Seeding Capacity: Kansas Has Been There and Done That as #1 Seed

Former national champions Marquette (38 victories) and Utah (35) have won a significant number of NCAA playoff games yet never received a No. 1 seed since seeding was introduced in 1979. The top spots are old hat for Kansas as the Jayhawks are revisiting the pedestal.

Duke, accorded a No. 1 seed eight times in a nine-year span from 1998 through 2006, was designated as a No. 2 seed this year. KU and Duke are connected with North Carolina and Kentucky as the four universities to be seeded #1 more than 10 times:

14 - North Carolina (1979-82-84-87-91-93-94-97-98-05-07-08-09-12)
12 - Duke (1986-92-98-99-00-01-02-04-05-06-10-11)
11 - Kansas (1986-92-95-97-98-02-07-08-10-11-13)
11 - Kentucky (1980-84-86-93-95-96-97-03-04-10-12)

Recipe for Success: 68 Tips on How to Fill Out Your NCAA Playoff Bracket

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

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

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

CONFERENCE CALL
* Pick at least one Big East team to lose in the opening round.
* Pick at least two teams from the Big Ten and/or SEC to incur opening-round defeats.
* Don't pick a team from the Big South to win a first-round game.
* Don't pick an at-large team with a losing conference record to get beyond the second round.
* Pick at least two ACC teams to reach a regional semifinal and at least one to reach the Final Four.
* If an ACC school (such as Miami) wins both the league's regular-season and tournament titles, pick the team to reach the Final Four.
* Don't be swayed by a postseason conference tournament title or a poor performance in an elite league tourney. Disregard the "hot team" factor because a defeat in a league tournament is often a better motivational tool than a complacency-inducing victory. * Double your pleasure by picking two teams from the same conference to reach the Final Four.
* Don't choose a different member from the same league as the previous year's champion (Kentucky in the SEC) to capture the crown. There has been just seven times in NCAA playoff history for two different schools from the same conference to win the title in back-to-back years - Big Ten (Indiana '40 and Wisconsin '41); ACC (North Carolina '82 and N.C. State '83); Big East (Georgetown '84 and Villanova '85), ACC (Duke '92 and North Carolina '93); ACC (Duke '01 and Maryland '02); Big East (Syracuse '03 and Connecticut '04) and ACC (North Carolina '09 and Duke '10). Three different members from the same alliance capturing the crown over a three-year span has never happened.
* Don't pick an undisputed Big Ten champion (Indiana this year) to reach the Final Four. If the Hoosiers reach the national semifinals, the odds are against them capturing the NCAA championship because none of the first 17 teams to lose at least three times atop the national polls in the same season went on to win the national title (including IU in 1954 and 1993).
* The Big Ten was the nation's premier conference this season but don't get carried away with that credential when picking a national titlist. Only one Big Ten member (Michigan State in 2000) captured an NCAA crown in the previous 23 years.
* Two of your Final Four picks should be teams that didn't finish atop their regular-season conference standings.
* Burnout has a tendency to set in. Remember that the odds are against a conference tournament champion reaching the NCAA Tournament final.
* Don't pick a team to reach the Final Four if it lost in the first round of a postseason conference tournament.
* Don't be too concerned about a regular-season defeat against a conference rival with a losing league record.
* Don't get carried away with the Pac-12 Conference. A Pac-12 team regularly loses an opening-round game to an opponent seeded 12th or worse.
* Don't pick a conference tournament champion winning four games in four nights to reach a regional semifinal.
* Pick one league to have four members reach the regional semifinals. It happened a total of 13 times in a 15-year span from 1989 through 2003.
* Don't be overwhelmed by quantity because six or seven bids for a league is not a recipe for success. Less than half conferences in this category finished with cumulative playoff records better than two games above .500.
* Don't pick a MEAC or SWAC representative to reach the Sweet 16. It has never happened.

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

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

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

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Trivia Time (Day #1)

Is that your final answer? Do you have the wit, guile and endurance to be a "Survivor" answering daily questions about "The Amazing Race" otherwise known as the NCAA Tournament?

Standardized testing is controversial, but it's time to put your NCAA playoff knowledge on the line and attempt a free shot at CollegeHoopedia.com's challenging tourney-time questions (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game). Your "scoring ability" on these one-of-a-kind trivia quizzes will reflect retention of critical knowledge, jogging your memory, exhibiting your lack of attention to detail or revealing once and for all you didn't major in "Hoopology" or take a course in Basketball History 101.

As you're aware, many participants in the NCAA playoffs believe it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Similarly, more and more all-around sports fans probably would pick the Final Four over the World Series and Super Bowl if they were forced to choose one of the prestigious events they could attend.

In accordance with that "one-and-only" theme, here are a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com dealing with the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct PhD degree-like research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia's year-by-year highlights):

1. Name the only NCAA champion to have three players eventually score more than 15,000 points apiece in the NBA. Hint: Each of the trio was named an All-American at least two seasons and helped the school compete in 27 consecutive NCAA playoffs.

2. Name the only NBA team to have two teammates go on to coach teams in the Final Four. Hint: They were among the top three scorers for their team the first three seasons in NBA history. Their team posted the best regular-season record in the league's inaugural campaign and participated in the 1949 NBA Finals.

3. Name the only state currently with at least 10 Division I schools never to send a team to the Final Four. Hint: Just one school from the state won any NCAA playoff games from 1974 through 1996.

4. Who is the only individual to play and coach in both the NCAA and NBA playoffs? Hint: He played for a 28-5 Oregon State playoff team and on the frontline of an NBA champion with Dolph Schayes and Red Kerr. The leading scorer for his NBA playoff team was Gene Shue and the leading scorer for his NCAA tourney team was Bob Nash.

5. Who is the only coach to direct teams to Final Fours in four different decades? Hint: He is the only coach to lose more than seven Final Four games and his first three NCAA Tournament championship games. His Final Four defeats were by an average of 15 points.

6. Name the only school to lose against UCLA as many as four times during the Bruins' 38-game winning streak in the NCAA playoffs from 1964 to 1974. Hint: The subject school is one of six other than UCLA to successfully defend a national championship.

7. Name the only All-American to go winless in more than five NCAA Tournament games. Hint: He played for a school that won the NCAA championship earlier in the decade he appeared in the playoffs.

8. Name the only school to reach the Final Four despite compiling a losing record in conference competition and being eliminated in the first round of its league tournament. Hint: The school's leading scorer that year had the lowest team-leading scoring average of any Final Four team since Kansas '74 had five players average from 11.3 to 12.4 points per game. Moreover, it's the only school to have as many as four at-large bids to the tournament despite compiling losing records in league play.

9. Name the only school to be top-ranked entering back-to-back tournaments but lose both opening playoff games. Hint: Two of the team's starters played more than 10 years in the NBA and one of them was on a third team for the school that lost its opening playoff game as a No. 1 seed. One of the two starters was a consensus national player of the year.

10. Name the only top-ranked team to decline a berth in the NCAA playoffs since the AP started conducting polls in 1949. Hint: The school was unbeaten the year it rejected a bid, defeated the national champion-to-be by 13 points and had only two games closer than a 12-point decision.

Day 1 answers.

Junior Achievement: SFA's Smith is Latest Southland Conference MVP

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

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

Forward Taylor Smith (Stephen F. Austin/Southland) became the latest junior college recruit to join the following alphabetical list of more than 80 players who were MVP/Player of the Year in an NCAA Division I conference:

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

Instant Success: Big 12 Boasts Two Freshmen Among First-Team Choices

In 2003-04, Oral Roberts (16-11 record) became the first school in 73 years to boast two freshmen as all-conference first-team selections in the same season when guard Ken Tutt (20.7) and forward Caleb Green (17.3) combined for 38 points per game. After a fresh pair of first-teamers subsequently surfaced at Ohio State in 2006-07 and Kentucky twice in a three-year span in 2009-10 and 2011-12, it occurred again this year in the Big 12 with Ben McLemore (Kansas) and Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State). Following is a chronological list of leagues to feature a pair of freshmen earning first-team acclaim:

Conference Season First-Team All-League Pair of Freshmen
Rocky Mountain 1930-31 John Kimball (Wyoming) and Les Witte (Wyoming)
Southwest 1945-46 Al Madsen (Texas) and Jackie Robinson (Baylor)
Mid-American 1946-47 Ralph "Buckshot" O'Brien (Butler) and Al Rubenstein (Cincinnati)
West Coast Athletic 1975-76 Winford Boynes (San Francisco) and Clint Richardson (Seattle)
Big Ten 1977-78 Magic Johnson (Michigan State) and Mike McGee (Michigan)
Metro 1981-82 Keith Lee (Memphis State) and John Williams (Tulane)
Southeastern 1989-90 Allan Houston (Tennessee) and Shaquille O'Neal (Louisiana State)
North Atlantic 1992-93 Eddie Benton (Vermont) and Malik Rose (Drexel)
Metro 1994-95 Danny Fortson (Cincinnati) and Lorenzen Wright (Memphis)
Atlantic Coast 1995-96 Antawn Jamison (North Carolina) and Stephon Marbury (Georgia Tech)
Mid-Continent 2003-04 Caleb Green (Oral Roberts) and Ken Tutt (Oral Roberts)
Atlantic Sun 2006-07 James Florence (Mercer) and Jonathan Rodriguez (Campbell)
Big Ten 2006-07 Mike Conley Jr. (Ohio State) and Greg Oden (Ohio State)
Southern 2006-07 Nick Aldridge (Western Carolina) and Stephen Curry (Davidson)
Pacific-10 2007-08 James Harden (Arizona State), Kevin Love (UCLA) and O.J. Mayo (Southern California
Southeastern 2009-10 DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky) and John Wall (Kentucky)
Southeastern 2011-12 Bradley Beal (Florida), Anthony Davis (Kentucky) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)
Big 12 2012-13 Ben McLemore (Kansas) and Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State)

NOTE: Three of the OVC's 10-man all-league team in 1954-55, three of the MAAC's 12-man all-conference squad in 1981-82, and three of the Pacific-10's 10-man all-league squad in 1999-2000 were freshmen.

Why On Earth Does NCAA Allow Sir Charles to Cover Playoff Contests?

Unless Sir Charles can cut through the clutter and adroitly explain much of the inept shooting these days, the truth about NCAA playoff carpetbagger Charles Barkley covering the tourney is that he knows as much about contemporary college basketball as he does playing golf with his herky-jerky swing. At least Barkley called the Pac-12 the Pac-10 rather than the Pac-8. If anything at all, the NCAA should have Barkley restricted to making public service announcements about weight loss, cross-dressing, drinking and gambling.

Barkley, who inspired Auburn to one NCAA Tournament game in three years (an upset loss against Richmond in 1984), is so out of touch regarding the NCAA tourney he doesn't deserve to be ranked among CollegeHoopedia.com's top 40 college commentators. Whether an authentic professional such as CBS' Jim Nantz admits it or not, embarrassing doesn't begin to do justice to him being affiliated in any way with such aimless analysis that even detail-driven Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb won't be able to salvage whether or not they're in the studio with him.

But on second thought, Barkley's background may make him an altar boy compared to ESPN knifing ethics in the back by hiring retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Raymond Lewis as an analyst. Who is next? Has butcher O.J. signed a letter-of-intent (while donning tight-fitting gloves) to align with the Extra Sensitive Pious Network upon leaving prison? The fanfare surrounding O.J.'s return to the booth could duplicate the mental-midget cheering accompanying his acquittal verdict. Instead of 30-to-life, perhaps he and Lewis can co-star in a bloody 30 for 30 scavenger-hunt segment dancin' and runnin' through airport terminals looking for a stained white suit and hidden-for-profit kitchen knife.

Not Good But Good Enough: Liberty Cracks NCAA Tournament Bell

Liberty (15-20) became the 15th school in the last 21 years and 22nd overall to appear in the NCAA Tournament despite entering the playoffs with a losing record. The Flames, posting the 10th worst winning percentage of squads in this category, joined Coppin State '08 (16-20) as the only two teams entering the NCAA tourney with 20 defeats.

The only one of the sub-.500 schools to win two NCAA playoff games was Bradley. The Braves won twice in the 1955 tournament (69-65 over Oklahoma City and 81-79 over SMU) after losing 14 consecutive contests during one stretch in the regular season. Despite the pair of playoff victories, they finished with their worst overall record (9-20) in a 53-year span until going 8-20 in the 1990-91 campaign.

In 1950, Bradley won two games apiece in both the NCAA Tournament and NIT to reach the championship game of both events. The Braves lost against CCNY in each final to finish the season with a 32-5 record under coach Forddy Anderson. Bradley's coach in 1955 was Bob Vanatta. He was in his first of two seasons at the school after succeeding Anderson, who departed for Michigan State after guiding the Braves to a national second-place finish in 1954. Bradley is the only school to go from the Final Four one season to 20 defeats the next year.

Texas, winner of just one non-conference game in the 1973-74 campaign, is the only school with a losing overall record to secure an automatic bid by winning a regular-season league title. Following is a list of the first 21 schools to pollute the NCAA playoffs by entering the tourney sporting an impoverished record:

School W-L Pct. Coach How Team Qualified
Bradley '55 7-19 .269 Bob Vanatta Independent
Oklahoma City '55 9-17 .346 Doyle Parrack Independent
George Washington '61 9-16 .360 Bill Reinhart Won Southern Conference Tournament
Central Florida '96 11-18 .379 Kirk Speraw Won TAAC Tournament
Fairfield '97 11-18 .379 Paul Cormier Won MAAC Tournament
Florida International '95 11-18 .379 Bob Weltlich Won TAAC Tournament
Florida A&M '99 12-18 .400 Mickey Clayton Won MEAC Tournament
Lehigh '85 12-18 .400 Tom Schneider Won East Coast Conference Tournament
Oakland '05 12-18 .400 Greg Kampe Won Mid-Continent Tournament
Liberty '13 15-20 .429 Dale Layer Won Big South Tournament
Coppin State '08 16-20 .444 Fang Mitchell Won MEAC Tournament
East Carolina '93 13-16 .448 Eddie Payne Won Colonial Tournament
Prairie View A&M '98 13-16 .448 Elwood Plummer Won SWAC Tournament
San Jose State '96 13-16 .448 Stan Morrison Won Big West Tournament
UNC Asheville '03 14-17 .452 Eddie Biedenbach Won Big South Tournament
Western Kentucky '12 15-18 .455 Ray Harper Won Sun Belt Tournament
Texas '74 12-14 .461 Leon Black SWC regular-season title
Montana State '86 14-16 .466 Stu Starner Won Big Sky Tournament
Florida A&M '04 14-16 .466 Mike Gillespie Won MEAC Tournament
Siena '02 16-18 .471 Rob Lanier Won MAAC Tournament
Jackson State '97 14-15 .482 Andy Stoglin Won SWAC Tournament
Missouri '78 14-15 .482 Norm Stewart Won Big Eight Tournament

NOTE: District 5 committee restricted to District 5 independents (only two in the district) to fill out 1955 bracket; this rule was changed for the 1956 playoffs.

Regular-season league records of 19 conference tournament champions:

Jumping in Office Pool: Sweet 16 Tips to Chew On About NCAA Playoffs

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

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

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

1. SEEDING CAPACITY
DO pick a top three seeded team to win the national title.
In the first 33 years since the NCAA Tournament embraced seeding, 29 of the champions were seeded No. 1 (18 titlists), 2 (six) or 3 (five). The only championship game without at least one No. 1 or No. 2 seed was 1989, when a pair of No. 3 seeds clashed (Michigan and Seton Hall), until last year when #3 Connecticut opposed #8 Butler.

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

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

DON'T automatically pick a perennial power to defeat a team with a double-digit seed.
More than 100 different coaches have lost at least one tournament game to an opponent with a double-digit seed since the seeding process was introduced. Playoff newcomers shouldn't be shunned if they get any break at all in the seeding process. First-time entrants assert themselves when they receive a decent draw. Of the schools making their tournament debuts since the field expanded to at least 52 teams, almost one-fourth of them survived the first round.

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. MATHEMATICAL ODDS
DO pick two of the ten recognizable schools with the all-time best playoff records to reach the Final Four.
There is a strong possibility some familiar faces will arrive in New Orleans since at least two of the ten winningest schools by percentage (minimum of 40 playoff games) usually appear at the Final Four. The top ten schools are Duke (.756 entering the '12 tourney), UCLA (.730), North Carolina (.724), Florida (.696), Kentucky (.695), Kansas (.693), Michigan State (.684), Michigan (.672), Indiana (.667) and UNLV (.660).

DON'T be too wary of first-rate coaches with dime-store playoff results.
High-profile coaches such as Creighton's Greg McDermott (0-3 tourney mark), Wichita State's Gregg Marshall (1-7), Temple's Fran Dunphy (2-13), North Carolina State's Mark Gottfried (5-7) and Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings (5-7) are occasionally grilled because of their dismal tournament resumes. But they're due to eventually turn things around and shouldn't be written off altogether. Remember: Legendary John Wooden lost his first five playoff games as coach at UCLA by an average of more than 11 points and compiled an anemic 3-9 record from 1950 through 1963 before the Bruins won an unprecedented 10 national titles in 12 years from 1964 through 1975. It doesn't seem possible, but additional elite coaches who didn't win their first NCAA playoff game until their 10th DI season or longer include Dana Altman, Rick Barnes, P.J. Carlesimo, Pete Carril, Bobby Cremins, Tom Davis, Cliff Ellis, Bill E. Foster, Hugh Greer, Leonard Hamilton, Marv Harshman, Terry Holland, Maury John, Mike Krzyzewski, Ralph Miller, Mike Montgomery, Joe Mullaney, Pete Newell, Tom Penders, George Raveling, Kelvin Sampson, Norm Sloan, Butch van Breda Kolff and Ned Wulk.

