FIU Craved National Attention but `Zeke' was a Zero as College Coach

When Isiah Thomas was hired by budget-busted FIU (don't call us Florida International), "Zeke" said with his trademark engaging smile he would coach his first collegiate season for free. Based on the ensuing not-worth-a-nickel results (26-65, .286), he should have also coached gratis the next two years before parting ways with the less-than-Golden Panthers.

Hiring Thomas, a 12-time NBA All-Star with the Detroit Pistons, was the ultimate desperate move for attention - good, bad or ugly; mainly bad and ugly. It occurred not long after a jury decided in the fall of 2007 that Thomas sexually harassed a former New York Knicks team executive, subjecting the former Northwestern women's basketball player to unwanted advances and a barrage of vulgarity (Madison Square Garden eventually settled with the married mother of three for $11.5 million and Thomas maintained his innocence). Thomas, in a deposition he claims was edited in a manner misconstruing his remarks, said it is more offensive for a white man to call a black woman a _itch than for a black man to use the same insult describing the same female.

Smiling or not, Thomas can't possibly plead innocent to his black-and-white anemic record with FIU being even worse than his 56-108 mark as coach of the Knicks in his two seasons with them in 2006-07 and 2007-08 amid the tawdry trial. Previously, the CBA almost disbanded after Thomas purchased the minor league before selling his interest in 2000. CBA executives said Thomas was "rude. . . . very poor business person. . . . doesn't listen to people. . . . makes poor decisions."

At this stage, FIU resembles the McDonald's worker who claims she lost the winning Mega Millions ticket. Hitching its wagon to Thomas, who failed to generate any meaningful increase in attendance and seemed more interested in trying to keep his ties with the NBA as a Knicks consultant before backing off, made it the acronym equivalent to Foolish Idolatry U.

Prior to delusionally handing control over to the culture of personality, FIU and other schools should realize that Indiana's Branch McCracken is the only one of the following 47 All-Americans who became major-college mentors to compile a higher winning percentage as a coach:

All-American (School; Winning Mark as Player) Coaching Career Summary (Winning Mark at DI Level)
*Steve Alford (Indiana; .724) SW Missouri State/Iowa/New Mexico (.634)
*Tommy Amaker (Duke; .783) Seton Hall/Michigan/Harvard (.579)
Forrest "Whitey" Baccus (SMU; .580) Southern Methodist (.437)
Alfred "Butch" Beard (Louisville; .783) Howard/Morgan State (.326)
Henry Bibby (UCLA; .967) Southern California (.526)
Charles "Tub" Bradley (Wyoming; .616) Loyola Marymount (.244)
Gary Brokaw (Notre Dame; .746) Iona (.493)
Bob Calihan (Detroit; .714) Detroit (.559)
Ernie Calverley (Rhode Island State; .807) Rhode Island (.552)
Tom Churchill (Oklahoma; .725) New Mexico (.627)
Jimmy Collins (New Mexico State; .841) Illinois-Chicago (.512)
Bob Cousy (Holy Cross; .839) Boston College (.750)
Howie Dallmar (Stanford/Penn; .714) Penn/Stanford (.534)
*Johnny Dawkins (Duke; .714) Stanford (.560)
Clyde Drexler (Houston; .794) Houston (.328)
Larry Finch (Memphis State; .750) Memphis State (.629)
Tom Gola (La Salle; .856) La Salle (.740)
Jack Gray (Texas; .765) Texas (.667)
Sidney Green (UNLV; .719) Florida Atlantic (.309)
Clem Haskins (Western Kentucky; .851) Western Kentucky/Minnesota (.585)
Walt Hazzard (UCLA; .773) UCLA (.621)
Moose Krause (Notre Dame; .818) Holy Cross/Notre Dame (.637)
Mark Macon (Temple; .729) Binghamton (.247)
Kyle Macy (Kentucky; .752) Morehead State (.424)
*Danny Manning (Kansas; .769) Tulsa (TBD)
Willie McCarter (Drake; .646) Detroit (.407)
E. "Branch" McCracken (Indiana; .588) Indiana (.677)
Banks McFadden (Clemson; .603) Clemson (.394)
Sidney Moncrief (Arkansas; .836) UALR (.143)
Jeff Mullins (Duke; .849) UNC Charlotte (.562)
Jim O'Brien (Boston College; .641) St. Bonaventure/Boston College/Ohio State (.547)
John Oldham (Western Kentucky; .887) Tennessee Tech/Western Kentucky (.679)
Barry Parkhill (Virginia; 620) William & Mary (.387)
Jeff Ruland (Iona; .773) Iona (.507)
Tom "Satch" Sanders (NYU; .662) Harvard (.430)
Harv Schmidt (Illinois; .742) Illinois (.536)
Frank Selvy (Furman; .738) Furman (.427)
John Shumate (Notre Dame; .746) Southern Methodist (.398)
Bob Spessard (Washington & Lee; .762) Washington & Lee (.455)
Isiah Thomas (Indiana; .734) Florida International (.286)
John Thompson Jr. (Providence; .800) Georgetown (.714)
Monte Towe (North Carolina State; .919) New Orleans (.473)
Lou Watson (Indiana; .607) Indiana (.508)
Paul Westphal (Southern California; .744) Pepperdine (.514)
*Corliss Williamson (Arkansas; .817) Central Arkansas (.224)
John Wooden (Purdue; .840) UCLA (.808)
Tony Yates (Cincinnati; .921) Cincinnati (.412)

*Active coaches.

