Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 16 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only school to have four players score more than 14,000 points in the pros after never participating in national postseason competition (NCAA playoffs and NIT). Hint: One member of the foursome left college early after just one season of eligibility when he averaged 30 points per game and another is the highest scorer in NBA history to never participate in the NBA playoffs.
2. Name the only father-son combination to be on the rosters of two teams from the same school to win NCAA Tournament championships. Hint: Both of them were underclassmen when their teams captured NCAA titles.
3. Who is the only player never to appear in the NBA or ABA after averaging more than 20 points per game for a team reaching an NCAA Tournament final? Hint: A college teammate was a member of the NBA championship team that drafted him.
4. Who is the only undergraduate non-center to average more than 23 points per game for a national champion? Hint: He is the last player to score the most points in a single game of an NCAA Tournament and play for the championship team.
6. Who is the only coach to win an NBA championship after directing a college to the Final Four? Hint: His college squad was implicated in a game-fixing scandal.
7. Who is the only player to grab more than 41 rebounds at a single Final Four? Hint: He is the only player to retrieve more than 21 missed shots in a championship game and the only player to score more than 20 points and grab more than 20 rebounds in back-to-back NCAA finals.
8. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to later coach a school other than his alma mater to the playoffs? Hint: He coached for more than 20 years in the same conference against UCLA legend John Wooden. He is also the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to complete his college playing career attending another university.
9. Who is the only junior college player to later be selected Final Four Most Outstanding Player? Hint: He won the award when the Final Four was held in his home state and eventually became an NBA head coach.
10. Name the only school with a losing league record to defeat a conference rival by more than 20 points in a season the opponent wound up winning the national championship. Hint: The school with a losing league mark participated in the NCAA playoffs the next season for the first time since reaching the Final Four more than 20 years earlier when a consensus first-team All-American became the only player in school history to average more than 25 points in a season.
Despite a total of 58 NCAA playoff appearances, Dana Altman, Mike Brey, Fran Dunphy and Mark Few remain among the best coaches never to reach a Final Four. They are among all-time greats such as John Chaney, Lefty Driesell, Gene Keady and Norm Stewart - four retired luminaries failing to advance to the national semifinals in a total of 64 NCAA Tournaments. "It's so difficult not being able to make that final step," said Chaney, who lost five regional finals with Temple.
Driesell made 11 NCAA playoff appearances with Davidson and Maryland from 1966 through 1986. "I always wanted to get to the Final Four, but not as much as some people think," said Driesell, who lost four regional finals. "I'm not obsessed with it."
Only four schools - North Carolina, Duke, Georgetown and Syracuse - supplied more NCAA consensus first- and second-team All-Americans from 1982 through 1992 than Stewart-coached Missouri (seven). It must have been particularly frustrating for Mizzou fans when the Tigers compiled a 4-8 NCAA tourney worksheet in that span.
But some mentors never will receive the accolades they deserve because of failing to reach the Promised Land, including maligned Dave Bliss, who resurfaced as coach of an NAIA school in Texas. Let's hope they didn't seek a safe space on campus to curl up in a fetal position, but the following "Generation Hex" list includes prominent coaches without a Final Four berth on their resume despite more than 10 NCAA Tournament appearances:
|Coach||NCAA Tourneys||Playoff Record (Pct.)||Closest to Reaching Final Four|
|Gene Keady||18||19-18 (.514)||regional runner-up with Purdue in 1994 and 2000|
|John Chaney||17||23-17 (.575)||regional runner-up with Temple five times (1988-91-93-99-01)|
|Mark Few||17||21-17 (.553)||regional runner-up with Gonzaga in 2015|
|Fran Dunphy||16||3-16 (.158)||won three opening-round games with Penn and Temple (1994, 2011 and 2013)|
|Norm Stewart||16||12-16 (.429)||regional runner-up with Missouri in 1976 and 1994|
|Mike Brey||13||12-13 (.480)||regional runner-up with Notre Dame in 2015 and 2016|
|Lefty Driesell||13||16-14 (.533)||regional runner-up four times with Davidson and Maryland (1968-69-73-75)|
|Dana Altman||12||9-12 (.429)||regional runner-up with Oregon in 2016|
|Dave Bliss||11||8-11 (.421)||regional semifinals with Oklahoma in 1979|
|Pete Carril||11||4-11 (.267)||won two games with Princeton in 1983|
|Gale Catlett||11||7-11 (.389)||regional semifinals with West Virginia in 1998|
|Tom Davis||11||18-11 (.621)||regional runner-up with Boston College in 1982 and Iowa in 1987|
|Mark Gottfried||11||10-11 (.476)||regional final with Alabama in 2004|
|Tom Penders||11||12-11 (.522)||regional final with Texas in 1990|
For the seventh straight season, at least one team reached the Final Four after losing a vital player who defected following the previous season to make themselves available for the NBA draft, where they were selected in the first round. North Carolina and Syracuse were able to reload this year after each lost an NBA draft choice.
Among schools losing a prominent undergraduate early, Kentucky was the only school to capture a crown (1998 without Ron Mercer) until Duke achieved the feat (2010 without Gerald Henderson) and UK secured another title two years ago sans Brandon Knight. In a once-in-a-lifetime achievement, UK returned to the national semifinals in 2011 after losing five undergraduates who became NBA first-round draft choices.
The Final Four has had at least one team arrive after losing a prominent undergraduate to the NBA draft 13 times in the last 15 years. Following is a list of the 31 squads unfazed by the early loss of key player(s) who left college with eligibility still remaining:
Final Four Team Prominent Undergraduate Defection Previous Year Marquette '74 Larry McNeill (25th pick overall in 1973 NBA draft) Louisiana State '81 DeWayne Scales (36th pick in 1980 draft) Georgia '83 Dominique Wilkins (3rd pick in 1982 draft) Houston '83 Rob Williams (19th pick in 1982 draft) Houston '84 Clyde Drexler (14th pick in 1983 draft) Louisiana State '86 Jerry Reynolds (22nd pick in 1985 draft) Syracuse '87 Pearl Washington (13th pick in 1986 draft) Kentucky '97 Antoine Walker (6th pick in 1996 draft) North Carolina '97 Jeff McInnis (37th pick in 1996 draft) Kentucky '98 Ron Mercer (6th pick in 1997 draft) Indiana '02 Kirk Haston (16th pick in 2001 draft) Kansas '03 Drew Gooden (4th pick in 2002 draft) Georgia Tech '04 Chris Bosh (4th pick in 2003 draft) Louisiana State '06 Brandon Bass (33rd pick in 2005 draft) UCLA '07 Jordan Farmar (26th pick in 2006 draft) North Carolina '08 Brandan Wright (8th pick in 2007 draft) Kansas '08 Julian Wright (13th pick in 2007 draft) UCLA '08 Arron Afflalo (27th pick in 2007 draft) Duke '10 Gerald Henderson (12th pick in 2009 draft) Kentucky '11 John Wall (1st pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 DeMarcus Cousins (5th pick in 2010 draft) Butler '11 Gordon Hayward (9th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Patrick Patterson (14th pick in 2010 draft) Virginia Commonwealth '11 Larry Sanders (15th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Eric Bledsoe (18th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '11 Daniel Orton (29th pick in 2010 draft) Kentucky '12 Brandon Knight (8th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Markieff Morris (13th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Marcus Morris (14th pick in 2011 draft) Kansas '12 Josh Selby (49th pick in 2011 draft) Syracuse '13 Dion Waiters (4th pick in 2012 draft) Syracuse '13 Fab Melo (22nd pick in 2012 draft) Kentucky '14 Nerlens Noel (6th pick in 2013 draft) Kentucky '14 Archie Goodwin (29th pick in 2013 draft) Michigan State '15 Gary Harris (19th pick in 2014 draft) Duke '15 Rodney Hood (23rd pick in 2014 draft) Duke '15 Jabari Parker (2nd pick in 2014 draft) Kentucky '15 Julius Randle (7th pick in 2014 draft) Kentucky '15 James Young (17th pick in 2014 draft) North Carolina '16 J.P. Tokoto (58th pick in 2015 draft) Syracuse '16 Chris McCullough (29th pick in 2015 draft)
When Roy Williams (North Carolina) and Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) tangled at the national semifinals, it represented the most experienced Final Four match-up in history (total of 13 F4 appearances between them).
