Extra! Extra! As a new season gains steam, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history. Did you know that outfielder "Sweet" Lou Johnson, an ex-Kentucky State hoopster, was traded three times the first nine days in April in deals involving Los Angeles-based teams?
In the minors, all-time basketball great Michael Jordan made his Organized Baseball debut on April 9, 1994, when the Chicago White Sox farmhand went hitless as an outfielder for the Birmingham Barons (Southern League). What in the world was the 31-year-old Jordan thinking en route to a .202 batting average in 127 games?
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 9 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
RF George Altman (appeared in 1953 and 1954 NAIA Tournament with Tennessee State's basketball squad) stroked four hits against the New York Mets on Opening Day 1963 in his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals.
1B George Crowe (four-year letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43 for Indiana Central after becoming first high school player named state's "Mr. Basketball") traded by the Milwaukee Braves to the Cincinnati Reds in 1956.
Detroit Tigers DH Darrell Evans (member of Jerry Tarkanian-coached Pasadena City CA club winning 1967 state community college crown) homered twice in a 1986 game against the Boston Red Sox.
LF "Sweet" Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary HBCU coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) traded by the Detroit Tigers with $10,000 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for P Larry Sherry in 1964.
In his first start of the 1992 campaign, Baltimore Orioles RHP Ben McDonald (started six times as freshman forward for LSU in 1986-87 under coach Dale Brown) tossed a two-hit shutout against the Cleveland Indians.
At the time, it seemed equivalent to betting everything on a penny stock. But it can turn into a bonanza as evidenced by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski going on to become the all-time winningest major-college mentor after arriving in Durham to homestead Krzyzewskiville on the heels of a season W-L record eight games below .500 with Army.
There were mixed reactions recently when Josh Pastner, retained by Memphis because of a $10 million-plus buyout, wound up at Georgia Tech after the Yellow Jackets were stung by a parade of coaches unwilling to accept the position. Memphis not only got what it wanted but even received $500,000 stemming from Pastner willingly leaving. At least Pastner, compiling a mediocre 37-29 record and .500 mark in conference competition the past two campaigns, isn't among the following active coaches such as Travis Ford hired by their current school despite coming off a season when they posted a losing record:
Active Coach Current School Losing Season Record With Previous School Rod Barnes Cal State Bakersfield (since 2011-12) 11-18 with Georgia State in 2010-11 Duggar Baucom The Citadel (since 2015-16) 11-19 with Virginia Military in 2014-15 Mike Davis Texas Southern (since 2012-13) 15-16 with UAB in 2011-12 Tommy Dempsey Binghamton (since 2012-13) 13-19 with Rider in 2011-12 Travis Ford Saint Louis (since 2016-17) 12-20 with Oklahoma State in 2015-16 Jeff Jones Old Dominion (since 2013-14) 10-20 with American University in 2012-13 Mike Krzyzewski Duke (since 1980-81) 9-17 with Army in 1979-80 Jeff Lebo East Carolina (since 2010-11) 15-17 with Auburn in 2009-10 Jim Les UC Davis (since 2011-12) 12-20 with Bradley in 2010-11 Greg McDermott Creighton (since 2010-11) 15-17 with Iowa State in 2009-10 Rick Ray Southeast Missouri State (since 2015-16) 13-19 with Mississippi State in 2014-15 Lorenzo Romar Washington (since 2002-03) 15-16 with Saint Louis in 2001-02
Oklahoma's Buddy Hield became the fifth Big 12 Conference product to become national player of the year. In the latest tribute to players who keep improving, Hield is the fourth consecutive national POY who wasn't a Top 100 recruit coming out of high school.
Excluding specialty publications, there are five nationally-recognized Player of the Year awards. None of them, however, comes anywhere close to being the equivalent to college football's undisputed most prestigious honor, the Heisman Trophy. The basketball stalemate stems from essentially the same people voting on the major awards (writers or coaches or a combination) and the announcements coming one after another right around the Final Four when the playoff games dominate the sports page.
United Press International, which was a sixth venue for major awards through 1996, got all of this back slapping started in 1955. Four years later, the United States Basketball Writers Association, having chosen All-American teams in each of the two previous seasons, added a Player of the Year award to its postseason honors. In recent years, the USBWA award was sponsored by Mercedes and then RCA.
The third oldest of the awards comes from the most dominant wire service, the Associated Press. Perhaps because of its vast network of media outlets, the AP award gets more print and broadcast attention than the other honors. The AP award started in 1961 before affiliating in 1972 with the Commonwealth Athletic Club of Lexington, Ky., which was looking for a way to honor Hall of Fame Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp. The result of their merger is the Rupp Trophy.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club initially was associated with UPI before starting its own Naismith Award in 1969. Six years later, the National Association of Basketball Coaches initiated its award, which was sponsored from the outset by the Eastman Kodak Company. In 1977, the Los Angeles Athletic Club began honoring Hall of Fame UCLA coach John Wooden with the Wooden Award sponsored by Wendy's.
Duke has had eight different national player of the year winners, including seven of them in a 21-year span from 1986 through 2006. UCLA is runner-up with six individuals earning POY acclaim. Incredibly, perennial power Kentucky never had a representative win one of the six principal national player of the year awards until freshman Anthony Davis achieved the feat in 2012.
In 2015, Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky became the fourth Big Ten Conference player to capture national POY honors in a six-year span. The Big East, Pac-10 and SEC combined to go 15 straight seasons from 1996-97 through 2010-11 without a national POY. Following is a look at the seven conferences with at least three different individuals capturing one of the six principal national player of the year awards since UPI's initial winner in 1955:
ACC (16) - Shane Battier (Duke), Elton Brand (Duke), Johnny Dawkins (Duke), Tim Duncan (Wake Forest), Danny Ferry (Duke), Phil Ford (North Carolina), Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), Art Heyman (Duke), Antawn Jamison (North Carolina), Michael Jordan (North Carolina), Christian Laettner (Duke), J.J. Redick (Duke), Ralph Sampson (Virginia), Joe Smith (Maryland), David Thompson (North Carolina State), Jason Williams (Duke).
Big Ten (14) - Gary Bradds (Ohio State), Trey Burke (Michigan State), Dee Brown (Illinois), Calbert Cheaney (Indiana), Draymond Green (Michigan State), Jim Jackson (Ohio State), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), Jerry Lucas (Ohio State), Scott May (Indiana), Shawn Respert (Michigan State), Glenn Robinson Jr. (Purdue), Cazzie Russell (Michigan), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State).
Extra! Extra! As a new season gains steam, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 8 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
OF Babe Barna (two-year West Virginia basketball letterman in mid-1930s) purchased from the Philadelphia Athletics by the Washington Senators in 1939.
In 1974, Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Al Downing (attended Muhlenberg PA on hoop scholarship but left school before playing) yielded Hank Aaron's 715th homer bypassing Babe Ruth.
Cincinnati Reds rookie LF Gary Redus (J.C. player for Athens AL and father of Centenary/South Alabama guard) went 4-for-4 and chipped in with five RBI against the Chicago Cubs in 1983.
RHP Pete Sivess (played for Dickinson PA in 1935-36) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with cash to the New York Yankees in 1939.
New York Yankees RF Dave Winfield (starting forward for Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972) whacked two homers against the Milwaukee Brewers, igniting his streak of seven consecutive multiple-hit contests in 1988.
The departure of Zach Spiker to Drexel enabled Army to join the list of schools losing at least six head coaches over the years to other major colleges or the NBA. Army coaches in this category include luminaries Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski.
