College basketball fans shouldn't be assessed an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty if the NFL isn't their favorite sport, but they should rush to hold on because following is more super stuff to digest while bombarded by enough notes, quotes and anecdotes to have one seeking a sedative when assessing Super Bowl XLVIII. A super story this year if there had been a tight game could have been tight end Julius Thomas, a former college hoopster with Portland State. Thomas was an obscure player for the Denver Broncos until exploding on the scene this season as their runner-up in touchdowns with 12 and contributing a team-high eight pass receptions in an AFC title-game victory against the New England Patriots.
Thomas, an All-Big Sky Conference hoopster, flashed potential as the next game-changing tight end when he caught more touchdown passes in the opening quarter of the NFL season-opening game than he had receptions in his first two understudy seasons. A 74-yard TD strike to Thomas at San Diego in mid-season illustrated that QB Peyton Manning intends to capitalize on Thomas' athleticism the same way he did ex-hoopster Marcus Pollard (Bradley) with the Indianapolis Colts. Pollard, a J.C. transfer who was the Braves' leading rebounder in 1992-93, caught at least three touchdown passes each of Manning's first seven NFL seasons from 1998 through 2004.
For what it's worth hoop-wise, did you know former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was a 6-5 forward who averaged 11.4 points and nine rebounds per game for Georgetown in three varsity seasons from 1959-60 through 1961-62? He led the Hoyas in rebounding as a sophomore (8.9 rpg) and junior (8.2 rpg) and was their second-leading rebounder as a senior captain. Well-rounded trivia buffs should also know that Tagliabue's predecessor, Pete Rozelle, was the basketball publicist for 1949 NIT champion San Francisco before orchestrating events leading to the Super Bowl becoming a national phenomenon.
The Super Bowl's link to college basketball is much more extensive than these commissioners. Actually, there are a striking number of ex-college hoopsters who participated in the Super Bowl as players prior to Thomas. In fact, the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967 featured several former four-year college varsity basketball players for schools currently classified at the NCAA Division I level: Bobby Bell, Reg Carolan, Len Dawson, Otis Taylor and Fuzzy Thurston.
In deference to Super Bowl XLVIII, folllowing are 48 questions to tackle about versatile players such as Bell, Carolan, Dawson, Taylor and Thurston in this distinctive two-way athlete category that should surprise you with some of the marquee names. If you get them all correct before peeking at answers at the end of this gridiron quiz, then you are sufficiently omnipotent to know what happened to Ray Lewis' ditched cream suit in Atlanta.
1. Name the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback with the Cincinnati Bengals who appeared in the Super Bowl following the 1981 season after finishing his career as the fifth-leading scorer in his college's history. The high school teammate of Kentucky All-American and All-Pro Dan Issel led Augustana (Ill.) in field-goal accuracy and free-throw shooting as a freshman and sophomore.
2. Name the linebacker who was one of only two first-year players on the Miami Dolphins' undefeated team in 1972 and was still with the franchise the next season when the Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl champions for a 32-2 two-year mark, the best ever in the NFL. He played briefly for Louisville's varsity basketball squad before Cardinals football coach Lee Corso persuaded him to concentrate on the gridiron.
3. Name the nine-time All-Pro linebacker who was with the Kansas City Chiefs for their Super Bowl IV winner after becoming the first African American to play basketball for Minnesota when he appeared in three games in the 1960-61 season.
4. Name the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end who appeared in Super Bowl III with the Baltimore Colts vs. the New York Jets after becoming a first-team selection as a basketball center for South Dakota in the All-North Central Conference when he averaged 7.8 points per game in 1952-53 and 11 points in 1953-54.
5. Name the first black starting quarterback in the NFL who was later converted to wide receiver and caught two passes to help the undefeated Miami Dolphins beat Minnesota in Super Bowl VIII after averaging 9.5 ppg and 3.6 rpg in 14 basketball games for Nebraska-Omaha in 1964-65.
6. Name the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who caught five passes for 83 yards in Super Bowl XV for the Philadelphia Eagles after he was the top rebounder for two seasons with Southern (La.). He established an NFL record for most consecutive games with a pass reception (127).
7. Name the 1963 Pro Bowl selection who participated in Super Bowl I as a defensive end with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 6-6, 235-pounder played three varsity seasons with Idaho's basketball team, averaging four points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
8. Name the 1994 first-round draft choice who was a defensive end on the Dallas Cowboys' last Super Bowl team after playing nine games during the 1992-93 season for Arizona State's hoop squad that was decimated with injuries.
9. Name the Pro Bowl selection who appeared in Super Bowl XXXI with the New England Patriots after the 6-5, 245-pounder played basketball one season for Livingstone (N.C.). He held the NFL single-season record for most receptions by a tight end with 96 in 1994.
10. Name the four-year starter who set school career records for total offense, passing yards and rushing yards by a quarterback plus rushing touchdowns by a QB. Most Outstanding Player in the 2002 Peach Bowl as a quarterback was activated for the Super Bowl as a rookie with the Oakland Raiders before succeeding all-time great Tim Brown as a starting wide receiver. He was North Carolina's leader in assists during 2000-01 when he directed the Tar Heels to a basketball No. 1 ranking and an 18-game winning streak.
11. Name the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs who was MVP in Super Bowl IV after playing in two basketball games as a 6-0, 180-pound guard for Purdue in the 1956-57 campaign.
12. Name the defensive left end on Miami's undefeated team in 1972 who played in four Super Bowls with the Dolphins after the 6-6, 220-pound basketball center finished his four-season career at Central College as the Pella, Iowa-based school's all-time leading scorer (15.5 ppg) and rebounder (12.4 rpg). He grabbed a school-record 29 rebounds in a game his senior season (1970-71).
13. Name the Hall of Fame tight end who played in two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, catching a TD pass to cap the scoring in Super Bowl VI, before coaching the Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears following the 1985 season after the 6-2, 205-pound forward averaged 2.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
14. Name the defensive back for the Baltimore Colts' Super Bowl V champion who led the NFL in kickoff return average (35.4) in 1970 after playing basketball for Maryland-Eastern Shore.
15. Name the prominent ex-NFL coach who was a defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl XIII champion after averaging 2.6 ppg in 16 basketball contests with the Minnesota Gophers in 1973-74 under coach Bill Musselman.
16. Name the starting middle linebacker for a team in two of three Super Bowls in one stretch who started two games at point guard for St. Francis (Pa.) as a freshman in 1993-94 when he averaged three points per game. After transferring back home to Cleveland, the 5-10 dynamo collected 109 points and 52 rebounds in 27 games for John Carroll before quitting basketball midway through the 1995-96 campaign to concentrate on football.
17. Name the five-time Pro Bowl defensive back with the Dallas Cowboys who played in two Super Bowls after finishing his three-year varsity career as Utah State's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. The 6-4 forward scored 46 points in a game against New Mexico en route to leading the Aggies in scoring with 21.2 points per game in 1959-60 (34th in the nation), 20.3 in 1960-61 (57th) and 25.6 in 1961-62 (13th).
18. Name the Hall of Fame quarterback who played in three Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins after he was a 6-1, 185-pound sophomore guard in 1964-65 when scoring 22 points in 16 games in his only varsity basketball season for Purdue.
19. Name the 12-year veteran safety who played in Super Bowl IV with the Minnesota Vikings after averaging four points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 10 contests for Wisconsin's basketball team in 1958-59.
20. Name the wide receiver who caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach for the Dallas Cowboys' final touchdown in a 21-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl X after he averaged 12.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in three varsity seasons (1972-73 through 1974-75) for Austin Peay. It was the only pass reception in his NFL career. The 6-4, 215-pound forward averaged seven points and seven rebounds per game in four NCAA Tournament contests in 1973 and 1974 as a teammate of folk hero James "Fly" Williams.
21. Name the third-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins in 1998 who backed up MVP Ray Lewis as a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV after being a member of Cincinnati's basketball team for the first month of 1997-98 campaign.
22. Name the three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman who appeared in three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys after the 6-8, 230-pound backup post player averaged 1.7 points and 2.6 rebounds for Tennessee State in his freshman and sophomore seasons (1969-70 and 1970-71).
24. Name the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback who participated in Super Bowl XVII with the Washington Redskins after the 6-4, 190-pound forward averaged 13.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for San Diego State in 1969-70 and 1970-71. He was the Aztecs' second-leading scorer (15.2 ppg) and rebounder (7.6 rpg) as a junior.
25. Name the 10-time Pro Bowl defensive back who competed in four Super Bowls after collecting nine assists, four points and three rebounds in six games for Southern California's basketball squad as a junior in 1979-80.
26. Name the 11-year defensive lineman who played in Super Bowl XIII for the Minnesota Vikings after averaging 12.3 ppg with Michigan Tech in 1962-63.
27. Name the Minnesota Vikings defensive back who let former Prairie View basketball player Otis Taylor (Kansas City Chiefs) elude him for a long touchdown in Super Bowl IV after being a basketball teammate of Utah State legend Wayne Estes in 1964-65.
28. Name the NFL Hall of Fame tight end who caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas in Super Bowl V after collecting 28 points and 28 rebounds in six basketball games with Syracuse in 1960-61.
29. Name the defensive end who scored six touchdowns in his 14-year NFL career and started for the New York Giants in their Super Bowl victory following the 1986 season after the 6-5, 225-pound forward-center averaged just over 10 points and 10 rebounds per game for Oregon's freshman squad in 1971-72. He played briefly for the Ducks' varsity basketball team the next season.
30. Name the tight end who played in four Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills after he was the starting center for Jacksonville State's 1985 NCAA Division II championship team. He led the Gulf South Conference in rebounding each of his first three seasons and finished runner-up in that category as a senior.
31. Name the defensive lineman in Super Bowl XI for the Oakland Raiders who played basketball in the 1975 NAIA Tournament for Morningside (Iowa).
32. Name the quarterback who set an NFL record with 24 consecutive completions over a two-game span in 2004 before guiding the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl the next year. He collected a career-high 10 points and six rebounds and made two clinching free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining in a 77-74 victory over Georgetown in 1997 before Syracuse appeared in the NIT. He scored two points in two 1996 NCAA Tournament games for the Orangemen's national runner-up.
33. Name the tight end who played in four Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills, catching a TD pass in Super Bowl XXVI, after the 6-8, 235-pound center for the basketball squad at Wabash (Ind.) averaged 19.2 ppg and 11.4 rpg in four varsity seasons. He set NCAA Division III field-goal shooting records for a single season (75.3% in 1981-82 as a senior) and career (72.4). He collected 45 points and 13 rebounds in the 1982 championship game, scoring a Division III Tournament record 129 points in five games and earning tourney outstanding player honors.
34. Name the Pro Bowl offensive tackle who appeared in three consecutive Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins after leading Lamar in rebounding as a senior with 12.6 per game in 1968-69.
35. Name the valuable addition to the Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 setting an NFL single-game record with 20 receptions for the San Francisco 49ers against the Chicago Bears in 2000. He collected 57 points and 49 rebounds in 38 games (four starts) for UT-Chattanooga's basketball squad in three seasons from 1993-94 through 1995-96.
36. Name the 14-year running back who played in five Super Bowls, catching more passes (five) than anyone in Super Bowls X and XII, after the guard-forward averaged 8.7 points and 6 rebounds per game as a senior in 1966-67 to finish his three-year Illinois varsity career with 5.2 ppg and 3.6 rpg.
37. Name the 2002 NFL defensive rookie of the year for the Carolina Panthers who appeared in the Super Bowl the next season after being a member of North Carolina's 2000 Final Four squad. He started both NCAA Tournament games for the Tar Heels in 2001, including his first double-double (10 rebounds and career-high 21 points against Penn State).
38. Name the wide receiver who made a two-point conversion on a run for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV and threw a flea flicker touchdown pass in Super Bowl XX after collecting 16 points and 11 assists in 11 games for Indiana's 1999 NCAA Tournament team, including two points in each of the Hoosiers' playoff contests (against George Washington and St. John's).
39. Name the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who scored the first touchdown at XXXI Super Bowl for the Green Bay Packers after he was a 6-1, 185-pound backup guard in basketball for Michigan State in two seasons (1985-86 and 1987-88).
40. Name the Hall of Fame offensive tackle who participated in two Super Bowls (XI and XV) with the Oakland Raiders after he was a two-year basketball letterman as a 6-5, 265-pound center for Maryland State College (now called Maryland-Eastern Shore).
41. Name an offensive tackle for the Super Bowl XVII champion Washington Redskins after the strike-shortened 1982 campaign who averaged 2.9 ppg and 3.7 rpg while shooting 50.5% from the floor with Columbia in 1968-69 and 1969-70.
42. Name the Hall of Fame quarterback who guided the Dallas Cowboys to four Super Bowls after averaging 9.3 points per game for the 1961-62 Navy plebe (freshman) basketball team. The 6-2, 190-pound forward scored five points in four games for the Midshipmen varsity squad the next season. He was MVP in Super Bowl VI.
43. Name the defensive back for the Baltimore Colts who appeared in two Super Bowls (III and V) after playing basketball for Maryland-Eastern Shore.
44. Name the wide receiver who played in two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs, catching 10 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, after he was a backup small forward in the Prairie View A&M era following the school's glory years with pro basketball standout Zelmo Beaty.
45. Name the offensive guard with the Green Bay Packers who participated in the first two Super Bowls after originally enrolling at Valparaiso on a basketball scholarship. He averaged 1.5 points per game in eight contests as a freshman with Valpo in 1951-52 before concentrating on football.
46. Name the Pro Bowl punter who appeared in two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys after averaging 14.5 points and 8.3 rebounds as a sophomore, 17.3 points and eight rebounds as a junior and 22.1 points and 8.7 rebounds as a senior for Tennessee. The 6-4, 210-pound forward scored 50 points against LSU as a senior on his way to becoming SEC player of the year in 1967.
47. Name the defensive end for the Denver Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowl champions (XXXII and XXXIII) who registered one steal while playing in one minute of one Big Eight Conference basketball game for Colorado in 1989-90.
48. Name the offensive tackle who was an NFL All-Pro six straight seasons in the 1970s and played in the Super Bowl five times that decade with the Dallas Cowboys after earning All-SIAC basketball recognition for Fort Valley State (Ga.).
ANSWERS TO 48 SUPER BOWL TRIVIA QUESTIONS
1. Ken Anderson; 2. Larry Ball; 3. Bobby Bell; 4. Ordell Braase; 5. Marlin Briscoe; 6. Harold Carmichael; 7. Reg Carolan; 8. Shante Carver; 9. Ben Coates; 10. Ronald Curry; 11. Len Dawson; 12. Vern Den Herder; 13. Mike Ditka; 14. Jim Duncan; 15. Tony Dungy; 16. London Fletcher; 17. Cornell Green; 18. Bob Griese; 19. Dale Hackbart; 20. Percy Howard; 21. Brad Jackson; 22. Ed "Too Tall" Jones; 23. Billy Kilmer; 24. Joe Lavender; 25. Ronnie Lott; 26. Bob Lurtsema; 27. Earsell Mackbee; 28. John Mackey; 29. George Martin; 30. Keith McKeller; 31. Herb McMath; 32. Donovan McNabb; 33. Pete Metzelaars; 34. Wayne Moore; 35. Terrell Owens; 36. Preston Pearson; 37. Julius Peppers; 38. Antwaan Randle El; 39. Andre Rison; 40. Art Shell; 41. George Starke; 42. Roger Staubach; 43. Charlie Stukes; 44. Otis Taylor; 45. Fuzzy Thurston; 46. Ron Widby; 47. Alfred Williams; 48. Rayfield Wright.
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." - Mark Twain
Anyone with a functioning brain knows high school player ratings are so much unadulterated bull-spit reminiscent of Sochi accommodations. All of the so-called recruiting analysts/experts and slobbering announcers with drool buckets giving credence to the charade are doing a disservice to the fans and impressionable teenagers. Why can't the player pimps simply wait until the athletes compete in an actual game on a college court before rendering judgment on their ability at the next level?
There should be a teen-protective law regarding player ratings forcing them to be written on toilet paper so they can be flushed down the toilet. Conducting a live press conference on a Signing Day Special announcing a teenager's college intentions is obscene. Keep-it-pithy Mark Twain would have been nauseated watching adults hold their collective breath to see if a pimple-faced kid dons cap of their alma mater.
What good are the prep player rankings anyway if the brainiacs can't pinpoint a prospect who will be an NCAA consensus first-team All-American three successive seasons? In 2010, Creighton's Doug McDermott wasn't listed among the consensus Top 100 recruits. It's not as if no one saw him in Ames, Iowa, because his H.S. teammate, Harrison Barnes (North Carolina), ranked as the nation's premier prepster.
But previously-shunned McDermott, who rarely dunks to shine the spotlight on himself and spends more time practicing his free throws than getting tattoos, emerged as a consistent standout. McDermott isn't infallible, scoring a meager five points against UAB last season and only seven versus George Washington this campaign. But even if he averaged five points per game, that would be a higher mark than the career averages posted by the following alphabetical list of frontcourters in the same class mistakenly rated higher than him coming out of high school: Evan Anderson (Wisconsin/0.6 points per game), Demarco Cox (Mississippi/3.1), Keith Davis (Texas A&M/1.1), Carson Desrosiers (Wake Forest & Providence/4.3), Josh Hairston (Duke/2.2), James Johnson (Virginia & San Diego State/1.4), Nate Lubick (Georgetown/4.9) and Melvin Tabb (Wake Forest & Kent State/3.3).
Seemingly incapable of calculating the difference between street ball and team ball, the recruiting gurus can't seem to assess backcourters any better. For instance, Michigan's Trey Burke, designated national POY last season over McDermott, wasn't listed among the Top 100 in 2011. Again, it wasn't as if he was an unknown commodity insofar as Burke was a prep teammate of eventual Ohio State All-American Jared Sullinger. It would take all week to read the list of players ranked ahead of Burke, McDermott and fellow consensus 2012-13 first-team All-Americans Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga) and Otto Porter Jr. (Georgetown) when they left high school.
Elsewhere, guard Jeremy Lamb averaged 14.1 ppg in two seasons with 2011 NCAA champion Connecticut before leaving school early and becoming an NBA lottery pick (12th overall). But Lamb's scoring average is more than twice as high as those compiled by the following alphabetical list of guards in the same 2010 class incorrectly rated ahead of him entering college: Rion Brown (Miami/7), Gary Franklin (California & Baylor/4.5), Crandall Head (Illinois & Southern Methodist/1.1), Jamail Jones (Marquette & Florida Gulf Coast/3.3), Jelan Kendrick (Memphis, Mississippi & UNLV/6.1 ppg), Mychal Parker (Maryland/3.4), Stacey Poole Jr. (Kentucky & Georgia Tech/1.9) and Jordan Sibert (Ohio State & Dayton/5.1).
Obesely-overrated Josh Smith was a consensus Top 20 player coming out of H.S. while McDermott was virtually ignored. Smith was declared academically ineligible at Georgetown after flopping with UCLA while McDermott, schooling opponents and media flunkeys, closed in on becoming only the eighth player in DI history cracking the 3,000-point plateau. What are the recruiting-wizard credentials of the chattering class who couldn't see any possible distinction between them? Never underestimate how gullible some observers can be if they don't let mistake-ridden recruit regaling go in one ear and out the other until authentic evidence exists.
"Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety." - Plato
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Self-righteous Chicken Little fans, high pot-smokers galore and willfully dense media members, sounding like end-of-the-world doom-and-gloomers from the whiny race-baiting Blame America Administration, can get on your nerves because of their lack of historical perspective.
Recent slumps for Baylor, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Wisconsin were disconcerting to their fans but they shouldn't be on suicide watch. Plenty of premier programs recover from dry-spell reversals, even against inferior opponents, to return to elite status.
A comparable little slump happened to Kansas last year before the Jayhawks eventually posted their fourth straight 30-win campaign. KU fans should have remembered that Wilt Chamberlain's final season in 1958 included one of the most amazing turnarounds in NCAA history. Nebraska, in the midst of 15 consecutive losing seasons, was clobbered at Kansas by 56 points (102-46) before upsetting the Jayhawks (43-41) four games later in Omaha. In the Cornhuskers' next outing, they defeated top-ranked Kansas State (55-48), an opponent overwhelming them by a total of 46 points in two previous matchups. Nebraska never has won an NCAA Tournament game, making the Cornhuskers treasure the moment even more when they defeated NCAA champion-to-be Kansas in the regular season in 1988.
Cincinnati, compiling just one winning record in Metro Conference competition (8-6 in 1985) in 12 years from 1978 through 1989, is the only school to register a losing record in a season it won a road game against a conference rival that later became NCAA champion. The 12-16 Bearcats, notching a 5-7 Metro mark, won at Louisville (84-82) midway through the 1985-86 campaign when guard Roger McClendon poured in 24 of his 35 points in the second half. The Cardinals recovered from their only home-court loss that year and the embarrassment of squandering a 13-point, second-half lead against Cincinnati to wind up capturing the NCAA title.
Michigan State dominated the 1979 NCAA Tournament, handing each of its five playoff opponents, a quintet averaging 25.6 victories, their worst defeat of the year - Lamar (31-point margin), LSU (16), Notre Dame (12), Penn (34) and Indiana State (11). Consequently, most observers don't recall the glaring defect of the Magic Johnson-led Spartans earlier that season when they were defeated by four Big Ten Conference second-division teams (including three finishing the year at least four games below .500 in league competition). One of Michigan State's setbacks was by 18 points against perennial cellar dweller Northwestern, which had 35 consecutive losing league records from 1969 through 2003.
Florida '98 is the only school at least four games below .500 in league play to win on the road against a conference opponent (Kentucky) that wound up capturing the NCAA Tournament crown later that season. The Gators went on to become the only school to capture back-to-back NCAA titles despite losing a league game each year to an opponent with a conference mark at least four games below .500 (2006 and 2007).
Plato's quote about anxiety takes on a special meaning for hoop fans examining the following chronological list of 11 schools at least four games under .500 in conference competition defeating a league rival ending the season as NCAA titlist (including four of them in an eight-year span from 2003 through 2010):
|Second-Division Team||Season||Overall (Losing League Record)||Upset Against Eventual NCAA Champion|
|Oregon State||1938-39||13-11 (6-10 in PCC)||Beavers defeated Oregon, 50-31|
|Oregon||1958-59||9-16 (3-13 in PCC)||Ducks defeated California, 59-57|
|Illinois||1978-79||19-11 (7-11 in Big Ten)||Illini defeated Michigan State, 57-55|
|Northwestern||1978-79||6-21 (2-16 in Big Ten)||Wildcats defeated Michigan State, 83-65|
|Wisconsin||1978-79||12-15 (6-12 in Big Ten)||Badgers defeated Michigan State, 83-81|
|Nebraska||1987-88||13-18 (4-10 in Big Eight)||Cornhuskers defeated Kansas, 70-68|
|Florida||1997-98||14-15 (6-10 in SEC)||Gators won at Kentucky, 86-78|
|Rutgers||2002-03||12-16 (4-12 in Big East)||Scarlet Knights defeated Syracuse, 68-65|
|South Carolina||2005-06||23-15 (6-10 in SEC)||Gamecocks defeated Florida, 68-62|
|Louisiana State||2006-07||17-15 (5-11 in SEC)||Tigers defeated Florida, 66-56|
|North Carolina State||2009-10||20-16 (5-11 in ACC)||Wolfpack defeated Duke, 88-74.|
"Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time." - Arnold H. Glasow
Overlooked amid Digger Phelps entering Notre Dame's Ring of Honor is examining how he wound up at South Bend in the first place. In retrospect, it might have stemmed from a one-game Irish job audition.
In 1970-71, Phelps was guiding Fordham to its winningest season in school history but what likely really impressed the Notre Dame administration was a 94-88 victory that season over the Irish. He was UND's bench boss the next campaign and went on to win seven games against nationally top-ranked opponents.
Non-conference schedules frequently are frustrating for fans of power league schools because of what seems like feasting on a steady diet of cupcake opponents. But you never know when a single game can become a career changer.