This year marks only the seventh occasion when all four coaches converged on the NCAA Tournament national semifinals with previous Final Four experience. But it's the third time in just the last five years. Following are the seven set of coaches who got back to business at the Final Four:
NCAA Tournament match-ups between members from the same league are relatively rare despite ACC members comprising the entire East and Midwest Regional finals. When ACC rivals Louisville and North Carolina State met in the 2015 East Regional semifinals, it was the 23rd such confrontation but only the third in a 13-year span.
The Big Ten Conference accounted for seven of the first 18 NCAA Tournament games pitting league members against each other but hasn't been involved in such a contest since 2000. This season marks the first time a league (ACC) will generate three intra-conference playoff confrontations in a single tourney including the 11th such Final Four tilt.
|Year||Conference||Playoff Round||NCAA Tourney Result Between Members of Same League|
|1976||Big Ten||national championship||Indiana 86 (May scored team-high 26 points), Michigan 68 (Green 18)|
|1980||Big Ten||regional semifinals||Purdue 76 (Edmonson/Morris 20), Indiana 69 (I. Thomas 30)|
|1980||Big Ten||national third-place||Purdue 75 (Carroll 35), Iowa 58 (Arnold 19)|
|1981||ACC||national semifinals||North Carolina 78 (Wood 39), Virginia 65 (Lamp 18)|
|1983||ACC||regional final||North Carolina State 63 (Whittenburg 24), Virginia 62 (Sampson 23)|
|1985||Big East||national semifinals||Georgetown 77 (Williams 20), St. John's 59 (Glass 13)|
|1985||Big East||national championship||Villanova 66 (McClain 17), Georgetown 64 (Wingate 16)|
|1986||SEC||regional semifinals||Kentucky 68 (Walker 22), Alabama 63 (Coner 20)|
|1986||SEC||regional final||Louisiana State 59 (Williams 16), Kentucky 57 (Walker 20)|
|1987||Big East||regional final||Providence 88 (Donovan/D. Wright 20), Georgetown 73 (Williams 25)|
|1987||Big East||national semifinals||Syracuse 77 (Monroe 17), Providence 63 (Screen 18)|
|1988||Big Eight||regional final||Kansas 71 (Manning 20), Kansas State 58 (Scott 18)|
|1988||Big Eight||national championship||Kansas 83 (Manning 31), Oklahoma 79 (Sieger 22)|
|1989||Big Ten||national semifinals||Michigan 83 (Rice 28), Illinois 81 (Battle 29)|
|1992||Big Ten||regional final||Michigan 75 (Webber 23), Ohio State 71 (Jackson 20)|
|1992||Great Midwest||regional final||Cincinnati 88 (Jones 23), Memphis State 57 (Hardaway 12)|
|2000||Big Ten||regional final||Wisconsin 64 (Bryant 18), Purdue 60 (Cardinal/Cunningham 13)|
|2000||Big Ten||national semifinals||Michigan State 53 (Peterson 20), Wisconsin 41 (Boone 18)|
|2001||ACC||national semifinals||Duke 95 (Battier 25), Maryland 84 (Dixon 19)|
|2002||Big 12||regional final||Oklahoma 81 (Price 18), Missouri 75 (Paulding 22)|
|2009||Big East||regional final||Villanova 78 (Anderson 17), Pittsburgh 76 (Young 28)|
|2013||Big East||regional final||Syracuse 55 (Southerland 16), Marquette 39 (Blue 14)|
|2015||ACC||regional semifinals||Louisville 75 (Harrell 24), North Carolina State 65 (Lacey 18)|
|2016||ACC||regional final||North Carolina 88 (Johnson 25), Notre Dame 74 (Jackson 26)|
|2016||ACC||regional final||Syracuse 68 (Richardson 23), Virginia 62 (Perrantes 18)|
|2016||ACC||national semifinals||North Carolina 83 (Jackson/Johnson 16), Syracuse 66 (Cooney 22)|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 15 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only individual to play for two NCAA champions, play for more than two NBA champions and coach two NBA champions. Hint: He was the first of four players to be a member of an NCAA championship team one year and an NBA titlist the next season as a rookie. He won the high jump in the West Coast Relays his senior year.
2. Who is the only individual to average fewer than four points per game as a freshman and then be selected Final Four Most Outstanding Player the next season as a sophomore. Hint: He had more three-point baskets in two Final Four games than he managed his entire freshman season.
3. Who is the only player named to an All-NCAA Tournament team not to score a total of more than 10 points in two Final Four games? Hint: He had the same point total in each Final Four game for a team whose star had the same last name.
4. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to later coach his alma mater in the NCAA Tournament? Hint: The guard was named Most Outstanding Player although he was his team's fourth-leading scorer at the Final Four that year.
5. Name the only school to have two of the six eligible teams ranked among the top five in the AP and/or UPI final polls to not participate in either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT in the days before teams other than the conference champion could be chosen to the NCAA playoffs as at-large entrants. Hint: The school lost three regional finals in one four-year span and hasn't reached the Final Four in the last 50 years.
6. Who is the only coach to lose more than five regional final games? Hint: His regional final defeats were by an average margin of 10 points and his biggest nemesis was the Big Ten Conference.
7. Who is the only individual to become NBA Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player to participate in the NCAA Tournament but never win an NCAA playoff game? Hint: He shared the NBA Rookie of the Year award with another player who was on the losing end in his only NCAA Tournament appearance. Two years later, he was NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player the same season he was named league MVP.
8. Of the more than 40 different players to be named NBA Most Valuable Player, score more than 20,000 points in the pros or be selected to an All-NBA team at least five times after participating in the NCAA Tournament, who is the only one to average fewer than 10 points per game in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: He is believed to be the youngest Hall of Famer to appear in an NCAA championship game at the tender age of 16 and was later named to 12 consecutive All-NBA teams.
9. Who is the only guard to score more than 35 points in an NCAA final? Hint: He led his team in scoring in back-to-back Final Fours but wasn't named Final Four Most Outstanding Player either year. He is the only championship team player to have a two-game total of at least 70 points at the Final Four and is the shortest undergraduate to average more than 20 points per game for an NCAA titlist.
10. Who is the only player to have as many as 20 field goals in an NCAA championship game? Hint: He scored fewer than seven points in both his tourney debut and final playoff appearance.
Annually, there is a clear and present danger for pole sitters such as Kansas. Four years ago, Kentucky became only the fourth of 34 schools atop the national rankings entering the NCAA playoffs since North Carolina '82 to capture the national championship.
In 2006, Duke became the ninth No. 1 team in 17 years to fail to advance to a regional final when the Blue Devils were eliminated by LSU. In 1992, Duke defied a trend by becoming the first top-ranked team in 10 years entering the NCAA Tournament to win a national title. The previous five top-ranked teams failed to reach the championship game. UNLV lost twice in the national semifinals (1987 and 1991) and Temple '88, Arizona '89 and Oklahoma '90 failed to reach the Final Four.
Temple, a 63-53 loser against Duke in the 1988 East Regional final, and Kansas State, an 85-75 loser against Cincinnati in the 1959 Midwest Regional final, are the only teams ranked No. 1 by both AP and UPI entering the tourney to lose by a double-digit margin before the Final Four.
The school gaining the sweetest revenge against a top-ranked team was St. John's in 1952. Defending NCAA champion Kentucky humiliated the Redmen by 41 points (81-40) early in the season when the Catholic institution became the first to have a black player on the floor at Lexington, Ky. The African-American player, Solly Walker, played only a few minutes before he took a hit sidelining him for three weeks. But St. John's, sparked by center Bob Zawoluk's 32 points, avenged the rout by eliminating the Wildcats (64-57) in the East Regional, ending their 23-game winning streak. The Redmen, who subsequently defeated second-ranked Illinois in the national semifinals, lost against Kansas in the NCAA final.