Tweety Blurbs From the Fan Cave: Hot Topics in College Basketball

Many tweets convey more than we want to know such as when and how long you were in the bathroom enabling you to feel like you're entitled to a brand new wardrobe. On the other hand, concise capsules can quickly get to the heart of a subject.

Following is a regurgitation of pithy postings of up to 140 characters summarizing this season after they were designed to "tell it the way it is" and trigger some watercooler cussin' and discussin':

  • Jim Boeheim's money-motivated defense of 'Cuse Abuse sure isn't "fine" when considering "high" number of suspect students he recruited.

  • Need for eye exams may explain Syracuse's previous faulty free-throw shooting if players had inappropriate relations with ex-Orange aide wife.

  • Is accuser Bobby Davis lying about him being noticed in Bernie Fine's road hotel room or will SU Coach Boeheim have more backtracking to do?

  • Boeheim's 850-plus wins for alma mater is amazing when one considers Miami of Ohio's Charlie Coles was active runner-up with 250 before retiring.

  • Hugs Thugs mentality must still exist at Cincinnati for coach Mick Cronin, a former aide under Bob Huggins' parade of pestilent UC players.

  • UC Coach Mick Cronin's post-melee speech was Xcellent. But the problem is he recruited the UFC tryouts strutting their "Want Some?" stuff.

  • To a certain degree, the televised UC-Xavier fisticuffs were blown out of proportion. There was plenty of blood shed in pre-ESPN donnybrooks.

  • Dicky V's four-year stint at Detroit is vastly overblown. UD's court should be named after an A-A such as Dave DeBusschere or Spencer Haywood.

  • Is Dicky V finally off Pitt's bandwagon proclaiming the Panthers will overcome an 0-7 start in Big East play and reach the NCAA playoffs?

  • Whenever NFL analyst Mike Ditka shows some passion, one can't help but wonder how "hard" his picks were while playing basketball for Pitt.

  • ESPN's farming out of NBA analysts to college games during the pro lockout was a disaster. They resembled know-nothing, union-busting scabs.

  • Occasionally condescending Dookie Jay Bilas needs to refrain from infatuation with wingspan during his normally commendable commentary.

  • Jay Bilas is nation's premier hoop analyst but year late in his support of mid-major Wichita State. An apology to VCU is also still in order.

  • ESPN should give Joe Lunardi a shot as a game analyst rather than limiting him to racket as Walmart-like greeter citing first in/first out.

  • Whether they're female eye candy or not, most of the TV sideline reporters are virtually worthless in futile bids to offer incisive input.

  • Curing cancer is fantastic but ESPN should tone down its fawning over Jim Valvano, a PTP (Placed Twice on Probation) coach for Iona & NCSU.

  • Neither Carolina nor Indiana will be "all they can be" until the Zeller brothers hit the weight room and quit being stripped inside so often.

  • Illinois would be a lock for Big Ten first division if promising center Meyers Leonard was used properly by running offense through him down low.

  • Butler can bounce back next year if Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke is unleashed. Long-range bomber could become the Bulldogs' first A-A.

  • Kansas can't keep whining via caustic comments about scheduling Mizzou if the Jayhawks also won't extend similar welfare to Wichita State.

  • Is KU selfless or self-centered? It's disconcerting that the Jayhawks' freshman class was littered with marginal academic credentials.

  • UK might have still won NCAA title if Terrence Jones turned pro early. He clearly shouldn't have been selected as SEC preseason player of year.

  • Coach Cal will need to change his last name to Calicrapi if UK joins two previous outposts (UMass and Memphis) as schools vacating NCAA play.

  • Uneasy about Pitino's HOF nomination so soon after Slick Rick moonlighted as porn star satisfying his appetite in a restaurant. Did this go on at UK, too?

  • Cuonzo Martin inherited a "Rocky Top" mess from Bruce Pearl. Hope Martin doesn't get so upset he forgets what his home looks like inside.

  • A Temptations tune "Ball of Confusion" comes to mind each time Mississippi State's Renardo Sidney is tempted to get his grey matter in gear.

  • If some of brightest coaching minds were conned out of $50M by an AAU guru, then how do we expect immature teenagers to cope with such fraud?

  • The public can be fooled occasionally but UConn's conniving under Jim Calhoun claiming its roster has textbook student-athletes is laughable.