Similar to almost any job, timing is everything. Following is an alphabetical list of impressionable coaches such as Phelps who generated such favorable reviews after defeating a school in a non-conference game one season they were hired by that institution in the same role before the next campaign:
"It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumphs of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
For those who eat, sleep and breathe the NCAA Tournament although it came after Teddy Roosevelt's presidency, the sensory overload of the playoffs is a banquet and every year is a feast. Nourishing your appetite for assessing postseason play, the following questions linger: Who were the most pristine postseason players in the nation's premier multiple-week sports spectacle? Who always seemed hot and who was not? Who was a stud instead of a dud?
It's a cop-out to simply accept the instant visibility of one-name icons such as Magic, Bird and Michael and cite them among the 75 greatest players in tourney history, let alone the top 25. The prolific pro careers of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, a trio combining to win nine consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player awards from 1983-84 through 1991-92 (three apiece), somewhat distorts their impact in college postseason play. Notwithstanding the TV appeal of the Bird/Magic championship game match-up in 1979 and Jordan's game-winning basket as a freshman in the 1982 national final against Georgetown, a closer examination of the facts than what was exhibited in 75th-anniversary polls last year by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News shows that other collegians were more efficient more often in the NCAA Tournament. Consider the following tourney trauma for Johnson (ESPN 5/SN 7/SI 8), Bird (SI 5/ESPN 15/SN 24) and Jordan (SN 32/ESPN 57/SI 70) before accepting as gospel they were among the premier performers in NCAA playoff play:
Johnson shot a meager 27.8% from the floor (10 of 36) in three 1978 tourney games as a freshman for Michigan State before leading the Spartans to the NCAA title the next year. He had more turnovers (six) than assists (five) in the over-hyped 1979 final, a mediocre contest paling in comparison to the last eight finals of the 1980s when seven of them were decided by an average of two points. Johnson outscored and outrebounded teammate Greg Kelser in just one of eight playoff games they played together. Kelser simply contributed more than Magic to the Spartans' cause in NCAA competition.
Bird boosted Indiana State to the 1979 final in his lone NCAA tourney, but put the 'oops' in hoops by committing a Final Four-record 17 turnovers. He hit just 7 of 21 field-goal attempts and had three times as many turnovers (six) as assists (two) against Michigan State in the championship game, which was essentially the equivalent of a boring Super Bowl failing to live up to hype.
Jordan's NBA playoff scoring average with the Chicago Bulls more than doubled the NCAA Tournament scoring average he compiled for North Carolina. Jordan averaged 16.5 points per NCAA playoff game with the Tar Heels, scoring 20 or more in just two of 10 postseason games from 1982 through 1984. His Airness scored fewer than 18 points in two of the four playoff contests he led Carolina in scoring. Most people don't remember his inauspicious playoff debut when he collected six points, one rebound, no assists and no steals in 37 minutes of a 52-50 opening-round victory against James Madison in the East Regional. And Jordan's final NCAA Tournament appearance before he left school early for the NBA was nothing to write home about, either. The college player of the year was restricted to six points in the first 35 minutes of his collegiate swan song in the East Regional semifinals against Indiana, finishing with 13 points, one rebound, one assist and one steal in 26 foul-plagued minutes when the top-ranked Tar Heels were eliminated (72-68).
Generally, sizzling scorers have learned it's not a day at the beach in postseason play. For instance, former NBA sensation Clyde Drexler averaged more than 17 points per game each of his last 13 NBA seasons, but he scored more than 17 points in just one of 11 NCAA Tournament games for the University of Houston from 1981 through 1983. Premier playmaker Steve Nash managed only one field goal in three of five playoff contests in the mid-1990s, shooting a paltry 29.2% from the floor. Two-time NBA slam-dunk champion Jason Richardson (5th pick overall in 2001) was grounded by the NCAA playoffs, going scoreless in three consecutive contests as a Michigan State freshman in 2000. All-Americans Thomas Robinson (Kansas) and Tyler Zeller (North Carolina) each went scoreless in two NCAA playoff games. Eventual All-Americans Marcus Denmon (Missouri), Danny Ferry (Duke), Ben Gordon (Connecticut), Marcus Morris (Kansas) and Terrence Williams (Louisville) also went scoreless in a tourney game. Ferry scored fewer than 10 points in six straight tourney tilts before averaging 20 ppg in his last 11 playoff outings and Syracuse All-American Kris Joseph never scored more than 12 points in 11 NCAA playoff contests from 2009 through 2012.
Duke's Christian Laettner, the all-time playoff scoring leader with 407 points from 1989 through 1992, tallied fewer than 15 points in six of his first seven tournament games. Just four of the top 20 in career scoring in the NCAA playoffs accumulated more than 10 points in every tourney game they participated - UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1967-68-69), Princeton's Bill Bradley (1963-64-65), Arizona's Sean Elliott (1986-87-88-89) and Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson (1958-59-60).
Is an Amber Alert necessary for Len Chappell, Adrian Dantley, Tom Gola, Alex Groza, David "Big Daddy" Lattin, Jim McDaniels, Jeff Mullins, Cazzie Russell, Dennis Scott, Rony Seikaly, etc., etc., etc.? How could anyone forget the footprint (size-22) Bob Lanier left on postseason play? The NCAA, exhibiting all the expertise of voters claiming they can't provide identification, unveiled a stunning error-prone list last year of foremost NCAA Tournament players over the first 75 years. Were relatives of guards Shelvin Mack and Keith Smart on the nominating panel for such amateurish choices? Do backcourters B.J. Armstrong, Terry Dehere, Allen Iverson, Wally Jones, Brevin Knight, Bo Lamar, Mark Macon, Lawrence Moten, Anthony Peeler and Mitch Richmond mean anything to the misinformed? The NCAA, apparently incapable of discerning what comprises a "moment" rather than numerous playoff-pressure games or putting too much stock in input from self-serving media, should go back to focusing on vital task of shedding Indian nicknames from as many schools as possible.
In his State of the Union address, basketball buff POTUS probably should have focused on mental inequality in hoopdom rather than income inequality in his "I-have-a-phone-and-pen" kingdom. An NCAA probe similar to IRS targeting needs to be conducted stemming from the most glaring omission among impact players failing to be acknowledged. Incredibly, the shunned included Bob Pettit, who averaged 30.5 points in six outings with LSU in 1953 and 1954. Pettit is perhaps the most consistent big scorer in NCAA playoff annals with a single-digit differential between his high game (36 points) and low contest (27).
The Chris Webber Award for playoff competition brain lock goes to SN for citing Tom Thacker, a nice versatile player for Cincinnati teams participating in three consecutive NCAA championship contests, as #15 on its all-time list. Thacker committed a toxic total of 13 turnovers (with only four assists) in two Final Four games in 1963 after scoring only two points in 1962 national semifinals and shooting a paltry 8-of-28 from the floor at 1961 Final Four. UCLA by itself has had at least 15 more influential tourney players than Thacker, who was unranked by ESPN and SI. The only logical answer for this absurdity is a Cincinnati connection of some sort among the voting delegation or the fishy selection is a byproduct for why SN's print edition went belly up.
Michigan State All-American Draymond Green posted back-to-back triple doubles in 2011 and 2012 but still doesn't rank among the all-time best 76 players in tourney history as the event enters its 76th year. If some of these historical facts aroused your curiosity, here is additional tournament insight that should fuel debates concerning who should be on college basketball's Mount Rushmore after excelling the most as NCAA playoff performers (minimum of six tourney games):
1. Lew Alcindor, C, UCLA
The only individual selected the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player three times averaged 25.7 points and 18.8 rebounds and shot 64.1% from the floor in six Final Four games from 1967 through 1969. Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is the only player to couple three unanimous first-team All-American seasons with three NCAA titles. Of the 10 different individuals to average more than 23 points per game for a national champion a total of 12 times, Alcindor achieved the feat all three of his seasons with the Bruins. He is also the only player to hit better than 70% of his field-goal attempts in two NCAA title games. UCLA '67, the first varsity season for Alcindor, set the record for largest average margin of victory for a champion when the Bruins started a dazzling streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances. They won their 12 NCAA playoff games with Alcindor manning the middle by an average margin of 21.5 points. The three Alcindor-led UCLA teams rank among the seven NCAA champions with average margins of victory in a tournament of more than 19 points per game. He led the Bruins in scoring in 10 of 12 playoff contests. It's no wonder a perceptive scribe wrote that the acronym NCAA took on a new meaning during the Alcindor Era - "No Chance Against Alcindor."
2. Bill Walton, C, UCLA
Averaged 28.8 points and 17.8 rebounds per game at the Final Four in 1972 and 1973. His championship game-record 44 points against Memphis State in 1973 when he hit 21-of-22 field-goal attempts will probably never be duplicated. On the other hand, he had one playoff game of fewer than 10 points each of the three seasons he was national player of the year.
3. Jerry West, G-F, West Virginia
He is the only player to score at least 25 points in eight consecutive tournament games (all of which he led in scoring). West is also the only player to rank among the top five in scoring average in both the NCAA Tournament (30.6 points per game) and NBA playoffs (29.1 ppg). He was denied a championship ring with West Virginia in his only Final Four appearance in 1959 when Cal center Darral Imhoff, a player who would become an Olympic and NBA teammate, tipped in a decisive basket in the closing seconds.
4. Elvin Hayes, F, Houston
He is the only player to lead a tournament in scoring by more than 60 points. Lew Alcindor and his UCLA teammates helped hold Hayes to 10 points in 1968 national semifinals, but the Big E finished with 167 points in five games with Houston that year. Alcindor was runner-up with 103 points in four contests. Hayes became the only player in tournament history to collect more than 40 points and 25 rebounds in the same game when he amassed 49 points and 27 rebounds in a 94-76 decision over Loyola of Chicago in first round of 1968 Midwest Regional. He holds the records for most rebounds in a playoff series (97 in five games as a senior in 1968) and career (222 in 13 games). Hayes had five games with at least 24 rebounds, including the first three playoff games in 1968, before being held to five in a 101-69 national semifinal loss against UCLA. He also holds the record for most playoff field goals in a career with 152.
5. Gail Goodrich, G, UCLA
Despite standing at least three inches shorter than both standout opponents, the 6-1 lefthander outscored consensus second-team All-American Jeff Mullins of Duke, 27-22, in 1964 final and unanimous first-team All-American Cazzie Russell of Michigan, 42-28, in 1965 final. Goodrich, the only guard to score more than 35 points in an NCAA final, averaged 35 points per game for UCLA in 1965 tourney. He was also the Bruins' leading scorer the previous year (21.5-point average as a junior) when he became the shortest undergraduate to average more than 20 points per game for an NCAA titlist. Goodrich and Walt Hazzard (18.6 ppg) represent the only backcourt duo to be the top two scorers on the season for an NCAA championship team. Of the eight times a school successfully defended its major college championship, Goodrich is the only guard to be the team's leading scorer in back-to-back years. The Bruins won 58 of 60 games in those two championship seasons although they didn't have a regular taller than 6-7.
6. Bill Bradley, F, Princeton
The former U.S. Senator (D-N.J.) and 2000 presidential candidate holds the record for most points in a single Final Four game (58 against Wichita State in 1965 national third-place game). He scored 39 points in the second half of the consolation game. The Rhodes Scholar was the only player to have a double-digit season scoring average (30.5 points per game) for Princeton's Final Four team. Bradley also holds the career playoff record for highest free-throw percentage (minimum of 50 attempts). He was 89 of 96 from the foul line (90.6%) from 1963 through 1965. In five of his nine playoff games, Bradley made at least 10 free throws while missing no more than one attempt from the charity stripe. He made 16 of 16 free throws against St. Joseph's in first round of 1963 East Regional and 13 of 13 foul shots against Providence in 1965 East Regional final to become the only player to twice convert more than 12 free throws without a miss in playoff games. He was the game-high scorer in eight of nine tourney contests.
7. Bill Russell, C, San Francisco
Grabbed an incredible 50 rebounds for [USF] at 1956 Final Four (23 against SMU in semifinals and 27 against Iowa in championship game). No other player has retrieved more than 41 missed shots in two Final Four games or more than 21 in the final. Averaged 23.2 points in winning all nine NCAA tourney contests.
8. Oscar Robertson, G-F, Cincinnati
Averaged at least 29 points and 10 rebounds per game each of his three years in the tourney with the Bearcats. The Big O isn't picked higher because California restricted him to a total of 37 points in two Final Four games (1959 and 1960). He hit just nine of 32 from the floor against the Bears. Robertson, the nation's leading scorer all three of his varsity seasons with averages of more than 32 points per game, is the only team-leading scorer to twice go more than 10 points below his season scoring average when his school lost in the national semifinals or final.
9. Sean Elliott, F, Arizona
Of the more than 60 different players to score at least 2,500 points and/or rank among the top 25 in career scoring average, Elliott is the only one to have a winning NCAA playoff record in his career plus post higher scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting playoff averages than he compiled in the regular season. Elliott scored at least 17 points in all 10 of his NCAA playoff games with the Wildcats from 1986 through 1989.
10. Christian Laettner, F, Duke
Only player to start in four Final Fours became the tourney's all-time leading scorer (407 points) in helping the Blue Devils compile a 21-2 playoff mark in his career. Laettner's highest-scoring game was 31 against Kentucky in a 104-103 victory in 1992 East Regional final. Laettner capped a flawless offensive performance, hitting all 10 of his field-goal attempts and all 10 of his free throws against the Wildcats, by scoring Duke's last eight points in overtime, including a stunning 18-foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer after catching a pass from the baseline on the opposite end of the court. He also hit what probably was an even more difficult off-balance, last-second shot to give Duke a 79-78 win against Connecticut in 1990 East Regional final. Tallied fewer than 15 points in six of his first seven playoff contests.
11. Bob Pettit, F-C, Louisiana State
Of the more than 40 different players to score more than 225 points in the NCAA playoffs and/or average over 25 points per tournament game (minimum of six games), he is the only one to score more than 22 points in every postseason contest (six games with LSU in 1953 and 1954). He was perhaps the most consistent big scorer in NCAA Tournament history with a single-digit differential between his high game (36 points) and his low game (27). Pettit wasn't named to the 1953 All-Tournament team despite leading the Tigers to the Final Four and averaging 30.5 points per game in four NCAA playoff contests. He averaged the same number of points in two tourney games the next year.
12. Bobby Hurley, G, Duke
The 6-0 guard was selected Most Outstanding Player at the 1992 Final Four. He was the shortest player to earn the award since 5-11 Hal Lear helped Temple to a national third-place finish in 1956. The only Final Four Most Outstanding Player shorter than Hurley from a championship team was 5-11 Kenny Sailors of Wyoming in 1943. Hurley shot a mediocre 41% from the floor in his college career, but he was the Blue Devils' linchpin with his playmaking and intangible contributions. He holds the career record for most playoff assists (145) and three-pointers (42) although his bid to become the first player to start four consecutive NCAA finals was thwarted when California upset Duke in the second round of 1993 Midwest Regional despite Hurley's career-high 32 points. After averaging just 5.4 points per game in his first eight NCAA Tournament contests, he averaged 22.8 in his last five playoff outings.
13. Steve Alford, G, Indiana
Averaged 21.3 points in 10 NCAA Tournament games in 1984, 1986 and 1987 (8-2 record). He led the Hoosiers in scoring in seven of the contests.
14. Larry Johnson, F, UNLV
Juco jewel averaged 20.2 points and 11.5 rebounds in 11 games in 1990 and 1991 (10-1 record).
15. Miles Simon, G, Arizona
Averaged 18.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 14 games from 1995 through 1998 (11-3 record). He was game-high scorer in his last three playoff contests.
16. Patrick Ewing, C, Georgetown
The Hoyas compiled a glittering 15-3 playoff record from 1982 through 1985 during his four-year reign of terror although he never scored as many as 25 points in a tournament game.
17. David "Big Daddy" Lattin, C, Texas Western
Averaged 19.4 ppg and 10.6 rpg in eight games in 1966 and 1967 (7-1 record). He averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds in first three games of 1966 playoffs, powering champion-to-be Miners to Final Four. Playoff scoring average was five points higher than his regular-season mark.
18. Clyde Lovellette, C, Kansas
The only individual to lead the nation in scoring average in the same season he played for a team reaching the NCAA Tournament championship game. Averaging 35.3 points per game in the 1952 tourney, he was the first player to score more than 30 points in a Final Four contest and the only player to crack the 30-point plateau in the national semifinals and final in the same season.
19. Dennis Scott, G-F, Georgia Tech
Averaged 25.9 ppg and 5.9 rpg in eight playoff games from 1988 through 1990 (5-3 record). He was game-high scorer in four of five contests in 1990 when the Yellow Jackets reached the Final Four.
20. David Thompson, F, North Carolina State
The last player to score the most points in a single game of a tournament and play for a championship team (40 against Providence in 1974 East Regional semifinals). He is the only undergraduate non-center to average more than 23 ppg for a national champion.
21. Austin Carr, G, Notre Dame
After scoring only six points in his first tournament game as a sophomore (re-injured against Miami of Ohio in 1969), Carr averaged 47.2 points in his last six playoff contests to finish with a tourney record 41.3-point mark. However, the Irish won only two of the seven games.
22. David Robinson, C, Navy
Averaged 28.6 points and 12.3 rebounds in seven games from 1985 through 1987 (4-3 record). He was game-high scorer in four playoff contests, including a school-record 50 points against Michigan in his final appearance.
23. Bob Kurland, C, Oklahoma A&M
Only player to score more than half of a championship team's points in a single NCAA Tournament (total of 72 accounted for 51.8% of the Aggies' output in three playoff games in 1946).
24. Jerry Lucas, C, Ohio State
Two-time NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player averaged 22.8 ppg and 12 rpg at the Final Four in 1960 and 1961. But he was limited to nine points in both of his tourney openers when earning national player of the year awards in 1961 and 1962.
25. Sean May, F-C, North Carolina
Final Four Most Outstanding Player for 2005 champion averaged 19.9 points and 9.9 rebounds in eight NCAA Tournament games in 2004 and 2005 (7-1 record).
26. Alex Groza, C, Kentucky
Two-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player is only individual appearing at a minimum of two Final Fours (1948 and 1949) and be the game-high scorer in every Final Four contest he participated.
27. Len Chappell, F-C, Wake Forest
Averaged 27.6 ppg and 17.1 rpg in eight games in 1961 and 1962 (6-2 record). He was the Demon Deacons' leading scorer in all eight contests.
28. Bob Lanier, C, St. Bonaventure
Averaged 25.2 points and 14.2 rebounds in six games in 1968 and 1970 (4-2 record; missed 1970 Final Four after tearing a knee ligament in East Regional final).
29. Corliss Williamson, F, Arkansas
Two-time All-NCAA Tournament selection averaged 20.2 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 59.4% from the floor in 15 games from 1993 through 1995 (13-2 record).
30. Al Wood, F, North Carolina
Averaged 20.1 points and 8.3 rebounds in eight games from 1978 through 1981 (4-4 record). He was the Tar Heels' leading scorer in six of those playoff contests.
31. Tim Duncan, C, Wake Forest
Averaged 17.6 points, 15 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots in 11 games from 1994 through 1997 (7-4 record).
32. Glen Rice, F, Michigan
Averaged 23.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 13 games from 1986 through 1989 (10-3 record). As a senior, he was the Wolverines' leading scorer in all six contests during their championship run when setting a single-tourney record with 184 points.
33. Danny Manning, F, Kansas
The only player to score more than 62% of his team's points in an NCAA Tournament game (42 in the Jayhawks' 67-63 victory against Southwest Missouri State in second round of 1987 Southeast Regional). He was the game-high scorer in all six of their contests en route to the 1988 national title as a senior. Averaged 20.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 16 playoff games (13-3 record).
34. Bob Houbregs, F-C, Washington
Averaged 27.4 ppg in seven games in 1951 and 1953 (5-2 record). He averaged nearly nine more points per contest in postseason play than during the regular season.
35. Tom Gola, F, La Salle
The only individual to earn NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player and NIT Most Valuable Player awards in his career. He averaged 22 ppg in 10 NCAA playoff games in 1954 and 1955 (9-1 record).
36. Rumeal Robinson, G, Michigan
Averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 assists in 11 games from 1988 through 1990 (9-2 record).
37. Lawrence Moten, G, Syracuse
Averaged 23.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in seven games in 1992, 1994 and 1995 (4-3 record).
38. Ray Allen, G, Connecticut
Averaged 19.5 points and 7 rebounds in 10 playoff games from 1994 through 1996 (7-3 record).
39. Isiah Thomas, G, Indiana
Averaged 19.7 points and 7.9 assists in seven games in 1980 and 1981 (6-1 record).
40. Greg "Bo" Kimble, F-G, Loyola Marymount
Averaged 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals in seven games from 1988 through 1990 (4-3 record). Scored at least 37 points for LMU in three of his last four playoff outings.
41. Randy Foye, G, Villanova
Averaged 22.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in seven games in 2005 and 2006 (5-2 record). He scored at least 24 points in four contests.
42. B.J. Armstrong, G, Iowa
Averaged 19.8 points and 4.9 assists in nine games from 1987 through 1989 (6-3 record; did not play in 1986 playoffs). He averaged seven more points per contest in postseason than during the regular season.
43. Jim McDaniels, C, Western Kentucky
Averaged 29.3 points and 12.2 rebounds in six games in 1970 and 1971 (4-2 record). He was WKU's leading scorer in five of the six playoff contests.
44. Brevin Knight, G, Stanford
Averaged 20 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists in seven games from 1995 through 1997 (4-3 record).
45. Rony Seikaly, C, Syracuse
Averaged 18.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg and 2.8 bpg in 12 games from 1985 through 1988 (8-4 record). He averaged nearly seven more points per contest in postseason play than during the regular season.
46. Jeff Mullins, F, Duke
Averaged 25 ppg and 7.9 rpg in the playoffs for two Final Four teams in 1963 and 1964 (6-2 record). He scored more than 20 points in seven of eight tourney contests.
47. Mark Macon, G, Temple
Averaged 23.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in nine games in 1988, 1990 and 1991 (6-3 record.)
48. Mike Maloy, C, Davidson
Averaged 22.3 ppg and 12.4 rpg in seven games from 1968 through 1970 (4-3 record).
49. Adrian Dantley, F, Notre Dame
Averaged 25.4 points and 8.3 rebounds in eight games from 1974 through 1976 (4-4 record). Averaged 29.8 points in his last six playoff contests.
50. Dan Issel, C, Kentucky
Averaged 29.3 ppg and 11.3 rpg in splitting six contests from 1968 through 1970. He had at least 36 points in half of the tourney games.
51. Allen Iverson, G, Georgetown
Averaged 23.9 points and 4 rebounds in seven games in 1995 and 1996 (5-2 record). He was the Hoyas' leading scorer in all seven contests.
52. Ollie Johnson, C, San Francisco
Averaged 25.8 points and 16.2 rebounds in six games from 1963 through 1965 (3-3 record). Averaged six points per game higher in playoffs than regular season.
53. Paul Hogue, C, Cincinnati
Averaged 19 points and 16 rebounds in six Final Four games from 1960 through 1962. Posted higher averages (18.4 ppg and 13.3 rpg) in 12 NCAA Tournament contests (11-1 record) than his respective career marks.
54. Jameer Nelson, G, St. Joseph's
Averaged 22.4 points, 6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals in seven games in 2001, 2003 and 2004 (4-3 record). He scored at least 24 points in four of his last five playoff contests.
55. Richard Hamilton, G-F, Connecticut
Averaged 23.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 10 games in 1998 and 1999 (9-1 record). He led UConn in scoring in nine of the 10 contests.
56. Chuck Person, F, Auburn
Averaged 20.3 points and 9 rebounds in eight games from 1984 through 1986 (5-3 record). Scored at least 20 points in six of his last seven playoff contests.
57. Don Schlundt, C, Indiana
Averaged 27 points in six games in 1953 and 1954 (5-1 record). He was the Hoosiers' leading scorer in five of the playoff contests.
58. Cazzie Russell, G, Michigan
Averaged at least 24 ppg each of his three years in the tourney (5-3 record). Leading scorer for third-place team in 1964 NCAA playoffs and 1965 national runner-up.