In the 1982 championship game, North Carolina needed a basket with 16 seconds remaining from freshman Michael Jordan to nip Georgetown, 63-62, and become the only top-ranked team in 13 years from 1979 through 1991 to capture the NCAA title. It was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for seven of the 11 top-ranked teams to lose in the NCAA championship game in overtime or by two or three points in regulation.
KU is the latest #1 to learn it's win or go home as the Wildcats became the ninth top-ranked team to be eliminated in a regional final. Less than one-third of the top-ranked squads captured the NCAA crown. Following is analysis sizing up how the No. 1 teams fared in the NCAA playoffs since the Associated Press introduced national rankings in 1949:
20 - Won national title (Kentucky '49; Kentucky '51; Indiana '53; San Francisco '56; North Carolina '57; UCLA '64; UCLA '67; UCLA '69; UCLA '71; UCLA '72; UCLA '73; North Carolina State '74; UCLA '75; Indiana '76; Kentucky '78; North Carolina '82; Duke '92; UCLA '95, Duke '01, and Kentucky '12.
13 - Finished national runner-up (Bradley '50/defeated by CCNY; Ohio State '61/Cincinnati; Ohio State '62/Cincinnati; Cincinnati '63/Loyola of Chicago; Michigan '65/UCLA; Kentucky '66/Texas Western; Indiana State '79/Michigan State; Houston '83/North Carolina State; Georgetown '85/Villanova; Duke '86/Louisville; Duke '99/Connecticut; Illinois '05/North Carolina, and Ohio State '07/Florida).
9 - Lost in national semifinals (Cincinnati '60/defeated by California; Houston '68/UCLA; UNLV '87/Indiana; UNLV '91/Duke; Massachusetts '96/Kentucky; North Carolina '98/Utah; North Carolina '08/Kansas; Florida '14/Connecticut, and Kentucky '15/Wisconsin.
9 - Lost in regional final (Kentucky '52/defeated by St. John's; Kansas State '59/Cincinnati; Kentucky '70/Jacksonville; Michigan '77/UNC Charlotte; Temple '88/Duke; Indiana '93/Kansas; Kentucky '03/Marquette; Louisville '09/Michigan State), and Kansas '16/Villanova.
7 - Lost in regional semifinals (North Carolina '84/defeated by Indiana; Arizona '89/UNLV; Kansas '97/Arizona; Duke '00/Florida; Duke '02/Indiana); Duke '06/Louisiana State, and Ohio State '11/Kentucky).
7 - Lost in second round (DePaul '80/defeated by UCLA; DePaul '81/St. Joseph's; Oklahoma '90/North Carolina; North Carolina '94/Boston College; Stanford '04/Alabama; Kansas '10/Northern Iowa), and Gonzaga '13/Wichita State).
1 - Lost in first round (West Virginia '58/defeated by Manhattan).
1 - Declined a berth (Kentucky '54).
NOTE: After United Press International started ranking teams in 1951, UPI had just three different No. 1 teams entering the national playoffs than AP - Indiana lost in 1954 East Regional semifinals against Notre Dame, California finished as 1960 national runner-up to Ohio State and Indiana lost in 1975 Mideast Regional final against Kentucky.
John Groce inherited a gross situation four years ago after two fellow mid-major coaches rejected overtures from Illinois. If not, he probably wouldn't be watching both Kansas and Villanova feature a regular-rotation player from Illinois in the 2016 South Regional final. The Illini are one of the 10 schools with the most Top 20 appearances but are closing in on duplicating the disarray of the 1970s when they failed to finish in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll or appear in the NCAA playoffs the entire decade.
There is no question Gross' program is struggling after almost half of its roster was apprehended this campaign. Illini Nation won't be all it can be unless he fends off Duke (lost Jahlil Okafor two years ago to Chicago native Mike Krzyzewski) and Kansas (Cliff "Hat Trick" Alexander) for elite in-state recruits. Illini fans are disheartened because close only counts in hand grenades and bombs, horseshoes plus drive-in movies; not recruiting. Former Illini coach Bill Self previously lured Chicago-area All-Americans Sherron Collins and Julian Wright to KU. Additional Windy City regal recruits shunning the Illini since they reached the NCAA title game in 2005 include Jalen Brunson (Villanova), Quinn Cook (Duke), Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Eric Gordon (Indiana), Derrick Rose (Memphis) and Tyler Ulis (Kentucky).
After compiling a losing Big Ten Conference record over the last nine years, it boils down to in-state recruiting. Among the Illinois natives who earned All-American status during the '70s with other universities were DePaul's Mark Aguirre (from Chicago), Minnesota's Jim Brewer (Maywood), Indiana's Quinn Buckner (Dolton), Penn's Corky Calhoun (Waukegan), Illinois State's Doug Collins (Benton), DePaul's Dave Corzine (Arlington Heights), Marquette's Bo Ellis (Chicago), Michigan's Rickey Green (Chicago), Kentucky's Dan Issel (Batavia), Iowa's Ronnie Lester (Chicago), Colorado's Cliff Meely (Chicago), Bradley's Roger Phegley (East Peoria), Kansas' Dave Robisch (Springfield), Marquette's Lloyd Walton (Chicago) and Jerome Whitehead (Waukegan) plus Georgia Tech's Rich Yunkus (Benton). Four of these standouts were All-Americans in the same season - Buckner, Ellis, Green and Walton in 1975-76.
Kansas, finishing this season as the nation's top-ranked team, has been a thorn in the Illini's side for an extended period. Alexander, Collins, Wright, Robisch and current frontcourter Jamari Traylor were joined at KU by the following '70s recruits from Illinois:
- Roger Brown (Chicago) - Leading rebounder for KU's 1971 Final Four squad.
- Seven of top eight scorers for Jayhawks' 1974 Final Four team - Norm Cook (Lincoln/All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection), Dale Greenlee (Rockford), Tom Kivisto (Aurora/all-league first-team selection), Roger Morningstar (Dundee/two-time all-league second-team selection), Tommie Smith (Kewanee), Rick Suttle (East St. Louis/three-time all-league selection) and Dave Taynor (Bethalto).
- Donnie Von Moore (Chicago) - End-of-the-bench forward for 1974 Final Four squad averaged 8.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 1.6 bpg the next three seasons.
- Herb Nobles (East St. Louis) - Leading rebounder and second-leading scorer in 1976-77.
Comparable to several decades ago, focusing its recruiting efforts on Chicago won't be a panacea for the Illini. If freedom of speech means anything to PC police, too many players UI summoned from there to Champaign seem as if they'd be more comfortable disrupting a Donald Trump rally. The "audacity-of-hype" truth is that the Windy City might be delusional and won't always supply a Messiah providing the "hope and change" you're seeking. Thus, Groce's staff needs to take every back road in the state to generate roster value. After all, Issel and Yunkus were among 22 different major-college All-Americans in less than 30 years to come from Illinois high schools in towns with populations smaller than 20,000. Bigger isn't always better or worth your time and energy. In other words, the leader-depleted Illini can't permit a quality playmaker such as Fred VanVleet (Rockford) to leave the state and become an All-American at Wichita State.
A significant number of schools turn sheepish at the mention of recent NCAA Tournament success. Among Division I institutions making at least 10 NCAA playoff appearances, seven former Final Four participants - Houston, New Mexico State, Oregon State, Princeton, San Francisco, Southern Methodist and Texas-El Paso - combined to go winless in the past 18 years.