  • Frustrated fans complain about the chemistry among UConn's players but some observers wonder if any of them ever took a legit Chemistry course.

  • Andre Drummond's scoreless game for UConn vs. Columbia duplicated debut goose eggs by Tim Duncan (Alaska-Anchorage) and David Robinson (Yale).

  • Notre Dame deserves plaudits for success sans Tim Abromaitis but it stems more than anything from Big East being way down from a year ago.

  • Only three years removed from a Final Four, Villanova might be worst team this season among the six Philly universities (Big 5 plus Drexel).

  • Excluding Syracuse, the first division of the underrated Atlantic 10 Conference is as competent as the first division of the Big East.

  • Is it political correctness run amok to give Oregon State coach Craig Robinson a benefit of the doubt because he is POTUS's brother-in-law?

  • If ex-Weber State coach Ben Howland can guide UCLA to three straight Final Fours, why didn't NBA-crazed Utah lure Randy Rahe away from Weber?

  • Did you know ex-Arizona mentor Fred Snowden is only black coach to win at least 60% of 100 or more DI games decided by fewer than 6 points?

  • No way former A-A guards Mark Macon (Temple/Binghamton) & Isiah Thomas (IU/FIU) can be guardedly optimistic about their coaching prospects.

  • Eight best bets as this year's VCU are Wichita State, Saint Mary's, Creighton, Drexel, Gonzaga, Harvard, Long Beach State and Murray State.

  • Should the MEAC and SWAC de-emphasize to DII? Hampton is the only HBCU not to have at least one 20-loss season in the previous eight years.

  • OSU's Jared Sullinger is outstanding but how many millions of dollars did he cost himself by returning to college after A-A freshman year?

  • How can neither the NCAA nor elite DI conferences have guidelines in place for what penalty to enforce if a player is caught doing drugs?

  • It's difficult to follow in daddy's footsteps. There never has been a father/son combination earn All-American status for the same university.

  • Was Kevin Jones, the Big East's leading scorer and rebounder, denied conference MVP award because West Virginia is leaving for Big 12?

  • If voters knew impact of Flip Pressey, Mizzou playmaker and dad Paul would be 8th set of A-A father-son honorees rather than just All-Big 12 3rd-teamer.

  • ESPN should call its bracket prediction segment with POTUS "Audacity of Hype." Ditto for CBS interview with Clark Kellogg. Please focus on economy!

  • "Ohio," Neil Young's protest song in reaction to Kent State shootings, should be anthem for OSU/UC game as protest they don't play regularly.

  • Indiana's Branch McCracken is the only one of more than 30 All-Americans who became DI mentors to compile higher winning percentage as coach.

  • Stanford shouldn't be optimistic because no defending NIT champion advanced to an NCAA regional final since field expanded to 64 in 1985.

  • Overdosing on TV visual makes Frank Martin's glaring switch from K-State to South Carolina the most overrated coaching change in memory.

  • Never underestimate gall of boob tuber. ESPN's Doug Gottlieb thought he could assist K-State. How about starting craft at Kansas Wesleyan?

  • The grass is always greener elsewhere. An average of four coaches per year leave NCAA playoff teams since seeding was introduced in 1979.

  • Kentucky freshman phenom Anthony Davis shows there is more to game than scoring as he has lowest scoring average of any national POY in history.

  • Kentucky is only the fourth school in last 30 years atop AP poll at end of regular season to go ahead and capture the NCAA Tournament championship.

  • Despite UK's crown, California (30) moved ahead of Kentucky (29) as state with most men's national titles among all levels of four-year hoops.

  • Average of only two seniors among top seven scorers for NCAA Division I champions since field expanded to at least 64 schools in 1985.

  • Anyone implying in any way, shape or form that a college team can win a legitimate game against an NBA squad is in dire need of a brain scan.

  • Is there anything more ridiculous than national forecast for next year before recruiting is complete and undergrads finish declaring for NBA draft?

Christian's Crusade: Return to Mid-American and Win With Ohio University

Jim Christian, a perennial 20-game winner when he coached at Kent State, is returning to the Mid-American Conference in a similar capacity at Ohio University. After the retirement of Charlie Coles at Miami (Ohio), Christian departed TCU to join Akron's Keith Dambrot (ex-Central Michigan mentor) as second-time around coaches in the MAC. Nationally, they are among the following alphabetical list of active coaches who were bench bosses of two different schools in the same conference:

Active Coach Conference First School Second School
Frankie Allen Mid-Eastern Athletic Howard (2001-05) Maryland-Eastern Shore (since 2009)
Horace Broadnax Mid-Eastern Athletic Bethune-Cookman (1998-2002) Savannah State (since 2006)
Jim Christian Mid-American Kent State (2003-08) Ohio University (since 2013)
Keith Dambrot Mid-American Central Michigan (1992 & '93) Akron (since 2005)
Billy Gillispie Big 12 Texas A&M (2005-07) Texas Tech (since 2012)
Bill Herrion North Atlantic/America East Drexel (1992-99) New Hampshire (since 2007)
Barry Hinson Missouri Valley Missouri State (2000-08) Southern Illinois (since 2013)
Donnie Jones C-USA Marshall (2008-10) UCF (2011)
Greg McDermott Missouri Valley Northern Iowa (2002-06) Creighton (since 2011)
Jim Molinari Mid-Continent/Summit Northern Illinois (1991) Western Illinois (since 2009)
Mike Montgomery Pacific-10/12 Stanford (1987-2004) California (since 2009)
Stew Morrill Western Athletic Colorado State (1992-98) Utah State (since 2006)
Kevin Nickelberry Mid-Eastern Athletic Hampton (2007-10) Howard (since 2011)
Kevin O'Neill Pacific-10/12 Arizona (2008) Southern California (since 2010)
Rick Pitino Big East Providence (1986 & '87) Louisville (since 2006)
Keith Richard Sun Belt Louisiana Tech (1999-2001) Louisiana-Monroe (since 2011)

States of Success: California Moves Ahead of Kentucky for Most Titles

California, buoyed by Stanford (NIT) and Concordia (DII), moved ahead of Kentucky as the state with the most national titles from each level of four-year college men's basketball - NCAA Division I, NIT, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA - despite UK's title in this year's NCAA Division I Tournament.

Illinois and Ohio are the only states to boast at least one champion from all five levels. Among the 12 states amassing a total of more than 10 national crowns, Missouri is the only one in that group without a Division I championship.

The biggest surprise among states never to capture a national title is Iowa. Following is how states stack up by national titles including the NIT and various levels of small-college basketball:

State DI NIT DII DIII NAIA Total
California 15 7 5 0 3 30
Kentucky 10 3 10 0 6 29
Ohio 3 6 3 5 2 19
North Carolina 11 2 3 0 1 17
Illinois 1 6 1 6 1 15
New York 2 10 0 3 0 15
Oklahoma 2 2 1 0 10 15
Indiana 5 2 6 0 1 14
Pennsylvania 2 6 2 3 0 13
Wisconsin 2 1 0 10 0 13
Missouri 0 1 1 2 8 12
Kansas 3 1 1 0 6 11
Virginia 0 4 5 1 0 10
Texas 1 1 0 0 7 9
Michigan 3 3 0 2 0 8
Minnesota 0 2 2 1 3 8
Tennessee 0 2 1 1 4 8
Alabama 0 0 3 0 3 6
Georgia 0 0 1 0 5 6
Connecticut 3 1 1 0 0 5
Maryland 1 1 2 0 1 5
Massachusetts 1 1 1 2 0 5
Arizona 1 0 0 0 3 4
South Carolina 0 2 0 0 2 4
Utah 1 3 0 0 0 4
West Virginia 0 2 0 0 2 4
Colorado 0 1 2 0 0 3
District of Columbia 1 0 1 1 0 3
Florida 2 0 1 0 0 3
Louisiana 0 0 0 0 3 3
New Jersey 0 2 0 1 0 3
Arkansas 1 0 0 0 1 2
Rhode Island 0 2 0 0 0 2
South Dakota 0 0 2 0 0 2
Washington 0 0 2 0 0 2
Hawaii 0 0 0 0 1 1
Mississippi 0 1 0 0 0 1
Montana 0 0 0 0 1 1
Nebraska 0 1 0 0 0 1
Nevada 1 0 0 0 0 1
New Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 1
Oregon 1 0 0 0 0 1
Wyoming 1 0 0 0 0 1

NOTE: Eight states - Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont - have never had a four-year school win a men's national championship.

Senior Moments: Only One of Champion UK's Top Seven Scorers is a Senior

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, which is what Kentucky had this year. Only three NCAA champions since Indiana '87 - UCLA (1995), Michigan (2000) and Maryland (2002) - had seniors as their top two scorers. Following is a look at the vital seniors for the last 28 basically youthful championship teams:

2012 - Kentucky (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Darius Miller was fifth-leading scorer).
2011 - Connecticut (none of top six scorers was a senior).
2010 - Duke (three of nine-man rotation were seniors/Jon Scheyer was leading scorer, Brian Zoubek was fourth and Lance Thomas was sixth).
2009 - North Carolina (two of top eight in scoring average were seniors/Tyler Hansbrough was leading scorer and Danny Green was fourth).
2008 - Kansas (one of top six scorers was a senior/Darnell Jackson was fourth-leading scorer).
2007 - Florida (two of nine-man rotation were seniors/Lee Humphrey was fifth and Chris Richard was sixth).
2006 - Florida (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
2005 - North Carolina (one of top five scorers was a senior/Jawad Williams was third).
2004 - Connecticut (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Taliek Brown was sixth).
2003 - Syracuse (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Keith Duany was fourth).
2002 - Maryland (three of top eight regulars were seniors/Juan Dixon was top scorer, Lonny Baxter was second and Byron Mouton was fourth).
2001 - Duke (two of top nine scorers were seniors/Shane Battier was second and Nate James was fifth).
2000 - Michigan State (three of top 11 scorers were seniors/Morris Peterson was first, Mateen Cleaves was second and A.J. Granger was fifth).
1999 - Connecticut (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Ricky Moore was fifth).
1998 - Kentucky (two of top seven scorers were seniors/Jeff Sheppard was first and Allen Edwards was fifth).
1997 - Arizona (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
1996 - Kentucky (three of top 10 scorers were seniors/Tony Delk was first, Walter McCarty was third and Mark Pope was sixth).
1995 - UCLA (three of top seven scorers were seniors/Ed O'Bannon was first, Tyus Edney was second and George Zidek was fourth).
1994 - Arkansas (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Roger Crawford was eighth).
1993 - North Carolina (one of top seven scorers was a senior/George Lynch was second).
1992 - Duke (two of top 10 scorers were seniors/Christian Laettner was first and Brian Davis was fifth).
1991 - Duke (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Greg Koubek was seventh).
1990 - UNLV (two of top eight scorers were seniors/David Butler was third and Moses Scurry was sixth).
1989 - Michigan (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Glen Rice was first and Mark Hughes was sixth).
1988 - Kansas (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Danny Manning was first and Chris Piper was fourth).
1987 - Indiana (two of top eight scorers were seniors/Steve Alford was first and Daryl Thomas was second).
1986 - Louisville (three of top nine scorers were seniors/Billy Thompson was first, Milt Wagner was second and Jeff Hall was fifth).
1985 - Villanova (three of top eight scorers were seniors/Ed Pinckney was first, Dwayne McClain was second and Gary McLain was fourth).

Victory Map: More Than 40 NCAA Champions Posted Higher Win Margins Than Kentucky '12

There has been some smooth sailing, but it is usually a rugged road en route to becoming NCAA kingpin. Talk of this year's Kentucky squad being one of the all-time greatest teams is somewhat silly insofar as 41 previous NCAA champions posted higher average victory margins in the tournament.

North Carolina '09 became the 12th NCAA Tournament champion to win all of its playoff games by double-digit margins. The first nine champions in this category came before the NCAA field was expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.

Most titlists have near-death experiences and are severely tested at least once on the serpentine tourney trail. In 1997, Arizona won each of its playoff contests by a single-digit margin.

A total of 48 champions won a minimum of one playoff game by four points or less, including 22 titlists to win at least one contest by just one point. Wyoming '43 would have become the only champion to trail at halftime in every tournament game if the Cowboys didn't score the last three baskets of the first half in the national final to lead Georgetown at intermission (18-16). Four titlists trailed at intermission in both of their Final Four games - Kentucky '51, Louisville '86, Duke '92 and Kentucky '98.

UCLA '67, the first varsity season for Lew Alcindor (became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), set the record for largest average margin of victory for a champion when the Bruins started a dazzling streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances. They won their 12 NCAA playoff games with Alcindor manning the middle by an amazing average margin of 21.5 points.

Which of John Wooden's 10 national champion UCLA teams did the Wizard of Westwood perceive as his best?

"I've never come out and said it," Wooden said before passing away last year, "but it would be hard to pick a team over the 1968 team. I will say it would be the most difficult team to prepare for and play against offensively and defensively. It created so many problems. It had such great balance. We had the big center (Alcindor) who is the most valuable player of all time. Mike Warren was a three-year starter who may have been the most intelligent floor leader ever, going eight complete games once without a turnover. Lucius Allen was a very physical, talented individual who was extremely quick. Lynn Shackleford was a great shooter out of the corner who didn't allow defenses to sag on Jabbar. Mike Lynn didn't have power, but he had as fine a pair of hands around the boards as I have ever seen."

The roster for UCLA's 1968 national champion included six players with double-digit season scoring averages, but senior forward Edgar Lacey dropped off the team with an 11.9-point average following a dispute with Wooden after a ballyhooed mid-season defeat against Houston before 52,693 fans at the Astrodome. Lacey, assigned to defend Cougars star Elvin Hayes early in the game, was annoyed with Wooden for singling him out following Hayes' 29-point first-half outburst. Lacey, the leading rebounder for the Bruins' 1965 NCAA titlist when he was an All-Tournament team selection, missed the 1966-67 campaign because of a fractured left kneecap.

The three Lew-CLA teams rank among the seven NCAA champions with average margins of victory in a tournament of more than 19 points per game. It's no wonder a perceptive scribe wrote the acronym NCAA took on a new meaning during the plunderous Alcindor Era - "No Chance Against Alcindor."

"Bill Walton might have been a better all-around player (than Alcindor)," Wooden said. "If you were grading a player for every fundamental skill, Walton would rank the highest of any center who ever played. But Alcindor is the most valuable, owing to the pressure he put on the other team at both ends of the court."