59. Jamal Mashburn, F, Kentucky
Averaged 21.4 points and 8 rebounds in nine games in 1992 and 1993 (7-2 record). He was the Wildcats' leading scorer in five consecutive playoff contests.
60. Les Hunter, C, Loyola of Chicago
Averaged 18.9 points and 13.3 rebounds in eight games in 1963 and 1964 (7-1 record).
61. Henry Finkel, C, Dayton
Averaged 27.8 points and 13.8 rebounds in six games in 1965 and 1966 (3-3 record). He was game-high scorer in five of the six contests.
62. Johnny Green, F-C, Michigan State
Averaged 16.2 points and 19.7 rebounds in six games in 1957 and 1959 (3-3 record). He was the leading rebounder in all four contests as a sophomore in 1957 when the Spartans reached the Final Four.
63. Anthony Peeler, G, Missouri
Averaged 24.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in six games in 1989, 1990 and 1992 (3-3 record). His scoring average was almost eight points higher in the postseason than regular season.
64. Dwight "Bo" Lamar, G, Southwestern Louisiana
Averaged 29.2 points in six Division I Tournament games in 1972 and 1973 (3-3 record). Supplied game-high point total in all six contests, including 35 plus a tourney-high 11 assists in a 112-101 victory against Marshall as the Ragin' Cajuns scored the most points in tourney history for a school in its playoff debut.
65. Greg Kelser, F, Michigan State
Leading scorer and rebounder as a senior for 1979 NCAA titlist averaged 24 ppg and 11.3 rpg in eight playoff contests (7-1 record). His scoring average was almost seven points higher in the postseason than regular season. Celebrated teammate Magic Johnson outscored and outrebounded Kelser only once in their eight postseason outings together.
66. Barry Kramer, F, New York University
Averaged 25.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in six games in 1962 and 1963 (3-3 record).
67. Nick Collison, F, Kansas
Leading scorer and rebounder as senior for 2003 NCAA Tournament runner-up (30-8 record) and second-leading scorer and rebounder for 2002 Final Four team (33-4). Averaged 16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in 16 games (12-4 record).
68. Juan Dixon, G, Maryland
After struggling as a redshirt freshman, Dixon averaged 21.2 points in his last 13 games from 2000 through 2002. The Terrapins won 10 of the last 11 of those playoff contests when he was the leading scorer for back-to-back Final Four teams.
69. Mitch Richmond, G-F, Kansas State
J.C. recruit averaged 23.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists in six games in 1987 and 1988 (4-2 record).
70. George Thompson, F, Marquette
Averaged 23.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in six games in 1968 and 1969 (4-2 record). He was the Warriors' leading scorer in five of the six playoff contests.
71. John Wallace, F, Syracuse
Averaged 20.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 11 games from 1994 through 1996 (8-3 record). Leading scorer and rebounder for Syracuse's national runner-up as a senior was the top point producer for the Orangemen in his last eight playoff contests.
72. Jimmy Collins, G, New Mexico State
Averaged 19.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 11 games from 1968 through 1970 (7-4 record). He at least shared the Aggies' team-high scoring output in all 11 contests.
73. Tony Price, F, Penn
Averaged 21.9 ppg and 9 rpg in eight games in 1978 and 1979 (5-3 record). He was the Quakers' leading scorer in all six contests when they finished fourth in the nation in 1979. Price's playoff scoring average was 6.5 points higher than his regular-season mark.
74. Wally Jones, G, Villanova
Two-time All-East Regional selection averaged 22.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg in six games in 1962 and 1964 (4-2 record). He scored a game-high 25 points as a sophomore in a regional final loss against Wake Forest and a game-high 34 points as a senior in a 74-62 victory over Bill Bradley-led Princeton in a third-place contest. It was the only time in Bradley's nine playoff games that he wasn't the leading scorer. Jones outscored All-American Len Chappell in the Wake Forest contest.
75. Mel Counts, C, Oregon State
Averaged 23.2 points and 14.1 rebounds in nine games from 1962 through 1964 (5-4 record), averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds in two West Regional finals. If Kentucky frosh phenom Nerlens Noel could shoot with big-man range like Counts, he would have been an authentic All-American candidate as a yearling in 2012-13.
76. Terry Dehere, G, Seton Hall
Averaged 23.2 points in nine games from 1991 through 1993 (6-3 record). He paced the Pirates in scoring in all nine outings.
"It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required." - Winston Churchill
The NCAA Tournament speaks to your sports soul, leaving you yearning for more. This year marks the 76th NCAA championship spectacle. Perhaps the most amazing stretch in NCAA playoff history was an eight-year span from 1982 through 1989 when seven finals were decided by an average of two points. All of those close title contests, surely measuring up to Churchill's "best" quote, must be included in any celebratory ranking of the most stimulating games in tourney history.
Since some of the most entertaining games are somewhat overshadowed because they came in earlier rounds, it's difficult to decide what were the premier outings in playoff history. There is inspiration everywhere one turns - so many entertaining contests to choose from with so many divergent opinions on a seemingly endless list of stellar candidates.
Nothing provokes disagreements among ardent hoop fans more than healthy what's-the-best-in-history dialogue. In deference to the 76th playoff, here is a ranking of the top 76 games one remembers the most. You wouldn't wonder what all the fuss is about if you had the good fortune to witness firsthand or learn from ardent fans about much of the following drama:
1. 1992 East Regional Final (Duke 104, Kentucky 103 in OT)
Duke's Christian Laettner hit a decisive last-second shot near the head of the key against UK in overtime after receiving a long in-bounds pass from Grant Hill in the East Regional final. The game is acknowledged as one of the most suspenseful in NCAA history.
2. 1985 Championship Game (Villanova 66, Georgetown 64)
Villanova became the worst seed (#8 in the Southeast Regional) to win a national championship by shooting a championship game-record 78.6% from the floor against the nation's top-ranked team. The Hoyas, powered by national player of the year Patrick Ewing, had defeated the Wildcats twice by a total of nine points in Big East Conference competition.
3. 1983 Championship Game (North Carolina State 54, Houston 52)
Sophomore forward Lorenzo Charles scored only four points, but two of them came when he converted guard Dereck Whittenburg's off-line desperation shot from well beyond the top of the free-throw circle into a decisive dunk as North Carolina State upset heavily-favored Houston. The Cougars, featuring Clyde Drexler and Akeem Olajuwon, entered the final with a 26-game winning streak.
4. 1982 Championship Game (North Carolina 63, Georgetown 62)
North Carolina freshman guard Michael Jordan swished a 16-foot jumper from the left side with 16 seconds remaining to provide the title contest's final points before Georgetown guard Fred Brown's errant pass directly to Tar Heels forward James Worthy prevented the Hoyas from attempting a potential game-winning shot in the closing seconds. Also memorable was was a stream of intimidating goal-tending calls early in the contest against Hoyas freshman center Patrick Ewing.
5. 1987 Championship Game (Indiana 74, Syracuse 73)
Junior college recruit Keith Smart, a guard who was Indiana's fifth-leading scorer for the season, tallied 12 of the Hoosiers' last 15 points, including a 15-foot jumper from the left baseline with five seconds remaining.
6. 1957 Championship Game (North Carolina 54, Kansas 53 in 3OT)
Carolina center Joe Quigg sank two free throws with six seconds remaining in third overtime to tie score and provide decisive point against the Wilt Chamberlain-led Jayhawks. Although Lennie Rosenbluth was the unbeaten Tar Heels' leading scorer in 27 of their 32 contests, they won the NCAA final despite him fouling out with 1:45 remaining in regulation.
7. 1966 Championship Game (Texas Western 72, Kentucky 65)
Texas Western (28-1), featuring an all-black starting lineup with three players 6-1 or shorter in the NCAA final, stunned top-ranked and all-white Kentucky (27-2), putting the finishing touches on dismantling the prejudiced myth that black athletes couldn't play disciplined basketball. Junior college transfer Bobby Joe Hill, one of the tiny trio, converted steals into layups on consecutive trips down the floor by flustered UK guards to give the Miners a lead they never relinquished.
8. 1975 Mideast Regional Final (Kentucky 92, Indiana 90)
Indiana, undefeated entering the tourney (29-0), lost against Kentucky despite center Kent Benson's 33 points and tourney-high 23 rebounds. The Wildcats (26-5) prevailed despite 6-of-19 field-goal shooting by leading scorer Kevin Grevey. UK guards Jimmy Dan Conner and Mike Flynn combined to outscore IU counterparts Quinn Buckner and Bobby Wilkerson, 39-22.
9. 1991 National Semifinals (Duke 79, UNLV 77)
Duke's shocking win over defending champion UNLV (34-1) was the Rebels' lone defeat. Christian Laettner scored 28 points for the Blue Devils (32-7).
10. 1989 Championship Game (Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79 in OT)
Former street urchin Rumeal Robinson sank two pressure free throws against Seton Hall (31-7) with three seconds remaining in overtime to give the win to Michigan (30-7), which was guided by interim coach Steve Fisher.
11. 1957 National Semifinals (North Carolina 74, Michigan State 70 in 3OT)
The lead changed hands 31 times and the score was tied on 21 occasions. The Spartans' Jack Quiggle made a last-second, half-court shot at the end of regulation but it was disallowed. The end-of-game rule at the time was that the ball had to reach the apex of its arc before the buzzer. The officials ruled that the ball was still ascending. Teammate Johnny Green missed a free throw with 11 seconds remaining in the first overtime that would have sealed the verdict. Carolina's Pete Brennan grabbed Green's miss. Rather than tossing the ball out to a guard as Brennan normally would do, he dribbled down-court and hit a game-tying jumper just to the right of the foul line at the buzzer.
12. 1994 Championship Game (Arkansas 76, Duke 72)
The pressure was intense on Arkansas' Scotty Thurman with the shot clock winding down and score tied with 40 seconds remaining when he lofted a three-point attempt over Duke defender Antonio Lang that hit nothing but net.
13. 1974 National Semifinals (North Carolina State 80, UCLA 77 in 2OT)
The final in N.C. State's home state at Greensboro was anti-climatic after the Wolfpack avenged an 18-point loss against UCLA earlier in the season on a neutral court by ending the Bruins' 38-game playoff winning streak. N.C. State erased an 11-point deficit midway through the second half and a seven-point deficit in the second extra session behind David Thompson's 28 points and 10 rebounds to halt UCLA's string of seven consecutive NCAA championships.
14. 1990 East Regional Final (Duke 79, Connecticut 78 in OT)
Two days after UConn escaped Clemson on a controversial last-second shot, Duke turned the tables on the Huskies when Christian Laettner inbounded the ball with 2.6 seconds remaining, received a return pass and sank a leaning jumper from the left side at the buzzer.
15. 1981 Mideast Regional Second Round (St. Joseph's 49, DePaul 48)
St. Joseph's gained its only lead in the second half when an inexcusably unguarded Hawks player named John Smith sank a layup with three seconds left after DePaul's most accurate foul shooter, Skip Dillard, the guy they called "Money" because when he shot 'em, they were as good as in the bank, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 12 seconds remaining. The top-ranked Blue Demons did not score a point or take a shot in the final 6 1/2 minutes. A stunned Mark Aguirre, the national player of the year, didn't even throw the ball inbounds and finished the game with one rebound, one assist, no blocked shots, no steals and the only single-digit scoring output of his DePaul career (eight points).
16. 1981 Midwest Regional Second Round (Arkansas 74, Louisville 73)
Defending champion Louisville lost when Arkansas' U.S. Reed received an in-bounds pass with five seconds remaining, dribbled up the sideline and heaved a mid-court shot that went through the net at the buzzer.
17. 1993 Championship Game (North Carolina 77, Michigan 71)
George Lynch, North Carolina's top rebounder and second-leading scorer, made four big plays in the closing moments of title game. With Michigan leading, 67-66, he and Eric Montross blocked away a driving layup by Jimmy King. That led to a fast-break basket by Derrick Phelps and put the Tar Heels ahead to stay with just over three minutes remaining. After a missed UM shot, Lynch hit a turnaround jumper from the middle of the lane with 2:28 remaining to increase Carolina's lead to 70-67. On an inbounds play after UNC regained possession, Lynch lofted a perfect pass to Montross for a dunk. The Wolverines rallied to trim the deficit to 73-71 before Lynch and Phelps trapped Chris Webber along the right sideline with only 11 seconds remaining and Michigan's consensus first-team All-American called a fateful timeout his team did not have, a "whopper" of a mistake long before his Burger King commercial.
18. 1973 Championship Game (UCLA 87, Memphis State 61)
UCLA's Bill Walton, aided by Greg Lee's 14 assists, erupted for a title game-record 44 points. Walton, the only player to have as many as 20 field goals in an NCAA final, hit all but one of 22 shots from the floor.
19. 1958 East Regional First Round (Manhattan 89, West Virginia 84)
West Virginia, ranked No. 1 in the country at the end of the regular season, was upset at New York when Jack Powers, who went on to become executive director of the NIT, collected 29 points and 15 rebounds for Manhattan (16-10). Jerry West scored just 10 points in his first NCAA Tournament game for the Mountaineers, who finished the season with the best winning percentage in school history (26-2, .929).
20. 1983 Mideast Regional final (Louisville 80, Kentucky 68 in OT)
The first meeting between in-state rivals Kentucky and Louisville in more than 24 years was memorable as the Cardinals outscored the Wildcats in overtime, 18-6, to reach the Final Four.
21. 1963 Championship Game (Loyola of Chicago 60, Cincinnati 58 in OT)
Forward Vic Rouse leaped high to redirect center Les Hunter's shot from the free-throw line into the basket to climax the Ramblers' first year in the playoffs. Loyola, using its starting lineup the entire final, overcame 27.4% field-goal shooting by committing just three turnovers. The Ramblers trailed the defending NCAA champion by 15 points in the second half before knotting the score at 54-54 when Jerry Harkness hit a 12-foot jumper with four seconds remaining in regulation.
22. 1988 Championship Game (Kansas 83, Oklahoma 79)
The two Big Eight Conference members were deadlocked, 50-50, at intermission in the highest-scoring first half in title game history. The Jayhawks' Danny Manning poured in 31 points.
23. 1979 Championship Game (Michigan State 75, Indiana State 64)
Undefeated Indiana State lost against Michigan State when the Sycamores' Larry Bird, who hit 53.2% of his field-goal attempts on the season, made just one-third of his shots from the floor (7 of 21) as a sore thumb limited his shooting effectiveness. Magic Johnson scored a game-high 24 points for the Spartans. The ballyhooed matchup between icons Bird and Magic failed to live up to billing but aroused fans and generated the largest-ever TV share for an NCAA final.
24. 1989 East Regional First Round (Georgetown 50, Princeton 49)
No. 16 seed Princeton pushed No. 1 seed Georgetown to the limit in the East Regional before the patient and precise Tigers bowed when a last-second shot was blocked by All-American center Alonzo Mourning.
25. 1996 Southeast Regional First Round (Princeton 43, UCLA 41)
Princeton coach Pete Carril bowed out in style with a decisive perfectly executed back-door layup reminiscent of how many games were played several decades ago. It was UCLA's lowest-scoring output in 99 playoff outings, and the lowest score for a Bruins team in a regulation game in more than 55 years.
26. 1977 Championship Game (Marquette 67, North Carolina 59)
Tears of joy flowed for coach Al McGuire when Marquette won the championship in his farewell. McGuire, leaving the bench before the game was even over with tears running down his cheeks, pulled away from a hug by long-time assistant Hank Raymonds and made his way to the silence of the locker room. "I want to be alone," McGuire said. "I'm not afraid to cry. All I could think about at the end was - why me? After all the jocks and socks. All the odors in the locker room. All the fights in the gyms. Just the wildness of it all. And to have it end like this ..."
27. 1971 Mideast Regional Semifinals (Western Kentucky 107, Kentucky 83)
WKU, long regarded as poor country cousins by Kentucky, whipped the Wildcats in their first-ever meeting when All-American Jim McDaniels poured in 35 points for the Hilltoppers.
28. 1975 National Semifinals (UCLA 75, Louisville 74 in OT)
Three Louisville regulars shooting better than 50% from the floor for the season (swingman Junior Bridgeman, center Ricky Gallon and guard Phillip Bond) combined to hit 25% (6 of 24) in a loss against UCLA. Adding insult to injury for the Cardinals was reserve guard Terry Howard missing the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity in the closing seconds of overtime after he converted all 28 of his previous foul shots that season.
29. 1997 Championship Game (Arizona 84, Kentucky 79 in OT)
Arizona, the only team to win an NCAA crown after finishing as low as fifth place in its league, capitalized on a 34-9 edge in free throws made to upend favored Kentucky although the Wildcats did not make a field goal in the extra session.
30. 1995 West Regional Second Round (UCLA 75, Missouri 74)
Playmaker Tyus Edney played the role of Wizard of Westwood II with a series of breathtaking drives and baskets in UCLA's first five playoff games, including a length-of-the-court game-winner against Mizzou.
31. 1990 East Regional Semifinals (Connecticut 71, Clemson 70)
It was difficult for Clemson fans to fathom how UConn's Tate George had sufficient time with one second on the clock to receive a full-court pass, come down, square up and get off a game-winning jumper from the right baseline.
32. 1990 West Regional Second Round (Loyola Marymount 149, Michigan 115)
The record for most three-point field goals in a playoff game was set by Loyola Marymount senior guard Jeff Fryer with 11. Fryer (41) and Bo Kimble (37) became the only set of teammates to score more than 35 points in the same tourney game when they combined for 78 vs. Michigan in the highest-scoring game in NCAA playoff history.
33. 1981 East Regional Semifinals (Brigham Young 51, Notre Dame 50)
BYU's Danny Ainge went coast-to-coast driving through the heart of No. 2 seed Notre Dame's defense for a layup at the buzzer to give the Cougars the victory.
34. 1983 West Regional First Round (N.C. State 69, Pepperdine 67 in 2OT)
NCAA champion-to-be North Carolina State (26-10) defeated Pepperdine (20-9) in two extra sessions after trailing by six points with 24 seconds remaining in regulation.
35. 1978 Championship Game (Kentucky 94, Duke 88)
Jack Givens sank 18 of 27 field-goal attempts against upstart Duke's zone defense and scored Kentucky's last 16 points of the first half en route to a 41-point performance.
36. 2001 National Semifinals (Duke 95, Maryland 84)
The Blue Devils (35-4) overcame a 22-point deficit against the Terrapins (25-11), the biggest comeback in Final Four history. Mike Dunleavy Jr. hit three consecutive three-pointers in a 45-second span of the second half after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told his squad to quit calling plays and just go out and play the game.
37. 2003 West Regional Second Round (Arizona 96, Gonzaga 95 in 2OT)
Gonzaga's Tony Skinner and Blake Stepp tied for game-high scoring honors with 25 points but each of them missed an open shot in the last four seconds of the second overtime for the Zags (24-9) against No. 1 seed Arizona (28-4). Wildcats standout guard Jason Gardner contributed a pair of three-pointers after missing 17 consecutive shots from beyond the arc in his previous three outings.
38. 1970 Mideast Regional First Round (Notre Dame 112, Ohio University 82)
Guard Austin Carr became the only player to score more than 60 points in a single playoff game. Carr tallied 35 of Notre Dame's 54 first-half points en route to a school-record 61 against OU.
39. 1952 East Regional Final (St. John's 64, Kentucky 57)
St. John's (25-6), sparked by center Bob Zawoluk's 32 points, avenged a 41-point rout at UK (29-3) earlier in the season (81-40) by ending the 23-game winning streak of the nation's No. 1 team.
40. 1969 National Semifinals (UCLA 85, Drake 82)
Guard John Vallely, averaging a modest 10.2 points per game entering the Final Four, erupted for 29 points and the Bruins (29-1) needed all of them. They had a nine-point lead with 70 seconds remaining dwindle to one before defeating Drake (26-5) after the Bulldogs missed a go-ahead basket in the waning moments. UCLA star center Lew Alcindor grabbed 21 rebounds.
41. 1945 National Semifinals (New York University 70, Ohio State 65 in OT)
NYU (14-7), featuring just one senior on its roster, erased a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation against Ohio State (15-5).
42. 1968 Midwest Regional First Round (Houston 94, Loyola of Chicago 76)
UH's Elvin Hayes became the only player in tournament history to collect more than 40 points and 25 rebounds in the same game when he garnered 49 points and 27 rebounds. Hayes led the tournament in scoring and rebounding by wide margins for the fourth-place Cougars (31-2), but he wasn't named to the all-tournament team.
43. 1998 Midwest Regional First Round (Valparaiso 70, Mississippi 69)
Valpo's Jamie Sykes, an outfield prospect late for spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks, inbounded from the opposite baseline with 2.5 seconds remaining. He hurled a baseball pass that Bill Jenkins leaped to catch. Jenkins delivered a touch pass to guard Bryce Drew on the right wing, and the son of coach Homer Drew drilled a game-winning three-pointer for the Crusaders (23-10).
44. 1970 Mideast Regional Final (Jacksonville 106, Kentucky 100)
JU's Artis Gilmore collected 24 points and 20 rebounds to help eliminate the nation's top-ranked team. Teammate Rex Morgan contributed 28 points while outshining UK's backcourt.
45. 1951 East Regional First Round (Illinois 79, Columbia 71)
Columbia, undefeated entering the tourney (21-0), blew a seven-point, halftime lead and lost to eventual national third-place finisher Illinois (22-5). The Lions' John Azary was outscored by the Illini's Don Sunderlage (25-13) in a battle of All-American candidates.
46. 1965 National Third-Place Game (Princeton 118, Wichita 82)
Princeton's Bill Bradley set the mark for most points in a single Final Four game with a school-record 58. He scored 39 of them in the second half of the consolation contest.
47. 1971 Mideast Regional Semifinals (Ohio State 60, Marquette 59)
Marquette, undefeated entering the tourney (26-0), lost against Ohio State (20-6) after the Warriors' playmaker, unanimous first-team All-America Dean "The Dream" Meminger, fouled out with five minutes remaining. Teammate Allie McGuire, the coach's son, committed a costly turnover in the closing seconds before Buckeyes guard Allan Hornyak converted a pair of crucial free throws to end Marquette's 39-game winning streak.
48. 2005 Midwest Regional Final (Illinois 90, Arizona 89 in OT)
Illini (37-2) overcame a 14-point deficit with just over three minutes remaining in regulation and nine-point deficit in the last 1 1/2 minutes before defeating Arizona (30-7) in an extra session.
49. 1999 West Regional First Round (Weber State 76, North Carolina 74)
No. 3 seed North Carolina (24-10) lost its playoff opener for the first time in 19 years when the Tar Heels succumbed against No. 14 Weber State (25-8). Junior college transfer Harold Arceneaux contributed five three-pointers en route to 36 points for the Wildcats. His output matched the highest ever in the playoffs against Carolina.
50. 1965 Championship Game (UCLA 91, Michigan 80)
UCLA's Gail Goodrich became the only guard to score more than 35 points in an NCAA final, erupting for 42 points on 12 of 22 field-goal shooting and 18 of 20 free-throw shooting. His free throws made and attempted remain championship game records.
51. 1976 West Regional Semifinals (Arizona 114, UNLV 109 in OT)
Each team had four players score at least 18 points as UNLV (29-2), ranked third by AP and fourth by UPI entering the tourney, was eliminated by Arizona (24-9) when Jim Rappis had more assists (12) than the Rebels' entire team.
52. 1981 West Regional Second Round (Kansas State 50, Oregon State 48)
K-State (24-9) upset second-ranked Oregon State (26-2) on Rolando Blackman's 17-foot buzzer beater from the right baseline.
53. 1959 Mideast Regional Semifinals (Louisville 76, Kentucky 61)
Second-ranked Kentucky (24-3) hit less than one-third of its field-goal attempts in blowing a 15-point lead against intra-state rival Louisville (19-12).
54. 1976 Championship Game (Indiana 86, Michigan 68)
Trailing Michigan (25-7) by six points at intermission and playing without Bobby Wilkerson after the starting guard sustained a concussion early in the game, the Hoosiers shot 60% from the floor in the second half to come from behind and earn recognition as the nation's last undefeated team. Scott May, Kent Benson and Quinn Buckner collaborated for 36 of IU's first 38 second-half points.