DePaul, Oregon State and San Francisco each have won more than 20 NCAA tourney games but collaborated for only one win in the past 27 years (DePaul over Dayton in double overtime in 2004). With B.B. King "The Thrill is Gone" lyrics in the background, following is an alphabetical list of schools with at least 10 NCAA playoff appearances for which Sweet 16 is a distant memory:
School (Playoff Appearances) Recent NCAA Tournament Travails Boston College (18) winless past nine years with only one appearance Charlotte (11) no appearance past 11 years; winless past 15 years Clemson (11) one victory past 19 years DePaul (22) appeared once past 16 years; one victory past 27 years George Washington (11) one victory past 22 years Georgia (12) one victory past 20 years Holy Cross (13) posted first win since 1953 this season in play-in game Houston (19) winless past 32 years Idaho State (11) winless past 39 years Minnesota (12) one victory past 19 years New Mexico State (20) winless past 23 years Old Dominion (11) one victory past 21 years Oregon State (17) winless past 34 years Penn (23) one victory past 36 years Pepperdine (13) one victory past 34 years Princeton (24) winless past 18 years San Francisco (16) appeared once past 34 years Santa Clara (11) no appearance past 20 years Seattle (11) winless since 1964 Southern Methodist (11) winless past 28 years Texas-El Paso (17) winless past 24 years Utah State (20) one victory past 46 years Weber State (15) winless past 17 years Wyoming (15) one victory past 29 years
Yale's Brandon Sherrod, setting himself apart from anyone who ever played major-college basketball, set an NCAA Division I record by making 30 consecutive field-goal attempts covering five mid-season games. Singing his praises in helping the Bulldogs participate in the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 1962, Sherrod returned to them this campaign after taking a year off from school to tour the world as one of only 14 singers with Yale's a cappella group - the Whiffenpoofs.
Sherrod isn't the only talented singer who also made music as a college basketball player. Consider the following crooners who didn't whiff in the music industry:
ISHMAEL BUTLER, Massachusetts
Known as Butterfly with the hip-hop group Digable Planets, which was nominated for a 1994 Grammy Award as the "Best New Artist."
He averaged 3.8 ppg and 2 rpg in John Calipari's first season as UMass coach in 1988-89.
JOHN FRED GOURRIER, Southeastern Louisiana
Lead vocalist and harmonica player for the rock-and-roll group John Fred and the Playboy Band that boasted a hit single "Judy in Disguise" in 1967 and 1968.
The 6-5, 185-pound forward averaged eight points per game for Southeastern Louisiana as a junior in 1962-63 before scoring 248 points as a senior. The Baton Rouge native also played two seasons for SLU's baseball team and still shares the school single-game record for most RBI with eight.
VAUGHN HARPER, Syracuse
New York City disc jockey, the host with the mellow voice on "The Quiet Storm," for more than a quarter century in the New York City area.
One of the Orange's all-time leaders in rebounds per game (11.1). Harper also averaged 13.5 ppg from 1965-66 through 1967-68, leading SU in scoring as a senior (15.8 ppg). Teammate of All-American Dave Bing and all-time winningest coach Jim Boeheim grabbed team-high 10 rebounds in 91-81 loss to Duke in 1966 East Regional final. Ninth-round selection in the 1968 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons.
AL JARREAU, Ripon (Wis.)
Innovative musical expressions made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time, winning five Grammys, including best jazz vocalist in 1978 and 1979. He began singing at the age of four, and was soon harmonizing with his brothers and performing solo at a variety of local events in his hometown of Milwaukee. Following an extended stint in Los Angeles, he was spotted by Warner Brothers Records talent scouts and signed to a recording contract in 1975. Two years later, Jarreau embarked on his first world tour. While on a break from touring in 1996, he accepted a three-month stint on Broadway playing the role of the Teen Angel in the hit musical Grease!
Member of Ripon's basketball team from 1958-59 through 1961-62 posted career highs of 5.9 ppg and 4.3 rpg as a sophomore. While attending college, he performed locally with a group called The Indigos on weekends and holidays before graduating with a B.S. in Psychology.
MARK MILLER, Central Florida
Front man and principal songwriter for Sawyer Brown, one of the nation's most popular and enduring country music bands. Sawyer Brown, the top grossing country group in 1994, has sold more than 11 million records since getting a jump start in 1984 on Ed McMahon's Star Search and was named the Top Vocal Group in 1997 by the Academy of Country Music. Sawyer Brown's "Six Days on the Road" video, which came out in early 2000, emphasized the baldheaded Miller's shooting ability.
The 5-8 guard was scoreless in a total of 13 minutes in seven games for Central Florida in 1978-79. He had one assist and committed three turnovers. "I play whenever I can," Miller said. "I go at it really hard. I think my greatest strength in basketball is just seeing the floor and having a feel for where everything should go. And maybe that's my strength in music, too."
Miller, who majored in physical education, joined UCF the year after it went to the Final Four in Division II, and coach Torchy Clark was a local legend. "He (Torchy) wanted you to play hard, but he also wanted you to be a good person," Miller said. "If it came between winning and being a good person, he would rather you be a good person. He helped me as a player, and the lessons I learned from him have helped me in my career. Late at night while on tour, I still call him."
PERCY ROMEO MILLER JR., Southern California
Rapper/actor, son of entertainment mogul and entrepreneur Master P, has released multiple studio albums and compilation albums. His debut album titled after his original alias Lil' Romeo contained the hit single "My Baby" that charted #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-hop Singles.
Signed with the Trojans with friend Demar DeRozan, who left for the NBA after only one season. Romeo, a 5-9 point guard, played 19 minutes in nine games in 2008-09 and 2009-10, scoring a total of five points.
DAVID PALACIO, Texas Western
Executive vice president of EMI Latin, which is affiliated with Capitol Records in Hollywood, Calif.
Backup guard for Texas Western's 1966 NCAA championship team scored a season-high four points against Loyola (La.). Contributed a second-half field goal when the Miners erased a 16-point halftime deficit to win in overtime at New Mexico, 67-64. In their next outing, he chipped in with another basket in a 69-67 triumph over Arizona State. Palacio averaged 7.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game the next season as a junior.
KENNY PARKER, St. Peter's
Brother of one of the most influential rap and hip-hop artists of the 1980s and early 1990s - KRS-ONE (born Kris Parker). Kenny, who performed as a DJ alongside his brother and in music videos as part of the hard-core hip-hop outfit Boogie Down Productions, was a producer for BDP recordings. He has produced TV commercials for Nike.
Parker was a four-year regular who had his best scoring season as a freshman (8.4 ppg in 1985-86 when he supplied a 26-point, nine-rebound effort against MAAC power La Salle).
DARRYL SHEPHERD, Pittsburgh
Produced two No. 1 hits on the R&B charts. An accomplished keyboard player, he also has worked on movie soundtracks and for numerous artists (including Smokey Robinson).
Participated in the NIT and NCAA playoffs in the mid-1980s with the Panthers. His wife, attorney Renee Henderson, was a former Pitt sprinter who won the 60- and 200-meter dashes in France at the 2008 World Masters Indoor Track and Field Championships (setting two American Records en route to winning gold).
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 14 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only school to compile a losing record in a season it won on the road against a conference rival later capturing the NCAA championship. Hint: The school is a former national titlist itself, but had just one winning league mark in 12 years from 1977-78 through 1988-89.
2. Name the only school to compile a conference record of more than 10 games below .500 in a season it defeated a league rival becoming NCAA champion. Hint: The school, which finished in first or second place in league competition four consecutive seasons in the early 1930s, has 44 consecutive non-winning records in conference play.
3. Name the only school to trail by at least 10 points at halftime of a tournament game and end up winning the contest by more than 20. Hint: A prominent network broadcaster played for the team. The next year, the school became the only one in tourney history to win back-to-back overtime games by double-digit margins.
4. Who is the only coach to lose in back-to-back seasons to teams seeded 14th or worse? Hint: He captured an NCAA championship later that decade.
5. Name the only double-digit seeded team to reach the Final Four until Virginia Commonwealth achieved the feat last year. Hint: It's the worst-seeded school to defeat a #1 seed, a conference rival that defeated the team a total of three times that year during the regular season and postseason league tournament. The next year, the university became the only school to reach back-to-back regional finals as a double-digit seed.
