranks. Observers seldom hear college or NBA commentators credit a J.C. beginning, but many premier NBA players competed for a two-year school at some point in their college careers - Tiny Archibald, Mookie Blaylock, Ron Boone, Ron Brewer, Fred Brown, Mack Calvin, Sam Cassell, Michael Cooper, Mel Daniels, Steve Francis, Artis Gilmore, Harvey Grant, Spencer Haywood, Lionel Hollins, Avery Johnson, Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, Larry Johnson, Vinnie Johnson, Freddie Lewis, Jim Loscutoff, Shawn Marion, Bob McAdoo, Nate McMillan, Ricky Pierce, Mitch Richmond, Dennis Rodman, Latrell Sprewell, John Starks, Jamaal Tinsley, Nick Van Exel, Ben Wallace and Gerald Wilkins.

Denny Crum, Lute Olson, Nolan Richardson and Jerry Tarkanian are former juco coaches who eventually guided teams to NCAA Tournament titles. Forward Cleanthony Early (Wichita State/Missouri Valley) should become the latest junior college recruit (Sullivan County, NY) to join the following alphabetical list of more than 80 players who were MVP/Player of the Year in an NCAA Division I conference:

Player of Year Pos. School Conference Season(s) Junior College(s)
Richie Adams C UNLV PCAA 1983-84 & 1984-85 Massachusetts Bay
Tony Allen G Oklahoma State Big 12 2003-04 Butler County (KS) & Wabash Valley (IL)
Delvon Anderson F Montana Big Sky 1991-92 San Francisco
Harold Arceneaux F Weber State Big Sky 1998-99 & 1999-00 Eastern Utah & Midland (TX)
Mike Bell F Florida Atlantic Atlantic Sun 2004-05 Palm Beach (FL)
Walter Berry F-C St. John's Big East 1985-86 San Jacinto (TX)
Terry Boyd G Western Carolina Southern 1991-92 Southern Union State (AL)
Odell Bradley F IUPUI Mid-Continent 2003-04 Aquinas (TN)
Tim Brooks G UT-Chattanooga Southern 1992-93 Sullivan (KY)
Antonio Burks G Memphis Conference USA 2003-04 Hiwassee (TN)
David Burns G St. Louis Metro 1980-81 Navarro (TX)
Lawrence Butler G Idaho State Big Sky 1978-79 Western Texas
Gilberto Clavell F Sam Houston State Southland 2010-11 Collin County (TX)
Donald Cole F Sam Houston State Southland 2002-03 Navarro (TX)
Derwin "Tank" Collins F New Orleans American South 1990-91 Southern Idaho & Salt Lake (UT)
Lester Conner G Oregon State Pacific-10 1981-82 Los Medanos (CA) & Chabot (CA)
Jae Crowder F Marquette Big East 2011-12 South Georgia Tech & Howard County (TX)
Greg Davis G Troy State Atlantic Sun 2003-04 Bossier Parish (LA)
Miah Davis G Pacific Big West 2003-04 Modesto (CA)
LaRon Dendy F Middle Tennessee State Sun Belt 2011-12 Indian Hills (IA)
Ledell Eackles F New Orleans American South 1987-88 San Jacinto (TX)
Blue Edwards F East Carolina Colonial Athletic 1988-89 Louisburg (NC)
Muhammad El-Amin G Stony Brook America East 2009-10 Lansing (MI)
Al Fisher G Kent State Mid-American 2007-08 Redlands (CA)
Darrell Floyd G-F Furman Southern 1954-55 & 1955-56 Wingate (NC)
Carlos Funchess G-F Northeast Louisiana Southland 1990-91 Copiah-Lincoln (MS)
Winston Garland G Southwest Missouri State Mid-Continent 1986-87 Southeastern (IA)
Armon Gilliam F-C UNLV Big West 1986-87 Independence (KS)
Detric Golden G Troy State Trans America 1999-2000 Northwest Mississippi
Ed Gray G California Pacific-10 1996-97 Southern Idaho
Faron Hand F Nevada Big West 1996-97 Dixie (UT)
Tony Harris G-F New Orleans American South 1989-90 Johnson County (KS)
Darington Hobson G-F New Mexico Mountain West 2009-10 Eastern Utah
Lester Hudson G Tennessee-Martin Ohio Valley 2007-08 & 2008-09 Southwest Tennessee
Bobby Jackson G Minnesota Big Ten 1996-97 Western Nebraska
Avery Johnson G Southern SWAC 1987-88 New Mexico
Larry Johnson F UNLV Big West 1989-90 & 1990-91 Odessa (TX)
Vinnie Johnson G Baylor SWC 1977-78 & 1978-79 McLennan (TX)
Arnell Jones F Boise State Big Sky 1987-88 San Jose
Kevin Kearney F Montana Big Sky 1990-91 State Fair (MO)