North Carolina won all six of its playoff contests by double digits in 2009 but the only titlist to win all of its tournament games by more than 15 points was Ohio State '60. Center Jerry Lucas, a first-team All-American as a sophomore, averaged 24 points and 16 rebounds in four playoff contests for the Buckeyes. He collected 36 points and 25 rebounds to help them erase a six-point halftime deficit in their Mideast Regional opener against Western Kentucky.

Following is a breakdown of the point differential and average margin of victory in the NCAA playoffs for the first 74 national champions:

Championship Team Coach G. Largest Smallest Average
UCLA '67 John Wooden 4 49 15 23.75
Loyola of Chicago '63 George Ireland 5 *69 2 23.0
Indiana '81 Bob Knight 5 35 13 22.6
Kentucky '96 Rick Pitino 6 38 7 21.5
UCLA '68 John Wooden 4 32 9 21.25
Michigan State '79 Jud Heathcote 5 34 11 20.8
North Carolina '09 Roy Williams 6 43 12 20.17
Ohio State '60 Fred Taylor 4 22 17 19.5
UCLA '69 John Wooden 4 38 3 19.5
UNLV '90 Jerry Tarkanian 6 30 2 18.67
Oklahoma State '45 Hank Iba 3 27 4 18.67
UCLA '70 John Wooden 4 23 11 18.0
UCLA '72 John Wooden 4 32 5 18.0
Kentucky '58 Adolph Rupp 4 33 1 17.5
Kentucky '49 Adolph Rupp 3 29 10 17.33
Indiana '40 Branch McCracken 3 24 9 17.0
Duke '01 Mike Krzyzewski 6 43 10 16.67
Florida '06 Billy Donovan 6 26 4 16.0
UCLA '73 John Wooden 4 21 11 16.0
Kentucky '48 Adolph Rupp 3 23 8 15.67
North Carolina '93 Dean Smith 6 45 6 15.67
UCLA '65 John Wooden 4 24 8 15.5
Michigan State '00 Tom Izzo 6 27 11 15.33
Oregon '39 Howard Hobson 3 18 13 15.33
Kansas '52 Phog Allen 4 19 4 14.75
Duke '10 Mike Krzyzewski 6 29 2 14.5
UCLA '95 Jim Harrick 6 36 1 14.33
North Carolina State '74 Norman Sloan 4 28 3 14.25
Florida '07 Billy Donovan 6 43 7 14.17
Kansas '08 Bill Self 6 24 2 14.17
Duke '91 Mike Krzyzewski 6 29 2 14.0
Maryland '02 Gary Williams 6 30 8 14.0
San Francisco '56 Phil Woolpert 4 18 11 14.0
North Carolina '05 Roy Williams 6 28 1 13.83
San Francisco '55 Phil Woolpert 5 23 1 13.8
Connecticut '04 Jim Calhoun 6 20 1 13.33
Kentucky '98 Tubby Smith 6 27 1 13.3
Indiana '76 Bob Knight 5 20 5 13.2
Cincinnati '62 Ed Jucker 4 20 2 12.75
Duke '92 Mike Krzyzewski 6 26 1 12.5
Cincinnati '61 Ed Jucker 4 23 5 12.0
Connecticut '99 Jim Calhoun 6 25 3 11.83
Kentucky '12 John Calipari 6 16 8 11.83
Louisville '86 Denny Crum 6 20 3 11.83
Oklahoma State '46 Hank Iba 3 17 3 11.67
Holy Cross '47 Doggie Julian 3 15 8 11.33
California '59 Pete Newell 4 20 1 11.25
La Salle '54 Ken Loeffler 5 16 2 11.2
Arkansas '94 Nolan Richardson 6 19 4 11.17
Stanford '42 Everett Dean 3 15 6 10.67
Indiana '87 Bob Knight 6 34 1 10.5
Connecticut '11 Jim Calhoun 6 29 1 10.33
Michigan '89 Steve Fisher 6 37 1 9.83
Georgetown '84 John Thompson Jr. 5 14 1 9.8
Kentucky '51 Adolph Rupp 4 16 2 9.75
Louisville '80 Denny Crum 5 20 2 9.2
Kentucky '78 Joe B. Hall 5 22 3 9.0
Syracuse '03 Jim Boeheim 6 16 1 9.0
Kansas '88 Larry Brown 6 13 3 8.83
UCLA '71 John Wooden 4 18 2 8.5
North Carolina '57 Frank McGuire 5 16 1 8.4
Marquette '77 Al McGuire 5 15 1 8.0
UCLA '64 John Wooden 4 15 4 7.5
UCLA '75 John Wooden 5 14 1 7.4
Indiana '53 Branch McCracken 4 13 1 7.25
Utah '44 Vadal Peterson 3 10 2 7.0
Texas Western '66 Don Haskins 5 15 1 6.4
Wyoming '43 Everett Shelton 3 12 3 6.33
Arizona '97 Lute Olson 6 8 3 5.33
North Carolina State '83 Jim Valvano 6 19 1 5.33
Villanova '85 Rollie Massimino 6 12 2 5.0
North Carolina '82 Dean Smith 5 10 1 4.6
Wisconsin '41 Bud Foster 3 6 1 4.0
CCNY '50 Nat Holman 3 5 1 3.0