55. 2005 West Regional Final (Louisville 93, West Virginia 85)
West Virginia set a regional final record with 18 three-pointers but still lost against Louisville.
56. 1977 West Regional Semifinals (Idaho State 76, UCLA 75)
The visiting Bruins, ranked fourth by UPI entering the tourney, finished with a 24-5 record when guards Roy Hamilton and Brad Holland combined to hit just 8 of 24 field-goal attempts. Idaho State (25-5), prevailing despite shooting a modest 40.6% from the floor, received 27 points and 12 rebounds from center Steve Hayes.
57. 1981 Midwest Regional Second Round (Kansas 88, Arizona State 71)
Third-ranked Arizona State (24-4), featuring four upperclassmen who combined for a total of more than 35 seasons in the NBA (guards Fat Lever and Byron Scott, center Alton Lister and forward Sam Williams), was clobbered by Kansas (24-8) when Tony Guy poured in 36 points for the Jayhawks. The Sun Devils fell behind by 16 points at intermission.
58. 1979 Midwest Regional Final (Indiana State 73, Arkansas 71)
Larry Bird-led Indiana State became the only school to reach the Final Four in its one and only NCAA Tournament appearance in the 20th Century when the Sycamores' Bob Heaton shifted the ball from his normal right hand to his left for a short shot that bounced twice on the rim before going down.
59. 1971 West Regional Final (UCLA 57, Long Beach State 55)
The closest result for UCLA (29-1) during the Bruins' 38-game playoff winning streak from 1967 through 1973 came when they had to erase an 11-point deficit despite 29% field-goal shooting to edge Jerry Tarkanian-coached Long Beach State (24-5).
60. 1977 National Semifinals (North Carolina 84, UNLV 83)
Mike O'Koren became the first freshman to score more than 30 points in a national semifinal or championship game when the UNC forward tallied 31. O'Koren and his teammates enjoyed a 28-5 edge over the Rebels in free-throw attempts.
61. 1978 Midwest Regional Semifinals (DePaul 90, Louisville 89)
DePaul center Dave Corzine tallied 46 points in double overtime game to become the only individual to score at least 45 in the NCAA playoffs and never be an NCAA first- or second-team consensus All-American or Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
62. 1959 Championship Game (California 71, West Virginia 70)
Two-time first-team All-American swingman Jerry West of West Virginia (29-5) was denied an NCAA championship ring when California (25-4) junior center Darrall Imhoff, West's teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers for four seasons in the mid-1960s, tipped in a basket with 17 seconds remaining.
63. 2006 East Regional Final (George Mason 86, Connecticut 84)
The #11 seed Patriots (27-8) advanced to the national semifinals with overtime win against UConn (30-4), which was their third victim featuring a coach who previously won an NCAA title.
64. 1979 East Regional Second Round (Penn 72, North Carolina 71)
No. 1 seed Carolina (23-6) lost its opener in the Tar Heels' home state (Raleigh, N.C.) when Penn's Tony Price poured in a game-high 25 points for the Quakers (25-7).
65. 1984 East Regional Semifinals (Indiana 72, North Carolina 68)
Many observers predicted Georgetown would meet the top-ranked Tar Heels in the national final, but they were upset by IU when national player of the year Michael Jordan was limited to 13 points, one rebound and one assist.
66. 1993 West Regional First Round (Santa Clara 64, Arizona 61)
In terms of point spreads, No. 2 seed Arizona's defeat against 20-point underdog Santa Clara (19-12), a No. 15 seed, was the biggest upset in NCAA playoff history. The Wildcats (24-4), ranked fifth by AP entering the tournament, lost although they scored 25 consecutive points in a 10-minute span bridging the first and second halves.
67. 2004 St. Louis Regional Second Round (UAB 76, Kentucky 75)
UAB (22-10), after outlasting Washington (102-100) in first round, used its frenetic pressure defense to frustrate No. 1 seed Kentucky (27-5).
68. 1956 East Regional Semifinals (Temple 65, Connecticut 59)
Guard Hal Lear manufactured 61.5% of Temple's offense by scoring 40 points. The most rebounds ever in a playoff game were grabbed by teammate Fred Cohen, who retrieved a school-record 34 missed shots.
69. 2005 Second Round (West Virginia 111, Wake Forest 105)
Mike Gansey scored 19 of his 29 points after the end of regulation when West Virginia (24-11) outlasted #2 seed Wake Forest (27-6) in double overtime.
70. 1975 Championship Game (UCLA 92, Kentucky 85)
Coach John Wooden's farewell resulted in his 10th NCAA title for the Bruins.
71. 1981 Midwest Regional Semifinals (Wichita State 66, Kansas 65)
Mike Jones hit two long-range baskets in the last 50 seconds for Wichita State (26-7) in the first duel between the intrastate rivals in 36 years.
72. 1980 Midwest Regional Second Round (Missouri 87, Notre Dame 84 in OT)
Mizzou (25-6) backup swingman Mark Dressler, entering the NCAA playoffs with an eight-point scoring average, erupted for 32 points on 13 of 16 field-goal shooting against the 22-6 Irish (ranked No. 9 by AP).
73. 1989 Southeast Regional First Round (South Alabama 86, Alabama 84)
In an exciting intrastate battle, South Alabama (23-9) erased a 16-point halftime deficit. Jeff Hodge and Gabe Estaba combined for 55 points to lead USA against 'Bama (23-8).
74. 1980 Mideast Regional First Round (Virginia Tech 89, Western Kentucky 85 in OT)
Virginia Tech, sparked by Dale Solomon's 10-of-13 field-goal shooting, became the only school to erase a halftime deficit of at least 18 points to win a playoff game in the 20th Century. The Hokies, Metro Conference runner-up to eventual NCAA champion Louisville, trailed WKU at intermission, 48-30, in a duel between two 21-8 teams.
75. 2008 Midwest Regional Second Round (Davidson 74, Georgetown 70)
Stephen Curry, a son of former NBA standout Dell Curry, poured in 25 of his 30 points in the second half as Davidson (29-7) erased a double-digit deficit to upset the Hoyas (28-6).
76. 1978 West Regional First Round (Cal State Fullerton 90, New Mexico 85)
Cal State Fullerton (23-9) had four players score from 18 to 23 points and made 62.1% of its field-goal attempts to erase a six-point, halftime deficit and upend fourth-ranked New Mexico. Future Lakers standout Michael Cooper had an off-game for the Lobos (24-4), sinking just six of 15 field-goal attempts.
"If I think he (backup guard son) can help us, he'll play. If not, not even his mother could persuade me to use him." - Legendary Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp
Guard Billy Baron, for the second time in his college playing career, followed his father (Jim) to a different school. Billy averaged 13 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 2.6 apg in a partial season with Rhode Island two years after transferring from Virginia. He originally chose to remain with URI after his father was fired and then hired by Canisius before changing his mind and deciding to transfer again.
Upon Billy excelling in the MAAC, Jim Baron became the first father to coach two sons who were all-league players in different conferences. Jimmy Baron was an All-Atlantic 10 first-team selection as a URI senior in 2008-09 (17.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 89.2 FT%, 45.4 3FG%). Billy will be shackled by mid-major status, but should be an All-American candidate this season following a streak of at least 25 points in six successive contests.
After the latest set of Barons helped the Golden Griffins post their first winning record in 12 years, they joined a select group of father-son/coach-player combinations who together played significant roles for two universities. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard played under his father (Ralph) with Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh and Steve Alford's eldest son left New Mexico with him for UCLA but they aren't among the following three most prominent father-son/coach-player tandems for two different schools:
Allens (64-48 record with Southern Methodist and Nevada-Reno from 1978-79 through 1982-83)
Son Billy led the SWC in assists as a freshman (9 apg) and as a sophomore (9.1 apg). In his sophomore season, SMU tied its highest win total (16) in a 15-year span from 1967-68 through 1981-82. The guard also paced the Mustangs in free-throw percentage both years before transferring with his father (Sonny) to Nevada-Reno. Billy averaged 13.1 ppg and 8.2 apg in 1981-82 and 1982-83 with UNR. He set a Wolf Pack single-season record with 8.6 apg as a junior when he was an All-Big Sky Conference second-team choice before moving up to first-team status the next year.
Smithsons (67-23 with Illinois State and Wichita State from 1977-78 through 1980-81)
Son Randy, who did not play in 1976-77 because of a broken foot, averaged 6.7 ppg for ISU's 1978 NIT team before his father (Gene) moved on to Wichita State. Randy, a transfer from Cowley County Community College (Kan.), averaged 10.9 ppg for WSU's NIT team in 1980 and 13 ppg for NCAA Tournament team in 1981. The Shockers won the 1981 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title.
Suttons (90-40 with Kentucky and Oklahoma State from 1987-88 through 1991-92)
Son Sean averaged 5.9 ppg and a team-high 4.7 apg as a sophomore starter under his father (Eddie) for Kentucky in 1988-89. Sean averaged 11 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 4.4 apg in 1990-91 and 1991-92 for two NCAA Tournament teams after transferring from UK. He led the Cowboys in assists and three-point shooting both seasons. They shared the Big Eight Conference regular-season title in 1991.
"Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors." - Jim Morrison
Nothing lasts forever. No university ever has discarded such a longstanding affiliation with a conference as Maryland did when the Terrapins chose to divorce the ACC for wealthier Big Ten in 2014-15. The Terps will jettison 61 years of history when they align with the Big Ten, which is the only alliance other than the Ivy League never to have a member leave to join another major conference.
Until formally making the switch, Maryland is mired in an exit-fee money mess. The Terrapins filed a $157 million counter-suit against the ACC (three times the amount the ACC sued for against the Terps), alleging the league was hypocritical in targeting at least two unidentified Big Ten schools to leave after learning about Maryland's intent to seek "greener" pastures. Whatever happens, shouldn't the ACC invest more resources in addressing academics amid North Carolina's shoddy scholastic standing emphasizing Afro-American Studies and similar such shenanigans? If a university with Carolina's stature has lost its higher education "way" suspending research of reading specialist/academic adviser allegedly facing death threats, then what the fraud is happening regarding unsupervised lower standards at other ACC institutions and across the nation? For instance, N.C. State hired Sidney Lowe as coach before he even earned his diploma more than 20 years after leaving the school and subsequently showing apparent evasion taking any modestly-taxing classes such as ethics or tax preparation while in college.
Fordham, fleeing the Metro Atlantic and Patriot League the first half of the 1990s, is the only institution to twice be in this charter-school departure category. Following is a list from longest to shortest tenures of the first schools to leave an intact league for another conference after being a founding member:
NOTES: Cincinnati (member of Mid-American from 1947-53), Georgia Tech (SEC from 1933-64), New Orleans (Sun Belt from 1977-80), Oral Roberts (Midwestern City from 1980-87), Penn State (ECBL/Eastern 8 from 1977-79), Rutgers (Middle Atlantic from 1959-62) and South Carolina (ACC from 1954-71) joined the independent ranks the next season. . . . Seven C-USA charter members joined other leagues following their 10th year in the league in 2004-05. . . . Campbell rejoined Big South in 2011-12.
"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." - Desmond Tutu
At first glance to God-fearing fans, it appears as if Grant's Army was retreating after Jerian Grant exited Notre Dame because of academic shortcomings. But Jerian's departure has been somewhat offset in the giving Grant household by the emergence of brother Jerami as Syracuse's leading rebounder. Combined with older brother Jerai, the leading rebounder for Clemson's 2011 NCAA playoff team, and father Harvey, an All-American for Oklahoma's 1988 NCAA Tournament runner-up, the "College Grants" rank among the top five hoop families in NCAA annals regarding a legacy list; especially if Jerian follows through on his promise to return to the Irish next season and youngest son Jaelin is comparable to his brothers when he leaves high school in a couple of years.
Elsewhere, it seems somewhat ridiculous for a power conference school such as Indiana to offer a scholarship to an eighth-grader (Eron Gordon) a couple of years ago. But that is before examining his family tree. His father, Eric Sr., averaged 14.1 points per game with Liberty from 1981-82 through 1983-84, leading the Flames in scoring as a senior with 18.1 ppg before the school moved up to the NCAA Division I level later in the decade. Oldest brother Eric Jr. led the Big Ten Conference in scoring as a freshman All-American in his lone season with IU in 2007-08 before moving on to the NBA. Older brother Evan was named to the Big South Conference All-Freshman team with Liberty in 2009-10 before becoming an all-league second-team selection as a sophomore prior to transferring to Arizona State and moving on again to Eric Jr.'s old stomping grounds with the Hoosiers. If Eron lives up to billing, the Gordons could become one of the most influential families in college basketball history.
Hoopdom's "Focus on the Family" will also concentrate on the Plumlees if youngest brother Marshall Plumlee overcomes his foot problems and improves as much as Duke siblings Mason and Miles. They could combine with their father, former Tennessee Tech frontcourter Perky, to comprise one of the all-time premier family units. Mason became the Blue Devils' go-to plumb line to keep them on the straight and narrow last season after forgoing leaving school early for the NBA.
Until we have a final reading on the Gordons and Plumlees, following are a dynamic dozen nuclear-power families. The "HoopDaddys" comprised of college players who had at least three sons also go on to compete in a significant way at a similar level include:
BARRY BARRY GOOD
1. Barry - Father Rick Barry, a first-team All-American as a senior when he led the nation in scoring, averaged 29.8 ppg and 16.5 rpg for Miami (FL) from 1962-63 through 1964-65. Son Scooter averaged 3.3 ppg for Kansas' 1988 NCAA titlist before leading the Jayhawks with 5.7 apg the next season. Son Jon, a junior college transfer, averaged 14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 4.5 apg for Pacific and Georgia Tech in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Son Brent averaged 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 3.3 apg for Oregon State from 1991-92 through 1994-95. Son Drew, an All-ACC second-team selection as a senior, averaged 10.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 6.2 apg for Georgia Tech from 1992-93 through 1995-96, leading the ACC in assists each of his last three seasons. Son Canyon, a redshirt freshman for the College of Charleston, was averaging 9.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg in the Cougars' debut season in the CAA before being sidelined with a finger injury. Jon, an All-ACC third-team selection as a junior in 1991-92, and Brent, an All-Pacific-10 Conference choice as a senior, were late bloomers who went on to have productive NBA careers. Rick, Jon and Brent were NBA first-round draft choices while Drew was a second-round pick. Bruce Hale, Rick's father-in-law and a Santa Clara alumnus, coached him at Miami (FL) after playing five years in the NBA.
WALTON MOUNTAIN GANG
2. Walton - Father Bill Walton, a three-time national player of the year, averaged 20.3 ppg and 15.7 rpg for UCLA from 1971-72 through 1973-74. Son Adam lettered with LSU before incurring a rest-of-season suspension in Dale Brown's final year as coach in 1996-97 and subsequently transferring to a small college in California. Son Nate was an All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton as a senior in 2000-01, becoming the fourth player in school history with two seasons of at least 100 assists. Son Luke, a two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference choice, averaged 9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 4.5 apg for Arizona from 1999-2000 through 2002-03. Son Chris finished among the top 15 in the Mountain West Conference in assists and rebounding as a junior in 2003-04 for San Diego State, finishing his four-year career with averages of 5.1 ppg and 3.4 rpg.
PRICE IS RIGHT CONTROL
3. Price - Father Dennis Price, an All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection as a junior, averaged 10.9 ppg for Oklahoma from 1957-58 through 1959-60. Son Mark, a three-time All-ACC first-team selection and All-American, averaged 17.4 ppg and 4 apg for Georgia Tech from 1982-83 through 1985-86. Son Matt scored 23 points in 18 games as a freshman for Appalachian State in 1984-85. Son Brent, an All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection as a senior, averaged 18 ppg and 5.8 apg for Oklahoma in 1990-91 and 1991-92 after transferring from South Carolina, where he averaged 12.6 ppg and 3.5 apg in 1987-88 and 1988-89.
GRANT'S ARMY MARCHES ON
4. Grant - Father Harvey Grant was an All-American in 1988 as the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer for Oklahoma's NCAA Tournament runner-up. Eldest son Jerai was the leading rebounder for Clemson's 2011 NCAA playoff squad. Jerian was Notre Dame's leader in scoring average each of the past two campaigns. Emerging standout Jerami is the leading rebounder for Syracuse's inaugural ACC club.
HIGH ON HAARLOW
5. Haarlow - Father Bill Haarlow Jr., a three-time All-Western Conference selection for the University of Chicago from 1933-34 through 1935-36, was the league's third-leading scorer as a sophomore (9.9 ppg), leading scorer as a junior (13) and second-leading scorer as a senior (12.6). He had three sons play for Princeton in the 1960s - A. William III averaged 10.8 ppg and 5 rpg in 1962-63, Bob averaged 8.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg from 1963-64 through 1965-66 (second-leading scorer for the Tigers' 1965 Final Four team as a teammate of All-American Bill Bradley) and John averaged 12.6 ppg and 7.3 rpg from 1965-66 through 1967-68 (All-Ivy League second-team selection as a junior). With Bill Jr. cited on CollegeHoopedia.com's comprehensive list of all-time All-Americans, the Haarlows might have been the initial most impactful family on the sport.
6. Paterno - Father Bill Paterno averaged 3.4 ppg with St. Francis (N.Y.) in 1948-49 and 1949-50 after scoring 18 points in nine games in 1947-48. Son Billy averaged 9.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg for Notre Dame from 1973-74 through 1976-77 under coach Digger Phelps, finishing team runner-up in scoring to All-American Adrian Dantley as a sophomore with 13.3 ppg. Son Mike averaged 3.1 ppg for Monmouth in 1987-88. Son Joe averaged 14.6 ppg and 5.1 rpg with Fordham from 1985-86 through 1988-89, leading the Rams in scoring in three seasons and finishing his career as their all-time second-leading scorer. Son Steve averaged 10.8 ppg and 3.6 rpg with Marist from 1987-88 through 1990-91, leading the Red Foxes in scoring as a junior before finishing runner-up as a senior.
TOASTING THE RAIVIOS
7. Raivio - Father Rick Raivio, a three-time All-WCAC selection who led Portland in field-goal shooting all four seasons, finished as the Pilots' all-time leading rebounder (910/9.4 rpg) while averaging 17.2 ppg before becoming a fifth-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Lakers. Son Derek, the WCC co-player of the year as a Gonzaga senior (18 ppg and nation-leading 96.1 FT%), averaged 11.5 ppg and 2.8 apg while shooting 41.6% from beyond the arc from 2003-04 through 2006-07 with Gonzaga en route to becoming the #2 all-time free-throw shooter in DI history (92.7%). Son Nik, a J.C. recruit, was an All-WCC selection as a junior with Portland in 2008-09 when he averaged 16 ppg and 6.5 rpg before heading overseas to play professionally after finishing his Pilots' career with 14.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Son Matt averaged 9.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 2.8 apg for Simon Fraser (Vancouver) in 2011-12 and 2012-13 after transferring from Santa Rosa (CA) JC.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
8. Pollard - Father Pearl Pollard (6-9), a second-team All-Skyline Conference choice as a senior, averaged 10.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg for Utah from 1956-57 through 1958-59 with three national postseason tournament teams, leading the Utes in scoring and rebounding as a senior. Son Carl, 7-2, played briefly for BYU as a freshman in 1983-84 before redshirting in 1984-85, going on a two-year Mormon mission and transferring with a brother to Southern California, where he didn't play prior to competing with Southern Utah in 1989-90 and averaging 1.5 ppg and 2.9 rpg. Son Alan, 6-9, averaged 5.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg while splitting four seasons between Brigham Young and USC from 1984-85 through 1988-89, leading BYU in rebounding as a freshman. Son Mark, 6-11, played briefly for San Diego State in 1990-91 before also leaving at the same time with a brother. Son Neal, 7-0, redshirted at San Diego State in 1988-89 before going on a Mormon mission to New England, playing three games with the Aztecs in 1991-92 and transferring to Utah State, where he didn't play. Son Scot, 6-11, averaged 9.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 1.7 bpg for four Kansas teams reaching NCAA playoff regional semifinals from 1993-94 through 1996-97 before becoming an NBA first-round draft choice.
CAN'T FOIL THE DOYLES
9. Doyle - Father Dan Doyle averaged 13.7 ppg and 12.2 rpg for Belmont Abbey (N.C.) in his four-year career. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons in 5th round of 1961 NBA draft (44th pick overall) after pacing Al McGuire-coached teams in scoring average his final three seasons and rebounding as a junior and senior. Son Danny averaged 7.4 ppg and 2.1 rpg with Iona from 1989-90 through 1993-94, leading the Gaels in assists and steals as a senior. Son Joe led then-DII Sacred Heart in scoring, assists and steals as a senior in 1996-97. Son Tim played sparingly for St. John's in 2002-03 before transferring to Northwestern, where he averaged 8.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.7 apg and 1.3 spg from 2004-05 through 2006-07, leading the Wildcats in assists his last two seasons and in steals as a senior.
HUGGY BEARS ALL
10. Huggins - Father Charlie Huggins was an All-WVIAC first-team selection for Alderson-Broaddus (W. Va.) in 1957-58 after transferring from West Virginia. Son Bob averaged 8.4 ppg and 2.8 rpg while shooting 45.9% from the floor and 79.4% from the free-throw line with West Virginia in the mid-1970s after transferring from Ohio University. Son Harry was a two-year letterman for Texas Lutheran in the late 1970s after transferring from Rice. Son Larry averaged 5.6 ppg, 2 rpg and 2.1 apg while shooting 46.3% from the floor and 79.3% from the free-throw line as a captain for Ohio State in the early 1980s.
WE AND PAPA McGEE
11. McGee - Father Anthony McGee led Long Beach State in scoring in 1975-76 with 14.8 ppg before contributing 4.5 ppg for the 49ers' NCAA playoff team the next season. Son Tony averaged 4 ppg for Eastern Washington in 1997-98 and 1998-99. Son Antoine averaged 1.4 ppg and 1.7 apg with Colorado from 2002-03 through 2005-06. Son Andre averaged 5.2 ppg and 1.8 apg while shooting 36.5% from beyond the arc with Louisville from 2005-06 through 2008-09, leading the Cardinals in three-point field-goal shooting as a junior (39.4%).
FIFE AND DRUM CORPS
12. Fife - Father Dan Fife, a 10th-round draft choice by the Milwaukee Bucks before pitching briefly for the Minnesota Twins, averaged 12.6 ppg and 4.9 rpg for Michigan from 1968-69 through 1970-71. Son Dugan, overlooked during the Fab Five era, averaged 4.6 ppg and 2 rpg for Michigan from 1992-93 through 1995-96. Son Jeremy led Grand Valley State (MI) in assists in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Son Dane averaged 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.4 spg while shooting 38.2% from three-point range for Indiana from 1998-99 through 2001-02 before becoming a DI head coach with IUPU-Fort Wayne.
Christensen - Father Harold, a member of Brigham Young's 1951 NIT championship team, averaged 7.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg. He was chosen by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1953 NBA draft before having three sons play for the Cougars - Craig averaged 5.1 ppg in half a season in 1981-82, Kurt averaged 4.5 ppg in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and Todd averaged 5.8 ppg in 1995-96, 1998-99 and 1999-00.
"Stepping onto a brand new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing." - Maya Angelou
Whether schools are simply filling out a roster with a backup or chasing a pot of gold at the end of a Larry Bird rainbow, they seem to be looking around every corner and under every rock for a transfer. Bird left a potential powerhouse at Indiana but never played for the Hoosiers before becoming national player of the year with Indiana State.
How many All-Americans actually played varsity basketball for two different four-year schools? The average is about one every two years. Duke and Kansas, two of the five schools with the most All-Americans in history, had their first transfer in that category last season - Duke guard Seth Curry (Liberty) and KU center Jeff Withey (Arizona). The Blue Devils have another titillating transfer talent this campaign with Rodney Hood (from Mississippi State).