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

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

8. LOOKING OUT FOR NO. 1
DO look for a school other than the defending champion (Connecticut in 2011) to become national titlist.
Duke was fortunate to repeat in 1992 when they reached the Final Four on Christian Laettner's last-second basket in overtime in the East Regional final against Kentucky. Florida repeated in 2007 despite winning its last five contests by 10 or fewer points.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exercising Patience: Many All-Time Winningest Coaches Erased Shaky Start

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? A significant number of pensive pilots are on the precipice of receiving pink slips from struggling schools. Prior to doing so, the institutions need to reflect a moment on the following alphabetical list of individuals who didn't get off to roaring starts with major colleges but withstood the test of time and became their all-time winningest coaches:

All-Time Winningest Coach School Summary of Shaky Start
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).
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).

Tourney Tidbits: Canny Cliff Clavin's Countrywide Conference Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senior Moments: Little and Big Things a Pensive Parent Needs to Know

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grambling's Gambling at DI Level is Stark Contrast to Previous DII Success

Grambling State, winless this season (0-28 after squandering halftime lead in opening round of SWAC tourney against Alabama A&M) with all of its regular-season defeats by double-digit margins, isn't the only HBCU institution imprisoned at the NCAA Division I level. Most of them are little more than indentured servants doing the bidding of their major university masters almost always getting whipped on the road as picking-on-patsies fodder during non-conference competition.

In a form of "gaming the system," a striking number of power league schools appear as if they want to celebrate Black History Month in advance during their non-conference slates by overdosing on scheduling outmatched opponents from the MEAC and SWAC. Arkansas, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Missouri and Pittsburgh were among the HBCU adjunct members this season.

SWAC member Grambling never has appeared in the NCAA Division I Tournament. It's a stark contrast to the success the Tigers found at the small-college level. Beginning with third-rounder Charles Hardnett in 1962, they supplied one of the top 21 NBA draft picks four consecutive years through 1965. A total of 23 products from historically black colleges and universities now at the NCAA DI level, including eight from Grambling, were among the following top 22 NBA draft choices in a 20-year span from 1957 through 1976:

1957 - Sam Jones (North Carolina Central/8th pick overall) and Bob McCoy (Grambling/10th)
1958 - Ben Swain (Texas Southern/8th)
1959 - Dick Barnett (Tennessee A&I/5th)
1960 - none
1961 - Ben Warley (Tennessee A&I/6th) and Cleo Hill (Winston-Salem State/8th)
1962 - Zelmo Beaty (Prairie View/3rd) and Charles Hardnett (Grambling/21st)
1963 - Hershell West (Grambling/16th)
1964 - Willis Reed (Grambling/10th)
1965 - Wilbert Frazier (Grambling/12th) and Harold Blevins (Arkansas AM&N/17th)
1966 - none
1967 - Earl Monroe (Winston-Salem State/2nd) and James Jones (Grambling/13th)
1968 - none
1969 - Willie Norwood (Alcorn A&M/19th)
1970 - Jake Ford (Maryland State/20th)
1971 - Fred Hilton (Grambling/19th) and Ted McClain (Tennessee State/22nd)
1972 - none
1973 - none
1974 - Truck Robinson (Tennessee State/22nd)
1975 - Marvin Webster (Morgan State/3rd), Eugene Short (Jackson State and Tom Boswell (South Carolina State before transferring to South Carolina/17th)
1976 - Larry Wright (Grambling/14th)

Is it time for HBCU affiliates to return to the DII level? The truth about black crime in basketball is that it's a big sin many observers don't know or can't recall the high degree of success historically-black colleges and universities enjoyed there. It simply isn't going to the back of the bus. For instance, Norfolk State, seeking to go unbeaten in the MEAC, appeared in the NCAA Division II Tournament 10 times in a 12-year span from 1984 until finishing third in the 1995 tourney. The Spartans upset Missouri in last year's NCAA DI playoffs and may get another opportunity this season to become the first HBCU to reach a Sweet 16. Just don't bet on them advancing to Never Never Land.

What many observers should know is seven different historically black colleges and universities advancing to the NCAA DI level captured a total of nine NAIA and NCAA College Division Tournament championships in a 21-year span from 1957 through 1977 (Tennessee State from 1957 through 1959, Grambling '61, Prairie View A&M '62, Winston-Salem State '67, Morgan State '74, Coppin State '76 and Texas Southern '77). Coppin State is the lone school in this group to go on and post a triumph in the NCAA Division I playoffs.

Winson-Salem State saw what life looked like on the DI side of the fence and abandoned ship after only one season. All but two of the 25 HBCUs endured at least one season with 20 defeats in a six-year span from 2003-04 through 2008-09. The pair that emerged unscathed during that stretch were Hampton (worst record was 13-17 in 2003-04) and Norfolk State (11-19 in 2006-07).

Conference members from the Mid-Eastern Athletic and Southwestern Athletic have won only 10% of their NCAA Division I Tournament games. Alcorn State registered the first three of the following modest total of nine HBCU wins over 33 years in the DI tourney (four in preliminary round competition; including Florida A&M's 15-point victory over Lehigh in 2004) since the SWAC and MEAC moved up to the DI level in 1979-80 and 1980-81, respectively:

1980 Midwest First Round: #8 Alcorn State 70 (Baker/Smith game-high 18 points), #9 South Alabama 62 (Rains 22)
1983 Midwest Preliminary Round: Alcorn State 81 (Phelps 18), Xavier 75 (Fleming 16)
1984 Midwest Preliminary Round: Alcorn State 79 (Phelps 21), Houston Baptist 60 (Lavodrama 14)
1993 West First Round: #13 Southern (LA) 93 (Scales 27), #4 Georgia Tech 78 (Mackey 27)
1997 East First Round: #15 Coppin State 78 (Singletary 22), #2 South Carolina 65 (McKie 16)
2001 West First Round: #15 Hampton 58 (Williams 16), #2 Iowa State 57 (Rancik/Shirley 10)
2004 Preliminary Round: Florida A&M 72 (Woods 21), Lehigh 57 (Tempest 13)
2010 Preliminary Round: Arkansas-Pine Bluff 61 (Smith 14), Winthrop 44 (Corbin 13)
2012 West First Round: #15 Norfolk State 86 (O'Quinn 26), #2 Missouri (Dixon 22)

Early Explosion: McLemore May Be KU's First Frosh A-A Since Valentine's Day

Forward Ben McLemore is bound to become Kansas' first freshman All-American since guard Darnell Valentine in 1977-78 after the academic redshirt poured in 36 points against West Virginia, marking the highest-scoring performance by a yearling in KU history. McLemore broke the previous frosh standard set in 1984-85 by eventual national player of the year Danny Manning, the current Tulsa coach who failed to earn All-American acclaim as a first-year player.

McLemore's outburst fell well short of Wilt Chamberlain's school-record 52 points against Northwestern in 1956-57 before freshmen were eligible. Wilt's coming-out party is the only existing single-game scoring record achieved in a varsity debut.

Cliff Clavin knows that Chamberlain scored many of the points in his inaugural against fellow sophomore Joe Ruklick. They would later be NBA teammates after becoming the first two draft choices for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959. Ruklick averaged only 3.5 ppg in his three-year career as Wilt's backup, but supplied one of the most worthy yet long-forgotten assists in hoops history. Ruklick fed Chamberlain a pass in the closing seconds of a memorable March 1, 1962, game in Hershey, Pa., resulting in Wilt scoring his 99th and 100th points of the evening.

One of the single-game scoring marks for an NCAA Division I school set by a freshman goes back more than 90 years and another was set by a current coach in the ACC. Following is a chronological list of the modest number of eight freshmen who established existing school single-game scoring records at the DI level:

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

Valpo Remains Vibrant Cinderella Story Because of Extensive Foreign Aid

The Indiana-based university supplying the nation's premier Cinderella story the past 20 years has been at Valparaiso; not Butler. The institution with a Duke-like SAT average among its students has a reputation as the Midwest's version of an Ivy League school. However, many observers thought it wasn't an intelligent decision for the school to move up to NCAA Division I, especially when the Crusaders compiled losing records each of their first 16 years at the major-college level.