6. Name the only school to win a regional final game it trailed by more than 15 points at halftime. Hint: The school lost its next game at the Final Four to a team that dropped a conference game against the regional final opponent by a double-figure margin. Three years later, it became the only school to score more than 100 points in a championship game and win a national final by more than 21 points.
7. Who is the only team-leading scorer to be held more than 25 points under his season average in a Final Four game? Hint: He scored 39 points against the same opponent earlier in the season to help end the third-longest winning streak in major-college history. He is the only player to lead the playoffs in scoring and rebounding in back-to-back seasons although he wasn't named to the All-Tournament team one of those years despite becoming the only player to lead a tourney in scoring by more than 60 points. In addition, he is the only player in tournament history to collect more than 40 points and 25 rebounds in the same game.
8. Name the only school to lead the nation in scoring offense and win the NCAA title in the same season. Hint: The top four scorers were undergraduates for the only titlist to win all of its NCAA Tournament games by more than 15 points.
9. Name the only school to play in as many as three overtime games in a single tournament. Hint: One of the three overtime affairs was a national third-place game.
10. Who is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player to go scoreless in two NCAA Tournament games in a previous year? Hint: His NBA scoring average decreased each of his last nine seasons in the league after becoming Rookie of the Year.
Lon Kruger is frequently overlooked in his profession despite status as only coach ever to direct five different schools in the NCAA Tournament. This year, he added to his credentials by becoming only the fifth mentor in playoff history guiding three different schools to an Elite Eight before earning acclaim as the 13th coach taking two different institutions to the Final Four.
Gene Bartow achieved the feat in a 10-year span from 1973 through 1982. Three of the five coaches advanced to a regional final piloting Kentucky. John Calipari is the only individual on the following list to be bench boss for three different schools reaching a regional final multiple times:
|Elite Eight Coach||First School||Second School||Third School|
|Gene Bartow||Memphis State (1973)||UCLA (1976)||UAB (1982)|
|John Calipari||Massachusetts (1995 and 1996)||Memphis (2006 through 2008)||Kentucky (2010 through 2012, 2014 and 2015)|
|Lon Kruger||Kansas State (1988)||Florida (1994)||Oklahoma (2016)|
|Rick Pitino||Providence (1987)||Kentucky (1992, 1993 and 1995 through 1997)||Louisville (2005, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2015)|
|Eddie Sutton||Arkansas (1978 and 1979)||Kentucky (1986)||Oklahoma State (1995, 2000 and 2004)|
Need an example showing how scoring is down in college basketball beyond the freak set of circumstances in 2008-09 when eventual NBA MVP Stephen Curry went scoreless against Loyola (Md.)? Unsure if it is a byproduct of doomed civilization stemming from eco-fascist climate change, but no NCAA Division I player has averaged 30 points per game thus far in the 21st Century (since LIU's Charles Jones in 1996-97 with 30.1 ppg).
Last year, Eastern Washington's Tyler Harvey (23.1 ppg) finished with the lowest average for the national scoring leader since Yale's Tony Lavelli posted 22.4 ppg in 1948-49. As a means of comparison to an era when scorers flourished, an average of 36 players annually posted higher scoring marks than Harvey in a six-season span from 1967-68 through 1972-73, including a high of 44 in 1969-70 when LSU's Pete Maravich nearly doubled Harvey with 44.5 ppg despite the absence of the three-point field goal.
Glenn Robinson Jr. (30.3 ppg for Purdue in 1993-94) was the only player from a power six league to pace the country in scoring in a 41-year span from 1971-72 through 2011-12 (South Carolina was independent in 1980-81 and TCU was SWC member in 1994-95). Following is a look at the high and low games for players during the season when they led DI in scoring average:
NOTE: Leaders are unofficial from 1935-36 through 1946-47.
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 13 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only team-leading scorer of a Final Four team to go scoreless when the school was eliminated from championship contention at the national semifinals? Hint: He was a center who along with four teammates averaged between 11 and 12.5 points per game.
2. Who is the only player to twice lead the nation in scoring average while playing for teams advancing to the Final Four? Hint: He is the only team-leading scorer to twice be more than 10 points below his season scoring mark when his school was eliminated at the Final Four.
3. Name the only school to lose two national championship games by at least 18 points after leading the finals at halftime. Hint: The two opponents, 17 years apart, combined to win 66 of 68 games those seasons.
4. Name the only school to make as many as eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from the year it participated in the event for the first time. Hint: The school's last playoff victory wasn't during this streak, but it later handed UCLA its first West Regional defeat in 14 years.
5. Name the only school to lose as many as 15 opening-round games in the NCAA Tournament. Hint: The university also lost a first-round game in 1984 after winning a qualifying round contest when the playoff field was 53 teams.
6. Who is the only athlete to collect more than 3,000 major league hits, including 465 homers, after playing the entire basketball game for a school when it appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Hint: The outfielder appeared in 12 All-Star Games and two World Series after never playing in the minors.
7. Who is the only player to have a single-digit point total in a national semifinal game and then increase his output by more than 20 points in the championship game? Hint: The center for two years between two three-time consensus first-team All-Americans shot just over 40% from the floor for the season entering the title game where he had a game-high and career-high point total.
8. Who is the only player to have a decrease of more than 25 points from his national semifinal game scoring total to his championship game output? Hint: He was a member of the first undefeated NCAA champion and subsequently became an NBA first-round draft choice.
9. Name the only school to defeat two eventual Final Four teams by double-digit margins in their conference tournament. Hint: The school was handily eliminated in the NCAA playoffs by one of the two Final Four teams it decisively defeated in their league tourney.
10. Name the only school to reach the NCAA championship game in back-to-back seasons it was defeated by double-digit margins in its conference tournament. Hint: The school swept its home-and-home series in regular-season conference competition against the teams defeating it in the league tourney.
Last year, Wisconsin center-forward Frank Kaminsky became the national player of the year posting the lowest first-year scoring average for any such honoree since the initial POY award by UPI in 1955. This season, Oklahoma's Buddy Hield became another "growing-pains" example why fans shouldn't put too much stock in freshman statistics. Kaminsky and Hield are on both ends of the following list of first 12 national players of the year averaging fewer than eight points per game in their first varsity campaign:
Buddy Hield, G, Oklahoma (7.8 ppg as freshman in 2012-13)
Shane Battier, F, Duke (7.6 ppg as freshman in 1997-98)
David Robinson, C, Navy (7.6 ppg as freshman in 1983-84)
*Sidney Wicks, F-C, UCLA (7.5 ppg as sophomore in 1968-69)
Marques Johnson, F, UCLA (7.2 ppg as freshman in 1973-74)
Jimmer Fredette, G, Brigham Young (7 ppg as freshman in 2007-08)
Danny Ferry, F-C, Duke (5.9 ppg as freshman in 1985-86)
Gary Bradds, C, Ohio State (4.7 ppg as sophomore in 1961-62)
Ed O'Bannon, F, UCLA (3.6 ppg as freshman in 1991-92)
Draymond Green, F, Michigan State (3.3 ppg as freshman in 2008-09)
Kenyon Martin, C, Cincinnati (2.8 ppg as freshman in 1996-97)
Frank Kaminsky, F-C, Wisconsin (1.8 ppg as freshman in 2011-12)
- Junior college recruit.
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 12 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only championship team player to have a season scoring average of less than six points per game entering a Final Four but tally more than 30 points in the national semifinals and final? Hint: He is the only player with a single-digit season scoring average to score more than 25 points in an NCAA championship game.
2. Who is the only player to score at least 25 points in eight consecutive NCAA playoff games? Hint: He is the only player to rank among the top five in scoring average in both the NCAA Tournament and NBA playoffs. He was denied a championship ring in his only Final Four appearance when a player who would become an NBA teammate tipped in a decisive basket in the closing seconds.
3. Name the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player who wasn't among the top five scorers on his team. Hint: The only other player to earn the award who wasn't among the top four scorers on his team attended the same university.