Guard Marshall Henderson spearheaded Ole Miss' resurgence last season after attending Utah, Texas Tech and a junior college in Texas. But Hood and numerous additional transfers are outshining Henderson this year as sure-fire impact players in postseason play - George Washington's Isaiah Armwood (Villanova), Canisius' Billy Baron (Virginia/Rhode Island), Towson's Jerrelle Benimon (Georgetown), Missouri's Jabari Brown (Oregon), Oregon's Jason Calliste (Detroit), Brigham Young's Matt Carlino (UCLA), Missouri's Jordan Clarkson (Tulsa), George Washington's Maurice "Mo" Creek (Indiana), San Diego State's Josh Davis (North Carolina State/Tulane), Florida's Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech), Creighton's Grant Gibbs (Gonzaga), Georgia State's Ryan Harrow (North Carolina State/Kentucky), Baylor's Brady Heslip (Boston College), Detroit's Juwan Howard Jr. (Western Michigan), Iowa State's DeAndre Kane (Marshall), SMU's Markus Kennedy (Villanova), Arizona State's Jermaine Marshall (Penn State), Arizona's T.J. McConnell (Duquesne), SMU's Nic Moore (Illinois State), Oregon's Mike Moser (UCLA/UNLV), Nebraska's Terran Petteway (Texas Tech), Xavier's Isaiah Philmore (Towson), Nebraska's Walter Pitchford (Florida), Illinois' Rayvonte Rice (Drake), Missouri's Earnest Ross (Auburn), Notre Dame's Garrick Sherman (Michigan State), Oklahoma's Ryan Spangler (Gonzaga), West Virginia's Juwan Staten (Dayton), San Diego State's Xavier Thames (Washington State) and Oregon's Joseph Young (Houston).
Mississippi State lost a transfer All-American several seasons ago when Ben Hansbrough departed for Notre Dame but the Bulldogs had their own player in this category 10 years ago after Lawrence Roberts left Baylor. In an era when transfers have almost become an obsession for various reasons, there was a modest uptick in the ratio with seven All-Americans in this category in a six-year span from 2000 through 2005 before Louisville's Luke Hancock (George Mason) became Final Four Most Outstanding Player last year. Hood is a prime candidate to join the following alphabetical list of All-Americans who began their collegiate career at another four-year school:
*Attended junior college between four-year school stints.
NOTE: Burgess was an Air Force veteran.
"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world." - Helen Keller
Did you know coaching legend John Wooden won a grand total of one NCAA playoff game in his first 13 seasons with UCLA before capturing 10 national titles in 12 years from 1964 through 1975? Although Helen Keller wasn't an athlete, she could even see that exercising some patience clearly paid dividends for the Bruins.
On the heels of Pat Knight's dismissal at Lamar, a significant number of other pensive pilots are on the precipice of hearing rumblings about them receiving walking papers from struggling schools. Prior to dishing out a pink slip, the institutions need to reflect a moment on the following alphabetical list of individuals such as Kevin Stallings (moved atop Vanderbilt's career list earlier this season) and Scott Drew (Baylor) who didn't get off to roaring starts with major colleges but withstood the test of time and became their all-time winningest coach:
|All-Time Winningest Coach||School||Summary of Shaky Start at College|
|Dana Altman||Creighton||Failed to post winning season record until fourth year (1997-98).|
|Randy Bennett||Saint Mary's||Total of 11 games below .500 through first two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03).|
|Bill Bibb||Mercer||Total of 16 games below .500 in first three seasons (1974-75 through 1976-77).|
|George Blaney||Holy Cross||Total of 18 games below .500 in first two seasons (1972-73 and 1973-74).|
|Buster Brannon||Texas Christian||Total of 14 games below .500 in first two seasons (1948-49 and 1949-50).|
|Tom Brennan||Vermont||Total of 54 games below .500 overall and 36 below in ECAC North Atlantic Conference competition in first three seasons (1986-87 through 1988-89).|
|Dale Brown||Louisiana State||Overall losing record through first five seasons (1972-73 through 1976-77).|
|Jim Calhoun||Connecticut||Total of 24 games below .500 in Big East competition in first three seasons (1986-87 through 1988-89).|
|Bobby Cremins||Georgia Tech||Total of 16 games below .500 in ACC competition in first three seasons (1981-82 through 1983-84).|
|Billy Donovan||Florida||Failed to post winning season record until third year (1998-99).|
|Pat Douglass||UC Irvine||Total of 23 games below .500 in first two seasons (1997-98 and 1998-99).|
|Homer Drew||Valparaiso||Total of 67 games below .500 in first five seasons (1988-89 through 1992-93).|
|Scott Drew||Baylor||Total of 40 games below .500 in Big 12 Conference competition in first four seasons (2003-04 through 2006-07).|
|Fran Dunphy||Penn||Failed to post winning season record until third year (1991-92).|
|Cliff Ellis||Clemson||Total of 12 games below .500 in ACC competition through first two seasons (1984-85 and 1985-86).|
|Murray Greason||Wake Forest||Total of 11 games below .500 in first three seasons (1933-34 through 1935-36).|
|Doc Hayes||Southern Methodist||Four losing records in first six seasons (1947-48 through 1952-53.|
|Lou Henson||Illinois||Overall losing record through first three seasons (1975-76 through 1977-78).|
|Terry Holland||Virginia||Breakeven record overall and 16 games below .500 in ACC competition through first three seasons (1974-75 through 1976-77).|
|George Ireland||Loyola Chicago||Overall losing record through first six seasons (1951-52 through 1956-57).|
|Doggie Julian||Dartmouth||Total of 30 games below .500 through first three seasons (1950-51 through 1952-53).|
|Mike Krzyzewski||Duke||Overall losing record through first three seasons (1980-81 through 1982-83).|
|Guy Lewis||Houston||Total of 14 games below .500 overall and in MVC competition through first four seasons (1956-57 through 1959-60).|
|Eddie McCarter||Texas-Arlington||Six losing records in first seven seasons (1992-93 through 1998-99).|
|Al McGuire||Marquette||Total of eight games below .500 in first two seasons (1964-65 and 1965-66).|
|Frank McGuire||South Carolina||Total of 13 games below .500 in first two seasons (1964-65 and 1965-66).|
|Bob McKillop||Davidson||Failed to post winning season record until fifth year (1993-94).|
|Eldon Miller||Northern Iowa||Total of 10 games below .500 through first two seasons (1986-87 and 1987-88).|
|Ralph Miller||Wichita||Total of three games below .500 in first two seasons (1951-52 and 1952-53).|
|Danny Nee||Nebraska||Total of 20 games below .500 in Big Eight Conference competition in first four seasons (1986-87 through 1989-90).|
|Fran O'Hanlon||Lafayette||Total of 19 games below .500 in first two seasons (1995-96 and 1996-97).|
|Johnny Orr||Iowa State||Failed to post winning season record until fourth year (1983-84).|
|Nolan Richardson||Arkansas||Total of eight games below .500 in SWC competition in first two seasons (1985-86 and 1986-87).|
|Jack Rohan||Columbia||Failed to post winning season record until fifth year (1965-66).|
|Al Skinner||Boston College||Failed to post winning season record until fourth year (2000-01).|
|Dean Smith||North Carolina||Only one winning season record (1962-63) in first three years.|
|Jim Snyder||Ohio University||Total of eight games below .500 in first five seasons (1949-50 through 1953-54).|
|Kevin Stallings||Vanderbilt||Total of 24 games below .500 in SEC competition through first seven seasons (1999-00 through 2005-06).|
|Rick Stansbury||Mississippi State||Total of eight games below .500 in SEC competition through first three seasons (1998-99 through 2000-01).|
|Norm Stewart||Missouri||Losing record in Big Eight Conference competition in first three seasons (1967-68 through 1969-70).|
|Scott Sutton||Oral Roberts||Total of 10 games below .500 in first three seasons (1999-2000 through 2001-02).|
|Blaine Taylor||Old Dominion||Total of six games below .500 in first two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03).|
|Bob Thomason||Pacific||Total of 16 games below .500 in first four seasons (1988-89 through 1991-92).|
|John Thompson Jr.||Georgetown||Total of three games below .500 in first two seasons (1972-73 and 1973-74).|
|M.K. Turk||Southern Mississippi||Total of five games below .500 in first three seasons (1976-77 through 1978-79).|
|Riley Wallace||Hawaii||Total of 10 games below .500 in WAC competition in first six seasons (1987-88 through 1992-93).|
|Gary Williams||Maryland||Total of 24 games below .500 in ACC competition in first four seasons (1989-90 through 1992-93).|
|Jim Williams||Colorado State||Total of 12 games below .500 in first five seasons (1954-55 through 1958-59).|
|Charlie Woollum||Bucknell||Total of eight games below .500 in first three seasons (1975-76 through 1977-78).|
"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind." - Lord Kelvin (William Thomson)
The mathematical measurements aren't nearly as complex as the scientific equations noted British physicist Lord Kelvin embraced, but numerical streaks speak volumes in terms of the best of college basketball's "Numbers Game." Amid coping with polar-vortex frigid temperatures, warmhearted fans of Duke (122 weeks ranked in Top Ten) and Kansas (68 consecutive victories at home against nonconference opponents) have every reason to be proud despite their favorites seeing long streaks come to a halt early in the new year. In an effort to try to boost your knowledge to a satisfactory kind, following is a good, bad and ugly look at cold, hard text citing notable streaks that were intact during the 2013-14 campaign:
120: Consecutive victories for San Diego State when leading with five minutes remaining (entering West Regional Sweet 16).
109: Non-conference homecourt victories for Duke (through 2013).
81: Non-conference homecourt victories for Missouri (after Long Beach State).
75: Years for Northwestern failing to appear in NCAA Tournament since the inaugural playoff in 1939.
72: Years for Pittsburgh failing to return to Final Four since making its lone appearance there in 1941.
63: Homecourt victories in December for Duke (through 2013). . . . Seasons for Nebraska without a conference championship since Huskers shared Big Seven title with Kansas and Kansas State in 1950.
57: Homecourt victories without a loss for North Carolina against Clemson.
55: Seasons without an undefeated team in Mid-American Conference competition since Wayne Embry-led Miami Ohio in 1957-58.
51: Homecourt victories for Syracuse against non-conference opponents (through 2013).
48: Victories for Syracuse over in-state opponent Colgate.
46: Defeats for DePaul against ranked opponents (after losing against visiting Creighton on 1/7). . . . Years for Marshall failing to win a game in NCAA Tournament or NIT since finishing in fourth place in 1967 NIT. . . . Years for Virginia Tech failing to reach an NCAA Tournament regional final since lone appearance there in 1967.
43: Division I-leading winning seasons for Syracuse since compiling a 12-12 mark in 1969-70.
42: Years for Drake failing to win a game in either the NCAA Tournament or NIT.
40: Years for South Carolina failing to win an NCAA Tournament game since 1973.
39: Victories for Marquette against cross-town rival Milwaukee. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Southland Conference competition since Arkansas State in 1973-74.
38: Seasons for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim without a losing record during his entire career.
37: Years for Rutgers failing to supply an NCAA consensus All-American since Phil Sellers in 1976. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Big Ten Conference competition since Indiana became the nation's last unbeaten for an entire season in 1975-76.
36: Seasons without a Jewish All-American since Tennessee's Ernie Grunfeld in 1977. . . . Years for Duquesne failing to appear in NCAA Tournament.
35: Homecourt victories in December for Kansas State (through 2013). . . . Years for Notre Dame failing to return to Final Four since making its lone appearance there in 1978. . . . Years for Tennessee failing to win a SEC Tournament. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Pac-12 Conference competition since David Greenwood-led UCLA in 1977-78.
34: Seasons without an undefeated team in Big East Conference competition since formation of league. . . . Years for two-time national champion San Francisco failing to win an NCAA Tournament game since 1979. . . . Victories for Syracuse against in-state opponent Cornell.
33: Years for Purdue failing to return to Final Four since making its second appearance there in 1980. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in SWAC competition since Larry Smith-led Alcorn State in 1979-80.
32: Seasons without an undefeated team in Northeast Conference competition since formation of league.
31: Seasons for Oregon State winless in NCAA Tournament. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Summit League competition since formation of conference.
30: Seasons without an undefeated team in CAA competition since William & Mary in inaugural campaign. . . . Winning seasons for Kansas (all with at least 22 victories except 19-12 mark in 1988-89 in Roy Williams' first season as KU coach).
29: Seasons for Houston winless in NCAA Tournament since Hakeem Olajuwon-led Cougars finished national runner-up in 1984. . . . Defeats for Saint Francis (Pa.) in as many games against in-state opponent Pittsburgh.
28: Defeats for Dayton at Xavier in duel of underrated programs in state of Ohio.
27: NCAA Tournament appearances for Brigham Young without ever reaching Final Four. . . . Seasons for Michigan without an undisputed Big Ten Conference regular-season championship. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Missouri Valley Conference competition since Hersey Hawkins-led Bradley in 1985-86.
26: Winning seasons for Connecticut and Murray State. . . . NCAA Tournament appearances for Missouri without ever reaching Final Four. . . . Years for Texas Christian failing to win an NCAA Tournament game since 1987.
25: Victories for Duke against in-state opponent Davidson. . . . NCAA Tournament appearances for Kansas.
24: Years for five-time College Division champion Evansville failing to win a game in NCAA Division I Tournament or NIT. . . . Seasons for Kansas with at least 23 victories. . . . NCAA Tournament opening-game victories without a defeat for coach Roy Williams with Kansas and North Carolina. . . . Seasons for North Carolina State with double-digit defeats. . . . Seasons for Sacramento State without a winning record.
23: Defeats for Bradley west of the Mississippi River (after loss at Missouri State on 2/1). . . . Seasons for Florida winning its season opener. . . . Seasons for Kansas winning its conference opener. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference competition since Lionel Simmons-led La Salle in 1989-90. . . . NCAA Tournament appearances for Xavier without ever reaching Final Four.
21: Seasons without an undefeated team in America East Conference competition since Delaware in 1991-92.
20: Seasons for Oregon State compiling a losing record in Pac-10/12 Conference competition since going 9-9 in 1992-93. . . . Years for SMU failing to participate in NCAA Tournament.
19: Defeats for North Carolina State at Duke since 1995 when Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski was on medical leave.
18: Defeats for Iowa at Michigan State. . . . Losing seasons for New Hampshire.
16: Seasons without an undefeated team in Atlantic Sun Conference competition since College of Charleston in 1996-97. . . . Seasons for Gonzaga with at least 23 victories and Creighton with a minimum of 18 triumphs. . . . Twenty-win seasons for Syracuse under coach Jim Boeheim.
15: Victories in as many Maui Invitational games for Duke. . . . NCAA Tournament appearances for Gonzaga and Wisconsin. . . . Defeats for South Florida at Memphis.
14: Seasons without an undefeated team in ACC competition since Elton Brand-led Duke in 1998-99. . . . Seasons for Nebraska failing to post a winning conference record.
13: Seasons for Memphis with more than 20 victories. . . . Victories for Tennessee against SEC rival South Carolina.
12: Victories for California against Oregon (after 1/9 win at Oregon). . . . Seasons for Pittsburgh winning at least 20 games. . . . Top four finishes for Wisconsin in Big Ten Conference standings during coach Bo Ryan's tenure.
11: Victories for Wisconsin in Big Ten Conference openers.
10: Seasons for Howard University losing more than 20 games.
9: Big 12 Conference regular-season championships for Kansas. . . . Defeats for Louisiana State at Alabama and St. John's at Georgetown. . . . Defeats for Southern Methodist in conference tournament competition.
8: Seasons for Akron and Ohio State winning at least 22 games. . . . Seasons with at least 25 victories for Kansas. . . . Twenty-win seasons for San Diego State. . . . Seasons for Pepperdine failing to have an All-WCC selection.
7: Years for Akron reaching Mid-American Conference Tournament final. . . . Victories for North Carolina coach Roy Williams over Michigan State counterpart Tom Izzo in as many games between them. . . . Seasons for Rutgers failing to have an all-conference selection. . . . Years for #13 or #14 seed winning an NCAA Tournament opening-round game.
6: Years for Big Ten Conference Tournament champion failing to reach Final Four.
5: Seasons for six-time Final Four participant Arkansas failing to appear in NCAA Tournament. . . . Seasons for Temple defeating an opponent ranked in the Top 10.
4: Seasons with more than 30 victories for Kansas. . . . Seasons for Wisconsin having an All-Big Ten Conference selection who previously averaged fewer than three points per game as a freshman.
"Maturity is when your world opens up and you realize that you are not the center of it." - M.J. Croan
It's virtually impossible for prize prospects to live up to the hype generated by so-called experts who boast inferior historical perspectives and serve as little more than player pimps. Amid the rushes to judgment, some of the regal recruits become studs while others turn into duds. And some are somewhere in between such as the majority of this season's latest "one of the greatest classes ever" according to the predictable pedestrian press. Any fair-minded observer would have to admit that the pick of this year's litter need to up the ante significantly before inclusion among the freshmen with most impact in NCAA history.
After being coddled for so long in the AAU hip-hop atmosphere, you never know about a player's ticker coping with adversity and capacity to keep improving until setting foot on a college court and starting to consistently compete against comparable athletes. No matter his background, there is a learning curve and a mature individual along the lines that Croan describes continues to improve; especially on the defensive end of the court while also embracing a dirty, four-letter word (p-a-s-s).
Perhaps the best approach is the way new UCLA coach Steve Alford is grooming Zach LaVine, who hasn't started a game to date despite clearly being superior to the Wear twins but seems to be honing his all-round skills more than the following flawed frosh who had the vast majority of misguided media members foaming at the mouth:
Jabari Parker, Duke - Went 2-for-10 from the floor in his first ACC road game and viewed the final 3 1/2 minutes of a close contest from the bench after being "posterized" on a white canvas from dunk by Notre Dame's Pat Connaughton. In Parker's first ACC assignment at home, he was only 4-of-12 from the floor against mediocre Georgia Tech. "Mentally fatigued" midway through a college campaign replete with mediocre non-conference opponents won't cut it at the NBA level. Hitting an anemic 30% of his first 40 field-goal attempts in ACC competition, Parker needs to assure fans he is the Blue Devils' MVP (rather than Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood) and premier player in his family (father Sonny was SWC MVP with Texas A&M in 1974-75) before setting sights on becoming next national player of the year.
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas - Not as good as his father (former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins averaged 23.2 ppg with Florida State), he is hitting less than one-third of his three-pointers and has compiled more turnovers than assists. Weak with the ball in traffic when soulful-strut driving against comparable athletes. Many teenagers toiling at a fast-food joint ply their boring trade with more zest than Wiggins, who occasionally plays so tentatively self-serving (AAU open-gym style-points emphasis) it looks as if he is trying to avoid an injury that would cost him dearly as a probable high NBA draft choice. Hitting 2-of-9 from the floor in his Big 12 Conference opener at Oklahoma before managing a meager three points against Oklahoma State's athleticism, he might not be the most promising freshman on his own squad (Joel Embiid from Cameroon boasts off-the-chart potential) or top yearling from Canada (Syracuse's Tyler Ennis).
Julius Randle, Kentucky - Limited team-oriented assets helping his comrades perform at a higher level since he has yet to contribute a three-pointer and had anemic totals of two assists and two steals in seven contests covering his last four games heading into SEC play and first three league assignments.
Aaron Gordon, Arizona - Huge upside although he has compiled nearly as many turnovers as his total of assists and steals. First order of business is getting his free-throw marksmanship above 50%. By any measure, Nick Johnson is the most influential player for the nation's top-ranked team in mid-season.
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 more deference to steadfast individuals who have invested four years of emotion and devotion at a single school such as 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), Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Casey Prather (Florida), Russ Smith (Louisville), Chaz Williams (Massachusetts) and Kendall Williams (New Mexico).
Don't bet against Cincinnati capturing the first American Athletic Conference Tournament. As a charter member, the Bearcats won the inaugural postseason tourneys in the Metro, Great Midwest and C-USA. Following is a chronological list summarizing inaugural campaign for new leagues formed since the ACC was introduced 60 years ago:
NOTES: Big Ten, Ivy League, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Pac-12, SEC, Southern and WCC are existing conferences formed before the ACC. . . . America East and Atlantic Sun conducted at least one postseason tourney before having its first formal regular-season competition. . . . MEAC, Southland and SWAC were Division II leagues before moving up to the DI level. . . . American South, American West, ECC, Great Midwest, Great West, Gulf Star and Metro are now defunct.
If you need any more vivid examples to prove who are the best team-sport athletes in the world, just check out the list of premier tight ends in the NFL. A striking number of the elite players at that rigorous position are former college basketball players, including three who will play prominent roles in the second weekend of the NFL postseason. What kind of "picks" do you think imposing Mike Ditka (Pittsburgh) and John Mackey (Syracuse) set back in the day before the Big East Conference was formed? Wouldn't you love to see LeBron James maneuver down the field like Charles Atlas the same way he does when driving down the lane?
Old-school Ditka didn't commit a blunder by not pursuing a professional basketball career but he said one of his biggest mistakes was not running for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois in 2004. The former Chicago Bears All-Pro TE and Super Bowl-winning coach would have opposed Barack Obama, who went on to win the race and, in 2008, became the first African-American elected President.
"Biggest mistake I've ever made," Ditka said of failing to run against Obama. "Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn't be in the White House." Speaking of "fumbles," perhaps Ditka can help ESPN colleague Ray Lewis deal with his "biggest mistake" by finding the cream-colored suit Lewis "misplaced" in Atlanta during a Super Bowl "celebration."
Although ex-California hoopster Tony Gonzalez failed to reach the postseason with the Atlanta Falcons in his quest to finally win a playoff game, succeeding in the 2013 NFL playoffs still was a "Battle of the Titans" at the TE position. Former hoopsters Antonio Gates (Kent State) and Jimmy Graham (Miami, Fla.) led the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints, respectively, in pass receptions. Coming on strong at the same position is fellow ex-college hoopster Julius Thomas, a relatively obscure player for the Denver Broncos until exploding on the scene this season as their runner-up in touchdowns with 12 and contributing a team-high eight pass receptions in an AFC title-game victory against the New England Patriots.