Incredibly, Tulsa lost four coaches in a seven-year period from 1995 to 2001. The following list shows Idaho (11 years from 1983 to 1993), Princeton (12 years from 2000 to 2011), Murray State (14 years from 1985 to 1998), New Orleans (14 years from 1994 to 2007), Penn (15 years from 1971 to 1985) and Louisiana Tech (16 years from 1974 to 1989) losing four coaches in comparable short spans:
Idaho (7) - Dave MacMillan (left for Minnesota/1927), Dave Strack (Michigan/1960), Joe Cipriano (Nebraska/1963), Don Monson (Oregon/1983), Tim Floyd (New Orleans/1988), Kermit Davis (Texas A&M/1990), Larry Eustachy (Utah State/1993)
Kansas State (7) - Jack Gardner (Utah/1953), Tex Winter (Washington/1968), Cotton Fitzsimmons (Phoenix Suns/1970), Lon Kruger (Florida/1990), Dana Altman (Creighton/1994), Bob Huggins (West Virginia/2008), Frank Martin (South Carolina/2012)
Montana (7) - Jud Heathcote (Michigan State/1976), Jim Brandenburg (Wyoming/1978), Mike Montgomery (Stanford/1986), Stew Morrill (Colorado State/1991), Pat Kennedy (Towson/2004), Larry Krystkowiak (assistant with Milwaukee Bucks/2006), Wayne Tinkle (Oregon State/2014)
Murray State (7) - Ron Greene (Indiana State/1985), Steve Newton (South Carolina/1991), Scott Edgar (Duquesne/1995), Mark Gottfried (Alabama/1998), Mick Cronin (Cincinnati/2006), Billy Kennedy (Texas A&M/2011), Steve Prohm (Iowa State/2015)
Penn (7) - Howie Dallmar (Stanford/1954), Jack McCloskey (Wake Forest/1966), Dick Harter (Oregon/1971), Chuck Daly (assistant with Philadelphia 76ers/1977), Bob Weinhauer (Arizona State/1982), Craig Littlepage (Rutgers/1985), Fran Dunphy (Temple/2006)
Tulsa (7) - Ken Hayes (New Mexico State/1975), Nolan Richardson Jr. (Arkansas/1985), Tubby Smith (Georgia/1995), Steve Robinson (Florida State/1997), Bill Self (Illinois/2000), Buzz Peterson (Tennessee/2001), Danny Manning (Wake Forest/2014)
Dartmouth (6) - Ozzie Cowles (Michigan/1946), Dave Gavitt (Providence/1969), George Blaney (Holy Cross/1972), Gary Walters (Providence/1979), Reggie Minton (Air Force/1984), Paul Cormier (Fairfield/1991)
Louisiana Tech (6) - Scotty Robertson (New Orleans Jazz/1974), J.D. Barnett (Virginia Commonwealth/1979), Andy Russo (Washington/1985), Tommy Joe Eagles (Auburn/1989), Jim Wooldridge (assistant with Chicago Bulls/1998), Michael White (Florida/2015)
Marquette (6) - Tex Winter (Kansas State/1953), Rick Majerus (assistant with Milwaukee Bucks/1986), Kevin O'Neill (Tennessee/1994), Mike Deane (Lamar/1999), Tom Crean (Indiana/2008), Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech/2014)
New Orleans (6) - Ron Greene (Mississippi State/1977), Benny Dees (Wyoming/1987), Tim Floyd (Iowa State/1994), Tic Price (Memphis/1997), Monte Towe (assistant with North Carolina State/2006), Buzz Williams (Marquette/2007)
Princeton (6) - Butch van Breda Kolff (Los Angeles Lakers/1967), Pete Carril (assistant with Sacramento Kings/1996), Bill Carmody (Northwestern/2000), John Thompson III (Georgetown/2004), Joe Scott (Denver/2007), Sydney Johnson (Fairfield/2011)
Virginia Commonwealth (6) - Dana Kirk (Memphis State/1979), J.D. Barnett (Tulsa/1985), Mike Pollio (Eastern Kentucky/1989), Jeff Capel III (Oklahoma/2006), Anthony Grant (Alabama/2009), Shaka Smart (Texas/2015)
Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead provided three outings with at least 20 points against Villanova. But Providence's Ben Bentil and Georgetown's L.J. Peak secured the satisfaction of posting the highest single-game output this season against NCAA champion-to-be Nova when the sophomores each scored 31 points against the Wildcats.
Since UCLA's first NCAA championship in 1964, Louisville's Russ Smith has the lowest scoring average (11.5 ppg in 2011-12) for any player who posted the single-game high against an NCAA titlist. Some of the names probably will be surprising, but following is a look in reverse order at the last 53 individuals notching the season-high scoring total against the NCAA kingpin:
Year Opposing High Scorer vs. NCAA Titlist Avg. Single-Game High 2016 Ben Bentil, F, Soph., Providence 21.1 31 points vs. Villanova 2016 L.J. Peak, G, Soph., Georgetown 12.3 31 vs. Villanova 2015 Michael Gbinije, F, Jr., Syracuse 12.7 27 vs. Duke 2014 Dustin Hogue, F, Jr., Iowa State 11.6 34 vs. Connecticut in NCAA playoffs 2013 Tyler Brown, G, Sr., Illinois State 18.1 25 at Louisville 2012 Russ Smith, G, Soph., Louisville 11.5 30 at Kentucky 2011 Dwight Hardy, G, Sr., St. John's 18.3 33 vs. Connecticut 2010 Trevon Hughes, G, Sr., Wisconsin 15.3 26 vs. Duke 2009 Kyle McAlarney, G, Sr., Notre Dame 15.0 39 vs. North Carolina at Maui 2008 Michael Beasley, F-C, Fr., Kansas State 26.2 39 at Kansas 2007 Al Thornton, F, Sr., Florida State 19.7 28 vs. Florida 2006 Chris Lofton, G, Soph., Tennessee 17.2 29 vs. Florida 2005 Will Bynum, G, Sr., Georgia Tech 12.5 35 vs. North Carolina in ACC Tournament 2004 Chris Thomas, G, Jr., Notre Dame 19.7 31 vs. Connecticut 2003 Chris Hill, G, Soph., Michigan State 13.7 34 vs. Syracuse 2002 Jason "Jay" Williams, G, Jr., Duke 21.3 34 vs. Maryland 2001 James "J.J." Miller, G, Sr., North Carolina A&T 16.0 34 at Duke 2000 A.J. Guyton, G, Sr., Indiana 19.7 34 vs. Michigan State 1999 Trajan Langdon, G, Sr., Duke 17.3 25 vs. Connecticut 1998 Brian Williams, G, Jr., Alabama 16.1 28 vs. Kentucky in SEC Tournament 1997 Isaac Fontaine, G, Sr., Washington State 21.9 32 vs. Arizona 1996 Marcus Camby, C, Jr., Massachusetts 20.5 32 vs. Kentucky at Great Eight 1995 Ray Allen, G, Soph., Connecticut 21.1 36 vs. UCLA in NCAA playoffs 1994 Gary Collier, F, Sr., Tulsa 22.9 35 vs. Arkansas in NCAA playoffs 1993 Chris Webber, F, Soph., Michigan 19.2 27 vs. North Carolina at Honolulu 1993 Randolph Childress, G, Soph., Wake Forest 19.7 27 vs. North Carolina 1993 James Forrest, F, Soph., Georgia Tech 19.5 27 vs. North Carolina in ACC Tournament 1993 Lester Lyons, G, Jr., East Carolina 15.4 27 vs. North Carolina in NCAA playoffs 1992 Malik Sealy, F, Sr., St. John's 22.6 37 vs. Duke at Greensboro 1991 Jeff Webster, F, Fr., Oklahoma 18.3 32 vs. Duke 1990 Greg "Bo" Kimble, F-G, Sr., Loyola Marymount 35.3 42 vs. UNLV in NCAA playoffs 1989 Roy Marble, F, Sr., Iowa 20.5 32 vs. Michigan 1988 Mitch Richmond, G-F, Sr., Kansas State 22.6 35 vs. Kansas 1987 Freddie Banks, G, Sr., UNLV 19.5 38 vs. Indiana in NCAA playoffs 1986 Ron Harper, F, Sr., Miami (oh) 24.4 36 vs. Louisville in Big Apple NIT at Cincinnati 1985 Len Bias, F, Jr., Maryland 18.9 30 vs. Villanova 1984 Chris Mullin, G-F, Jr., St. John's 22.9 29 vs. Georgetown in Big East Tournament 1983 Ralph Sampson, C, Sr., Virginia 19.1 33 vs. North Carolina State 1982 Ralph Sampson, C, Jr., Virginia 15.8 30 at North Carolina 1981 Mike McGee, F, Sr., Michigan 24.4 29 vs. Indiana 1980 Jeff Ruland, C, Jr., Iona 20.1 30 vs. Louisville 1979 Joe Barry Carroll, C, Jr., Purdue 22.8 27 vs. Michigan State 1979 Calvin Roberts, F-C, Jr., Cal State Fullerton 15.3 27 vs. Michigan State 1978 Freeman Williams, G, Sr., Portland State 35.9 39 at Kentucky 1977 Dave Corzine, C, Jr., DePaul 19.0 26 vs. Marquette 1976 Terry Furlow, F, Sr., Michigan State 29.4 40 vs. Indiana 1975 Kevin Grevey, F, Sr., Kentucky 23.5 34 vs. UCLA in NCAA final 1974 Billy Cook, G, Soph., Memphis State 16.2 33 vs. North Carolina State 1973 Billy Knight, F, Jr., Pittsburgh 23.7 37 vs. UCLA 1972 Fred Boyd, G, Sr., Oregon State 19.8 37 vs. UCLA 1971 Austin Carr, G, Sr., Notre Dame 38.0 46 vs. UCLA 1970 Pete Maravich, G, Sr., Louisiana State 44.5 38 vs. UCLA 1970 Rich Yunkus, C, Jr., Georgia Tech 30.1 38 vs. UCLA 1969 Vic Collucci, G, Soph., Providence 15.4 36 vs. UCLA 1968 Elvin Hayes, F-C, Sr., Houston 36.8 39 vs. UCLA 1967 Bill Hewitt, F, Jr., Southern California 19.5 39 vs. UCLA 1966 Jerry Chambers, F-C, Sr., Utah 28.8 38 vs. Texas Western in NCAA playoffs 1965 Ollie Johnson, C, Sr., San Francisco 21.6 37 vs. UCLA 1964 Tom Dose, C, Sr., Stanford 20.0 38 vs. UCLA
Extra! Extra! As a new season shifts into high gear, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 7 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Minnesota Twins LF Brant Alyea (Hofstra's leading scorer and rebounder in 1960-61 after finishing runner-up in both categories the previous basketball season) amassed seven RBI, a major league record for opening day, against the Chicago White Sox in 1970. Alyea drove in 19 runs in P Jim Perry's first four starts that year.