5. Who is the only U.S. Congressman to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee after playing in the NCAA Tournament championship game? Hint: Starting out as a Democrat, he became a 12-term Republican Congressman from Illinois.
6. Who is the only individual to be named Final Four Most Outstanding Player and NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in back-to-back seasons? Hint: He holds the NBA Finals single-game record for most points by a rookie.
7. Name the freshman who had the highest season scoring average for a team to reach the NCAA Tournament championship game until Carmelo Anthony achieved the feat for 2003 champion Syracuse. Hint: The word "Boss" is tattooed to his chest for a good reason because he also led his team in assists as a freshman.
8. Who is the only freshman to score more than 30 points in a national semifinal or championship game before failing to score more than half that total in his next four playoff outings? Hint: He didn't score more than 15 points in any of his next four NCAA playoff games, all defeats, and he averaged a modest 8.2 points per game in an eight-year NBA career with an all-time pro season high of 11.4 ppg and game high of 28.
9. Who is the only freshman on a Final Four team to score more than 20 points in as many as four tournament games? Hint: He did not play in the national championship game and his school lost in the NCAA playoffs to opponents with double-digit seeds each of the four seasons before he arrived.
10. Name the only season-leading scorer of a titlist to be held more than 14 points below his average in the NCAA championship game. Hint: He was named national player of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He is one of four Final Four Most Outstanding Players held scoreless in their NCAA Tournament debuts in a previous season. He is also the only individual to become a member of three NCAA titlists after playing one season in junior college.
CAA Player of the Year Juan'ya Green became only the fourth performer in NCAA history scoring more than 1,000 points for two Division I schools (Niagara and Hofstra). Green, the only player to tally more than 1,100 for two different DI institutions, also averaged 5.8 assists per game in his college career. Following is the short list of individuals surpassing the 1,000-point plateau with two major colleges:
|Player||First School Scoring Output (Seasons)||Second School Scoring Output (Seasons)|
|Jon Manning||1,039 with Oklahoma City (1974-75 & 1975-76)||1,090 with North Texas State (1977-78 & 1978-79)|
|Kenny Battle||1,072 with Northern Illinois (1984-85 & 1985-86)||1,112 with Illinois (1987-88 & 1988-89)|
|Gary Neal||1,041 with La Salle (2002-03 & 2003-04)||1,254 with Towson (2005-06 & 2006-07)|
|Juan'ya Green||1,131 with Niagara (2011-12 & 2012-13)||1,186 with Hofstra (2014-15 & 2015-16)|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 11 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only one of the 60 or so two-time consensus first-team All-Americans since 1946 never to participate in the NCAA Tournament or the NIT? Hint: His school was a total of 10 games over .500 in Big Ten Conference competition in his junior and senior seasons. He never played on a team to win a playoff series in his nine-year NBA career.
2. Who is the only player to score more than 20,000 pro points yet never reach the conference finals in the NBA playoffs after playing at least two seasons of varsity basketball at a major college and never participating in the NCAA Division I playoffs? Hint: The college he attended made its NCAA Tournament debut the first year after he left school early to become the third pick overall in the NBA draft.
3. Who is the only coach since the tourney field expanded to at least 48 teams to take two different universities to the playoffs when the schools appeared in the tournament for the first time? Hint: His last name begins with a "F" and he no longer is a Division I head coach.
4. Name the only school with a losing record to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs by winning a regular-season conference title. Hint: The league started a postseason tournament two years later and the school in question has lost all six times it reached the conference tourney championship game.
5. Name the only major university to have two graduates score more than 17,000 points in the NBA after playing at least three varsity seasons in college and failing to appear in the NCAA Tournament. Hint: The school has had three other players score more than 10,000 points in the NBA after never appearing in the NCAA playoffs.
6. Name the only former titlist to have an all-time playoff record 10 games below the .500 mark. Hint: Longtime network broadcaster Curt Gowdy played in the tournament for the school.
7. Name the only state with three schools to compile tournament records at least nine games below .500. Hint: The three institutions from the same state are members of different conferences.
8. Who was the only player shorter than Bobby Hurley, Duke's 6-0 guard, to play for a championship team and be selected as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player? Hint: There was another Final Four MOP who was also shorter than 6-0, but he played for a national third-place finisher in the mid-1950s.
9. Who is the only individual to play in an NCAA Tournament championship game and later coach his alma mater to a final? Hint: He served as an assistant to the coach with the most NCAA playoff victories and a college teammate is one of the winningest coaches of all time.
10. Name the only one of the schools with multiple national titles to have two teams participate in the NCAA playoffs as defending champions but lose their opening-round game. Hint: Both of the opening-round setbacks for the school when it was defending champion occurred in the East Regional.
After an average of four mid-level schools reached the Sweet 16 in a six-year span from 2006 through 2011, the last five seasons could have cemented the premise about mid-major schools deserving additional at-large consideration. But that was before eight mid-level schools - Gonzaga, New Mexico, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, Saint Mary's, Southern Mississippi, UNLV and Virginia Commonwealth - were eliminated in games against power six conference members by an average of only four points in 2012, the Mountain West Conference flopped in 2013, only two mid-majors reached the Sweet 16 in 2014 and 2015 plus Northern Iowa and Stephen F. Austin squandering last-minute leads against power-league opponents.
Butler, Virginia Commonwealth and Wichita State advancing to the Final Four this decade was invigorating but the mid-major community missed out on a potential bonanza. Following is a look at how at least one mid-major conference member advanced to a regional semifinal or beyond since the field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985:
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 10 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only All-American to coach three different schools in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: He was the leading scorer for an NCAA champion.
2. Who is the only coach to take three different schools to a regional final in a 10-year span? Hint: He is the only individual to meet two different schools in the playoffs he had previously coached to the Final Four. He had a chance to become the first coach to guide three different universities to the national semifinals, but retired and turned the reins over to his son.
3. Who is the only seven-foot player to lead a Final Four in scoring and win a conference high jump title in the same year? Hint: He is the only player to lead the NBA in rebounds and assists in the same season.
4. Of the total of 10 different teams in the 1980s to defeat a school twice in a season the opponent eventually won the national title, name the only one of the 10 to fail to win its NCAA Tournament opener. Hint: The team had the misfortune of opening the playoffs on the home court of its opponent.
5. Of the Final Four teams in the last several decades to have standouts whose high school coach was reunited with a star player as a college assistant, name the only school to win a national championship. Hint: The high school coach who tagged along with his prep All-American as a college assistant was also the first minority player to play for his alma mater.
6. Who is the only coach to take a team more than two games below .500 one season to the national title the next year? Hint: He is the only championship team coach to finish his college career with a losing record. He is also the only major-college coach to stay at a school at least 25 seasons and finish with a losing career record at that institution.
7. Who is the only coach to reach the national semifinals of the NCAA Tournament and NIT at least five times apiece? Hint: Of the coaches to win basketball championships at every major level (the NCAA, NIT and Summer Olympics), he is the only one to capture the "Triple Crown" in a span of less than 10 years.
8. Of the players to score more than 225 points in the playoffs and/or average in excess of 25 points per tournament game (minimum of six games), who is the only individual to score more than 22 points in every postseason contest? Hint: He is the only player from the group to have a single-digit differential between his highest-scoring game and his lowest-scoring game.
9. Who is the only one of the first 20 players to accumulate at least 235 points in NCAA playoff competition to fail to score at least 25 points in a tournament game? Hint: He is the only one of the more recent Most Outstanding Players to score fewer than 28 points in two Final Four games and his highest-scoring playoff performance couldn't avert a defeat in the only one of his four years he didn't participate in the Final Four.
10. Among the all-time leading scorers in NCAA Tournament history, who is the only player in this group to go scoreless in a playoff game? Hint: He scored less than 10 points in six consecutive tournament games before averaging 20 points per game in his last 11 playoff outings.
At least 10 of the 37 schools appearing in excess of 50 NCAA payoff games failed to participate in the tourney each year since the field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985, including 16 former Final Four schools this season.