Larry Kenon F Memphis State Missouri Valley 1972-73 Amarillo (TX)
Frankie King G Western Carolina Southern 1993-94 & 1994-95 Brunswick (GA)
Orlando Lightfoot F Idaho Big Sky 1992-93 & 1993-94 Hiwassee (TN)
Lewis Lloyd F Drake Missouri Valley 1979-80 & 1980-81 New Mexico Military Institute
Quadre Lollis F-C Montana State Big Sky 1995-96 Northland Pioneer (AZ)
Kevin Magee F UC Irvine Big West 1980-81 & 1981-82 Saddleback (CA)
Marcus Mann F-C Mississippi Valley State SWAC 1995-96 East Central (MS)
Andrew Mavis F Northern Arizona Big Sky 1997-98 Snow (UT)
De'Teri Mayes G Murray State Ohio Valley 1997-98 Wallace-Hanceville (AL)
Ed McCants G Wisconsin-Milwaukee Horizon League 2004-05 Paris (TX)
Kellen McCoy G Weber State Big Sky 2008-09 Northern Oklahoma
Cliff Meely F-C Colorado Big Eight 1970-71 Northeastern (CO)
Mate Milisa C Long Beach State Big West 1999-2000 Pensacola (FL)
Lee Nailon F-C Texas Christian Western Athletic 1997-98 Southeastern (IA) & Butler County (KS)
Ruben Nembhard G Weber State Big Sky 1994-95 Paris (TX)
Ken Owens G Idaho Big Sky 1981-82 Treasure Valley (CA)
Artsiom Parakhouski C-F Radford Big South 2008-09 & 2009-10 Southern Idaho
Sonny Parker G-F Texas A&M SWC 1974-75 Mineral Area (MO)
Ricky Pierce F Rice SWC 1981-82 Walla Walla (WA)
Chris Porter F Auburn Southeastern 1998-99 Chipola (FL)
Isaiah "J.R." Rider F UNLV Big West 1992-93 Allen County (KS) & Antelope Valley (CA)
Hector Romero F New Orleans Sun Belt 2001-02 Independence (KS)
Curt Smith G Drake Missouri Valley 1992-93 Compton (CA)
Mike Smith G-F Louisiana-Monroe Southland 1999-2000 Bossier Parish (LA)
Riley Smith C-F Idaho Big Sky 1989-90 Odessa (TX)
Taylor Smith F Stephen F. Austin Southland 2012-13 McLennan (TX)
Willie Smith G Missouri Big Eight 1975-76 Seminole (OK)
Adarrial Smylie C-F Southern SWAC 1998-99 & 1999-00 Pearl River (MS)
Ryan Stuart F Northeast Louisiana Southland 1991-92 & 1992-93 Lon Morris (TX)
Johnny Taylor F UT-Chattanooga Southern 1996-97 Indian Hills (IA)
Thomas Terrell F-C Georgia State Atlantic Sun 2001-02 Copiah-Lincoln (MS)
Charles Thomas G Northern Arizona Big Sky 1996-97 Cuesta (CA)
Joe Thompson F Sam Houston State Southland 2004-05 Lee (TX)
Marcus Thornton G Louisiana State Southeastern 2008-09 Kilgore (TX)
Jamaal Tinsley G Iowa State Big 12 2000-01 Mount San Jacinto (CA)
George Trapp F-C Long Beach State PCAA 1969-70 & 1970-71 Pasadena City (CA)
Darrell Walker G Arkansas SWC 1982-83 Westark (AR)
David Wesley G Baylor SWC 1991-92 Temple (TX)
Gary Wilkinson F Utah State WAC 2008-09 Salt Lake (UT)
Isiah Williams G Utah Valley Great West 2010-11 Eastern Utah
Sam Williams F Iowa Big Ten 1967-68 Burlington (IA)
Tony Windless F Georgia Southern Trans America 1991-92 Cowley County (KS)
Ricky Woods F Southeastern Louisiana Southland 2005-06 Paris (TX)

Been There/Done That: Montgomery Wards Off Top-Ranked Opponent Again

"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison

When California edged visiting Arizona at the buzzer, it was the fifth time coach Mike Montgomery defeated the nation's top-ranked team. Montgomery twice beat the Wildcats among four #1 opponents he knocked off while coaching Pac-12 Conference rival Stanford (Arizona in 1987-88 and 2002-03, Duke in 2000-01 and Kansas in 2003-04). Montgomery wasn't like Edison by inventing the upset but he is one of three coaches to upend at two different outposts the same opponent when it was atop the national polls.

Ralph Miller (Wichita State/beat #! Cincinnati; Iowa/beat UCLA, and Oregon State/beat UCLA) is the only coach to defeat three #1 clubs while bench boss of three different schools. Joining Montgomery and Miller on the following list of coaches who defeated a nationally top-ranked team with at least two different schools are:


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