Thomas, an All-Big Sky Conference hoopster with Portland State, flashed potential as the next game-changing tight end when he caught more touchdown passes in the opening quarter of the NFL season-opening game than he had receptions in his first two understudy seasons. A 74-yard TD strike to Thomas at San Diego in mid-season illustrated that QB Peyton Manning intends to capitalize on Thomas' athleticism the same way he did ex-hoopster Marcus Pollard (Bradley) with the Indianapolis Colts. Pollard, a J.C. transfer who was the Braves' leading rebounder in 1992-93, caught at least three touchdown passes each of Manning's first seven NFL seasons from 1998 through 2004. It may be premature if Thomas is a flash in the pan, but he already has cracked the Top 15 among the following list of Top 25 NFL tight ends who were former college basketball players:
|Rank||Former College Hoopster||Alma Mater||Summary of NFL Tight End Career|
|1.||Tony Gonzalez||California||First tight end in NFL history with 100 touchdowns completed his 17-year career in 2013 with 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards and 111 TDs. He was 13-time Pro Bowl selection.|
|2.||Antonio Gates||Kent State||Set an NFL single-season record with 13 TD receptions in 2004 en route to becoming San Diego Chargers' all-time leader for TD catches (87) and receptions (719) entering 2013 playoffs.|
|3.||Mike Ditka||Pittsburgh||Five-time Pro Bowl selection caught 427 passes for 5,812 yards and 43 TDs in 12 seasons.|
|4.||John Mackey||Syracuse||Hall of Famer caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 TDs in 10 seasons.|
|5.||Jimmy Graham||Miami (Fla.)||Led New Orleans Saints in pass receptions in 2012 and 2013. Twice has had streaks of at least four games with more than 100 yards in pass receptions. After only four years, he ranked second all-time among New Orleans Saints' tight ends in receiving.|
|6.||Todd Heap||Arizona State||Caught 467 passes for 5,492 yards and 41 TDs with the Baltimore Ravens from 2001 through 2010, leading them in receptions in 2002 with 68.|
|7.||Ben Coates||Livingstone (N.C.)||Established NFL single-season record for most receptions by a TE with 96 in 1994.|
|8.||Marcus Pollard||Bradley||Finished his 13-year career with 349 receptions for 4,280 yards and 40 TDs (long of 86 yards in 2001 midway through stint as starter for the Indianapolis Colts).|
|9.||Pete Metzelaars||Wabash (Ind.)||Played in more games at TE than any player in NFL history when he retired. Led the Buffalo Bills with 68 receptions in 1993.|
|10.||Joe Senser||West Chester State (Pa.)||Caught 165 passes for 1,822 yards and 16 TDs in four-year career with the Minnesota Vikings in early 1980s.|
|11.||Andrew Glover||Grambling State||Caught at least one TD pass each of his 10 pro seasons from 1991 through 2000, finishing with 208 receptions for 2,478 yards and 24 TDs.|
|12.||Rich McGeorge||Elon (N.C.)||Caught 175 passes for 2,370 yards and 13 TDs with the Green Bay Packers in nine years from 1970 through 1978.|
|13.||Rickey Dudley||Ohio State||Scored 29 TDs in five seasons with the Oakland Raiders before hooking on with two other teams.|
|14.||Julius Thomas||Portland State||Began 2013 campaign with a bang by catching two TD passes from Peyton Manning for the Denver Broncos and was team runner-up with 12 entering NFL playoffs.|
|15.||Derrick Ramsey||Kentucky||Caught 188 passes for 2,364 yards and 21 TDs with three different teams from 1978 to 1987.|
|16.||Reuben Gant||Oklahoma State||Caught 127 passes for 1,850 yards and 15 TDs with the Buffalo Bills in seven seasons from 1974 through 1980.|
|17.||Bob Windsor||Kentucky||Caught 185 passes for 2,307 yards and 14 TDs with the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots in nine years from 1967 through 1975.|
|18.||Keith McKeller||Jacksonville State (Ala.)||Caught 124 passes for 1,464 yards and 11 TDs with the Buffalo Bills in seven years from 1987 through 1993.|
|19.||Jordan Cameron||BYU/Southern California||Blossomed in third year with Cleveland Browns in 2013, catching 80 passes for 917 yards and seven TDs (three in game at Minnesota). He had three contests with at least nine receptions.|
|20.||Greg Latta||Morgan State (Md.)||Caught 90 passes for 1,081 yards and seven TDs with the Chicago Bears in five years from 1975 through 1979.|
|21.||Pat Richter||Wisconsin||Caught 99 passes for 1,315 yards and 14 TDs in nine seasons for the Washington Redskins after being their first-round pick in 1962.|
|22.||Jeff King||Virginia Tech||Registered 93 receptions for 802 yards and seven TDs with the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals in first seven years from 2006 through 2012.|
|23.||Ulysses Norris||Georgia||Best season of seven-year career was in 1983 when he had seven TDs with the Detroit Lions.|
|24.||Dee Mackey||East Texas State||Caught 94 passes for 1,352 yards and eight TDs in six NFL/AFL seasons from 1960 through 1965.|
|25.||Al Dixon||Iowa State||Caught 84 passes for 1,248 yards and eight TDs with four different teams from 1977 through 1984.|
"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Extensive coaching turnover and league realigning left Duke's Mike Krzyzewski as one of a mere five coaches to be in the same alliance the last 20 years. Coach K moved atop the dean-of-coaches list after Syracuse and Jim Boeheim switched to the Atlantic Coast Conference after 34 years in the Big East. Mentors joining Boeheim in shedding their longest-tenured status in a league when their schools or themselves sought greener pastures included Joe Mihalich (Niagara to Hofstra), Oakland's Greg Kampe (Summit to Horizon) and Utah State's Stew Morrill (WAC to Mountain West).
Voluntary or not, additional pilots stepped down during or after last season and no longer hold the distinction of dean of coaches in a Division I conference - Tevester Anderson (gone from Jackson State in SWAC), Ronnie Arrow (South Alabama in Sun Belt), Eddie Biedenbach (UNC Asheville in Big South), Scott Sanderson (Lipscomb in Atlantic Sun), Bob Thomason (Pacific in Big West) and Reggie Witherspoon (Buffalo in Mid-American). As league play shifts into gear, following are the longest-tenured active coaches in their present Division I conference (including 2013-14 campaign):
Louisiana State's Pete Maravich, the NCAA's career scoring leader, still holds the all-time single-game scoring mark by an individual opponent against eight universities (Alabama, Auburn, Duquesne, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tulane and Vanderbilt). Do you know who holds the mark for highest output against the Tigers? It was achieved this month by Ole Miss' Johnny Neumann, who fired in a school-record 63 points at LSU the season after Maravich's eligibility expired.
This month also features UCLA's single-game rebounding record and the mark wasn't established by Lew Alcindor or Bill Walton. Speaking of rebounding, existing single-game standards against a Division I opponent for Lamar and Oral Roberts were set in the same contest in 1972 and USC's single-game mark against a DI foe came from two different players on the same day 22 years apart. Following is a day-by-day calendar citing memorable moments in January college basketball history:
1 - Hank Luisetti (50 points vs. Duquesne at Cleveland in 1938) set Stanford's single-game scoring record. . . . Seton Hall's school-record 46-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by William & Mary (57-55 in 1954). . . . Penn opposed Yale in 1927 in debut game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia. . . . Bailey Howell (34 vs. Louisiana State in 1957) set Mississippi State's single-game rebounding record.
2 - Georgia State's Chris Collier (49 points vs. Butler in 1991), Quinnipiac's Rob Monroe (41 vs. Longwood in double overtime in 2005) and Wofford's Ian Chadwick (40 at Georgia Southern in 2001) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Mississippi State's school-record 35-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Auburn (64-48 in 1960). . . . Steve Hamilton (38 vs. Florida State in 1957) set Morehead State's single-game rebounding record.
3 - Jamal Barney (41 points at Canisius in 2009) set Division I single-game scoring record for Loyola (Md.). . . . Wake Forest snapped North Carolina State's school-record 36-game winning streak (83-78 in 1975). . . . Brigham Young's school-record 53-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Wake Forest (94-87 in 2009). . . . DePaul's Ken Warzynski (28 vs. Harvard in 1970), Long Beach State's Michael Zeno (22 vs. Loyola Marymount in 1983) and Wisconsin's Paul Morrow (30 vs. Purdue in 1953) set school single-game rebounding records against a major-college opponent.
4 - Ball State's Chris Williams (48 points at Akron in overtime in 2003), Jacksonville State's Trenton Marshall (37 at Southeast Missouri State in 2010), Lamar's Mike James (52 vs. Louisiana College in 2011), Loyola Marymount's Bo Kimble (54 at St. Joseph's in 1990) and Texas-El Paso's Jim Barnes (51 vs. Western New Mexico in 1964) set school single-game scoring records. . . . In 2003, Butler's Darnell Archey established an NCAA Division I standard by converting his 74th of 85 consecutive free throws. . . . Illinois' school-record 31-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Iowa (60-59 in 1986). . . . Delaware's Jack Waddington (31 vs. Rutgers in 1956), Middle Tennessee State's Mike Milholland (32 vs. Austin Peay State in 1965), Nebraska's Bill Johnson (26 vs. Iowa State in 1954), Nevada's Pete Padgett (30 vs. Loyola Marymount in 1973) and Valparaiso's Chris Ensminger (24 vs. Northeastern Illinois in 1996) set school single-game rebounding records.
5 - Eastern Washington's Rodney Stuckey (45 points at Northern Arizona in 2006), Michigan State's Terry Furlow (50 vs. Iowa in 1976), Stephen F. Austin State's Scott Dimak (40 at Texas Southern in 1989) and West Virginia's Hot Rod Hundley (54 vs. Furman in 1957) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Derrick Dial (45 vs. Marshall in 1998) set Eastern Michigan's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . In 1991, Loyola Marymount's 186-point output is the highest in NCAA history by a team in a single game and Kevin Bradshaw's 72-point outburst for U.S. International is the most ever for a player against a major-college opponent. . . . Fairfield's Darren Phillip (25 vs. Marist in 2000), Texas-San Antonio's Lennell Moore (25 vs. Centenary in 1987) and Tulane's Mel Payton (31 vs. Mississippi State in 1951) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
6 - Drexel's John Rankin (44 points vs. Rider in 1988), Pepperdine's William "Bird" Averitt (57 vs. Nevada-Reno in 1973) and Xavier's Steve Thomas (50 vs. Detroit in 1964) set school single-game scoring records. Averitt's output is also a West Coast Conference record in league competition. . . . Ernie Losch (41 vs. Utah State in 1973) set Tulane's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Bob Mortell (24 vs. Virginia Military in 1960) set Virginia's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
7 - UC Riverside's Rickey Porter (40 points at Pacific in 2006), Campbell's Clarence Grier (39 vs. Virginia Wesleyan in 1987), Michigan's Rudy Tomjanovich (48 vs. Indiana in overtime in 1969) and Southwest Texas State's Lynwood Wade (42 vs. Sam Houston State in double overtime in 1993) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Odell Johnson (40 vs. Pepperdine in 1956) set Saint Mary's single-game scoring record against a major-college opponent. . . . North Carolina hit an NCAA-record 94.1% of its second-half field-goal attempts (16 of 17 vs. Virginia in 1978). . . . Niagara's Gary Bossert set an NCAA single-game record by hitting 11 consecutive three-point field-goal attempts against Siena in 1987. . . . Long Beach State ended UNLV's Big West Conference-record 40-game winning streak (101-94 in 1993), Pacific's school-record 45-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Long Beach State (91-85 in 1973), Tennessee's school-record 37-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Gonzaga (89-79 in overtime) and UNLV's school-record 72-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by New Mexico (102-98 in 1978). . . . Alex "Boo" Ellis (31 vs. Kent State in 1957) set Niagara's single-game rebounding record.
8 - Eddie House (61 points at California in double overtime in 2000) set Arizona State's and tied the Pac-12 Conference single-game scoring record. . . . Michael Hicks (47 points at Cal Poly in overtime in 2001) set Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's single-game scoring record. . . . Georgia Tech snapped Kentucky's NCAA-record 129-game homecourt winning streak and SEC-record 51-game winning streak in 1955. . . . Nelson Richardson (26 vs. Manhattan in 1977) set Siena's single-game rebounding record.
9 - Cincinnati sophomore Oscar Robertson (56 points) personally outscored Seton Hall in a 118-54 rout of the Pirates at Madison Square Garden in 1958. . . . Alabama's Jerry Harper (28 vs. Mississippi State in 1956), Texas-Arlington's Albert Culton (24 vs. Northeastern in 1981), Villanova's Howard Porter (30 vs. St. Peter's in 1971) and Virginia Tech's Chris Smith (36 vs. Washington & Lee in 1959) set school single-game rebounding records against a major-college opponent.
10 - Connecticut's Bill Corley (51 points vs. New Hampshire in 1968), John Conforti of St. Francis, N.Y. (45 vs. Wagner in 1970), Washington's Bob Houbregs (49 vs. Idaho in 1953) and Winthrop's Melvin Branham (45 at Charleston Southern in 1994) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Navy's David Robinson (45 at James Madison in 1987) set CAA scoring record in league competition. . . . Saint Joseph's and Xavier combined to have an NCAA-record eight players foul out in 1976. . . . Western Kentucky's school-record 67-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Xavier (82-80 in overtime in 1955). . . . Ed Diddle made his Western Kentucky head coaching debut in 1923 with a 103-7 decision over the Adairville Independents en route to a school-record 759 victories. . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 500 victories the fastest with a 92-59 win over DePaul in 1955 (584 games in 23rd season). . . . Louisiana-Lafayette's Roy Ebron (28 vs. Northwestern State in 1972) and Vanderbilt's Clyde Lee (28 vs. Mississippi in 1966) set school single-game rebounding records.
11 - Don Scaife (43 points at Samford in 1975) set Arkansas State's Division I single-game scoring record. . . . Texas Tech's school-record 35-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Colorado (80-78 in 1997). . . . Alcorn State's Larry Smith (21 vs. Mississippi Valley State in 1979), UC Santa Barbara's Eric McArthur (28 vs. New Mexico State in 1990) and Dartmouth's Rudy LaRusso (32 vs. Columbia in 1958) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
12 - Bucknell's Al Leslie (45 points vs. American in 1980) set the East Coast Conference single-game scoring record. . . . Mike Olliver (50 at Portland State in 1980) set Lamar's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Iowa State's school-record 39-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Oklahoma State (69-66 in 2002) and Michigan State's school-record 53-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Wisconsin (64-63 in 2002). . . . Monmouth's Karl Towns (23 vs. Morgan State in 1985) and Robert Morris' Mike Morton (20 vs. Baltimore in 1980) set school single-game rebounding records.
13 - Bowling Green's Jim Darrow (52 points vs. Toledo in overtime in 1960), Cal Poly's Shanta Cotright (43 vs. George Mason in 1996), Charleston Southern's Dwyane Jackson (43 at Virginia Military in 2007), Kentucky's Jodie Meeks (54 at Tennessee in 2009), Sacramento State's Loren Leath (41 at Northern Colorado in 2009), Southeastern Louisiana's Sam Bowie (39 at Central Florida in 1996), Southeast Missouri State's Daimon Gonner (37 at Tennessee State in double overtime in 2005) and UAB's Andy Kennedy (41 vs. Saint Louis in 1991) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Marquette's school-record 81-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Notre Dame (71-69 in 1973). . . . Doug Hess (27 vs. Marshall in 1971) set Toledo's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
14 - Syracuse's Bill Smith (47 points vs. Lafayette in 1971) and Virginia Commonwealth's Chris Cheeks (42 vs. Old Dominion in overtime in 1989) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Arizona's Damon Stoudamire (45 at Stanford in 1995) and Louisville's Butch Beard (41 at Bradley in 1967) set school single-game scoring records against a DI opponent.
15 - Coppin State's school-record 42-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by North Carolina A&T (76-70 in 1997), Murray State's school-record 47-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Southeast Missouri State (84-78 in 2000) and Virginia's school-record 34-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by North Carolina (101-95 in 1983). . . . Bob Reiter (27 vs. Kansas State in 1955) set Missouri's single-game rebounding record.
16 - Columbia's school-record 34-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Penn (66-64 in 1952).
17 - New Mexico State's John Williamson (48 points at California in 1972) and UNC Wilmington's Brian Rowsom (39 at East Carolina in 1987) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Virginia Military's school-record 35-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Appalachian State (73-58 in 1979). . . . Steve Stiepler (22 vs. Charleston Southern in 1977) set James Madison's single-game rebounding record.
18 - Stan Mayhew (45 points vs. Utah State in 1977) set Weber State's single-game scoring record. . . . A weekly ritual began when the Associated Press announced results of its first weekly basketball poll in 1949 (SLU was initial #1). . . . Indiana State's Jim Cruse (25 vs. Drake in 1997) and North Texas' Ken Williams (29 vs. Lamar in 1978) set school single-game rebounding records.
19 - UC Davis' Corey Hawkins (40 points at Hawaii in 2013), Charleston Southern's Ben Hinson (43 vs. Edward Waters, Fla., in 1985) and New Hampshire's Brad Cirino (39 at Maine in four overtimes in 1996) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Jim Ashmore (45 vs. Mississippi in 1957) set Mississippi State's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Notre Dame came from behind in the closing minutes to end visiting UCLA's NCAA-record 88-game winning streak in 1974. . . . George Mason's Andre Smith set an NCAA single-game record by sinking all 10 of his shots from beyond the three-point arc against James Madison in 2008. . . . Ron deVries (24 vs. Pacific in 1974) set Illinois State's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
20 - Austin Peay's James "Fly" Williams (51 points vs. Tennessee Tech in 1973), Fordham's Ken Charles (46 vs. St. Peter's in 1973), Memphis State's Larry Finch (48 vs. St. Joseph's, Ind., in 1973) and Oklahoma City's Gary Gray (55 at West Texas State in 1967) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Houston ended UCLA's 47-game winning streak (71-69 in Astrodome in 1968), Minnesota's school-record 40-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Nebraska (22-21 in 1905) and West Virginia's school-record 39-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by St. Bonaventure (64-63 in 1983). . . . Visiting Texas-El Paso snapped Memphis' NCAA-record 52-game winning streak in regular-season conference competition (C-USA/72-67 in 2010). . . . Cliff Robinson (28 vs. Portland State in 1978) and David Bluthenthal (28 vs. Arizona State in 2000) set and tied Southern California's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
21 - Howard's Ron Williamson (52 points vs. North Carolina A&T in 2003) and Saint Joseph's Jack Egan (47 at Gettysburg, Pa., in 1961) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Kansas' school-record 69-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Texas (74-63 in 2011) and DePaul's school-record 36-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Dayton (67-63 in 1985). . . . Terry Rutherford (21 vs. Marshall in 1978) set Western Carolina's single-game rebounding record against a Division I opponent.
22 - Lee Campbell (20 vs. Cleveland State in 1990) tied his own Missouri State single-game rebounding record against a Division I opponent.
23 - Eastern Illinois' Jay Taylor (47 points vs. Chicago State in 1989), East Tennessee State's Mike Milholland (44 vs. Austin Peay in 1965), Nicholls State's Anatoly Bose (46 at Northwestern State in double overtime in 2010), South Florida's Dominique Jones (46 at Providence in overtime in 2010) and Tennessee State's Anthony Mason (44 at Eastern Kentucky in 1988) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Jacksonville's James Ray (45 vs. South Florida in 1980) set Sun Belt Conference single-game scoring record in league competition. . . . Northeastern's Steve Carney (23 vs. Hartford in 1988) and Ohio University's Howard Joliff (28 vs. Kent State in 1960) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
24 - Appalachian State's Stan Davis (56 points at Carson-Newman, Tenn., in 1974), Chattanooga's Oliver Morton (50 vs. Pikeville, Ky., in 2001), IUPUI's Odell Bradley (41 vs. Oral Roberts in triple overtime in 2004), Loyola of New Orleans' Ty Marioneaux (53 vs. Virginia Commonwealth in 1970), Oakland's Travis Bader (47 vs. IUPUI in 2013) and Texas-Arlington's Steven Barber (43 at Texas-San Antonio in 2002) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . San Diego State's Ben Wardrop set an NCAA record for shortest playing time before being disqualified by fouling out in only 1:11 at Colorado State in 2004. . . . Notre Dame's school-record 45-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Connecticut (69-61 in 2009).
25 - Connell "C.J." Wilkerson (41 points at North Carolina A&T in 2011) set North Carolina Central's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Southern's Avery Johnson tied an NCAA single-game record with 22 assists against Texas Southern in 1988. . . . Brigham Young's school-record 44-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Utah (79-75 in 2003). . . . East Carolina's Erroyl Bing (24 vs. South Florida in 2003), Kansas State's David Hall (27 vs. Oklahoma in 1971), Lamar's Steve Wade (27 vs. Oral Roberts in 1972), Oral Roberts' Eddie Woods (30 vs. Lamar in 1972) and Seton Hall's Nick Werkman (32 vs. Boston College in 1963) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
26 - Gonzaga's Frank Burgess (52 points vs. UC Davis in 1961) and Youngstown State's Tilman Bevely (55 vs. Tennessee Tech in 1987) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Bevely's output also tied Ohio Valley Conference record in league competition. . . . Arizona and Northern Arizona combined for an NCAA-record 130 free-throw attempts in 1953. . . . Herb Neff (36 vs. Georgia Tech in 1952) set Tennessee's single-game rebounding record.
27 - Georgia Southern's Johnny Mills (44 points vs. Samford in 1973), Indiana's Jimmy Rayl (56 vs. Minnesota in 1962), James Madison's Steve Stiepler (51 vs. Robert Morris in 1979) and West Texas State's Simmie Hill (42 at Texas Western in 1968) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Visiting New Mexico State overcame a 28-0 deficit to defeat Bradley in 1977. . . . Perennial cellar dweller Northwestern upset Magic Johnson and NCAA champion-to-be Michigan State by 18 points in 1979. . . . Centenary's Robert Parish (33 vs. Southern Mississippi in 1973) and Florida's Neal Walk (31 vs. Alabama in 1968) set school single-game rebounding records.
28 - Syracuse's Sherman Douglas tied an NCAA single-game record with 22 assists against Providence in 1989. . . . Jim Loscutoff of Oregon (32 vs. Brigham Young in 1955), Maurice Stokes of Saint Francis, PA (39 vs. John Carroll, OH, in 1955) and Willie Naulls of UCLA (28 vs. Arizona State in 1956) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Barney Cable (28 vs. Marquette in 1956) set Bradley's single-game rebounding record against a major-college opponent.
29 - Arkansas State's Jeff Clifton (43 points vs. Arkansas-Little Rock in 1994), Jacksonville's Ernie Fleming (59 vs. St. Peter's in 1972), Seton Hall's Nick Werkman (52 vs. Scranton in 1964), Utah Valley's Ryan Toolson (63 at Chicago State in quadruple overtime in 2009), Vermont's Eddie Benton (54 vs. Drexel in 1994) and Wagner's Terrance Bailey (49 vs. Brooklyn in triple overtime in 1986) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Benton's output is also an America East Conference record in league competition. . . . Columbia's Jack Molinas (31 vs. Brown in 1953), North Carolina State's Ronnie Shavlik (35 vs. Villanova in 1955) and Penn State's Jesse Arnelle (27 vs. Temple in 1955) set school single-game rebounding records.
30 - Maryland-Eastern Shore's Tee Trotter (42 points at Howard in overtime in 2003), Mississippi's Johnny Neumann (63 at Louisiana State in 1971), New Orleans' Ledell Eackles (45 at Florida International in 1988), Seattle's Elgin Baylor (60 vs. Portland in 1958), Tennessee Tech's Kevin Murphy (50 vs. SIU-Edwardsville in 2012) and Western Kentucky's Clem Haskins (55 vs. Middle Tennessee State in 1965) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Haskins' output is also an Ohio Valley Conference record in league competition. . . . Rick Barry (51 vs. Oklahoma City in 1965) set Miami's single-game scoring record against a major-college opponent. . . . William & Mary ended West Virginia's Southern Conference-record 44-game winning streak in 1960. . . . UC Irvine's Kevin Magee (25 vs. Long Beach State in 1982), Miami's Rick Barry (29 vs. Oklahoma City in 1965) and Oklahoma State's Andy Hopson (27 vs. Missouri in 1973) set school single-game rebounding records.
31 - LSU's Pete Maravich, despite having 13 regular-season games remaining in 1970, passed Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson with 4:43 left against Mississippi to become the NCAA's career scoring leader. . . . Gerhard "Jerry" Varn (51 points vs. Piedmont in 1953) set The Citadel's single-game scoring record. . . . Holy Cross' Jim McCaffrey (46 vs. Iona in 1985) set MAAC scoring record in league competition. . . . Loyola Marymount outgunned U.S. International (181-150 in 1989) in the highest-scoring game in major-college history. . . . Manhattan's Bruce Seals established an NCAA single-game record with 27 three-point field-goal attempts (making nine vs. Canisius in 2000). . . . Canisius' Darren Fenn (22 vs. Manhattan in 2000), George Mason's Kenny Sanders (22 vs. American in 1989), Loyola Marymount's Hank Gathers (29 vs. U.S. International in 1989), Princeton's Carl Belz (29 vs. Rutgers in 1959) and St. Bonaventure's Bob Lanier (23 vs. Niagara in 1970) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
"I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have." - Leonardo da Vinci
With Auld Lang Syne chords playing in the background, the final day of the calendar year offered another time to say goodbye by acknowledging the passing away in 2013 of a striking number of college basketball movers and shakers. Giving more deference to celebratory Dick Clark than difficult-to-please Renaissance Man da Vinci, following is an alphabetical list of the deceased who didn't drop the ball on the court:
- Korvotney Barber - Averaged 10.8 ppg and 7.2 rpg from 2005-06 through 2008-09 for Auburn before drowning at Panama City Beach at the age of 26. Barber went out under double red-flag conditions, meaning the beach was closed and public prohibited from entering the water.
- Zelmo Beaty - All-American for Prairie View A&M as a senior in 1961-62 died of cancer at age of 73. He averaged more than 24 ppg and 20 rpg each of his final three seasons in college.