But losing marks are no longer the case. Valpo has maintained one of the most amazing turnarounds over the last couple of decades because blood is thicker than water (Drew family) and the benefits of foreign aid.

The top two scorers and rebounders for this season's Horizon League regular-season champion Valparaiso - Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk - are not North America natives. No school has benefitted more from an influx of foreigners over the years than the Crusaders.

Valpo's spanning-the-globe foreign invasion has included: Lubos Barton (Czech Republic), Ali Berdiel (Puerto Rico), Broekhoff (Australia), Richie Edwards (New Zealand), Antonio Falu (Puerto Rico), Vashil Fernandez (Jamaica), Benjamin Fumey (Germany), Joaquim Gomes (Angola), Raitis Grafs (Latvia), Samuel Haanpaa (Finland), Shawn Huff (Finland), Mohamed Kone (France), Calum MacLeod (New Zealand), Moussa Mbaye (Senegal), Roberto Nieves (Puerto Rico), Stalin Ortiz (Colombia), Marko Punda (Croatia), Michael Rogers (Jamaica), Oumar Sylla (Mali), Van Wijk (Netherlands), Antanas Vilcinskas (Lithuania), Zoran Viskovic (Croatia), Hrvoje Vucic (Croatia), Ivan Vujic (Croatia) and Cameron Witt (Australia).

Barton, Berdiel, Gomes, Grafs, Ortiz and Viskovic were all-conference selections in the Mid-Continent Conference before the school switched to the Horizon League. Other schools that have fortified their rosters with more than a dozen quality foreigners over the years as the new world order unfolds include American University, Davidson, Florida International, George Washington, Hawaii and Saint Mary's.

Broekhoff could join the following alphabetical list of foreigners named Player of the Year/Most Valuable Player in a Division I conference in back-to-back seasons:

Two-Time MVP Pos. College Native Country Conference (Years MVP)
Tim Duncan C Wake Forest Virgin Islands ACC (1996 and 1997)
Patrick Ewing C Georgetown Jamaica Big East (1984 and 1985)
Adonal Foyle C Colgate West Indies Patriot League (1996 and 1997)
Steve Nash G Santa Clara Canada (British Columbia) West Coast (1995 and 1996)
Ugonna Onyekwe F Penn England Ivy League (2002 and 2003)
Artsiom Parakhouski C-F Radford Belarus Big South (2009 and 2010)
Rik Smits C Marist Netherlands Northeast (1987 and 1988)
Ryan Stuart F Northeast Louisiana Bahamas Southland (1992 and 1993)

Zigging and Zagging: Gonzaga Becomes 9th Mid-Major Entering Tourney #1

A weekly ritual began on January 18, 1949, when the Associated Press announced the results of the first weekly basketball poll. Cliff Clavin might be the only individual who knows that St. Louis was ranked atop the initial poll. The Billikens, who have never been a member of a power league, placed third in the final rankings.

We've traversed from one mid-level school all the way to another (Gonzaga). After the Zags won the WCC Tournament, they became the 9th mid-major school entering the NCAA playoffs ranked #1.

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

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

Last of the Unbeatens: MAC Boasts Longest Streak Without Undefeated Team

Indiana, the last NCAA Division I school to go undefeated (32-0 in 1975-76), is also the last team to go unbeaten in Big Ten Conference play. Two other leagues - Mid-American (55 straight years) and Southland (39) - have longer active streaks than the Big Ten without an undefeated team in conference competition. Akron's aspirations of ending the nation's longest streak evaporated when the Zips suffered a setback at Buffalo.

Analyst Dick Vitale, rather than chronically currying favor with the big boys energizing ESPN elitism, should always be promoting the MAC. After all, he has firsthand experience dealing with the league, losing his first six games against MAC members when coaching Detroit.

The Big East Conference, Northeast Conference and Summit League never have had an undefeated club since their alliances were formed in the early 1980s. Following are the longest current streaks of more than 25 years without a team going unbeaten in league competition.

Conference (Years) Last Unbeaten Team in League Play Coach (Overall Record)
Mid-American (55) Miami (Ohio) in 1957-58 Dick Shrider (18-9)
Southland (39)* Arkansas State in 1973-74 John Rose (17-8)
Big Ten (37) Indiana in 1975-76 Bob Knight (32-0)
Pac-12 (35) UCLA in 1977-78 Gary Cunningham (25-3)
Big East (34) None since inaugural year (1979-80) never achieved in league
Northeast (32) None since inaugural year (1981-82) never achieved in league
Summit League (31) None since inaugural year (1982-83) never achieved in league
Colonial (30) William & Mary in 1982-83 Bruce Parkhill (20-9)
Missouri Valley (27) Bradley in 1985-86 Dick Versace (32-3)

*SLC moved up to NCAA Division I level in 1975-76.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah: Indefensible if Akron Doesn't Deserve At-Large Bid

If Akron reaches the Mid-American Conference Tournament final for the seventh consecutive year but loses, it would be a disgrace if the Zips don't receive an at-large invitation to participate in the NCAA playoffs. Akron isn't a Johnny-Come-Lately, earning a distinction as one of only seven programs in the country to compile at least 22 victories the last eight seasons.

The Zips squandered a chance to become the first MAC team in 54 years (since Miami of Ohio in 1957-58) to go undefeated in league competition. But even if they had gone unbeaten in conference play, the "Journey to the Tourney" is a road trip lined with daydreamers and potholes.

Norfolk State became the ninth school to join the following chronological list of members from mid-major leagues to go undefeated in conference round-robin regular-season competition but not participate in the NCAA tourney after losing by a single-digit margin in their league tournament since at-large bids were issued to schools other than loop champions in 1975:

Season School Coach League Record Conference Tournament Setback
1977-78 Lafayette Roy Chipman 10-0 in ECC/West Lost to Temple, 71-70.
1980-81 American Gary Williams 11-0 in ECC/East Lost to St. Joseph's, 63-60.
1981-82 Temple Don Casey 11-0 in ECC/East Lost to Drexel, 61-55.
1982-83 William & Mary Bruce Parkhill 9-0 in ECAC South Lost to James Madison, 41-38.
1993-94 Coppin State Fang Mitchell 16-0 in MEAC Lost to Morgan State, 61-60.
1995-96 Davidson Bob McKillop 14-0 in Southern Lost to Western Carolina, 69-60.
2003-04 Austin Peay Dave Loos 16-0 in Ohio Valley Lost to Murray State, 66-60.
2004-05 Davidson Bob McKillop 16-0 in Southern Lost to UNC Greensboro, 73-68.
2012-13 Norfolk State Anthony Evans 16-0 in MEAC Lost to Bethune-Cookman, 70-68.

On This Date: Memorable March Games in College Basketball History

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

Memorable February Games in College Basketball History

Memorable January Games in College Basketball History

Memorable December Games in College Basketball History

Memorable November Games in College Basketball History

Odds Were Against Hoosiers Hurryin' to Final Four Let Alone NCAA Crown

Someone has to be first but the odds were stacked against Indiana. The Hoosiers, after losing three times this season as the nation's top-ranked team, faced an uphill battle reaching the Final Four, let alone capturing the NCAA championship. IU became the 18th team to lose at least three times atop the national polls in the same campaign and subsequently fail to win the national title (including IU in 1954 and 1993).

Many in the national media simply showed their amateurish historical perspective when they continued to hail the Hoosiers as the best bet to capture the championship. Only four of the first 18 squads in this category reached the Final Four with Michigan '65 and Georgetown '85 succumbing in the national final. Following is a chronological look at NCAA playoff progress for schools with at least three defeats as the nation's top-ranked team in a single season:

Season #1 Three-Time Loser Opponents Beating Same #1 What Happened to #1?
1951-52 Kentucky Minnesota/St. Louis/St. John's UK lost in regional final
1953-54 Indiana Oregon State/Northwestern/Notre Dame IU lost in regional semifinals
1964-65 Michigan* Nebraska/St. John's/Ohio State/UCLA UM lost in national final
1973-74 UCLA Notre Dame/Oregon State/Oregon UCLA lost in national semifinals
1983-84 North Carolina Arkansas/Duke/Indiana UNC lost in regional semifinals
1984-85 Georgetown St. John's/Syracuse/Villanova Hoyas lost in national final
1985-86 North Carolina Virginia/Maryland/North Carolina State UNC lost in regional semifinals
1989-90 Kansas Missouri (twice)/Oklahoma KU lost in NCAA second round
1992-93 Indiana Kansas (twice)/Ohio State IU lost in regional final
1993-94 North Carolina* UMass/Georgia Tech (twice)/Boston College UNC lost in NCAA second round
1997-98 Duke Michigan/North Carolina (twice) Duke lost in regional final
1997-98 North Carolina Maryland/North Carolina State/Utah UNC lost in national semifinals
1999-00 Cincinnati Xavier/Temple/Saint Louis UC lost in NCAA second round
2000-01 Stanford UCLA/Arizona/Maryland Stanford lost in regional final
2001-02 Duke Florida State/Maryland/Indiana Duke lost in regional semifinals
2002-03 Arizona Louisiana State/Stanford/UCLA UA lost in regional final
2005-06 Duke Georgetown/Florida State/North Carolina Duke lost in regional semifinal
2012-13 Indiana Butler/Illinois/Minnesota IU lost in regional semifinal

*Michigan '65 and North Carolina '94 are the only teams to lose four times in a single season when ranked #1.