*All-time tournament record (111-42 first-round victory over Tennessee Tech).
NOTE: Fifteen teams participated in a total of 20 overtime games en route to national titles - Utah (1944), North Carolina (two triple overtime Final Four games in 1957), Cincinnati (1961), Loyola of Chicago (1963), Texas Western (two in 1966, including a double overtime), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1974), UCLA (two in 1975), Louisville (two in 1980), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1983), Michigan (1989), Duke (1992), North Carolina (1993), Arizona (two in 1997), Kentucky (1998) and Kansas (2008).

Big Blue Takes Care of Business Despite Nobody Looking Out for No. 1

There is a clear and present danger for pole sitters. Kentucky became only the fourth of 30 schools atop the national rankings entering the NCAA playoffs since 1983 to capture the national championship.

In 2006, Duke became the ninth No. 1 team in 17 years to fail to advance to a regional final when the Blue Devils were eliminated by LSU. In 1992, Duke defied a trend by becoming the first top-ranked team in 10 years entering the NCAA Tournament to win a national title. The previous five top-ranked teams failed to reach the championship game. UNLV lost twice in the national semifinals (1987 and 1991) and Temple '88, Arizona '89 and Oklahoma '90 failed to reach the Final Four.

Temple, a 63-53 loser against Duke in the 1988 East Regional final, and Kansas State, an 85-75 loser against Cincinnati in the 1959 Midwest Regional final, are the only teams ranked No. 1 by both AP and UPI entering the tourney to lose by a double-digit margin before the Final Four.

The school gaining the sweetest revenge against a top-ranked team was St. John's in 1952. Defending NCAA champion Kentucky humiliated the Redmen by 41 points (81-40) early in the season when the Catholic institution became the first to have a black player on the floor at Lexington, Ky. The player, Solly Walker, played only a few minutes before he took a hit sidelining him for three weeks. But St. John's, sparked by center Bob Zawoluk's 32 points, avenged the rout by eliminating the Wildcats (64-57) in the East Regional, ending their 23-game winning streak. The Redmen, who then defeated second-ranked Illinois in the national semifinals, lost against Kansas in the NCAA final.

In the 1982 championship game, North Carolina needed a basket with 16 seconds remaining from freshman Michael Jordan to nip Georgetown, 63-62, and become the only top-ranked team in 13 years from 1979 through 1991 to capture the NCAA title. It was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for seven of the 11 top-ranked teams to lose in the NCAA championship game in overtime or by two or three points in regulation.

It's win or go home. Following is analysis sizing up how the No. 1 teams fared in the NCAA playoffs since the Associated Press introduced national rankings in 1949:

20 - Won national title (Kentucky '49; Kentucky '51; Indiana '53; San Francisco '56; North Carolina '57; UCLA '64; UCLA '67; UCLA '69; UCLA '71; UCLA '72; UCLA '73; North Carolina State '74; UCLA '75; Indiana '76; Kentucky '78; North Carolina '82; Duke '92; UCLA '95, Duke '01, and Kentucky '12).

13 - Finished as national runner-up (Bradley '50/defeated by CCNY; Ohio State '61/Cincinnati; Ohio State '62/Cincinnati; Cincinnati '63/Loyola of Chicago; Michigan '65/UCLA; Kentucky '66/Texas Western; Indiana State '79/Michigan State; Houston '83/North Carolina State; Georgetown '85/Villanova; Duke '86/Louisville; Duke '99/Connecticut; Illinois '05/North Carolina, and Ohio State '07/Florida).

7 - Lost in national semifinals (Cincinnati '60/defeated by California; Houston '68/UCLA; UNLV '87/Indiana; UNLV '91/Duke; Massachusetts '96/Kentucky; North Carolina '98/Utah, and North Carolina '08/Kansas).

8 - Lost in regional finals (Kentucky '52/defeated by St. John's; Kansas State '59/Cincinnati; Kentucky '70/Jacksonville; Michigan '77/UNC Charlotte; Temple '88/Duke; Indiana '93/Kansas, and Kentucky '03/Marquette, and Louisville '09/Michigan State).

7 - Lost in regional semifinals (North Carolina '84/defeated by Indiana; Arizona '89/UNLV; Kansas '97/Arizona; Duke '00/Florida; Duke '02/Indiana); Duke '06/Louisiana State, and Ohio State '11/Kentucky).