In his MLB debut in 1970, Philadelphia Phillies 2B Denny Doyle (averaged 2.7 ppg for Morehead State in 1962-63) delivered three hits, including a RBI triple in the third inning for the game's first run, in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Cubs.
RHP Bobby Humphreys (four-year letterman for Hampden-Sydney VA in mid-1950s) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Chicago Cubs in 1965.
Boston Red Sox LHP Gary Peters (played for Grove City PA in mid-1950s), after allowing no earned runs in 32 spring training innings, secured a 4-3 season-opening win at New York in 1970.
There have been times at the Final Four when a player not recognized as an All-American supplied a Herculean performance. One that stands out was in 1984 when Georgetown's Michael Jackson, a 6-1 guard averaging 1.4 rebounds per game entering the Final Four, retrieved 10 missed shots against Kentucky's formidable frontline to help the Hoyas overcome a seven-point halftime deficit in the national semifinals.
Last year, Duke freshman guard Grayson Allen, averaging a modest 3.9 points per game entering the Final Four, became an overnight sensation by erasing a nine-point, second-half deficit virtually by himself to spark a rally against Wisconsin in the NCAA championship game before blossoming into an All-American this campaign. This season, Villanova sophomore guard Phil Booth Jr. filled Allen's shoes as improbable hero of the F4 by canning 10-of-13 field-goal attempts en route to a total of 30 points in the national semifinals and title tilt. Booth's father was an All-MEAC first-team selection as a sophomore in 1987-88 before playing for Coppin State in the Eagles' NCAA playoff debut in 1990.
From a historical perspective, only one unsung player in history had significantly more of Final Four impact than Allen and Booth. Nothing compares to the version of Washington coming "out-of-the-valley forge" when UCLA's Kenny Washington was instrumental in helping venerable coach John Wooden capture his first NCAA Tournament championship in 1964. Washington, the only player with a single-digit season scoring average (6.1) to tally more than 25 points in a championship game, scored 26 points in a 98-83 triumph over Duke in the final. Teammate Gail Goodrich contributed 27 points as he and Washington became the only duo to each score more than 25 in an NCAA final.
Although Washington became the only player to score 25 or more points in a final and not be named to the All-Tournament team, he wasn't rebuffed again the next year. Washington, averaging a modest 8.9 points per game entering the 1965 Final Four, scored a total of 27 points in victories over Wichita State and Michigan as the Bruins successfully defended their title en route to 10 crowns in 12 years under Wooden. Washington joined teammates Goodrich and Edgar Lacey on the 1965 All-Tournament team with co-national players of the year Bill Bradley (Princeton) and Cazzie Russell (Michigan).
In 1969, UCLA was without two-time All-Tournament team selection Lucius Allen because of academic problems, but the Bruins got another significant increase in point production at the Final Four from an unlikely source. Guard John Vallely averaged 22 points in victories against Drake and Purdue after arriving at the national semifinals with a 10.2-point average. Only one senior is on the following list of seven championship team rank-and-file players averaging fewer than seven points per game entering the Final Four before seizing the moment and averaging double digits in scoring in their last two games with an increase of more than seven points per game from their pre-Final Four scoring mark:
|Unsung Hero||Class||Pos.||NCAA Champion||Season Avg.||Avg. Before Final 4||Final 4 Avg.||Avg. Increase|
|Kenny Washington||Soph.||F-G||UCLA '64||6.1||5.2||19.5||14.3|
|Grayson Allen||Fr.||G||Duke '15||4.4||3.9||12.5||8.6|
|Norm Mager||Sr.||F||CCNY '50||3.6||3.0||11.5||8.5|
|Phil Booth Jr.||Soph.||G||Villanova '16||7.0||6.6||15.0||8.4|
|John Dick||Jr.||F||Oregon '39||6.7||6.3||14.5||8.2|
|Gene Brown||Soph.||G||San Francisco '56||7.1||6.6||14.0||7.4|
|Tommy Curtis||Jr.||G||UCLA '73||6.4||5.8||13.0||7.2|
NOTE: Washington State junior guard Kirk Gebert, who scored 21 points in a 39-34 loss against Wisconsin in 1941 final to finish the year with a 6.6-point average, is the only player other than Washington with a single-digit season average to score more than 20 points in a title game.
Guard Dylan Ennis not only missed majority of this season with West Regional #1 seed Oregon because of a broken foot but he also missed out on some championship bling because he transferred from Villanova after averaging 7.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 2.7 apg for the Wildcats in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Ennis led Rice with 4.1 apg as a freshman in 2011-12 before departing for Nova.
Duke got playmaker Derryck Thornton to leave high school early and cross the country to join the Blue Devils last season. But Thornton is transferring after his freshman campaign despite early projections promoting Duke as the nation's #1 team entering the 2016-17 campaign. He could become the 12th ex-Blue Devil on the following alphabetical list of transfer players such as Ennis denied receiving an NCAA championship ring because they left a school subsequently capturing a national crown:
*Played for a junior college between four-year schools
NOTES: McCaffrey and Palmer played for an NCAA champion with Duke in 1991 and Huertas did with Florida in 2006. . . . King played only one season for Villanova in 2009-10. . . . E. Williams left Memphis after 2009-10 campaign when he declared early for the NBA draft. Likewise for Smith at UNLV following 2013-14 season.
Extra! Extra! Amid the opening week of a new season, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 6 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Baltimore Orioles CF Al Bumbry (Virginia State's runner-up in scoring with 16.7 ppg as freshman in 1964-65) scored four runs against the Kansas City Royals in 1983.
Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) contributed two sixth-inning hits, including a grand slam, in a 10-inning, 10-9 win over the Chicago White Sox in 2001. Eight years later, Clark clobbered back-to-back homers for the Arizona Diamondbacks in a season-opening, 9-8 win against the Colorado Rockies in 2009.