Misplaced Priorities: Kentucky Can't Take Up Slack for Noel's Knee Injury

Projections go up and down like projectiles. Kentucky, despite the Wildcats' win over an underachieving Missouri club, probably will be the next touted team to fail to live up to preseason hype.

Even with freshman phenom Nerlens Noel in the lineup, this year's Big Blue edition in a mediocre SEC might be one of the five worst Wildcat squads in the last 75 years. With Noel lost for the season because of a knee injury, UK (ranked #3 entering this year) will join the following list of more than 20 disappointing teams, including Michigan State under Tom Izzo three times in an eight-year span from 2003-04 through 2010-11, that were preseason Top 5 selections since 1968-69 but finished out of the AP's final Top 20 poll:

Preseason Top 5 Team Season PS Ranking by AP Coach Record Top Players
Notre Dame 1968-69 4th Johnny Dee 20-7 Austin Carr, Bob Arnzen, Bob Whitmore, Dwight Murphy, Collis Jones and Sid Catlett
Purdue 1969-70 3rd George King 18-6 Rick Mount, Larry Weatherford, George Faerber, Bob Ford, William Franklin and Tyrone Bedford
Southern California 1971-72 3rd Bob Boyd 16-10 Paul Westphal, Joe Mackey, Ron Riley, Dan Anderson and Mike Westra
Florida State 1972-73 2nd Hugh Durham 18-8 Reggie Royals, Lawrence McCray, Otis Cole, Benny Clyde and Otis Johnson
Indiana 1976-77 5th Bob Knight 14-13 Kent Benson, Mike Woodson, Wayne Radford and Derek Holcomb
Kansas 1978-79 5th Ted Owens 18-11 Darnell Valentine, Paul Mokeski, John Crawford, Wilmore Fowler and Tony Guy
DePaul 1984-85 3rd Joey Meyer 19-10 Tyrone Corbin, Kenny Patterson, Dallas Comegys, Marty Embry, Tony Jackson and Kevin Holmes
Indiana 1984-85 4th Bob Knight 19-14 Steve Alford, Uwe Blab, Stew Robinson, Dan Dakich, Delray Brooks and Daryl Thomas
Louisville 1986-87 2nd Denny Crum 18-14 Herbert Crook, Pervis Ellison, Tony Kimbro, Mark McSwain, Keith Williams, Kenny Payne and Felton Spencer
Michigan State 1990-91 4th Jud Heathcote 19-11 Steve Smith, Matt Steigenga, Mike Peplowski and Mark Montgomery
Clemson 1997-98 5th Rick Barnes 18-14 Greg Buckner, Terrell McIntyre, Harold Jamison and Tony Christie
Auburn 1999-2000 4th Cliff Ellis 24-10 Chris Porter, Doc Robinson, Scott Pohlman, Daymeon Fishback, Mamadou N'diaye and Mack McGadney
UCLA 2001-02 5th Steve Lavin 21-12 Jason Kapono, Billy Knight, Matt Barnes, Dan Gadzuric and T.J. Cummings
Arizona 2003-04 4th Lute Olson 20-10 Hassan Adams, Salim Stoudamire, Channing Frye, Andre Iguodala and Mustafa Shakur
Michigan State 2003-04 3rd Tom Izzo 18-12 Paul Davis, Chris Hill, Kelvin Torbert, Maurice Ager and Alan Anderson
Missouri 2003-04 5th Quin Snyder 16-14 Arthur Johnson, Rickey Paulding, Linas Kleiza, Jimmy McKinney, Travon Bryant and Jason Conley
Georgia Tech 2004-05 3rd Paul Hewitt 20-12 Jarrett Jack, B.J. Elder, Will Bynum, Luke Schenscher and Isma'll Muhammad
Michigan State 2005-06 4th Tom Izzo 22-12 Maurice Ager, Paul Davis, Shannon Brown and Drew Neitzel
Louisiana State 2006-07 5th John Brady 17-15 Glen Davis, Tasmin Mitchell, Terry Martin, Garrett Temple and Darnell Lazare
Texas 2009-10 3rd Rick Barnes 24-10 Damion James, Avery Bradley, Dexter Pittman, J'Covan Brown, Gary Johnson and Dogus Balbay
Kansas State 2010-11 3rd Frank Martin 23-11 Jacob Pullen, Rodney McGruder, Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels
Michigan State 2010-11 2nd Tom Izzo 19-15 Kalin Lucas, Draymond Green, Durrell Summers, Delvon Roe and Keith Appling
Connecticut 2011-12 4th Jim Calhoun 20-14 Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Ryan Boatright, Alex Oriakhi, Shabazz Napier, Roscoe Smith, Tony Olander

Power Outages: No Big East Member Has Gone Unbeaten in League Play

Last season, Miami (Fla.) posted its first winning league record since 2001-02 in the Big East Conference. The Hurricanes, a total of 24 games below .500 in their first eight years in the ACC, went unbeaten in league competition this campaign until bowing at Wake Forest.

But the odds were against Miami going without a setback in the ACC. Last year, Kentucky became only the ninth member of a power conference to go undefeated in league play since Bob Knight-coached Indiana in 1975-76 was the nation's last team to go unscathed overall.

The Big Ten Conference hasn't had a team go unbeaten in league competition since IU and the Big East never has had an undefeated club. Kentucky, under three different coaches, supplied three of the following nine teams to go unbeaten in a power alliance in the last 37 years:

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

Lessons Learned: Will All-American Voters Stop Shunning Mid-Major Stars?

It's that time of year when BracketBuster games prove more entertaining than marquee conference contests and schools begin to intensify promotion of All-American candidates. Mid-major players should have a banner year but they need to be wary based on the past performance of low-information voters.

Questioning the qualifications of voters quickly comes to mind when assessing the list of standouts who weren't acknowledged as All-Americans. Despite stellar collegiate careers, including player of the year acclaim in a mid-major conference, a striking number of individuals didn't generate sufficient national recognition to be chosen as an All-American. For instance, Paul Millsap of Louisiana Tech led the nation in rebounding three straight seasons from 2003-04 through 2005-06 but wasn't accorded All-American status. Paul George, Mr. Versatility for Fresno State in 2009-10, was shunned before also going on to become an NBA All-Star like Millsap this year.

The overlooked features two prominent floor generals who went on to lead the NBA in assists a total of 14 times - John Stockton (nine) and two-time MVP Steve Nash (five) - plus Tim Hardaway, who averaged 8.2 apg during his 13-year pro career; Joe Dumars, a six-time NBA All-Star guard and 1989 NBA Finals MVP, and Derek Fisher, who received five championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers in the first decade of the 21st Century. Among shunned frontcourters, two-time conference MVPs Chris Gatling, Brian Grant, Popeye Jones and Rik Smits each played at least 11 seasons in the NBA.

Whether they are coaches who need to come out of the film-watching closet or members of the lame-stream media, many incompetent voters should be deep-sixed for overdosing on the premier leagues while looking condescendingly upon mid-level players. Following is an alphabetical list of Division I conference MVPs left behind in regard to securing All-American status before they enjoyed NBA/ABA careers of at least six seasons:

Player Pos. School Mid-Level Conference League MVP Season(s)
Mark Acres F Oral Roberts Midwestern City 1982-83 and 1983-84
Rick Adelman G Loyola, Calif. West Coast Athletic 1967-68
Jim Ard C Cincinnati Missouri Valley 1969-70
Vin Baker C Hartford North Atlantic 1992-93
Jose Juan Barea G Northeastern Colonial Athletic Association 2005-06
Anthony Carter G Hawaii Western Athletic 1996-97
Terry Catledge F South Alabama Sun Belt 1983-84 and 1984-85
Chris Childs G Boise State Big Sky 1988-89
Doug Christie G-F Pepperdine West Coast 1990-91 and 1991-92
Craig "Speedy" Claxton G Hofstra America East 1997-98 and 1999-2000
Wayne Cooper C New Orleans Sun Belt 1977-78
Antonio Daniels G Bowling Green Mid-American 1996-97
Bryce Drew G Valparaiso Mid-Continent 1996-97 and 1997-98
Joe Dumars G McNeese State Southland 1984-85
Ledell Eackles F New Orleans American South 1987-88
Blue Edwards F East Carolina Colonial Athletic Association 1988-89
Melvin Ely C Fresno State Western Athletic 2000-01 and 2001-02
Derek Fisher G Arkansas-Little Rock Sun Belt 1995-96
Fred Foster F Miami of Ohio Mid-American 1967-68
Winston Garland G Southwest Missouri State Mid-Continent 1986-87
Chris Gatling C-F Old Dominion Sun Belt 1989-90 and 1990-91
Kenny Gattison F Old Dominion Sun Belt 1985-86
Mike Glenn G Southern Illinois Missouri Valley 1975-76
Brian Grant F-C Xavier Midwestern Collegiate 1992-93 and 1993-94
Willie Green G Detroit Horizon League 2002-03
Bob Gross F-G Long Beach State PCAA 1974-75
Tim Hardaway G Texas-El Paso Western Athletic 1988-89
Trenton Hassell F Austin Peay Ohio Valley 2000-01
Armond Hill G Princeton Ivy League 1975-76
Tyrone Hill F-C Xavier Midwestern Collegiate 1989-90
Roy Hinson C Rutgers Atlantic 10 1982-83
Lindsey Hunter G Jackson State Southwestern Athletic 1992-93
Avery Johnson G Southern (LA) Southwestern Athletic 1987-88
Eddie Jones F-G Temple Atlantic 10 1993-94
Ronald "Popeye" Jones C Murray State Ohio Valley 1989-90 and 1990-91
Chris Kaman C Central Michigan Mid-American 2002-03
Joe Kleine C Arkansas Southwest 1984-85
Larry Krystkowiak F Montana Big Sky 1983-84 through 1985-86
Jim Les G Bradley Missouri Valley 1985-86
Reggie Lewis F Boston University ECAC North Atlantic 1984-85 through 1986-87
Grant Long F Eastern Michigan Mid-American 1987-88
Pace Mannion G-F Utah Western Athletic 1982-83
Aaron McKie G Temple Atlantic 10 1992-93
Steve Mix C-F Toledo Mid-American 1968-69
Steve Nash G Santa Clara West Coast 1994-95 and 1995-96
Johnny Newman F Richmond ECAC South 1983-84
Norm Nixon G Duquesne Eastern Collegiate Basketball League 1976-77
Michael Olowokandi C Pacific Big West 1997-98
Anthony Parker G-F Bradley Missouri Valley 1995-96
Robert "Sonny" Parker G-F Texas A&M Southwest 1974-75
Tim Perry F Temple Atlantic 10 1987-88
Kurt Rambis C-F Santa Clara West Coast Athletic 1979-80
Dan Roundfield F Central Michigan Mid-American 1974-75
Brian Shaw G UC Santa Barbara PCAA 1987-88
Reggie Slater C Wyoming Western Athletic 1991-92
Larry Smith F Alcorn State Southwestern Athletic 1979-80
Rik Smits C Marist ECAC Metro 1986-87 and 1987-88
Ricky Sobers G UNLV West Coast Athletic 1974-75
John Stockton G Gonzaga West Coast Athletic 1983-84
Rodney Stuckey G Eastern Washington Big Sky 2005-06
George Trapp F Long Beach State PCAA 1969-70 and 1970-71
Gary Trent F Ohio University Mid-American 1992-93 through 1994-95
Ronny Turiaf F Gonzaga West Coast 2004-05
David Wesley G Baylor Southwest 1991-92

Southland Conference Members Lead Nation in Both Offense and Defense

The statistical standard bearers are based in tongue-twister towns titled Natchitoches (La.) and Nacogdoches (Tex.). Northwestern State (La.) and Stephen F. Austin (Tex.), splitting Southland Conference regular-season and league tourney championships, are polar opposites in style as they lead the nation in team offense and defense, respectively. The only other time two members from the same league paced the country in those categories the same season was 1980-81 when PCAA (now Big West) affiliates UC Irvine (86.4 ppg) and Fresno State (50.7 ppg) finished atop the national rankings.

Stephen F. Austin, the nation's only school yielding fewer than 50 points per game, led the country in team defense two years ago under coach Danny Kaspar. On the other end of the point production spectrum, Northwestern State coach Mike McConathy has firsthand knowledge about scoring prowess, ranking among the nation's top scorers with Louisiana Tech in 1975-76 (15th with 24.7 ppg) and 1976-77 (7th with 27.5 ppg). He scored more than 40 points in each of two different games against Northwestern State as a senior after pouring in a school-record 47 against Lamar as a junior.

McConathy comes from a family with a hoop legacy. His father, Johnny, earned small-college All-American honors with the Demons in 1951 when he set a school single-season scoring record by averaging 21.6 ppg before competing in 11 games with the Milwaukee Hawks. Mike also has two uncles, George and Leslie, enshrined in the university's Graduate 'N' Club Hall of Fame in recognition of their basketball exploits in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Mike was in the same graduating class at Tech with UC Riverside coach Jim Wooldridge and Texas-El Paso coach Tim Floyd, who played in only one varsity game for the Bulldogs. Floyd was McConathy's roommate.

McConathy coached Bossier Parish Community College (La.) for 16 seasons in the same gymnasium where he played in high school. He is one of the following 39 active coaches who were all-conference first-team selections in a Division I alliance:

Active Coach Current School Alma Mater Conference All-League Honors
Steve Alford New Mexico Indiana Big Ten 1984, 1986 and 1987 (1st); 1985 (2nd)
Jerome Allen Penn Penn Ivy League 1993 through 1995 (1st)
Tony Bennett Virginia Wisconsin-Green Bay Mid-Continent 1990 through 1992 (1st); 1989 (2nd)
Eddie Biedenbach UNC Asheville North Carolina State ACC 1966 and 1968 (1st)
Larry Brown Southern Methodist North Carolina ACC 1963 (1st); 1962 (2nd)
Milan Brown Holy Cross Howard University MEAC 1993 (1st)
Paul Courtney Cornell Bucknell Patriot League 1991 and 1992 (1st)
Gravelle Craig Bethune-Cookman Cleveland State Mid-Continent 1993 (1st); 1992 (2nd)
Johnny Dawkins Stanford Duke ACC 1985 and 1986 (1st); 1983 and 1984 (2nd)
Billy Donovan Florida Providence Big East 1987 (1st); 1986 (3rd)
Bryce Drew Valparaiso Valparaiso Mid-Continent 1996 through 1998 (1st); 1995 (2nd)
Geno Ford Bradley Ohio University Mid-American 1997 (1st); 1996 (2nd)
Fred Hoiberg Iowa State Iowa State Big Eight 1995 (1st); 1994 (2nd)
George Ivory Arkansas-Pine Bluff Mississippi Valley State SWAC 1987 (1st)
Lewis Jackson Alabama State Alabama State SWAC 1983 and 1984 (1st)
Sydney Johnson Fairfield Princeton Ivy League 1996 and 1997 (1st)
Andy Kennedy Mississippi UAB Sun Belt 1991 (1st); 1990 (2nd)
Lon Kruger Oklahoma Kansas State Big Eight 1973 and 1974 (1st); 1972 (2nd)
Larry Krystkowiak Utah Montana Big Sky 1984 through 1986 (1st)
Matt Langel Colgate Penn Ivy League 2000 (1st)
Jim Les UC Davis Bradley Missouri Valley 1986 (1st)
Danny Manning Tulsa Kansas Big Eight 1986 through 1988 (1st); 1985 (2nd)
Cuonzo Martin Tennessee Purdue Big Ten 1994 and 1995 (1st)
Ray McCallum Detroit Ball State Mid-American 1981 through 1983 (1st); 1980 (2nd)
Mike McConathy Northwestern State Louisiana Tech Southland 1976 and 1977 (1st); 1975 (2nd)
Chris Mooney Richmond Princeton Ivy League 1993 (1st); 1994 (2nd)
Stew Morrill Utah State Gonzaga Big Sky 1974 (1st)
Louis Orr Bowling Green State Syracuse Big East 1980 (1st)
Craig Robinson Oregon State Princeton Ivy League 1982 and 1983 (1st); 1981 (2nd)
Bennie Seltzer Samford Washington State Pacific-10 1993 (1st)
Dave Simmons McNeese State Louisiana Tech Southland 1981 (1st); 1979 and 1980 (2nd)
Marty Simmons Evansville Evansville Midwestern Collegiate 1987 and 1988 (1st)
Bob Thomason Pacific Pacific WCAC 1971 (1st)
Brooks Thompson Texas-San Antonio Oklahoma State Big Eight 1994 (1st)
Andy Toole Robert Morris Penn Ivy League 2002 (1st); 2003 (2nd)
Rex Walters San Francisco Kansas Big Eight 1992 and 1993 (1st)
Brian Wardle Green Bay Marquette C-USA 2001 (1st); 2000 (2nd)
Corliss Williamson Central Arkansas Arkansas SEC 1994 and 1995 (1st)
C.Y. Young Georgia Southern Georgia Southern Southern and TAAC 1994 (1st); 1992 and 1993 (2nd)