- Walt Bellamy - All-American center with Indiana as senior in 1960-61 died at age of 74. Two-time All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection led the Hoosiers in scoring and rebounding all three seasons (career averages of 20.6 ppg and 15.5 rpg).
- Wes Bialosuknia - All-time career average scoring leader in UConn history (23.6 ppg) and three-time All-Yankee Conference first-team selection died at the age of 68.
- Lonnie Boeckman - Oklahoma State center in the mid-1970s, one of the tallest players (7-4) in Big Eight Conference annals, was 58 when he passed away because of complications following surgery.
- Bertram "B.H." Born - Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 1953 for Kansas' NCAA Tournament runner-up (51 points in two games) passed away at age of 88. Two-time All-Big Seven Conference first-team selection made his home in Peoria, Ill., for nearly 60 years.
- Alvin Clinkscales - Harlem Globetrotter after attending Bridgeport died at 81 stemming from kidney problems. He was the first black high school coach in the state of Connecticut.
- Charlie Coles - Beset by a long history of heart issues, Miami of Ohio's all-time winningest coach at 71. He was the Mid-American Conference's career leader in league victories with 218 after also coaching Central Michigan.
- Howie Crittenden - First 2,000-point scorer in Murray State history and All-Ohio Valley Conference selection in the mid-1950s died at 80.
- Joe Dean Sr. - All-SEC selection in 1949-50 and 1950-51 with Louisiana State died at 83 from heart complications. SEC TV analyst coined the phrase "string music" to describe a shot swishing through a net.
- Connie Dierking - Cincinnati's leader in scoring (18.5 ppg) and rebounding (18.8 rpg) in 1956-57 before all-time great Oscar Robertson arrived died at 77.
- Jevon Freeman - Backup guard for Alabama State from 2007-08 through 2009-10 died at 25 in what Georgia authorities called a Craigslist sale of his iPhone gone wrong. The victim's mother said Freeman used Craigslist to earn money in addition to what he made owning a barbershop.
- Devin Gray - Clemson's leading scorer in 1992-93 died at 41 of a heart attack in suburban Atlanta. All-ACC third-team selection led the league in field-goal shooting with 57.2% as a junior in 1993-94.
- Dan Hall - Frontcourt backup from Kentucky's historic recruiting class as a freshman for the Wildcats' 1975 NCAA Tournament runner-up died of an apparent suicide at age 58. Hall subsequently transferred to Marshall, where he averaged 10.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg in 1976-77 and 1977-78.
- Marv Harshman - Naismith Hall of Famer and national coach of the year with Washington in his next-to-last season in 1983-84 died at 95. Harshman also coached Washington State for 13 campaigns from 1958-59 through 1970-71.
- Phil Henderson - All-ACC second-team selection, the leading scorer and senior captain of Duke's 1990 NCAA Tournament runner-up, died of cardiac arrest at 44 in the Philippines. He was the Blue Devils' second-leading scorer as a junior and sixth-leading scorer as a sophomore for two more Final Four squads.
- Simmie Hill - Pittsburgh product who played freshman basketball with Wichita State before sidetracked by academic problems died at 66. J.C. recruit became an All-American with West Texas State in 1968-69 after finishing seventh in the nation in scoring with 27.3 ppg the previous season.
- Harold "Buddy" Hudson - One of Oklahoma's first two African-American players died of a heart attack at 75. Hudson, a transfer from Oklahoma Baptist, averaged 5.1 ppg and 3 rpg in two seasons with the Sooners.
- Rudy Keeling - Maine and Northeastern coach died at 64. He guided Maine to its first 20-win season in 1993-94.
- Bob Kurland - Three-time NCAA consensus first-team All-American for Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) was 88 when he died at his home on Sanibel Island, Fla., Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 1945 (37 points in final two games) and 1946 (52 points) while powering his school to back-to-back NCAA championships.
- Albert "Cappy" Lavin - San Francisco player who averaged 7 ppg for the Dons in 1950-51 and father of UCLA/St. John's coach Steve Lavin died at 82.
- John "Red" McManus - First coach to guide Creighton to two NCAA playoff appearances (1962 and 1964) died at 88. He is credited with returning the Bluejays to "big-time" basketball after the school had de-emphasized the sport in the 1950s.
- Cliff Meely - All-American as a Colorado senior in 1970-71 died at 65 from complications linked to a blood infection. Juco transfer established the Buffaloes' record for highest scoring average in a single season (28 ppg). Three-time All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection led CU in scoring and rebounding all three campaigns (career averages of 24.3 ppg and 12.1 rpg).
- Don "Monk" Meineke - NCAA consensus second-team All-American with Dayton in 1951-52 died at 83. He paced the nation in field-goal percentage in 1950-51 and ranked among the top 13 scorers each of his last two season while powering the Flyers to runner-up finishes in the NIT.
- Dean "The Dream" Meminger - NCAA unanimous first-team All-American in 1970-71 was NIT Most Valuable Player for Marquette in 1970. He was found dead at 65 in a Hamilton Heights, N.Y., hotel of an apparent drug overdose.
- Joe C. Meriweather - All-American as a senior center for Southern Illinois in 1974-75 died in Columbus, Ga., at 59. Ranked among the nation's top 12 in field-goal percentage each of his final two seasons.
- Vern Mikkelsen - All-American frontcourter with Hamline (Minn.) as a senior in 1948-49 died at age of 85.
- Leland Mitchell - Two-time All-SEC first-team selection for Mississippi State in the early 1960s died at 72. As a senior, he and teammates famously sneaked out of the state in the dead of night to play in the 1963 NCAA playoffs despite state law discouraged the all-white Bulldogs from competing on court against opponents with black players.
- Bob Nichols - Winningest coach in Mid-American Conference history (overall games) died at 82. He was captain of 1952-53 Toledo team before compiling a 377-211 record as his alma mater's pilot for 22 seasons from 1965-66 through 1986-87.
- Dyron Nix - Member of Tennessee's All-Century team who led the SEC in scoring as a junior in 1987-88 died at the age of 46 after three-time all-league selection was hospitalized for pneumonia.
- Dick O'Neal - Texas Christian leader in career scoring average (23.9 ppg) died at 78. He was an All-American as a senior in 1956-57 after finishing among the nation's top 12 scorers the previous two seasons.
- Johnny Orr - All-time winningest coach for Michigan (209 victories from 1968-69 through 1979-80) and Iowa State (218 from 1980-81 through 1993-94) died at 86. Former UMass mentor was first Big Ten Conference coach to lead his team to four consecutive NCAA playoff berths. Named national coach of the year by NABC in 1976 when directing the Wolverines to NCAA Tournament title game against unbeaten Indiana.
- Reggie Rogers - Washington All-American defensive lineman and first-round NFL draft choice in 1987 (7th pick overall) died at 49 due to a combination of cocaine and alcohol intoxication. Two-way athlete averaged 5.7 ppg and 3.9 rpg for the Huskies from 1982-83 through 1984-85. He had a 22-point, 12-rebound performance against UCLA. The 6-6, 260-pounder made four of five field-goal attempts in UW's 88-78 1984 second-round victory over Duke in Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski's first NCAA playoff game.
- Cecile Rose - Leading scorer for Houston's Top 20 team in 1977-78 with 17.6 ppg died at 58. Bahamian's brother (Lynden) and nephew (L.J.) also played for the Cougars.
- Oscar "Ossie" "Schectman - All-American guard in 1940-41 died at 94. Sophomore member of LIU's undefeated 1939 NIT titlist scored the first basket in NBA history.
- Bill Sharman - NCAA consensus first-team All-American as a Southern California senior in 1949-50 died at 87. Ranked among the nation's Top 20 in free-throw percentage three straight seasons.
- Charlie Warren - Oregon's leading scorer in 1960-61 and 1961-62 died of cancer at 73. His 22.2 ppg as a senior forward still ranks third on the Ducks' all-tme single-season list for highest scoring average.
- Ray Williams - Two-time All-Big Ten Conference second-team selection for Minnesota in 1975-76 and 1976-77 (18.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg) after transferring from junior college died of colon cancer at 58. He was recovering from a turbulent life that left him homeless, living in a rusted Buick in Pompano Beach.
- Jean Michel Yotio - Died at 25 after experiencing chest pains in his native Ivory Coast. Center averaged 1.7 ppg and 1.4 rpg with UCF in 2007-08 and 2008-09 before medical problems related to blood clots ended his career.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." - George Bernard Shaw
South Carolina football wide receiver/basketball guard Bruce Ellington, after throwing a touchdown pass to the Gamecocks' quarterback on a reverse and catching a go-ahead TD pass in the second half of the Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin, should finish among the all-time Top 10 "Men For All Seasons." In an era of specialization, preliminary research reveals Ellington is the first major-college basketball regular to compete the same academic school year in three consecutive football bowl games. Living up to George Bernard Shaw's credo, he joined Terry Baker (Oregon State), Rick Casares (Florida), Ronald Curry (North Carolina), Charles Davis (Purdue), Pete "Bump" Elliott (Michigan), Fred Gibson (Georgia), Teyo Johnson (Stanford), Matt Jones (Arkansas), Terry Kirby (Virginia), Dave Logan (Colorado) and Tony "Zippy" Morocco (Georgia) as athletes who scored a touchdown in a bowl game before switching uniforms shortly thereafter and making significant contributions to the school's basketball squad. Ellington, after pacing USC in pass receptions, cut short both his college football and basketball career by declaring early for the NFL draft (started two of three early-season hoop contests).
In the ultimate one-and-only achievement, Baker is the lone football Heisman Trophy winner to play in the basketball Final Four (1963). Kirby, a running back, and Matt Blundin, a quarterback, were teammates who competed in back-to-back years for Virginia football squads in bowl games (Florida Citrus following 1989 season and Sugar following 1990) before becoming members of Cavaliers hoop teams participating in the NCAA playoffs. Retiring all-time great tight end Tony Gonzalez (California) is among the following alphabetical list of versatile athletes since World War II who played in at least one football bowl game the same school year they were a hoop regular (bowl year denotes when regular season was played):
|Football-Basketball Player||College||FB Pos.||Bowl Game(s)||Two-Way Athlete Summary in Same Academic School Year|
|Doug Atkins||Tennessee||DE||1950 Cotton||Eventual NFL first-round pick helped defeat Texas 20-14 before averaging 9.9 ppg for Volunteers' basketball squad.|
|Terry Baker||Oregon State||QB||1962 Liberty||MVP's 99-yard run from scrimmage accounted for only points in 6-0 victory against Villanova before becoming runner-up in scoring (13.4 ppg) with Beavers' NCAA Tournament fourth-place finisher.|
|Connor Barwin||Cincinnati||TE||2006 International||One solo tackle in 27-24 triumph against Western Michigan before averaging 1.2 ppg and 1.4 rpg for Bearcats' basketball team.|
|Matt Blundin||Virginia||QB||1989 Florida Citrus/1990 Sugar||Backup in two defeats (31-21 vs. Illinois and 23-22 vs. Tennessee) while averaging 3.3 ppg and 4.6 rpg with two NCAA playoff teams for Cavaliers.|
|Larry Brown||Georgia||TE||1997 Outback||Defeated Wisconsin 33-6 before averaging 6.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg for Bulldogs' NIT third-place team.|
|Rick Casares||Florida||FB-PK||1952 Gator||Rushed 21 times for 86 yards, scoring first TD in Gators' bowl history, and kicked both extra points in 14-13 nod over Tulsa before All-SEC second-team selection paced hoop squad in scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg).|
|Ronald Curry||North Carolina||QB||1998 Las Vegas||Curry's 48-yard TD scamper put Tar Heels in front to stay in 20-13 win over San Diego State before averaging 2.8 ppg and 1.7 apg for hoop squad upset in first round of NCAA playoiffs by Weber State.|
|Charles Davis||Purdue||TE||2004 Sun||His 6-yard TD reception from Kyle Orton put Boilermakers ahead with just over one minute remaining but Arizona State marched 80 yards in four plays to win 27-23 before Davis averaged 2.9 ppg and 3.1 rpg in coach Gene Keady's swan song.|
|Matt Davison||Nebraska||SE||1999 Fiesta||Leading Husker receiver in three bowl games, including 31-21 nod over Tennessee, before starting two Big 12 Conference basketball contests.|
|Rickey Dudley||Ohio State||TE||1994 Florida Citrus||Caught two passes for 26 yards in 24-17 setback against Alabama before averaging team-high 7.5 rpg.|
|Bruce Ellington||South Carolina||WR||2011 Capital One/2012 Outback/2013 Capital One||Season-long 45-yard kickoff return in 30-13 win over Nebraska and caught game-winning TD pass with only seconds remaining in 33-28 victory against Michigan before averaging 10.5 ppg while finishing Gamecocks' leader in either assists or steals.|
|Pete "Bump" Elliott||Michigan||B||1947 Rose Bowl||Rushed seven times for 53 yards and caught 1-yard TD pass in 49-0 romp over Southern California before averaging 6 ppg for Wolverine hoopsters.|
|Percy Ellsworth||Virginia||S||1994 Independence||Integral part of defense leading nation in interceptions helped Cavaliers end four-game bowl losing streak with 20-10 verdict over TCU before appearing in all four contests with Midwest Regional runner-up in NCAA tourney.|
|James Francis||Baylor||LB||1986 Bluebonnet||Eventual NFL first-round pick helped Bears beat Colorado 21-9 before averaging 2.2 ppg and 2.2 rpg while shooting 52.2% from floor.|
|Fred Gibson||Georgia||WR||2001 Music City||Opened scoring with 15-yard TD reception but Boston College rallied to prevail 20-16 before Gibson averaged 4.9 ppg with Bulldogs' NCAA playoff team.|
|Tony Gonzalez||California||TE||1996 Aloha||Established Cal bowl record with nine receptions in 42-38 reversal against Navy before averaging 6.8 ppg and 4.5 rpg with Bears' squad losing against North Carolina in East Regional semifinals.|
|Gregg Guenther||Southern California||TE||2003 Rose||Part-time starter for national champion managed one reception for 19 yards from QB Matt Leinart in 28-14 win against Michigan before averaging 5.6 ppg and 4.7 rpg with Trojans' hoop squad.|
|Joe Howard||Notre Dame||WR||1983 Liberty||Caught one pass for 43 yards in 19-18 decision over Doug Flutie-led Boston College before averaging 5.5 ppg and 3.3 apg as part-time starter with Irish NIT runner-up.|
|Teyo Johnson||Stanford||WR||2001 Seattle||A 4-yard fourth-quarter TD reception closed gap prior to bowing against Georgia Tech 24-14 before averaging 5.8 ppg and 4 rpg with Cardinal NCAA playoff squad.|
|Matt Jones||Arkansas||QB||2003 Independence||Scored go-ahead TD, rushed 7 times for 74 yards and completed 6 of 14 passes in 27-14 verdict over Missouri before averaging 5 ppg and 4.5 rpg as Hogs hoop freshman.|
|Jeff King||Virginia Tech||TE||2004 Sugar||Caught three passes for 12 yards in 16-13 setback against Auburn before collecting 18 points and 23 rebounds in 16 games as hoop freshman with Hokies.|
|Terry Kirby||Virginia||RB||1989 Florida Citrus/1990 Sugar||Rushed for 139 yards in 29 carries with one TD in losses against Illinois (31-21) and Tennessee (23-22) before averaging 2.8 ppg in two seasons with Cavaliers' hoops squad.|
|Dave Logan||Colorado||WR||1975 Bluebonnet||His 4-yard TD reception gave Buffaloes 14-0 lead prior to them succumbing against Texas 38-21 before becoming basketball team's runner-up in scoring (12.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg).|
|Leonard Mitchell||Houston||DE||1978 Cotton||UH squandered 34-12 lead when Joe Montana-led Notre Dame scored 23 unanswered points in fourth quarter to win by one before Mitchell averaged 5.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg for Cougars' hoop squad.|
|Tony "Zippy" Morocco||Georgia||HB||1950 Presidential Cup||Scored two second-half touchdowns (30-yard run from scrimmage and 65-yard punt return) as Co-MVP in 40-20 setback against Texas A&M before averaging 9.7 ppg with Bulldogs' basketball team.|
|Nate Robinson||Washington||CB||2002 Sun||His QB sack helped Huskies get off to strong start before bowing against Purdue 34-24 prior to freshman pacing hoopsters in scoring (13 ppg).|
|Reggie Rogers||Washington||DL||1984 Orange||Eventual NFL first-round draft choice helped upend Oklahoma 28-17 before averaging 5.7 ppg and 3.9 rpg with Huskies' hoop squad.|
|Bill Saul||Penn State||LB||1959 Liberty||Defeated Alabama 7-0 before averaging 6.1 ppg and 4 rpg with Nittany Lions' hoopsters.|
|Austin Seferian-Jenkins||Washington||TE||2011 Alamo||Caught five passes for 59 yards in highest-scoring regulation bowl game in history (67-56 loss to RGIII-led Baylor) before collecting seven points and nine rebounds in four NIT contests for Huskies' semifinalist.|
|Dick Soergel||Oklahoma State||QB||1958 Bluegrass||Completed 6 of 12 passes for 77 yards and 2-point conversion in 15-6 win against Florida State before averaging 8.5 ppg and 4.9 rpg for Pokes' basketball squad plus posting 8-1 pitching record and winning national championship baseball game.|
|Wilson Thomas||Nebraska||WR||2001 Rose||Huskers leading receiver caught three passes for 36 yards in 37-14 loss against Miami (Fla.) before averaging 4.6 ppg and 3.8 rpg.|
|Willie Townsend||Notre Dame||WR||1972 Orange||Irish's top pass catcher and teammates lost to Johnny Rodgers-led Nebraska 40-6 before averaging 2.1 ppg for Digger Phelps-coached hoop squad.|
|Charlie Ward||Florida State||QB||1992 Orange/1993 Orange||Completed 39-of-73 passes for 473 yards in back-to-back victories over Nebraska (27-14 and 18-16) while pacing FSU in assists and steals average his final two hoop campaigns.|
|Ron Widby||Tennessee||P||1965 Bluebonnet/1966 Gator||Nation's top punter for coach Doug Dickey's second of first two Vols football teams that both went to bowl games (wins over Tulsa 27-6 and Syracuse 18-12) while also being an All-SEC basketball selection (including 50-point outburst in final home game).|
Holiday festivities can go awry between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Just ask top-ranked Virginia, which lost at tiny Chaminade in 1982, and NCAA champion-to-be Michigan, which bowed to Alaska-Anchorage on a neutral court in 1988.
Amid the celebrations as Al Bore devotees finally shut up briefly about global warming when their vehicles don't start or they're stranded because of winter storms, a Christmas holiday week absolutely can not go by without the time-honored tradition of making a list and checking it twice. The wish list, a stocking stuffer focusing on the naughty and nice, doesn't change much from the previous month at Thanksgiving but does have a little different perspective. Some of them may fall in the Christmas Miracle category, but following is a healthy serving of food-for-thought wishes presented to hoop observers:
Wish peace and comfort to family and friends of striking number of All-Americans and all-time winningest coaches for major colleges who passed away this year - Zelmo Beaty, Walt Bellamy, Charlie Coles, Simmie Hill, Bob Kurland, Cliff Meely, Don Meineke, Dean Meminger, Joe C. Meriweather, Vern Mikkelsen, Bob Nichols, Dick O'Neal, Johnny Orr, Ossie Schectman and Bill Sharman. Ditto for loved ones of deceased all-league selections Wes Bialosuknia, B.H. Born, Howie Crittenden, Joe Dean Sr., Devin Gray, Phil Henderson, Leland Mitchell, Dyron Nix and Ray Williams.
Wish that a striking number of mid-major players earn deserved All-American acclaim this season.
Wish ex-college hoopsters continued success as prominent NFL tight ends.
Wish fans understand how good the Atlantic 10 Conference remains after numerous defections.
Wish special seasons for standout seniors because they didn't abandon college hoops early and give the sport at least some modicum of veteran leadership.
Wish the best for the Ivy League and Patriot League, which seem like the last bastions replete with textbook student-athletes. Five Ivy League institutions - Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale - can still hold their heads high despite each of them posting all-time losing records. The Ivy League deserves extra kudos for not conducting the money-grubbing gimmick otherwise known as a postseason conference tournament.
Wish proper acclaim for pristine playmakers who show again and again that "pass" is not a dirty four-letter word amid the obsession with individualistic one-on-one moves by self-absorbed one-and-done scholars.
Wish many highlights for entertaining little big men (players 5-10 or shorter) who inspire us with their self-confidence and mental toughness in the Land of the Giants.
Wish junior college players and foreigners could overcome perceptions in some misguided quarters that they are the rogues of recruiting.
Wish patience for the numerous promising first-year coaches assuming control of programs this season. They need to remember the fortitude exhibited by many of the biggest names in coaching who rebounded from embarrassing defeats in their first season as a head coach. An active luminary who lost multiple games to non-Division I colleges in his initial campaign before ascending to stardom as the all-time winningest coach is Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (lost to SUNY-Buffalo, Scranton and King's College in 1975-76 while coaching Army).
Wish Division I schools will soon find their bearings amid the chaotic restructuring of conferences forsaking tradition although the quest for mega-leagues could be delusional because they're vying for television revenue that might not exist as network sports divisions operate at ample deficits.
Wish more accuracy for recruiting services incapable of discerning that Creighton's Doug McDermott should have been a Top 100 recruit coming out of high school in 2010. Ditto to announcers who infect the sport by spreading this virus without ever seeing any of the players enough to properly evaluate them.
Wish marquee coaches wouldn't serve up assistants as sacrificial lambs resembling Grinch when the heat of an investigation of their program intensifies.
Wish prominent programs would reduce, if not eliminate, academic exceptions. Of course, the quality of play will diminish by emphasizing textbook student-athletes but it's not as if half of the non-league games on TV aren't mismatches, anyway.
Wish wisdom for anyone who incessantly castigates the majority of undergraduates declaring early for the NBA draft. Before accepting the party line that many of the players are making monumental mistakes by forgoing their remaining college eligibility, remember that more than half of the NBA's All-Pro selections in the last quarter century or so left college early or never attended a university.
Wish a heart for any school not promptly granting a recruit seeking to enroll elsewhere a release from its letter-of-intent when he wants to attend another institution for legitimate reasons.
Wish jaws wired shut for "Me Generation" showmen who've failed to comprehend that their respective teams don't benefit on the court from a trash-talking Harlem Globetrotter routine.
Wish self-absorbed players will finally see the light and spend less time getting tattoos and practicing macho dunks and more on team beneficial free throws. It all hinges on dedication. There is a reason they're supposed to be "free" throws instead of Shaq-like "foul" shots.
Wish high-profile coaches would show more allegiance rather than taking off for greener pastures despite having multiple years remaining on their contract.
Wish network analysts would refrain from serving as apologists for the coaching community. When their familiar spiels echo throughout hoopdom, they become nothing more than the big mouths that bore.
Wish marquee schools will vow to stop forsaking entertaining non-conference games with natural rivals while scheduling a half-dozen or more meaningless "rout-a-matics" at home. Aren't two or three gimmes enough?
Wish a generous dose of ethics to defrauding coaches who manipulate junior colleges and high schools into giving phony grades. Ditto coaches who steer prize high school prospects to third parties toying with standardized test results.
Wish authenticity for those "fatherly-advice" coaches who don't mandate that any player with pro potential take multiple financial literacy courses. Did they notice in recent years that products from Alabama, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Kentucky and Syracuse filed for bankruptcy after combining for more than half a billion dollars in salaries over their NBA careers? What kind of classes are taken in college anyway if a staggering 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy five years after retirement? There's personal responsibility, but shouldn't the universities they attended feel some sort of culpability? And don't you wish most agents would become extinct if such a high percentage of pros end up with holes in their pockets?
Wish overzealous fans will stop flogging freshmen for not living up to their high school press clippings right away. The impatient onlookers need to get a grip on themselves.
Wish many of the excessive number of small schools thinking they can compete at the Division I level would return to DII or DIII. There are far too many examples of dreamy-eyed small schools that believe competing with the big boys will get them national recognition, make big bucks from the NCAA Tournament and put the institutions on the map. They don't know how unrealistic that goal is until most of the hyphenated and directional schools barnstorm the country during their non-conference schedules in college basketball versions of Bataan Death Marches.