In 2006, LHP Mark Hendrickson (two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference selection paced Washington State four straight seasons in rebounding 1992-93 through 1995-96) hurled first complete-game shutout for the Tampa Devil Rays in a span of 349 contests (three-hit, 2-0 whitewash against the Baltimore Orioles).
Los Angeles Dodgers 2B Davey Lopes (NAIA All-District 15 selection for Iowa Wesleyan averaged 16.9 ppg as freshman in 1964-65 and 12.1 ppg as sophomore in 1965-66) collected three runs and three stolen bases against the San Diego Padres in 1974.
RHP Joe Niekro (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) purchased from the Atlanta Braves by the Houston Astros for $35,000 in 1975.
In his first start with the St. Louis Cardinals, RHP Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Missouri in 1957-58 as All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) tossed a four-hit shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1974.
RHP Darrell Sutherland (averaged 8.1 ppg and 2.2 rpg for Stanford from 1960-61 through 1962-63) awarded on waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies to the New York Mets as a first-year waiver selection in 1964.
RHP Jim Todd (played for Parsons IA before averaging 16 ppg with Millersville PA in 1968-69) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics for a player to be designated and cash in 1975.
After 159 MLB starts, RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection as Princeton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1999-00) made his debut with the Seattle Mariners as a reliever (two hitless innings against the Oakland Athletics in 2014).
Notre Dame has a significant lead in compiling the most all-time victories against teams in a season they went on to capture the NCAA championship. The Fighting Irish, boasting 14 such triumphs despite never winning a Final Four contest, are joined by Maryland (eight), Kentucky (seven), Louisville (seven), St. John's (seven) and Wake Forest (seven) as the only schools defeating more than six eventual NCAA playoff titlists. Louisville leveled Connecticut a total of five times in 2011 and 2014.
St. John's and Wake Forest (achieved feat twice) are among 16 different institutions to prevail in back-to-back seasons against eventual NCAA tourney kingpins. St. John's is the only school to upend three different NCAA-champions-to-be in as many consecutive years (Georgetown '84/Villanova '85/Louisville '86). Wake Forest knocked off four different North Carolina titlists in a 28-year span (1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009). Saint Louis, which kayoed four different national kingpins in a 13-year span from 1949 through 1961 (champions combining to win 94.3% of their other games those seasons), never has reached an NCAA tourney regional final.
Michigan State, despite advancing to seven Final Fours under coach Tom Izzo, never has beaten an eventual NCAA champion. Other prominent universities with that dubious distinction include Arizona State, Baylor, Brigham Young, Butler, Colorado, Creighton, Dayton, Penn State, Saint Joseph's, San Francisco, Texas A&M, Texas Christian, Texas-El Paso, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech. Xavier left this list in 2015-16 by handing Nova one of the Wildcats' five setbacks.
Surprisingly, Northwestern has notched three triumphs against NCAA titlists despite never participating in the national tourney. Additional schools with more wins against NCAA kingpins during the regular season than playoff victories include Bowling Green (one tourney triumph), Nebraska (winless), Niagara (two tourney wins), Texas-Pan American (never appeared) and Wright State (winless). DII Alaska-Anchorage is among more than 25 non-power league members on the following alphabetical list of schools defeating NCAA DI champions-to-be:
|School (Total Wins vs. Eventual DI Titlists)||Pre-NCAA Tournament Victories Against National Champions-to-Be|
|Alabama (three)||Kentucky (won title in 1978), Arkansas (1994) and Florida (2006)|
|Alaska-Anchorage (one)||Michigan (1989)|
|Arizona (four)||Duke (1991), Kentucky (1998), Michigan State (2000) and Maryland (2002)|
|Arkansas (three)||Oklahoma A&M (1945), Duke (1991) and Florida (2006)|
|Auburn (one)||Kentucky (1958)|
|Boston College (two)||Villanova (1985) and North Carolina (2009)|
|Bowling Green (two)||Oklahoma A&M (1946) and Loyola of Chicago (1963)|
|Bradley (three)||Oregon (1939) and Cincinnati (1961 and 1962)|
|California (two)||UCLA (1995) and Arizona (1997)|
|UC Santa Barbara (one)||UNLV (1990)|
|Canisius (one)||CCNY (1950)|
|Cincinnati (three)||Marquette (1977), Louisville (1986) and Connecticut (2014)|
|City College of New York (one)||Oregon (1939)|
|Clemson (one)||Indiana (1981)|
|Connecticut (two)||Syracuse (twice in 2003)|
|DePaul (four)||Oklahoma A&M (1945 and 1946), Marquette (1977) and Georgetown (1984)|
|Detroit (one)||Marquette (1977)|
|Duke (five)||Kansas (1988), North Carolina (1993 and 2005), Maryland (2002) and Louisville (2013)|
|Duquesne (two)||Wyoming (1943) and Holy Cross (1947)|
|Florida (one)||Kentucky (1998)|
|Florida State (two)||Florida (2007) and North Carolina (2009)|
|Georgetown (five)||Villanova (twice in 1985), Duke (1991 and 2010) and Louisville (2013)|
|Georgia (one)||Villanova (1985)|
|Georgia Tech (five)||Kentucky (1958), North Carolina (1993 and 2005), Connecticut (2004) and Duke (2010)|
|Houston (two)||UCLA (1968) and Connecticut (2014)|
|Illinois (six)||UCLA (1965), Louisville (1980), Indiana (1987), Kansas (1988) and Michigan (twice in 1989)|
|Indiana (six)||Ohio State (1960), Michigan State (1979 and 2000), Michigan (twice in 1989) and Kentucky (2012)|
|Iona (one)||Louisville (1980)|
|Iowa (five)||UCLA (1965), Indiana (twice in 1981 and once in 1987) and Kansas (1988)|
|Iowa State (one)||Kansas (1988)|
|Kansas (four)||Louisville (twice in 1986), UNLV (1990) and Florida (2007)|
|Kansas State (six)||Kansas (1952, twice in 1988 and once in 2008), Indiana (1953) and California (1959)|
|Kentucky (seven)||Utah (1944), La Salle (1954), Ohio State (1960), Indiana (1981), Louisville (1986), Arkansas (1994) and Michigan State (2000)|
|Louisiana State (three)||Kentucky (1978), UNLV (1990) and Florida (2007)|
|Louisville (seven)||North Carolina State (1983), Kentucky (1998) and Connecticut (twice in 2011 and three times in 2014)|
|Loyola of Chicago (two)||Kentucky (1949 and 1958)|
|Marquette (two)||Wisconsin (1941) and Connecticut (2011)|
|Maryland (eight)||Kentucky (1958), Marquette (1977), North Carolina State (twice in 1983), Villanova (1985), Duke (2001 and 2010) and North Carolina (2009)|
|Massachusetts (one)||Kentucky (1996)|
|Memphis (three)||North Carolina State (1983), Louisville (1986) and Syracuse (2003)|
|Miami FL (two)||Connecticut (1999) and Duke (2015)|
|Michigan (five)||Marquette (1977), Michigan State (1979), Indiana (1981), North Carolina (1993) and Arizona (1997)|
|Minnesota (five)||Indiana (1940 and 1953), Wisconsin (1941), Marquette (1977) and Michigan (1989)|
|Mississippi (one)||Kentucky (1998)|
|Mississippi State (two)||Arkansas (1994) and Kentucky (1996)|
|Missouri (one)||North Carolina State (1983)|
|Nebraska (one)||Kansas (1988)|
|New Mexico (one)||Arizona (1997)|
|New Mexico State (one)||UNLV (1990)|
|Niagara (three)||CCNY (1950) and La Salle (twice in 1954)|
|North Carolina (six)||Indiana (1981), North Carolina State (1983), Duke (1991, 1992 and 2001) and Connecticut (2004)|
|North Carolina State (five)||Louisville (1986), Duke (1991, 2010 and 2015) and Maryland (2002)|
|Northwestern (three)||Indiana (1940), Holy Cross (1947) and Michigan State (1979)|
|Notre Dame (14)||Kentucky (1948), Indiana (1953), UCLA (1971 and 1975), Michigan State (1979), Indiana (1981), North Carolina State (1983), Kansas (1988), Connecticut (2004 and twice in 2011), Louisville (2013), Duke (twice in 2015)|
|Ohio State (two)||Indiana (1940) and Michigan State (2000)|
|Oklahoma (six)||CCNY (1950), Kansas (twice in 1988), UNLV (1990), Maryland (2002) and Villanova (2016)|
|Oklahoma State (two)||Kansas (1952 and 2008)|