McConathy was a fourth-round NBA draft choice by the Chicago Bulls. Following is an alphabetical list of the 33 active DI coaches selected in an NBA draft (including 12 in the first or second round):

Division I Coach Current School NBA Team Draft Year Round
Steve Alford New Mexico Dallas Mavericks 1987 2nd
Jerome Allen Penn Minnesota Timberwolves 1995 2nd
Tommy Amaker Harvard Seattle SuperSonics 1987 3rd
Tony Benford North Texas Boston Celtics 1986 4th
Tony Bennett Virginia Charlotte Hornets 1992 2nd
Eddie Biedenbach UNC Asheville Los Angeles Lakers 1968 4th
Larry Brown Southern Methodist Baltimore Bullets 1963 7th
Johnny Dawkins Stanford San Antonio Spurs 1986 1st
Howie Dickenman Central Connecticut State Phoenix Suns 1969 17th
Jamie Dixon Pittsburgh Washington Bullets 1987 7th
Billy Donovan Florida Utah Jazz 1987 3rd
Bryce Drew Valparaiso Houston Rockets 1998 1st
Mark Gottfried North Carolina State Detroit Pistons 1987 7th
Fred Hoiberg Iowa State Indiana Pacers 1995 2nd
Lewis Jackson Alabama State Golden State Warriors 1984 3rd
Clemon Johnson Florida A&M Portland Trail Blazers 1978 2nd
Jeff Jones American University Indiana Pacers 1982 4th
Lon Kruger Oklahoma Atlanta Hawks 1974 9th
Larry Krystkowiak Utah Chicago Bulls 1986 2nd
Jim Larranaga Miami (Fla.) Detroit Pistons 1971 6th
Jim Les UC Davis Atlanta Hawks 1986 3rd
Danny Manning Tulsa Los Angeles Clippers 1988 1st
Cuonzo Martin Tennessee Atlanta Hawks 1995 2nd
Ray McCallum Detroit Indiana Pacers 1983 8th
Mike McConathy Northwestern State Chicago Bulls 1977 4th
Fran O'Hanlon Lafayette Philadelphia 76ers 1970 8th
Louis Orr Bowling Green Indiana Pacers 1980 2nd
Buzz Peterson UNC Wilmington Cleveland Cavaliers 1985 7th
Joseph Price Grambling State Washington Bullets 1986 7th
Oliver Purnell DePaul Milwaukee Bucks 1975 6th
Craig Robinson Oregon State Philadelphia 76ers 1983 4th
Lorenzo Romar Washington Golden State Warriors 1980 7th
Corliss Williamson Central Arkansas Sacramento Kings 1995 1st

National Scoring Leader Erick Green of VT Gropes With Highs and Lows

Seth Greenberg missed out on a couple of sizzling scorers for Virginia Tech when he failed to successfully recruit the sons of Gobblers great Dell Curry. Stephen Curry (Davidson) and Seth Curry (Liberty/Duke) are the highest-scoring brother tandem in NCAA Division I history. But amid the mess Greenberg left behind for ACC cellar dweller VT when he was fired as coach after last season is guard Erick Green.

Green is set to become the first player in 19 years from a power six conference to lead the nation in scoring. Glenn Robinson Jr. (30.3 ppg for Purdue in 1993-94) is the only player from a power six league to pace the country in scoring in the previous 41 campaigns.

If Green slumps down the stretch, he could finish with the lowest average for the national scoring leader since Yale's Tony Lavelli posted 22.4 points per game in 1948-49. Following is a look at the high and low games for players during the season when they led NCAA Division I in scoring average:

Year Leading Scorer School Avg. High Game Low Game
1936 Hank Luisetti Stanford 14.3 31 (Utah State)
1937 Hank Luisetti Stanford 17.1 unavailable
1938 Chester Jaworski Rhode Island State 21.0 unavailable
1939 Chester Jaworski Rhode Island State 22.6 unavailable
1940 Stan Modzelewski Rhode Island State 23.1 40 (Connecticut)
1941 Stan Modzelewski Rhode Island State 18.5 unavailable
1942 Stan Modzelewski Rhode Island State 21.4 unavailable
1943 George Senesky St. Joseph's 23.4 44 (Rutgers-Newark) 4 (Elizabethtown)
1944 Ernie Calverley Rhode Island State 26.7 48 (Maine)
1945 George Mikan DePaul 23.3 53 (Rhode Island State)
1946 George Mikan DePaul 23.1 37 (Indiana State)
1947 Bob Brown Miami (Ohio) 19.9 39 (Evansville)
1948 Murray Wier Iowa 21.0 34 (Illinois) 5 (Purdue)
1949 Tony Lavelli Yale 22.4 52 (Williams) 8 (Stanford/Villanova)
1950 Paul Arizin Villanova 25.3 41 (Seton Hall)
1951 Bill Mlkvy Temple 29.2 73 (Wilkes)
1952 Clyde Lovellette Kansas 28.4 44 (St. Louis) 13 (Iowa State)
1953 Frank Selvy Furman 29.5 63 (Mercer) 15 (Manhattan)
1954 Frank Selvy Furman 41.7 100 (Newberry) 25 (Newberry)
1955 Darrell Floyd Furman 35.9 67 (Morehead State) 20 (Newberry/Washington & Lee)
1956 Darrell Floyd Furman 33.8 62 (The Citadel) 18 (Davidson)
1957 Grady Wallace South Carolina 31.2 54 (Georgia) 14 (North Carolina State)
1958 Oscar Robertson Cincinnati 35.1 56 (Seton Hall/Arkansas) 16 (Drake)
1959 Oscar Robertson Cincinnati 32.6 45 (NYU) 13 (Houston)
1960 Oscar Robertson Cincinnati 33.7 62 (North Texas) 13 (Duquesne)
1961 Frank Burgess Gonzaga 32.4 52 (UC Davis)
1962 Billy McGill Utah 38.8 60 (Brigham Young)
1963 Nick Werkman Seton Hall 29.5 42 (St. Francis PA) 11 (Boston College)
1964 Howard Komives Bowling Green State 36.7 50 (Niagara) 25 (Toledo)
1965 Rick Barry Miami (fl) 37.4 59 (Rollins FL) 17 (Florida State)
1966 Dave Schellhase Purdue 32.5 57 (Michigan) 23 (UCLA)
1967 Jimmy Walker Providence 30.4 47 (Holy Cross) 5 (Villanova)
1968 Pete Maravich Louisiana State 43.8 59 (Alabama) 17 (Tennessee)
1969 Pete Maravich Louisiana State 44.2 66 (Tulane) 20 (Tennessee)
1970 Pete Maravich Louisiana State 44.5 69 (Alabama) 20 (Georgetown/Marquette)
1971 Johnny Neumann Mississippi 40.1 63 (Louisiana State) 17 (Louisiana State)
1972 Dwight "Bo" Lamar Southwestern Louisiana 36.3 51 (Louisiana Tech/Lamar)
1973 William "Bird" Averitt Pepperdine 33.9 57 (Nevada-Reno) 10 (Clemson)
1974 Larry Fogle Canisius 33.4 55 (St. Peter's) 18 (South Carolina)
1975 Bob McCurdy Richmond 32.9 53 (Appalachian State)
1976 Marshall Rogers Texas-Pan American 36.8 58 (Texas Lutheran)
1977 Freeman Williams Portland State 38.8 71 (Southern Oregon) 11 (Gonzaga)
1978 Freeman Williams Portland State 35.9 81 (Rocky Mountain MT) 14 (New Mexico)
1979 Lawrence Butler Idaho State 30.1 41 (SDSU/Boise State/UNLV) 12 (Georgia)
1980 Tony Murphy Southern 32.1 50 (Mississippi Valley State)
1981 Zam Fredrick South Carolina 28.9 43 (Georgia Southern)
1982 Harry Kelly Texas Southern 29.7 51 (Texas College)
1983 Harry Kelly Texas Southern 28.8 60 (Jarvis Christian TX)
1984 Joe Jakubick Akron 30.1 42 (Illinois-Chicago) unavailable
1985 Xavier McDaniel Wichita State 27.2 44 (West Texas State) 13 (Ohio University)
1986 Terrance Bailey Wagner 29.4 49 (Brooklyn) 15 (Fairleigh Dickinson)
1987 Kevin Houston Army 32.9 53 (Fordham) 18 (Holy Cross)
1988 Hersey Hawkins Bradley 36.3 63 (Detroit) 17 (Tulsa)
1989 Hank Gathers Loyola Marymount 32.7 49 (Nevada) 22 (Pepperdine)
1990 Greg "Bo" Kimble Loyola Marymount 35.3 54 (St. Joseph's) 21 (UNLV/Gonzaga)
1991 Kevin Bradshaw U.S. International 37.6 72 (Loyola Marymount)
1992 Brett Roberts Morehead State 28.1 53 (Middle Tennessee State)
1993 Greg Guy Texas-Pan American 29.3 38 (Jacksonville) 13 (Lamar)
1994 Glenn Robinson Jr. Purdue 30.3 49 (Illinois) 15 (Wisconsin)
1995 Kurt Thomas Texas Christian 28.9 45 (Illinois-Chicago) 13 (Virginia Tech)
1996 Kevin Granger Texas Southern 27.0 unavailable
1997 Charles Jones Long Island 30.1 46 (St. Francis PA) 16 (UAB)
1998 Charles Jones Long Island 29.0 53 (Medgar Evers NY) 16 (Mount St. Mary's)
1999 Alvin Young Niagara 25.1 44 (Siena) 3 (Iona)
2000 Courtney Alexander Fresno State 24.8 43 (UAB) 11 (Wisconsin)
2001 Ronnie McCollum Centenary 29.1 44 (Northwestern State) 14 (Louisiana State)
2002 Jason Conley Virginia Military 29.3 42 (Western Carolina) 17 (Eastern Mennonite VA)
2003 Ruben Douglas New Mexico 28.0 43 (Wyoming) 12 (Pepperdine)
2004 Keydren Clark St. Peter's 26.7 39 (Hofstra) 17 (Loyola/BSC/Niagara)
2005 Keydren Clark St. Peter's 25.8 43 (College Of Charleston) 14 (Tennessee Tech/Rider)
2006 Adam Morrison Gonzaga 28.1 44 (Loyola Marymount) 11 (San Diego)
2007 Reggie Williams Virginia Military 28.1 45 ((Virginia Intermont) 9 (Army)
2008 Reggie Williams Virginia Military 27.8 43 (Southern Virginia) 10 (Richmond)
2009 Stephen Curry Davidson 28.6 44 (Oklahoma/North Carolina State) 0 (Loyola MD)
2010 Aubrey Coleman Houston 25.6 38 (Tulane) 10 (Texas-San Antonio)
2011 Jimmer Fredette Brigham Young 28.9 52 (New Mexico) 13 (Creighton/Fresno Pacific)
2012 Reggie Hamilton Oakland 26.2 41 (Valparaiso) 11 (Arkansas)