Nearly half of the "star schools" stayed home in 2004, including Houston being in the midst of a 17-year drought from 1993 through 2009. Following is a chronological list of big-name universities who were tourney outcasts since 1985:
1985 (14) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1986 (12) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Kansas State, Marquette, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Wake Forest
1987 (13) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Utah, Villanova, Wake Forest
1988 (12) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Marquette, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Texas, UCLA, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1989 (15) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Kansas, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, Utah, Wake Forest
1990 (12) - Cincinnati, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
1991 (14) - Cincinnati, Florida, Illinois, Houston, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, West Virginia
1992 (11) - Florida, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Maryland, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Purdue, UNLV, Utah, Villanova
1993 (15) - Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Syracuse, Texas, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
1994 (13) - Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, St. John's, UNLV, Utah, Villanova, West Virginia
1995 (11) - Duke, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, St. John's, UNLV, West Virginia
1996 (11) - Florida, Houston, Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, UNLV, West Virginia
1997 (16) - Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Kansas State, Memphis, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, UNLV, West Virginia
1998 (14) - Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, Villanova, Wake Forest
1999 (12) - Georgetown, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, UNLV, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2000 (12) - Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Villanova, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2001 (14) - Connecticut, Houston, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina State, Purdue, St. John's, UNLV, Utah, Villanova, West Virginia
2002 (15) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina, Purdue, Syracuse, Temple, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2003 (14) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, St. John's, Temple, UCLA, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2004 (18) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Marquette, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UCLA, UNLV, Villanova, West Virginia
2005 (15) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Kansas State, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UNLV
2006 (14) - Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UNLV, Utah, Wake Forest
2007 (15) - Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Iowa, Kansas State, Michigan, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, Temple, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2008 (14) - Cincinnati, Florida, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, Syracuse, Utah, Wake Forest
2009 (13) - Arkansas, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, St. John's, UNLV
2010 (15) - Arizona, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Memphis, Michigan, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, St. John's, UCLA, Utah
2011 (10) - Arkansas, Houston, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Utah, Wake Forest
2012 (13) - Arizona, Arkansas, Houston, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, St. John's, UCLA, Utah, Villanova, Wake Forest
2013 (11) - Arkansas, Connecticut, Houston, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Purdue, St. John's, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2014 (15) - Arkansas, Georgetown, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Marquette, Maryland, Notre Dame, Purdue, St. John's, Temple, UNLV, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia
2015 (12) - Connecticut, Florida, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Marquette, Memphis, Michigan, Syracuse, Temple, UNLV, Wake Forest
2016 (16) - Arkansas, Florida, Georgetown, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, St. John's, UCLA, UNLV, Wake Forest
Should I stay or should I go? It's a good thing some universities play in mammoth arenas because the egos of their "Pompous Pilots" wouldn't fit any other place. Much of the excess in the canonization of coaches is perpetrated by coaches-turned-television commentators who shamelessly fawn over their former colleagues. The analysts should be more concerned about encouraging coaches to spare fans the pious blather about the sanctity of a contract or agreement. Granted, it's survival of the fittest amid the offer-you-can't-refuse backdrop. But in a great many cases, schools have been little more than convenient steppingstones for "larger-than-life" coaches along their one-way street to success. It's understandable in many instances that mercenaries are leaving the minute they're appointed because coaches are in a distasteful "hired-to-be-fired" vocation, where a pink slip is only one losing season or poor recruiting year away.
Nevertheless, loyalty has become too much of a one-way street with the latest examples including Jamie Dixon departing for his alma mater (Texas Christian) despite having seven seasons remaining on his contract with Pittsburgh, Bryce Drew abandoning his alma mater (Valparaiso) with seven campaigns left on his deal for Vanderbilt and Brad Underwood leaving Stephen F. Austin for Oklahoma State with six years left on his pact. Meanwhile, players considering their options occasionally are grilled by coaches and commentators for contemplating transfers or leaving early for the NBA. There are countless examples of schools holding a player's eligibility hostage out of sheer vindictiveness. How much more one-sided can it be when such a lame double standard exists?
After all, the value systems for high-profile coaches are sufficiently open-minded to permit running out on contracts when more lucrative jobs come open. Contracts are understood to be for the protection of the coach, not the team, whose players are somehow indentured to the schools for as many as four years of eligibility unless of course a coach chooses not to renew their scholarships. Perhaps that's why many believe incoming recruits should be allowed out of their letter-of-intent to seek another destination if the coach they signed with departs before they even get to campus.
Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but that's most definitely the way it is as contracts don't appear to mean squat to a striking number of meandering mentors who abandon ship like so many rats at high tide. Oklahoma's Lon Kruger departed three different schools with at least four years remaining on pacts before leaving UNLV with two seasons left.
Many "leveraged" coaches have been preoccupied of late with attempting to virtually extort raises and extensions on already hefty packages. But in recent years, administrations at Boston College, Kent State, Marist, Miami (Fla.), St. John's and Wyoming seemed to be guinea pigs of sorts by fighting back via adherence to buyout clauses in trying to regain control of the situation in this big business atmosphere.
In mid-July 2010, a New York State Supreme Court Justice made a possible precedent-setting ruling in favor of Marist, which contended that coach Matt Brady's contract required him to secure written consent before negotiating with another school and forbade him from offering "a scholarship to current Marist players or to persons that he or his staff recruited to play at Marist" if he ever took a comparable job.
Brady clearly negotiated with James Madison in 2008 without "written" consent and Marist compiled a list of 19 prospects Brady recruited on behalf of Marist that it believed he should have been unable to recruit to JMU per the details of his contract. Four players on that "off-limits" list - Trevon Flores, Devon Moore, Andrey Semenov and Julius Wells - ultimately signed with JMU.
The judge ruled in favor of Marist's claims that Brady had an enforceable contract when he discussed leaving Marist with JMU, that JMU knew of the contract's existence, that JMU intentionally induced Brady to violate his fiduciary obligations under the contract, and that Marist incurred damages as a result of the breach of those obligations. Marist also filed a separate civil suit against Brady, who was canned by JMU despite reaching the 20-win plateau in 2015-16. In mid-May 2011, Kent State sued Geno Ford for more than $1.2 million in damages stemming from his departure for Bradley, where Ford has already been cast adrift.
Six of Tulsa's previous eight coaches - Nolan Richardson, Tubby Smith, Steve Robinson, Bill Self, Buzz Peterson and Danny Manning - left the school for more prestigious positions despite each of them having at least three years remaining on their contracts before Frank Haith downgraded by departing Missouri for Tulsa with three years remaining on his Mizzou pact. Half of the Golden Hurricane defectors went on to capture NCAA championships. Tulsa is one of three universities from which Self has bailed. He signed a five-year extension with Illinois in December, 2002, that included a bump in salary to $900,000 and payout of $500,000 if he stayed the life of the contract. There also was a buyout of $100,000 per year remaining on the pact.
Lengthy agreements with guarantees can restrict an institution's options. Oklahoma State probably would have pursued a new coach a year ago except the Cowboys were shackled by obligations stemming from the remaining four years of a 10-year extension signed by Travis Ford, who previously departed Massachusetts with seven seasons left on his contract to align with OSU.