|Oregon (four)||California (1959), UCLA (1970 and 1995) and Arizona (1997)|
|Oregon State (two)||Oregon (1939) and Stanford (1942)|
|Pittsburgh (five)||Wisconsin (1941), Villanova (1985), Syracuse (2003) and Connecticut (2004 and 2011)|
|Providence (two)||Connecticut (2004) and Villanova (2016)|
|Purdue (four)||Michigan State (1979 and 2000) and Indiana (1981 and 1987)|
|Rutgers (one)||Syracuse (2003)|
|St. John's (seven)||Georgetown (1984), Villanova (three times in 1985), Louisville (1986), Kansas (1988) and Connecticut (2011)|
|Saint Louis (four)||Kentucky (1949 and 1951), California (1959) and Cincinnati (1961)|
|Santa Clara (two)||Stanford (1942) and North Carolina (2005)|
|Seattle (one)||Texas Western (1966)|
|Seton Hall (two)||Cincinnati (1961) and Villanova (2016)|
|South Carolina (two)||Florida (twice in 2006)|
|Southern California (four)||Stanford (1942), UCLA (1969 and 1970) and Arizona (1997)|
|Southern Methodist (three)||Kentucky (1958) and Connecticut (twice in 2014)|
|Stanford (six)||Oregon (1939), California (1959), UCLA (1975), Arizona (1997), Duke (2001) and Connecticut (2014)|
|Syracuse (six)||CCNY (1950), Villanova (1985), Connecticut (1999, 2004 and 2011) and Louisville (2013)|
|Temple (three)||Oklahoma A&M (1945), Kentucky (1948) and La Salle (1954)|
|Tennessee (three)||Florida (twice in 2006 and once in 2007)|
|Texas (two)||Michigan State (2000) and Kansas (2008)|
|Texas-Pan American (one)||Indiana (1981)|
|UCLA (five)||CCNY (1950), San Francisco (1955), North Carolina State (1974) and Arizona (twice in 1997)|
|Utah (two)||Ohio State (1960) and Louisville (1980)|
|Vanderbilt (four)||Kentucky (1951 and 2012), Indiana (1987) and Florida (2007)|
|Villanova (two)||Georgetown (1984) and Louisville (2013)|
|Virginia (six)||North Carolina (1982), North Carolina State (twice in 1983), Duke (1991 and 2001) and Villanova (2016)|
|Wake Forest (seven)||North Carolina (1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009), North Carolina State (1983) and Duke (1991 and 1992)|
|Washington (two)||UCLA (1975) and Arizona (1997)|
|Washington State (one)||Oregon (1939)|
|West Virginia (two)||Kentucky (1958) and Connecticut (2011)|
|Wichita State (three)||Cincinnati (1962), Loyola of Chicago (1963) and Marquette (1977)|
|Wisconsin (three)||Michigan State (1979), Michigan (1989) and Duke (2010)|
|Wright State (one)||Michigan State (2000)|
|Wyoming (one)||Holy Cross (1947)|
|Xavier (one)||Villanova (2016)|
NOTE: During World War II, NCAA champions Stanford lost to the Athens Club in 1942, Wyoming lost at Denver Legion in 1943, Utah lost to Ft. Warren, Salt Lake AB and Dow Chemical in 1944 and Oklahoma A&M lost to NATTS Skyjackets in 1945.
Extra! Extra! As a new season commences, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 5 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
INF Frank Baker (Southern Mississippi basketball letterman in 1965-66 and 1966-67) traded by the New York Yankees to the Baltimore Orioles in 1973.
Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) smacked two homers among his four hits in a 15-12 win against the Chicago White Sox in 1997. Four years later, Clark contributed four hits against the Minnesota Twins in 2001.
LHP Fred Kipp (two-time all-conference selection for Emporia State KS in early 1950s) traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the New York Yankees in 1960.
RHP Roger Mason (multiple-year letterman for Saginaw Valley State MI in late 1970s) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the San Francisco Giants in 1985.
OF Ted Savage (led Lincoln MO in scoring average in 1955-56) purchased from the Cincinnati Reds by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970.
OF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman squad in mid-1960s) traded with Tim Foli and Mike Jorgensen by the New York Mets to the Montreal Expos for Rusty Staub in 1972.
Atlanta Braves reliever Cecil Upshaw (led Centenary in scoring as a junior while averaging 13.7 ppg and 6 rpg from 1961-62 through 1963-64) registered the victory in a season-opening 7-4 success at Cincinnati in 1971. Upshaw missed the previous campaign after almost losing the ring finger on his right hand when it go entangled in a net while dunking a basketball.
RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection as Princeton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1999-00) became the first hurler in New York Mets history to collect two hits in an inning (pair of singles in third against the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011). Young contributed a third single in the fifth in his first start with the Mets.
They were vital but only two of Villanova's eight-man rotation was a senior, showing again why a senior-laden lineup is not a prerequisite for capturing a national championship. An average of only two seniors were among the top seven scorers for NCAA Tournament titlists since Nova the captured the NCAA crown in 1985 when the playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams.
Eight of the 16 NCAA champions from 1991 through 2006 boasted no more than one senior among its top seven scorers, which is what Duke had last year. Only three NCAA champions since Indiana '87 - UCLA (1995), Michigan (2000) and Maryland (2002) - featured seniors as their top two scorers. Following is a look at the vital seniors for the last 32 basically youthful championship teams (in reverse order):
2016 - Villanova (two players in eight-man rotation were seniors/Ryan Arcidiacono was third-leading scorer and Daniel Ochefu was fourth).
2015 - Duke (one of eight-man rotation was a senior/Quinn Cook was second-leading scorer).
2014 - Connecticut (four of top 10 scorers were seniors/Shabazz Napier was leading scorer, Niels Giffey was fourth, Lasan Kromah was fifth and Tyler Olander was 10th).
2013 - Louisville (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Peyton Siva was second-leading scorer).
2012 - Kentucky (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Darius Miller was fifth-leading scorer).
2011 - Connecticut (none of top six scorers was a senior).
2010 - Duke (three of nine-man rotation were seniors/Jon Scheyer was leading scorer, Brian Zoubek was fourth and Lance Thomas was sixth).
2009 - North Carolina (two of top eight in scoring average were seniors/Tyler Hansbrough was leading scorer and Danny Green was fourth).
2008 - Kansas (one of top six scorers was a senior/Darnell Jackson was fourth-leading scorer).
2007 - Florida (two of nine-man rotation were seniors/Lee Humphrey was fifth and Chris Richard was sixth).
2006 - Florida (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
2005 - North Carolina (one of top five scorers was a senior/Jawad Williams was third).
2004 - Connecticut (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Taliek Brown was sixth).
2003 - Syracuse (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Keith Duany was fourth).
2002 - Maryland (three of top eight regulars were seniors/Juan Dixon was top scorer, Lonny Baxter was second and Byron Mouton was fourth).
2001 - Duke (two of top nine scorers were seniors/Shane Battier was second and Nate James was fifth).
2000 - Michigan State (three of top 11 scorers were seniors/Morris Peterson was first, Mateen Cleaves was second and A.J. Granger was fifth).
1999 - Connecticut (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Ricky Moore was fifth).
1998 - Kentucky (two of top seven scorers were seniors/Jeff Sheppard was first and Allen Edwards was fifth).
1997 - Arizona (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
1996 - Kentucky (three of top 10 scorers were seniors/Tony Delk was first, Walter McCarty was third and Mark Pope was sixth).
1995 - UCLA (three of top seven scorers were seniors/Ed O'Bannon was first, Tyus Edney was second and George Zidek was fourth).
1994 - Arkansas (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Roger Crawford was eighth).
1993 - North Carolina (one of top seven scorers was a senior/George Lynch was second).
1992 - Duke (two of top 10 scorers were seniors/Christian Laettner was first and Brian Davis was fifth).