NOTE: Leaders are unofficial from 1935-36 through 1946-47.

When Will Donovan, Few and/or Ryan Finally Become National Coach of Year?

Incredibly, active coaches Billy Donovan (Florida), Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin) never have been named national coach of the year by a major award.

If voters don't finally see the light, this terrific active trio could eventually join Gary Williams, Maryland's all-time winningest coach who guided the Terrapins to the 2002 NCAA title during a span when he became the only mentor ever to defeat the nation's top-ranked team in four straight seasons (2000-01 through 2003-04), in a difficult-to-believe category. Williams never was courted as national COY by one of the major awards, joining other NCAA championship coaches such as Denny Crum, Joe B. Hall, Don Haskins, Rollie Massimino and Jim Valvano with this dubious distinction.

Some of the overlooked marquee mentors probably will stun you. Following is an alphabetical list of high-profile retired coaches who never received one of the five major national coach of the year awards since 1955 despite their significant achievements:

Dave Bliss - Compiled a total of 14 20-win seasons with three different schools.

Dale Brown - Led LSU to 15 consecutive postseason tournaments (1979 through 1993) en route to becoming the second-winningest coach in SEC history at the time (behind Adolph Rupp) in both overall and SEC games.

Vic Bubas - Guided Duke to NCAA Tournament Final Four appearances three times in a four-year span from 1963 through 1966.

Pete Carril - Never incurred a losing record in 29 seasons with Princeton from 1968 through 1996.

Gale Catlett - Went his first 23 seasons without a losing record with Cincinnati and West Virginia; participated in nine consecutive national postseason tournaments in the 1980s.

Denny Crum - Won 15 regular-season conference championships in the Missouri Valley and Metro in his first 23 seasons with Louisville; only coach to twice win conference and NCAA tournaments in the same year (1980 and 1986).

Don DeVoe - Compiled a total of 12 20-win seasons with three different schools.

Don Donoher - One of first 10 coaches to take his first three teams to the NCAA playoffs guided his first seven Dayton clubs to national postseason competition; posted double digits in victories all 25 seasons.

Lefty Driesell - One of only three different coaches to guide four different schools to the NCAA playoffs; captured conference tournament titles in four different leagues; only coach to win more than 100 games for four different schools en route to total of 786 victories; had 14 final Top 20 rankings.

Hugh Durham - One of only three coaches in NCAA history to win at least 225 games for two Division I schools, directing both Florida State and Georgia to the Final Four.

Bill C. Foster - Only six losing records in 25 seasons at the Division I level with UNC Charlotte, Clemson, Miami (FL) and Virginia Tech.

Jack Gardner - Only coach to direct two different schools to the Final Four at least twice apiece.

Pete Gillen - Remarkable run with Xavier (winning five Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament titles in six-year span from 1986 through 1991) before posting 20-win seasons with Providence in the Big East and Virginia in the ACC.

Joe B. Hall - Averaged 23 victories annually in 13 seasons with Kentucky, reaching championship game in either NCAA Tournament or NIT three times in a four-year span from 1975 through 1978.

Don Haskins - Captured four Western Athletic Conference Tournament championships with Texas-El Paso in a seven-year span from 1984 through 1990 while winning more than 20 games each of those seasons; compiled a total of 17 20-win campaigns.

Lou Henson - Compiled only one losing record in his last 22 years with Illinois and New Mexico State; finished in first division of the Big Ten Conference nine straight seasons.

Terry Holland - Averaged 20 victories annually in 21 seasons with Davidson and Virginia.

Harry Litwack - Finished third with Temple in three consecutive national postseason tournaments (1956 and 1958 in NCAA and 1957 in NIT). Posted only one losing record in 21 seasons with the Owls through 1973.

Rollie Massimino - Averaged more than 20 victories annually in the 1980s; participated in 14 consecutive national postseason tournaments with Villanova and UNLV before coaching at small-school level in Florida.

Ray Mears - Finished lower than third place in SEC standings with Tennessee just once in his final 14 seasons from 1964 through 1977.

Shelby Metcalf - Averaged 18.6 victories annually with Texas A&M in an 18-year span from 1971-72 through 1988-89.

Eldon Miller - Won more than 20 games with three different DI schools (Western Michigan, Ohio State and Northern Iowa).

Joe Mullaney - Reached the 20-win plateau nine straight seasons from 1958-59 through 1966-67, directing Providence to the NIT semifinals four times in the first five years of that stretch; won more than two-thirds of his games with the Friars decided by fewer than five points.

C.M. Newton - Posted at least 22 victories with Alabama six times in the last seven seasons of the 1970s.

Dave Odom - Won 20 or more games 10 times in a 14-year span from 1992-93 through 2005-06 with Wake Forest and South Carolina.

Ted Owens - Finished first or second in Big Eight Conference standings each of his first seven seasons with Kansas from 1965 through 1971.

Tom Penders - Won at least 20 games with three different schools (Rhode Island, Texas and George Washington) a total of 10 times in a 13-year span from 1987 through 1999 before winning more than 20 games three times in six seasons with Houston.

Jack Ramsay - Worst record in 11 seasons with St. Joseph's was an 18-10 mark.

Wimp Sanderson - Won five SEC Tournament titles with Alabama, including three in a row from 1989 through 1991.

Fred Schaus - Won Southern Conference Tournament championships each of his six seasons with West Virginia from 1955 through 1960 before posting winning records in Big Ten competition all six years with Purdue.

Roy Skinner - Compiled only one losing record in 16 seasons with Vanderbilt.

Billy Tubbs - Directed Oklahoma to 12 consecutive 20-win seasons, a Big Eight Conference best; took the Sooners to national postseason play his last 13 years with them before moving on to TCU and Lamar.

Jim Valvano - Guided Iona to a school-record 29 victories in 1979-80 before winning at least 18 games each of his last nine seasons with North Carolina State from 1982 through 1990.

Gary Williams - All-time winningest coach for Maryland directed 13 teams to Top 20 finishes in final polls, including a couple of them with Boston College.

Ned Wulk - All-time winningest coach for Arizona State finished atop conference standings in six of his first seven seasons with the Sun Devils.

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