Deal or no deal? The length of contracts doesn't seem to carry any weight as a factor in the equation. Smart said it was a "no-brainer" hooking up with the Horns and that statement is true if your brain cells or ethical standards don't put any stock into length of an existing pact. Following is an alphabetical list detailing coaches such as Dixon and Underwood reportedly still having contractual obligations to schools of more than five seasons when they left for greener pastures at some point in their careers:
- Steve Alford (10 years remaining on contract) - left New Mexico/hired by UCLA
- Rick Barnes (6) - Clemson/Texas
- John Beilein (6) - Richmond/West Virginia
- Tony Bennett (6) - Washington State/Virginia
- Dave Bliss (6) - New Mexico/Baylor
- Mike Brey (7) - Delaware/Notre Dame
- John Calipari (10) - Massachusetts/New Jersey Nets
- Jeff Capel III (6) - Virginia Commonwealth/Oklahoma
- Tom Crean (9) - Marquette/Indiana
- Jamie Dixon (7) - Pittsburgh/Texas Christian
- Matt Doherty (6) - Florida Atlantic/Southern Methodist
- Bryce Drew (7) - Valparaiso/Vanderbilt
- Larry Eustachy (6) - Utah State/Iowa State
- Dennis Felton (6) - Western Kentucky/Georgia
- Tim Floyd (6) - New Orleans/Iowa State
- Tim Floyd (8) - Iowa State/Chicago Bulls
- Travis Ford (7) - Massachusetts/Oklahoma State
- Billy Gillispie (8) - Texas A&M/Kentucky
- Brian Gregory (7) - Dayton/Georgia Tech
- Leonard Hamilton (7) - Miami (Fla.)/Washington Wizards
- Fred Hoiberg (8) - Iowa State/Chicago Bulls
- Ben Howland (6) - Pittsburgh/UCLA
- Jeff Lebo (8) - Chattanooga/Auburn
- Gregg Marshall (8) - Winthrop/Wichita State
- Thad Matta (9) - Xavier/Ohio State
- Fran McCaffery (7) - Siena/Iowa
- Sean Miller (9) - Xavier/Arizona
- Dan Monson (10) - Gonzaga/Minnesota
- Lute Olson (7) - Iowa/Arizona
- Buzz Peterson (9) - Appalachian State/Tulsa
- Skip Prosser (6) - Xavier/Wake Forest
- Oliver Purnell (6) - Clemson/DePaul
- Mike Rice Jr. (7) - Robert Morris/Rutgers
- Steve Robinson (7) - Tulsa/Florida State
- Kelvin Sampson (6) - Washington State/Oklahoma
- Shaka Smart (8) - Virginia Commonwealth/Texas
- Tubby Smith (6) - Georgia/Kentucky
- Mark Turgeon (9) - Wichita State/Texas A&M
- Brad Underwood (6) - Stephen F. Austin/Oklahoma State
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 9 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who was the only athlete to lead his championship team in scoring in two Final Four games and pitch in the major leagues the same year? Hint: He was a guard for three consecutive Final Four teams and was selected to the All-NCAA Tournament team as a senior.
2. Name the only school with more than 1,300 victories in the 20th Century never to reach the Final Four. Hint: The school participated in the NCAA playoffs just once (1992) in the last 40-plus years.
3. Name the only school to defeat a team three times in a season the opponent captured the NCAA title. Hint: The school also defeated the same conference foe three times the next season as defending national champion.
4. Name the only champion to win its two Final Four games by a total of more than 50 points. Hint: The titlist suffered its only loss that season against one of the Final Four victims.
5. Of the 35 Final Four Most Outstanding Players selected from 1946 through 1981 when there was a national third-place game, who was the only honoree to play for a fourth-place team? Hint: He never averaged as many as nine points per game in four NBA seasons.
6. Name the only school to lose in back-to-back years in the first round to different institutions going on to capture national titles those years. Hint: The school won a total of 47 games in the two seasons. The two defeats were in the middle of six consecutive playoff appearances for the school after it appeared in the playoffs just once from 1939 through 1982.
7. Name the only year four teams arrived at the national semifinals with a composite winning percentage of less than 75 percent. Hint: The two schools that met in the national third-place game are traditional football powers. The college losing both of its Final Four games that year is the only national semifinalist to finish a season with as many as 14 defeats.
8. Who is the only player to score more than 60 points in a single playoff game and to score more than 43 points at least twice? Hint: Of the players who scored more than 235 playoff points and/or averaged more than 25 points per tournament game (minimum of three games), he is the only individual from the select group to have a losing playoff record. He is the only one of the top 25 playoff scorers never to reach the Final Four.
9. Who is the only male player to score more than 44 points in a single Final Four game? Hint: He is the only player to twice convert more than 12 free throws without a miss in a playoff game.
10. Who is the only player to score more than 400 points in his playoff career? Hint: The only individual to start in four straight Final Fours hit two last-second shots to help his team win East Regional final overtime games and is the only player with at least 10 championship game free-throw attempts to convert all of them.
Weep On It/Think On It/Sleep On It/Drink On It. That could be the motto for Xavier after the Musketeers remained a "Susan Lucci" school in Division I after another loss in the NCAA Tournament preventing them from reaching the Promised Land. Brigham Young, Missouri and Xavier are the only three schools participating in more than 25 NCAA Tournaments but never advancing to a Final Four. X exhibited traits where it showed potential of marking a spot at the national semifinals this year but the #2 seed in the East Regional was blindsided twice by Wisconsin three-point specialist Bronson "Mr. Big Shot" Koenig in the last 13 seconds.
Missouri has reached a regional final on four occasions but fell short in advancing to the Final Four. Boston College is another bridesmaid multiple times, losing three regional finals (1967, 1982 and 1994) in 18 tourney appearances (22-19 record) since the field expanded beyond eight teams in 1950.
Alabama (20-20) is the only school with a non-losing NCAA playoff record among the following list of five frustrated institutions in a quagmire because they've made a minimum of 20 appearances without reaching the Final Four:
The Atlantic Coast Conference, reinvigorated with the additions of Notre Dame and Syracuse, provided more than three teams among the Sweet 16 for the first time in 20 years last season. This campaign, the ACC continued on an upward path by setting an NCAA Tournament record with six Sweet 16 participants. Newcomer Louisville might have been a seventh ACC squad but the banished Cardinals apparently were more interested in sex ed independent study raining dollar bills in their dormitory.
In 2009, the Big East became the first conference to boast five playoff teams reaching the regional semifinals in the same year until the ACC duplicated the feat last year. The ACC boasted four members advancing that far on eight occasions in a 12-year stretch from 1984 through 1995.
The ACC in 1985 was the only league in this category not to have at least one of the quartet reach the Final Four until the Big East was foiled in 2006. Following is a look at the 26 times when thoroughbred leagues supplied at least four Sweet 16 participants since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to at least 48 teams in 1980:
|Year||Power League||Four or More Members Reaching Sweet 16|
|1980||Big Ten||Indiana, z-Iowa, Ohio State, z-Purdue|
|1984||ACC||Maryland, North Carolina, z-Virginia, Wake Forest|
|1985||ACC||Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State|
|1985||Big East||Boston College, y-Georgetown, z-St. John's, x-Villanova|
|1986||ACC||y-Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State|
|1986||SEC||Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, z-Louisiana State|
|1989||ACC||z-Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia|
|1989||Big Ten||z-Illinois, Indiana, x-Michigan, Minnesota|
|1990||ACC||Clemson, y-Duke, z-Georgia Tech, North Carolina|
|1992||ACC||x-Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina|
|1993||ACC||Florida State, x-North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest|
|1995||ACC||Maryland, z-North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest|
|1996||SEC||Arkansas, Georgia, x-Kentucky, z-Mississippi State|
|1997||Pacific-10||x-Arizona, California, Stanford, UCLA|
|1998||Pacific-10||Arizona, z-Stanford, UCLA, Washington|
|1999||Big Ten||Iowa, z-Michigan State, z-Ohio State, Purdue|
|2001||Pacific-10||y-Arizona, Southern California, Stanford, UCLA|
|2002||Big 12||z-Kansas, Missouri, z-Oklahoma, Texas|
|2003||Big East||Connecticut, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, x-Syracuse|
|2006||Big East||Connecticut, Georgetown, Villanova, West Virginia|
|2009||Big East||z-Connecticut, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, z-Villanova|
|2012||Big East||Cincinnati, z-Louisville, Marquette, Syracuse|
|2012||Big Ten||Indiana, Michigan State, z-Ohio State, Wisconsin|
|2013||Big Ten||Indiana, y-Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State|
|2015||ACC||x-Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame|
|2016||ACC||Duke, Miami (Fla.), y-North Carolina, Notre Dame, z-Syracuse, Virginia|
x-Won NCAA championship
y-Finished national runner-up
z-Reached Final Four