1991 - Duke (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Greg Koubek was seventh).
1990 - UNLV (two of top eight scorers were seniors/David Butler was third and Moses Scurry was sixth).
1989 - Michigan (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Glen Rice was first and Mark Hughes was sixth).
1988 - Kansas (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Danny Manning was first and Chris Piper was fourth).
1987 - Indiana (two of top eight scorers were seniors/Steve Alford was first and Daryl Thomas was second).
1986 - Louisville (three of top nine scorers were seniors/Billy Thompson was first, Milt Wagner was second and Jeff Hall was fifth).
1985 - Villanova (three of top eight scorers were seniors/Ed Pinckney was first, Dwayne McClain was second and Gary McLain was fourth).
Kentucky (31), buttressed by Louisville (NCAA DI) and Georgetown (NAIA) in 2013, moved ahead of California three years ago as the state with the most national titles from each level of four-year college men's basketball - NCAA Division I, NIT, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA. But California moved into a tie with Kentucky two seasons ago when Vanguard (Calif.) captured the NAIA crown and moved back ahead of Kentucky last campaign when Stanford won the NIT.
Illinois and Ohio are the only states to boast at least one champion from all five levels. Among the 12 states amassing a total of more than 10 national crowns, Missouri is the only one in that group without a Division I championship. Drury (Mo.) and Central Missouri won back-to-back DII titles earlier this decade but the state's two headline schools - Mizzou and Saint Louis - never have reached the NCAA Final Four.
The biggest surprise among states never to capture a national title is Iowa. Following is how states stack up by national titles including the NIT and various levels of small-college basketball:
State DI NIT DII DIII NAIA Total California 15 8 5 0 4 32 Kentucky 11 3 10 0 7 31 Ohio 3 6 3 5 2 19 North Carolina 12 2 3 0 1 18 Oklahoma 2 2 1 0 11 16 Illinois 1 6 1 6 1 15 New York 2 10 0 3 0 15 Wisconsin 2 1 0 12 0 15 Indiana 5 2 6 0 1 14 Missouri 0 1 3 2 8 14 Pennsylvania 3 6 2 3 0 14 Kansas 3 1 1 0 6 11 Minnesota 0 3 2 2 3 10 Texas 1 2 0 0 7 10 Virginia 0 4 5 1 0 10 Michigan 3 3 0 2 0 8 Tennessee 0 2 1 1 4 8 Georgia 0 0 1 0 6 7 Alabama 0 0 3 0 3 6 Connecticut 4 1 1 0 0 6 Massachusetts 1 1 1 3 0 6 Maryland 1 1 2 0 1 5 Arizona 1 0 0 0 3 4 District of Columbia 1 1 1 1 0 4 Florida 2 0 2 0 0 4 South Carolina 0 2 0 0 2 4 Utah 1 3 0 0 0 4 West Virginia 0 2 0 0 2 4 Colorado 0 1 2 0 0 3 Louisiana 0 0 0 0 3 3 New Jersey 0 2 0 1 0 3 South Dakota 0 0 3 0 0 3 Arkansas 1 0 0 0 1 2 Rhode Island 0 2 0 0 0 2 Washington 0 0 2 0 0 2 Hawaii 0 0 0 0 1 1 Mississippi 0 1 0 0 0 1 Montana 0 0 0 0 1 1 Nebraska 0 1 0 0 0 1 Nevada 1 0 0 0 0 1 New Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 1 Oregon 1 0 0 0 0 1 Wyoming 1 0 0 0 0 1
NOTE: Eight states - Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont - never have had a four-year school win a men's national championship.
There has been some smooth sailing, but it is usually a rugged road en route to becoming NCAA kingpin such as Villanova after the Wildcats won a pair of playoff games by fewer than six points and four by at least 19. Talk of the Kentucky squad four years ago hailed as one of the all-time greatest teams was somewhat silly insofar as intra-state rival Louisville, erasing 12-point deficits in both the semifinals and final three years ago, became the 42nd NCAA champion posting higher average victory margins than UK in the tournament.
North Carolina '09 became the 12th NCAA Tournament champion to win all of its playoff games by double-digit margins. The first nine champions in this category came before the NCAA field was expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.
A total of 49 champions won a minimum of one playoff game by fewer than five, including 22 titlists to win at least one contest by just one point. Wyoming '43 would have become the only champion to trail at halftime in every tournament game if the Cowboys didn't score the last three baskets of the first half in the national final to lead Georgetown at intermission (18-16). Four titlists trailed at intermission in both of their Final Four games - Kentucky '51, Louisville '86, Duke '92 and Kentucky '98.
UCLA '67, the first varsity season for Lew Alcindor (became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), 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 amazing average margin of 21.5 points.
Which of John Wooden's 10 national champion UCLA teams did the Wizard of Westwood perceive as his best?
"I've never come out and said it," Wooden said before passing away two years ago, "but it would be hard to pick a team over the 1968 team. I will say it would be the most difficult team to prepare for and play against offensively and defensively. It created so many problems. It had such great balance. We had the big center (Alcindor) who is the most valuable player of all time. Mike Warren was a three-year starter who may have been the most intelligent floor leader ever, going eight complete games once without a turnover. Lucius Allen was a very physical, talented individual who was extremely quick. Lynn Shackleford was a great shooter out of the corner who didn't allow defenses to sag on Jabbar. Mike Lynn didn't have power, but he had as fine a pair of hands around the boards as I have ever seen."
The roster for UCLA's 1968 national champion included six players with double-digit season scoring averages, but senior forward Edgar Lacey dropped off the team with an 11.9-point average following a dispute with Wooden after a ballyhooed mid-season defeat against Houston before 52,693 fans at the Astrodome. Lacey, assigned to defend Cougars star Elvin Hayes early in the game, was annoyed with Wooden for singling him out following Hayes' 29-point first-half outburst. Lacey, the leading rebounder for the Bruins' 1965 NCAA titlist when he was an All-Tournament team selection, missed the 1966-67 campaign because of a fractured left kneecap.
The three Lew-CLA teams rank among the seven NCAA champions with average margins of victory in a tournament of more than 19 points per game. It's no wonder a perceptive scribe wrote the acronym NCAA took on a new meaning during the plunderous Alcindor Era - "No Chance Against Alcindor."
"Bill Walton might have been a better all-around player (than Alcindor)," Wooden said. "If you were grading a player for every fundamental skill, Walton would rank the highest of any center who ever played. But Alcindor is the most valuable, owing to the pressure he put on the other team at both ends of the court."
North Carolina won all six of its playoff contests by double digits in 2009 but the only titlist to win all of its tournament games by more than 15 points was Ohio State '60. Center Jerry Lucas, a first-team All-American as a sophomore, averaged 24 points and 16 rebounds in four playoff contests for the Buckeyes. He collected 36 points and 25 rebounds to help them erase a six-point halftime deficit in their Mideast Regional opener against Western Kentucky.
Duke's five kingpins under Mike Krzyzewski have all came with average winning margin of at least 12.5 points per playoff game. Villanova ranks seventh in the following breakdown of point differential and average margin of victory in the NCAA playoffs for the first 78 national champions:
*All-time tournament record (111-42 first-round victory over Tennessee Tech).
NOTE: Fifteen teams participated in a total of 21 overtime games en route to national titles - Utah (1944), North Carolina (two triple overtime Final Four games in 1957), Cincinnati (1961), Loyola of Chicago (1963), Texas Western (two in 1966, including a double overtime), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1974), UCLA (two in 1975), Louisville (two in 1980), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1983), Michigan (1989), Duke (1992), North Carolina (1993), Arizona (two in 1997), Kentucky (1998), Kansas (2008) and Connecticut (2014).
Which cliche is most accurate? If a team is on a winning streak entering the NCAA Tournament, it has momentum on its side and is peaking at the right time. On the other hand, some observers contend a loss before the start of the playoffs is deemed a wake-up call. After squandering a 10-point lead in the last five minutes, Villanova's championship this season marked the fourth time in the last five years the titlist entered the playoffs after a defeat in their conference tourney. All five of Duke's champions under coach Mike Krzyzewski entered the NCAA tourney with fewer than eight straight triumphs.