Wish lapdog-lazy media would exhibit more energy exhibiting enterprising analysis. Why do almost all of the principal college basketball websites "progressively" look and read virtually the same? It's a byproduct of predictably pathetic press needing a jolt of adversarial reporting.
Wish ESPN would cease giving forums to "experts" who either lie to NCAA investigators as a coach, drop their pants for locker-room motivation, get fired for intoxication, can't quite figure out that Dell Curry's sons could also be All-Americans or practice reprehensible race-baiting with the intellectually-bankrupt "Uncle Tom" bomb.
When Texas Southern's Aaric Murray tallied 48 points at Temple, the eruption by the La Salle/West Virginia transfer triggered research regarding which individual opponent has the highest single-game scoring outburst against each major university. Such uprisings have been difficult to come by thus far in the 21st Century. Many schools don't keep track of a standard that might reflect a mite negatively upon them but following is what CollegeHoopedia.com unearthed on the topic:
|School||Single-Game Record Holder||Opponent||Points||Date|
|Air Force||Adrian Dantley||Notre Dame||49||2-10-75|
|Alabama||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||69||1-7-70|
|Appalachian State||Bob McCurdy||Richmond||53||2-26-75|
|Arizona||Bob Beckel||Air Force||50||2-29-59|
|Arizona State||Casey Jacobsen||Stanford||49||1-31-82|
|Auburn||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||55||1-3-68|
|Austin Peay||Tom Chilton||East Tennessee State||52||2-5-61|
|Austin Peay||Marvin Barnes||Providence||52||12-15-73|
|Ball State||Doug Collins||Illinois State||55||1-15-72|
|Brigham Young||Billy McGill||Utah||60||2-24-62|
|Butler||Austin Carr||Notre Dame||50||2-23-70|
|California||Eddie House||Arizona State||61||1-8-00|
|UC Irvine||Hersey Hawkins||Bradley||51||12-19-87|
|Chicago State||Ryan Toolson||Utah Valley||63||1-29-09|
|The Citadel||Darrell Floyd||Furman||62||1-14-56|
|Cleveland State||Ed McFarland||Slippery Rock (Pa.)||52||2-15-61|
|Colgate||Jack Foley||Holy Cross||55||3-5-60|
|Colorado State||Marvin Johnson||New Mexico||50||3-2-78|
|Connecticut||Jack Foley||Holy Cross||56||2-17-62|
|Creighton*||Clarence "Bevo" Francis||Rio Grande (Ohio)||49||1-23-54|
|Delaware||Phil D'Arrigo||Haverford (Pa.)||52||2-18-56|
|Duquesne||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||53||12-30-68|
|East Carolina||Ray Simpson||Furman||45||2-5-72|
|East Carolina||Randy Culpepper||Texas-El Paso||45||2-13-10|
|Florida||Chris Jackson||Louisiana State||53||12-10-88|
|Florida International||Kevin Bradshaw||U.S. International||59||1-14-91|
|Fresno State||Askia Jones||Kansas State||62||3-24-94|
|Furman||Jay Handlan||Washington & Lee (Va.)||66||2-17-51|
|George Mason||Bobby Aguirre||Macalester (Minn.)||53||11-29-94|
|George Washington||Allan Bristow||Virginia Tech||52||2-21-73|
|Georgetown||John Austin||Boston College||49||2-21-64|
|Georgia||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||58||3-8-69|
|Georgia Southern||James "Fly" Williams||Austin Peay||51||12-30-72|
|Georgia Tech||Frank Selvy||Furman||51||2-11-54|
|Hawaii||Marshall Rogers||Pan American||47||2-27-76|
|Idaho State||Terrell Lowery||Loyola Marymount||48||12-1-90|
|Illinois State||Richie Fuqua||Oral Roberts||49||2-14-73|
|Iowa State||John Douglas||Kansas||46||2-16-77|
|Iowa State||Wayman Tisdale||Oklahoma||46||2-5-83|
|Jacksonville||Rick Barry||Miami (Fla.)||52||1963-64|
|James Madison||David Robinson||Navy||45||1-10-87|
|Kansas||Lindsey Hunter||Jackson State||48||12-27-92|
|Kansas State||Doremus Bennerman||Siena||51||3-30-94|
|Kent State*||Dave Jamerson||Ohio University||52||2-24-90|
|Kentucky||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||64||2-21-70|
|Lamar||Dwight "Bo" Lamar||Southwestern Louisiana||51||2-17-72|
|La Salle||Calvin Murphy||Niagara||52||12-16-67|
|Long Beach State||Raymond Lewis||Cal State Los Angeles||53||2-23-73|
|Long Island||Izett Buchanan||Marist||51||2-12-94|
|Louisiana-Lafayette||Jimmy Leach||Northwestern State||54||2-27-59|
|Louisiana-Monroe||Dwight "Bo" Lamar||Southwestern Louisiana||62||2-25-71|
|Louisiana State||Johnny Neumann||Mississippi||63||1-30-71|
|Louisiana Tech||Dwight "Bo" Lamar||Southwestern Louisiana||51||2-14-72|
|Louisville||Joel Curbelo||American (Puerto Rico)||47||11-24-95|
|Loyola of Chicago||Donald Smith||Dayton||52||2-3-73|
|Loyola of Chicago||Kareem Townes||La Salle||52||2-4-95|
|Loyola Marymount||Kevin Bradshaw||U.S. International||72||1-5-91|
|Manhattan||Tom Schwester||St. Peter's||53||2-28-70|
|Massachusetts||Frank McLaughlin||New Hampshire||44||1-14-56|
|Miami (Fla.)||Danny Ferry||Duke||58||12-10-88|
|Michigan State||Jimmy Rayl||Indiana||56||2-23-63|
|Middle Tennessee State||Clem Haskins||Western Kentucky||55||1-30-65|
|Mississippi||Chris Jackson||Louisiana State||55||3-4-89|
|Mississippi State||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||58||12-22-67|
|Missouri||Isaac "Bud" Stallworth||Kansas||50||2-26-72|
|Missouri State||Harold Robertson||Lincoln (Mo.)||45||1-31-76|
|Morehead State||Darrell Floyd||Furman||67||1-22-55|
|Navy||Rob Feaster||Holy Cross||46||2-19-94|
|Nevada||William "Bird" Averitt||Pepperdine||57||1-6-73|
|New Orleans||Doug Collins||Illinois State||57||1-3-73|
|Nicholls State||Glynn Saulters||Northeast Louisiana||51||2-1-68|
|North Carolina||Rich Yunkus||Georgia Tech||47||2-14-70|
|North Carolina A&T||Anthony Roberts||Oral Roberts||66||2-19-77|
|North Carolina State||John Mengelt||Auburn||45||12-5-70|
|North Texas||Oscar Robertson||Cincinnati||62||2-6-60|
|Northern Arizona||Willie Humes||Idaho State||51||1-15-71|
|Northern Illinois||Robert "Bubbles" Hawkins||Illinois State||58||2-20-74|
|Notre Dame||Marshon Brooks||Providence||52||2-23-11|
|Ohio University||Austin Carr||Notre Dame||61||3-7-70|
|Ohio State||Don Schlundt||Indiana||47||1-18-54|
|Ohio State||Don Schlundt||Indiana||47||3-5-55|
|Oklahoma State||Dwight "Bo" Lamar||Southwestern Louisiana||46||12-19-70|
|Oklahoma State||Donnie Boyce||Colorado||46||3-5-94|
|Old Dominion||Charles McKinney||Norfolk State||54||2-23-70|
|Oral Roberts||Michael Watson||Missouri-Kansas City||54||2-22-03|
|Oregon||Anthony Roberts||Oral Roberts||65||3-9-77|
|Oregon State||Greg "Bo" Kimble||Loyola Marymount||53||12-9-89|
|Pacific||Raymond Lewis||Cal State Los Angeles||43||3-2-73|
|Penn State||Eric Riggins||Rutgers||51||2-21-87|
|Pepperdine||Carlos "Bud" Ogden||Santa Clara||55||3-3-67|
|Portland State||Mike Olliver||Lamar||50||1-12-80|
|Providence||Tom Stith||St. Bonaventure||46||2-9-60|
|Purdue||Bob Lanier||St. Bonaventure||50||12-30-69|
|Rhode Island||George Mikan||DePaul||53||3-21-45|
|Rice||Kurt Thomas||Texas Christian||43||1-22-95|
|Robert Morris||Steve Stielper||James Madison||51||1-27-79|
|Rutgers||Tom Garrick||Rhode Island||50||3-7-88|
|Saint Francis (Pa.)||Ron Guziak||Duquesne||50||3-6-68|
|St. John's||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||53||12-29-69|
|Saint Joseph's||Greg "Bo" Kimble||Loyola Marymount||54||1-4-90|
|Saint Louis||Bob Kurland||Oklahoma A&M||58||2-22-46|
|Saint Mary's||Jim McCloskey||Loyola Marymount||49||1-4-80|
|Saint Peter's||Bob Zawoluk||St. John's||65||3-3-50|
|Sam Houston State||Don Boldenbuck||Houston||50||2-17-55|
|San Jose State||Lee Nailon||Texas Christian||44||2-7-98|
|Santa Clara||Nick Galis||Seton Hall||48||12-22-78|
|Seton Hall||Oscar Robertson||Cincinnati||56||1-9-58|
|South Carolina||Frank Selvy||Furman||48||1-8-54|
|Southern California||Gary Payton||Oregon State||58||2-22-90|
|Southern Illinois||Rick Whitlow||Illinois State||51||1-4-75|
|Southern Methodist||Hal Lear||Temple||48||3-23-56|
|Southern Mississippi||Johnny Neumann||Mississippi||57||12-15-70|
|Temple||Aaric Murray||Texas Southern||48||12-18-13|
|Tennessee Tech||Tilman Bevely||Youngstown State||55||1-26-87|
|Texas||Gene Phillips||Southern Methodist||51||3-2-71|
|Texas||Chris Jackson||Louisiana State||51||1-2-90|
|Texas A&M||Martin Terry||Arkansas||46||1-22-72|
|Texas Christian||Austin Carr||Notre Dame||52||3-13-71|
|Texas-San Antonio||Wayman Tisdale||Oklahoma||61||12-28-83|
|Towson||Derell Thompson||Maryland-Baltimore County||43||2-15-92|
|Tulane||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||66||2-10-69|
|Tulsa||Bruce King||Pan American||49||12-28-74|
|UCLA||Austin Carr||Notre Dame||46||1-23-71|
|UNLV||Freeman Williams||Portland State||50||2-18-78|
|Utah State||John Coughran||California||47||1-31-72|
|Vanderbilt||Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||61||12-11-69|
|Virginia||Len Chappell||Wake Forest||50||2-12-62|
|Virginia Tech||Elvin Hayes||Houston||51||3-2-68|
|Washington||John Block||Southern California||45||2-11-66|
|Washington State||Lew Alcindor||UCLA||61||2-25-67|
|Weber State||Dave Wagnon||Idaho State||47||2-25-66|
|Western Kentucky||Ken Durrett||La Salle||45||1-16-71|
|Western Michigan||Howard Komives||Bowling Green State||49||1-11-64|
|West Virginia||Austin Carr||Notre Dame||55||2-21-70|
|Wichita State||Bill Bradley||Princeton||58||3-30-65|
|Wright State||Tommie Johnson||Central Michigan||53||12-22-87|
|Wyoming||Bennie Lennox||Texas A&M||53||12-28-63|
|Yale||Rick Barry||Miami (Fla.)||45||12-28-64|
Creighton All-American forward Doug McDermott isn't Nelson Mandela or Pope Francis, but he is Man of the Year in college basketball according to CollegeHoopedia.com. Now we know what German native Dirk Nowitzki would have done if he played for a U.S. university. Although ESPN the Magazine is supposed to be the beacon of sports journalism, it didn't give McDermott or Creighton much recognition in its college hoops preview issue. But following are "high-five" reasons inspiring McDermott's man-of-year selection and why the proclamation isn't the biggest lie in 2013:
Barring McDermott missing any contests the remainder of the regular season and continuing to average 25 points per game, he will finish fifth all-time in NCAA scoring if the Bluejays have at least four assignments in postseason play (league postseason tournament and national postseason tourney). McDermott is expected in early March to become the 14th player in NCAA history to total at least 4,000 career points and rebounds. His consistent brilliance is reflected in that he will become only the sixth major-college player in NCAA history to crack the 800-point plateau in three consecutive DI seasons, joining luminaries Oscar Robertson (1958-59-60/Cincinnati), Pete Maravich (1968-69-70/Louisiana State), Freeman Williams (1976-77-78/Portland State), Larry Bird (1977-78-79/Indiana State) and Wayman Tisdale (1983-84-85/Oklahoma).
There is every indication that the nation's latest "Great White Hope" will become only the second three-time NCAA consensus first-team All-American since the mid-1980s. Last season, he was among the first group of Caucasian players in 34 years to account for at least half of the NCAA consensus first- and second-team All-Americans.
After failing to be ranked among the nation's top 100 recruits coming out of high school in 2010 (including many selfie-taking prima donnas), the nation's most famous "walk-on" could become the third MVP in two different NCAA Division I leagues (first with undisputed awards).
Delaying an NBA career, team-oriented McDermott returned for senior year to help his alma mater make the transition from a mid-major conference (Missouri Valley) to a power alliance (Big East) as seamless as him making more than 40 free throws in a row. He could join LSU legend Maravich as only the second player to capture three conference MVP awards while a member of his father's roster. Northern Iowa coach Ben Jacobson deserves some sort of ESPY or humanitarian award for allowing McDermott to get out of his letter-of-intent with the Panthers and join his dad (Greg) with the Bluejays after leaving Iowa State.
If Creighton finishes in the first division of the Big East, McDermott and his father might be cited as the premier son-father/player-coach tandem in NCAA history. The younger McDermott could enter virgin territory insofar as none of the previous 28 schools joining an existing power alliance (since Arizona and Arizona State left the WAC for Pac-8/10 in late 1970s) had an individual named conference player of the year in their debut season.
Other than McDermott, how many current collegians would be worthy of NCAA consensus All-American selection 30 years ago, 20 years ago or 10 years ago? Again, many in the lame-stream media don't have the Bluejays ranked as high as they should. But whether or not the McDermott tandem is acknowledged as the "First Family of Hoops," Doug has long ago silenced "Daddy's Boy" hecklers. Averaging 24.9 ppg in his first seven league contests in a new alliance, he would repeat as Man of the Year in 2014 if Creighton captures a Big East title.
At least three Heisman Trophy winners in three straight decades - 1940s, 1950s and 1960s - are among the football players who also competed in college basketball. But Florida State's Charlie Ward (1993) is the only such multi-sport athlete in the last 50 years to achieve the feat.
Three recipients in a 10-year span from 1947 through 1956 were from Notre Dame. Following is an alphabetical list of Heisman Trophy winners who played varsity basketball at some point in their college careers:
|Heisman Winner||Year||School||FB Pos.|
|Terry Baker||1962||Oregon State||QB|
|Paul Hornung||1956||Notre Dame||QB|
|Johnny Lattner||1953||Notre Dame||HB|
|Johnny Lujack||1947||Notre Dame||QB|
|Doak Walker||1948||Southern Methodist||HB|
|Charlie Ward||1993||Florida State||QB|
"Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It's a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than endowment." - Zack W. Van
When big bullies are struck, they usually take their ball and go home. Why do so few power conference members play at in-state mid-major schools or even oppose them on a neutral court during the regular season? Why can't more big-name universities resemble Villanova with its longstanding tradition of competing in the Philly Big 5 honing the Wildcats' competitive edge for conference competition?
These type of in-state games, wherever they're played, are more revealing than most of the incessant mismatches in pre-conference competition. For instance, we've already got a pretty clear picture that the ACC is down this season after 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. Elsewhere, power league members bound for the second division after falling short at home against in-state mid-majors include Northwestern (Illinois State), Penn State (Bucknell), Rutgers (Fairleigh Dickinson and Princeton), Seton Hall (Fairleigh Dickinson and Saint Peter's), South Carolina (USC Upstate) plus Texas A&M (North Texas). What would the margin of defeat have been if the big boys had the intestinal fortitude to meet these mid-level opponents on the road?
Non-league schedules would be significantly more entertaining if skittish power league members weren't so condescending. Instead of opposing natural rival Davids on the road to brace for conference play, they tuck tail and run after checking out the following results thus far this century. The scores are a sobering reminder for Goliaths venturing away from Philistine the reasons why haughty "big boys" frequently stay home and pick on out-of-state patsies to pad their records:
UC Santa Barbara 72, California 65
George Washington 77, Maryland 75
Gonzaga 90, Washington State 74
Harvard 73, Boston College 58
Illinois State 69, DePaul 64
Long Beach State 72, Southern California 71
Southern Methodist 55, Texas A&M 52 (at Corpus Christi)
Southern Methodist 69, Texas Christian 61
Virginia Commonwealth 82, Virginia Tech 52
Brown 69, Providence 68
Butler 88, Indiana 86 (OT)
Coastal Carolina 69, Clemson 46
Florida Gulf Coast 63, Miami (Fla.) 51
Green Bay 49, Marquette 47
La Salle 82, Penn State 57
La Salle 77, Villanova 74 (OT)
Middle Tennessee 56, Vanderbilt 52
Old Dominion 63, Virginia 61
Cal Poly 42, Southern California 36
Colorado State 65, Colorado 64
Creighton 76, Nebraska 66
Drake 74, Iowa Stae 65
Holy Cross 86, Boston College 64
Northern Iowa 80, Iowa 60
Saint Joseph's 65, Penn State 47
Saint Joseph's 74, Villanova 58
Southern Mississippi 86, Mississippi 82
Temple 78, Villanova 67
Xavier 76, Cincinnati 53
Central Florida 57, Florida 54
Central Florida 84, Miami (Fla.) 78
Central Florida 65, South Florida 59
Florida Atlantic 50, South Florida 42
Fordham 84, St. John's 81
Furman 91, South Carolina 75
Kennesaw State 80, Georgia Tech 63
Marshall 75, West Virginia 71
UNC Wilmington 81, Wake Forest 69
North Texas 92, Texas Tech 83 (OT)
Northern Iowa 60, Iowa State 54
Princeton 78, Rutgers 73 (OT)
Colorado State 77, Colorado 62
Creighton 67, Nebraska 61
Green Bay 88, Wisconsin 84 (OT)
Long Beach State 79, UCLA 68
Northern Iowa 67, Iowa 50
Portland State 88, Oregon 81
Rhode Island 86, Providence 82
Temple 45, Penn State 42
Temple 75, Villanova 65
Tulsa 86, Oklahoma State 65
Wofford 68, South Carolina 61
Xavier 83, Cincinnati 79 (2OT)
College of Charleston 82, South Carolina 80 (OT)
Davidson 72, North Carolina State 67
Drake 60, Iowa 43
Lamar 85, Texas Tech 79
Southern Mississippi 78, Mississippi 59
Texas-El Paso 96, Texas Tech 78
Western Kentucky 68, Louisville 54
Charlotte 63, Wake Forest 59
Creighton 74, Nebraska 62
Drake 79, Iowa State 44
East Carolina 75, North Carolina State 69
Old Dominion 72, Virginia Tech 69
Rhode Island 77, Providence 60
Richmond 52, Virginia Tech 49
Saint Joseph's 79, Penn State 67
Sam Houston State 56, Texas Tech 54
Tulane 68, Louisiana State 63
Xavier 64, Cincinnati 59
Bradley 78, DePaul 58
Butler 60, Indiana 55
Butler 71, Notre Dame 69
Drake 75, Iowa 59
Gonzaga 97, Washington 77
Indiana State 89, Purdue 70
Northern Iowa 70, Iowa State 57
Ohio University 79, Cincinnati 66
UC Davis 64, Stanford 58
Colorado State 83, Colorado 82
Creighton 70, Nebraska 44
Evansville 75, Purdue 69
George Washington 78, Maryland 70
Gonzaga 67, Washington State 53
Indiana State 72, Indiana 67
Marshall 58, West Virginia 52
Northern Iowa 67, Iowa 63 (OT)
Old Dominion 58, Virginia Tech 55
Portland 80, Oregon 72
Rhode Island 77, Providence 69
Xavier 73, Cincinnati 71 (OT)
Bradley 63, DePaul 53
George Washington 101, Maryland 92
Gonzaga 99, Washington 87
Marshall 59, West Virginia 55
Northern Iowa 99, Iowa State 82
Santa Clara 86, Stanford 76
Temple 53, Villanova 52
Virginia Military 72, Virginia Tech 68
Creighton 61, Nebraska 54
Gonzaga 95, Washington State 58
Illinois-Chicago 90, Northwestern 71
Northern Iowa 77, Iowa 66
North Texas 73, Baylor 69
Rhode Island 89, Providence 79
Temple 67, Penn State 56
Xavier 71, Cincinnati 69
Dayton 75, Cincinnati 69
Florida Atlantic 74, Miami (Fla.) 73
Gonzaga 95, Washington 89 (OT)
Holy Cross 71, Boston College 70
Penn 62, Penn State 37
Penn 72, Villanova 58
Saint Joseph's 92, Villanova 75
William & Mary 60, Virginia Tech 52
Butler 66, Indiana 64
Creighton 76, Nebraska 70
Drake 72, Iowa State 58
Fresno State 65, Southern California 58
Georgia State 83, Georgia 78
Gonzaga 67, Washington State 44
Marshall 81, West Virginia 79 (OT)
Northern Iowa 78, Iowa 76
Old Dominion 55, Virginia Tech 46
Penn 75, Villanova 74
Pepperdine 78, Southern California 77
Portland 79, Oregon 78
Rice 75, Baylor 60
Temple 75, Penn State 63
Temple 63, Villanova 57
Texas-Pan American 72, Baylor 66
UC Irvine 56, California 52
Duquesne 71, Pittsburgh 70
Fordham 68, St. John's 67
Gonzaga 86, Washington 74
Indiana State 59, Indiana 58
Oakland 97, Michigan 90
Wichita State 76, Kansas State 66
Colorado State 79, Colorado 57
Creighton 89, Nebraska 72
Drake 48, Iowa State 44
George Washington 74, Maryland 69
Gonzaga 76, Washington 66
Gonzaga 73, Washington State 63
Long Beach State 76, Southern California 66
North Texas 91, Texas A&M 88
Saint Louis 75, Missouri 72
Temple 69, Villanova 66
Xavier 66, Cincinnati 64
Arizona erased a double-digit deficit to prevail at Michigan in the Wildcats' first real test as the nation's #1 squad. If Zona had bowed to the Wolverines, this season would have marked the second time three different top-ranked teams succumbed prior to Christmas. Following is a naughty list citing the only campaign (2003-04) when three different top dogs (including Florida twice) got coal in their stockings:
|Date||Losing #1 Team||Score||Squad Defeating #1 (Coach)|
|11-26-03||Connecticut||77-61 at New York||Georgia Tech (Paul Hewitt)|
|12-6-03||Kansas||64-58 at Anaheim||Stanford (Mike Montgomery)|
|12-10-03||Florida||69-68 in OT||Maryland (Gary Williams)|
|12-13-03||Florida||73-65||Louisville (Rick Pitino)|
Meanwhile, Kentucky became the third preseason #1 team since 1961-62 to lose three games prior to Christmas. Will UK, exhibiting as much political savvy as Hollyweird's Ashley Judd, finish the season with eight setbacks? The Wildcats joined UCLA (eight defeats in 1965-66) and Arizona (eight defeats in 2000-01) on the following list:
|Season||Preseason #1||Final Record||Coach||Three Pre-Christmas Defeats|
|1965-66||UCLA||18-8||John Wooden||at Duke (82-66), Duke at Charlotte (94-75) and Cincinnati (82-76)|
|2000-01||Arizona||28-8||Lute Olson||Purdue at Indianapolis (72-69), at Connecticut (71-69) and Illinois at Chicago (81-73)|
|2013-14||Kentucky||TBD||John Calipari||Michigan State at Chicago (78-74), Baylor at Arlington, TX (67-62) and at North Carolina (82-77)|