Since the last undefeated team in Division I (Indiana was 32-0 in 1975-76), there have been 40 national champions. Twenty-two of those teams entered the tourney with a victory; 18 entered with a defeat after Nova bowed against Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament final. The longest winning streak of a champion-to-be in that span was by UCLA, which won 13 in a row in 1995 before posting six more triumphs in the playoffs. Louisville accounted for two of the other double-digit victory streaks for champions-to-be entering the playoffs.
Of the 22 aforementioned squads entering on a winning note, the average winning streak was six in a row. Following in reverse order is how those 40 post-unbeaten IU titlists entered the NCAA playoffs (including conference tournaments):
Woulda/Coulda/Shoulda! Disappointment about not being there firsthand had to be particularly pronounced for Virginia, which defeated both teams in the NCAA Tournament championship contest earlier in the campaign. The Cavaliers also achieved this distinction in 1982-83. They are among the following teams in this what-might-have-been category:
|Season||School||Record||Victories Against Both Teams in NCAA Tourney Final|
|2015-16||Virginia||29-8||Defeated Villanova and North Carolina by total of 16 points.|
|2010-11||Louisville||25-10||Connecticut and Butler by total of 16 points.|
|2009-10||Georgetown||23-11||Duke and Butler by total of 19 points.|
|2008-09||Maryland||21-14||North Carolina and Michigan State by total of 21 points.|
|2003-04||North Carolina||19-11||Connecticut and Georgia Tech by total of 18 points.|
|2000-01||Stanford||31-3||Duke and Arizona by total of 10 points.|
|1999-00||Kentucky||24-10||Michigan State and Florida by total of 17 points.|
|1999-00||Purdue||24-10||Michigan State and Florida by total of 14 points.|
|1995-96||Massachusetts||35-2||Kentucky and Syracuse by total of 28 points.|
|1992-93||Duke||24-8||North Carolina and Michigan by total of 25 points.|
|1987-88||Kansas State||25-9||Kansas and Oklahoma by total of 18 points.|
|1984-85||St. John's||31-4||Villanova (three times) and Georgetown by total of 23 points.|
|1984-85||Syracuse||22-9||Villanova and Georgetown by total of 15 points.|
|1982-83||Virginia||29-5||North Carolina State (twice) and Houston by total of 28 points.|
|1962-63||Wichita||19-8||Loyola of Chicago and Cincinnati each by one point.|
|1952-53||Kansas State||17-4||Indiana and Kansas by total of 8 points.|
Extra! Extra! As a new season commences, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 4 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
LF "Sweet" Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary HBCU coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) traded in 1969 by the Cleveland Indians to the California Angels.
OF-INF Chuck Hinton (played multiple sports for Shaw NC before serving two years in U.S. Army in mid-1950s) traded in 1969 by the California Angels to the Cleveland Indians.
CollegeHoopedia.com hopes the rigors of our daily Q&A didn't give you an inferiority complex. Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, this is the climax of 23 days featuring a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from (10 per day from Selection Sunday until a grand finale added value of 20 on the day of the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only automatic qualifier to enter the NCAA playoffs with an overall losing record despite compiling a winning conference mark. Hint: The school lost in the first round to the nation's top-ranked team, an opponent the school succumbed to four seasons earlier when eventual NBA guard Lindsey Hunter scored a then school-record 48 points.
2. Name the only one of the different teams to twice defeat an eventual NCAA champion in their title season to not appear in the NCAA Tournament that year. Hint: A former NBA coach guided the school to its only NCAA playoff victory against an opponent whose coach also later coached in the NBA.
3. Name the only team since seeding started to reach the Final Four without meeting a top eight seed. Hint: The team was eliminated in the national semifinals.
4. Name the only school to twice be denied an at-large bid in a 10-year span despite going undefeated in regular-season conference competition. Hint: The school reached a regional final the next time it went unbeaten in league play.
5. Name the only school in the 20th Century to compete for the national championship in both football and basketball in the same academic school year. Hint: The school lost both games.
6. Who is the only individual to win tournament games while coaching schools from the three conferences with the top winning percentages in NCAA Tournament competition reflecting actual membership (ACC, Big East and Big Ten)? Hint: He is the only coach to win playoff games with as many as three different schools when they were seeded ninth or worse.
8. Who is the only leading scorer in an NCAA Tournament championship game to subsequently serve as an admiral in the U.S. Navy? Hint: He was an NCAA consensus first-team All-America the next season before eventually commanding the aircraft carrier Saratoga for two years.
9. Who is the only championship game starter in the 20th Century to be the son of a former NCAA consensus All-American? Hint: The father was a U.S. Olympic team member and the star player for the first black coach at a predominantly white Division I school.
10. Name the only teammate twosome to each score more than 25 points in an NCAA final. Hint: They combined for 53 points to lead their school to its first of multiple NCAA Tournament titles.
11. Name the only starting backcourt to combine for more than 50 points in a Final Four game. Hint: They combined to shoot 39 percent from the floor in the two Final Four games that year.
12. Who is the only individual to coach teams in the NAIA Tournament, NCAA Division III Tournament, NCAA Division II Tournament, National Invitation Tournament and NCAA Division I Tournament? Hint: He took two different schools to the five levels of national postseason competition in a 13-year span beginning with an appearance as an interim head coach.
13. Who is the only individual to be the team-high scorer for both winning and losing teams in NCAA championship games although his season scoring average was less than half of the team leader each year? Hint: He played in the shadow of an All-American whose total of points and rebounds (4,663) is the highest in NCAA history.
14. Who is the only coach to guide teams from the same school to the football Rose Bowl and basketball Final Four? Hint: The Rose Bowl and Final Four appearances were 17 years apart.
15. Name the only son of a member of one of the first classes of baseball Hall of Fame selections to start for a school in its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Hint: The son pitched for four major league teams before becoming a prominent executive. His father was a first baseman.
16. Name the only school to reach the Final Four and College World Series championship game in the same year. Hint: The school advanced to the Final Four again the next season.
17. Who is the only coach to win three first-round games with teams seeded 12th or worse? Hint: The former coach was 4-1 in tournament games decided by fewer than five points. He played basketball at Fordham when NFL Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi was the Rams' freshman basketball coach.
18. Name the school that won all four of its first-round games despite being seeded eighth or worse each time. Hint: The four victories came in the first five tournaments after the NCAA introduced seeding.
19. Name the only school to appear in at least three NCAA Tournaments in the 20th Century and reach a regional final each time. Hint: The school's playoff appearances were in successive years.
20. Who is the only player to obtain NCAA and NBA championship rings without participating in postseason competition for either the college or pro title teams? Hint: The 7-0 center was in his first year with both of the championship squads.
A feeble nine-point output for National Player of the Year Buddy Hield in a drubbing by Villanova wasn't the first time Oklahoma had its leading scorer struggle in the national semifinals. In 2002, guard Hollis Price provided an anemic six points when the Sooners were eliminated by Indiana. But at least Price didn't end his college career on such a sour note as he still had another year of eligibility.
Many observers remember "Danny and the Miracles" in 1988 when national POY Danny Manning sparked Kansas to an NCAA crown. But they probably don't remember he managed only four points two years earlier as the Jayhawks' top scorer when they were upended by Duke. Similarly, North Carolina floor general Phil Ford became national POY in 1977-78 after he was limited to six points by Marquette in the 1977 NCAA playoff final.
An impact performer such as Hield or fellow national POY Chris Mullin (St. John's in 1985) shouldn't have their celebrated careers defined in any way by a F4 flame-out. Including six straight seasons in the mid-1980s, following is a list of team-leading scorers held to fewer than half of their scoring average when their teams were eliminated from title contention by losing at the Final Four since the NCAA playoff field was expanded beyond 16 teams in 1953:
|Year||Team-Leading Scorer||Average||F4 School||Sub-par Output in Final Four Defeat|
|2016||Buddy Hield||25.0 ppg||Oklahoma||9 points vs. Villanova in semifinals|
|2011||Matt Howard||16.4 ppg||Butler||7 points vs. Connecticut in national final|
|2005||Francisco Garcia||15.7 ppg||Louisville||4 points vs. Illinois in semifinals|
|2002||Hollis Price||16.5 ppg||Oklahoma||6 points vs. Indiana in semifinals|
|2001||Jason Richardson||14.7 ppg||Michigan State||6 points vs. Arizona in semifinals|
|1987||Billy Donovan||20.6 ppg||Providence||8 points vs. Syracuse in semifinals|
|1986||Danny Manning||16.7 ppg||Kansas||4 points vs. Duke in semifinals|
|1985||Chris Mullin||19.8 ppg||St. John's||8 points vs. Georgetown in semifinals|
|1984||Melvin Turpin||15.2 ppg||Kentucky||5 points vs. Georgetown in semifinals|
|1983||Michael Young||17.3 ppg||Houston||6 points vs. North Carolina State in national final|
|1982||Rob Williams||21.1 ppg||Houston||2 points vs. North Carolina in semifinals|
|1977||Phil Ford||18.7 ppg||North Carolina||6 points vs. Marquette in national final|
|1974||Danny Knight||12.4 ppg||Kansas||scoreless vs. Marquette in semifinals|
|1968||Elvin Hayes||36.8 ppg||Houston||10 points vs. UCLA in semifinals|
|1961||Jack Egan||21.9 ppg||St. Joseph's||8 points vs. Ohio State in semifinals|
|1960||Tom "Satch" Sanders||21.4 ppg||NYU||8 points vs. Ohio State in semifinals|
|1955||Burdette Haldorson||21.0 ppg||Colorado||9 points vs. San Francisco in semifinals|
Extra! Extra! With a new season commencing today, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history. Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 3 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
1B Donn Clendenon (played basketball for Morehouse GA) ended his retirement and reported to the Montreal Expos in 1969.
1B Bill White (played two years with Hiram OH in early 1950s) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1969.
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 22 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only player to lead an NCAA Tournament team in season scoring and rebounding before becoming the only NCAA playoff participant to subsequently appear in both the NBA Finals and World Series. Hint: He became his alma mater's athletic director.
2. Name the only championship team to have two guards be its top two scorers for the season. Hint: It's the only school to win an NCAA title the year after losing an NCAA Tournament opener by a double-digit margin.
3. Who is the only individual to play for an NCAA champion, NBA champion and ABA champion? Hint: The 6-2 swingman averaged almost three times as many rebounds per game for back-to-back NCAA titlists as he did points per game in his pro career.
4. Name the only school to lose an NCAA Tournament game in which it connected on at least three-fourths of its field-goal attempts. Hint: The school's leading scorer in that game was a freshman who went on to average at least 22 points per game in four tourneys, including first-round games against No. 3 and No. 4 seeds his last three years.
5. Who is the only player to hit a game-winning basket in an NCAA final one year and become a consensus All-American for another university the next season? Hint: He was a second-team All-American the same season a former teammate was first-team All-American one year after being named Final Four Most Outstanding Player as a freshman.
6. Name the only team to defeat three #1 seeds in a single tourney. Hint: The three #1 seeds were the three winningest schools in the history of major-college basketball. The champion is the only team needing at least four games to win the NCAA title to have all of its playoff games decided by single-digit margins. It is also the only titlist to finish as low as fifth place in its conference standings.
7. Name the only NCAA championship team to have four freshman starters. Hint: Two of the freshmen were among three starters who also excelled in a sport other than basketball.
8. Who is the only Final Four coach to previously lead the nation in a statistical category as a major-college player? Hint: He coached his alma mater to the NCAA Tournament six years later before guiding another school to the Final Four twice in a four-year span.
9. Name the only school to appear in the NCAA Tournament under two coaches who subsequently became NBA coach of the year. Hint: The school participated in the NCAA playoffs under these individuals in back-to-back seasons before they earned their NBA awards in a five-year span.
10. Who is the only player to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds for an NIT semifinalist one year and an NCAA semifinalist the next season? Hint: After earning an NIT Most Valuable Player award, he helped his school become the first member of a first-year conference to reach the NCAA Final Four.
When Villanova defeated North Carolina in the national final, the Wildcats joined 12 previous NCAA Tournament titlists rebounding from a non-league defeat to upend the same opponent in the playoffs. Nova had a 67-point turnaround in frustrating Oklahoma in the national semifinals, 95-51, notching the largest-ever margin in a Final Four contest (44 points). Every full decade of NCAA playoff competition had at least one of the following champions in this category (in reverse order):
|Year||Round||Champion Reversing Result||Earlier Margin of Defeat vs. Same Non-League Foe|
|2016||National Semifinals||Villanova 95, Oklahoma 51||23 points at Honolulu|
|2012||Regional Semifinals||Kentucky 102, Indiana 90||one point at Indiana|
|2004||National Final||Connecticut 82, Georgia Tech 73||16 points at New York|
|1996||National Semifinals||Kentucky 81, Massachusetts 74||10 points at Springfield, MA|
|1993||National Final||North Carolina 77, Michigan 71||one point at Honolulu|
|1988||National Semifinals||Kansas 66, Duke 59||four points at home|
|1981||National Final||Indiana 63, North Carolina 50||nine points at North Carolina|
|1977||First Round||Marquette 66, Cincinnati 51||independent lost by one point at Cincy|
|1974||National Semifinals||North Carolina State 80, UCLA 77 (2OT)||18 points at St. Louis|
|1968||National Semifinals||UCLA 101, Houston 69||two points vs. independent at Astrodome|
|1953||Regional Final||Indiana 79, Notre Dame 66||one point at independent Notre Dame|
|1945||Regional Final||Oklahoma A&M 68, Arkansas 41||three points at Arkansas|
|1941||Regional Final||Wisconsin 36, Pittsburgh 30||two points vs. independent at home|
No one thought any set of non-conference opponents ever would come close to duplicating what occurred in 1952 when St. John's upset top-ranked Kentucky, 64-57, in an Eastern Regional final after the Redmen left UK red-faced earlier in the season by 41 points (81-40). St. John's subsequently bowed against Kansas in the NCAA Tournament final by 17 points. But St. John's 48-point turnaround paled in sweet-revenge comparison to Villanova's stunning 67-point turnaround after Nova overwhelmed Oklahoma, 95-51, in the national semifinals following a 23-point setback against OU in Hawaii earlier in the campaign.
Naturally, the most amazing reversals of fortune in a single season happen among annual rivals in conference competition. In 1997-98, Missouri rebounded from the Tigers' most-lopsided loss in school history (111-56 at Kansas State) to defeat the Wildcats in their Big 12 Conference return engagement (89-59 at Mizzou) for an incredible 85-point turnaround in margin. Following is a list citing about-faces of more than 65 points in the same season among league rivals:
|Pts.||Season||Opponents Splitting Verdicts||First Game Winner (Margin)||Second Game Winner (Margin)|
|85||1997-98||by Missouri vs. Kansas State||Kansas State 111-56 (55)||Missouri 89-59 (30)|
|71||2000-01||by UTEP vs. Fresno State||Fresno State 108-56 (52)||UTEP 80-61 (19)|
|68||1997-98||by Alabama vs. Auburn||Auburn 94-40 (54)||Alabama 76-62 (14)|
|67||1996-97||by UCLA vs. Stanford||Stanford 109-61 (48)||UCLA 87-68 (19)|
|66||1997-98||by Michigan vs. Indiana||Indiana 80-62 (18)||Michigan 112-64 (48)|
Extra! Extra! As a new season is on the horizon, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only four percent of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 2 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
In 2001, San Diego Padres RF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC basketball second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) became the fifth player in N.L. history to spend 20-plus years playing his entire career with one franchise.
New York Mets manager Gil Hodges (played for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948), two days shy of his 48th birthday, suffered a fatal heart attack in 1972 after playing a round of golf in West Palm Beach with his coaches on Easter Sunday.
RHP Bobby Humphreys (four-year letterman for Hampden-Sydney VA in mid-1950s) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Washington Senators in 1966.
LF David Justice (led Thomas More KY in assists in 1984-85), debuting with the Cleveland Indians, whacked a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh inning in a 9-7 decision over the Oakland A's in 1997.