6 - Lost in second round (DePaul '80/defeated by UCLA; DePaul '81/St. Joseph's; Oklahoma '90/North Carolina; North Carolina '94/Boston College; Stanford '04/Alabama, and Kansas '10/Northern Iowa).

1 - Lost in first round (West Virginia '58/defeated by Manhattan).

1 - Declined a berth (Kentucky '54).

NOTE: After United Press International started ranking teams in 1951, UPI had just three different No. 1 teams entering the national playoffs than AP - Indiana lost in the 1954 East Regional semifinals against Notre Dame, California finished as 1960 national runner-up to Ohio State and Indiana lost in 1975 Mideast Regional final against Kentucky.

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Challenge (Day 23)

We hope the rigors of our daily Q&A didn't give you an inferiority complex. Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, this is final of 23 days featuring a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday until a grand finale added value of 20 on the day of the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):

1. Name the only automatic qualifier to enter the NCAA playoffs with an overall losing record despite compiling a winning conference mark. Hint: The school lost in the first round to the nation's top-ranked team, an opponent the school succumbed to four seasons earlier when eventual NBA guard Lindsey Hunter scored a then school-record 48 points.

2. Name the only one of the different teams to twice defeat an eventual NCAA champion in their title season to not appear in the NCAA Tournament that year. Hint: A former NBA coach guided the school to its only NCAA playoff victory against an opponent whose coach also later coached in the NBA.

3. Name the only team since seeding started to reach the Final Four without meeting a top eight seed. Hint: The team was eliminated in the national semifinals.

4. Name the only school to twice be denied an at-large bid in a 10-year span despite going undefeated in regular-season conference competition. Hint: The school reached a regional final the next time it went unbeaten in league play.

5. Name the only school in the 20th Century to compete for the national championship in both football and basketball in the same academic school year. Hint: The school lost both games.

6. Who is the only individual to win tournament games while coaching schools from the three conferences with the top winning percentages in NCAA Tournament competition reflecting actual membership (ACC, Big East and Big Ten)? Hint: He is the only coach to win playoff games with as many as three different schools when they were seeded ninth or worse.

7. Who is the only coach to win national championships in junior college, the NIT and the NCAA. Hint: He won the NIT in his first year as a major college head coach.

8. Who is the only leading scorer in an NCAA Tournament championship game to subsequently serve as an admiral in the U.S. Navy? Hint: He was an NCAA consensus first-team All-America the next season before eventually commanding the aircraft carrier Saratoga for two years.

9. Who is the only championship game player to be the son of a former NCAA consensus All-American? Hint: The father was a U.S. Olympic team member and the star player for the first black coach at a predominantly white Division I school.

10. Name the only teammate twosome to each score more than 25 points in an NCAA final. Hint: They combined for 53 points to lead their school to its first of multiple NCAA Tournament titles.

11. Name the only starting backcourt to combine for more than 50 points in a Final Four game. Hint: They combined to shoot 39 percent from the floor in the two Final Four games that year.

12. Who is the only individual to coach teams in the NAIA Tournament, NCAA Division III Tournament, NCAA Division II Tournament, National Invitation Tournament and NCAA Division I Tournament? Hint: He took two different schools to the five levels of national postseason competition in a 13-year span beginning with an appearance as an interim head coach.

13. Who is the only individual to be the team-high scorer for both winning and losing teams in NCAA championship games although his season scoring average was less than half of the team leader each year? Hint: He played in the shadow of an All-American whose total of points and rebounds (4,663) is the highest in NCAA history.

14. Who is the only coach to guide teams from the same school to the football Rose Bowl and basketball Final Four? Hint: The Rose Bowl and Final Four appearances were 17 years apart.

15. Name the only son of a member of one of the first classes of baseball Hall of Fame selections to start for a school in its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Hint: The son pitched for four major league teams before becoming a prominent executive. His father was a first baseman.

16. Name the only school to reach the Final Four and College World Series championship game in the same year. Hint: The school advanced to the Final Four again the next season.

17. Who is the only coach to win three first-round games with teams seeded 12th or worse? Hint: The former coach was 4-1 in tournament games decided by fewer than five points. He played basketball at Fordham when NFL Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi was the Rams' freshman basketball coach.

18. Name the school that won all four of its first-round games despite being seeded eighth or worse each time. Hint: The four victories came in the first five tournaments after the NCAA introduced seeding.

19. Name the only school to appear in at least three NCAA Tournaments in the 20th Century and reach a regional final each time. Hint: The school's playoff appearances were in successive years.

20. Who is the only player to obtain NCAA and NBA championship rings without participating in postseason competition for either the college or pro title teams? Hint: The 7-0 center was in his first year with both of the championship squads.

Answers (Day 23)

The Mouths That Bore: Coaching Wannabee Gottlieb's Got Gargantuan Gall

Never underestimate the occasional astonishing absence of perspective among TV pundits. Amid the boob tube personality-driven showmanship, PT Barnum continues to chortle, "I was right all along!" about "there's a sucker born every minute."

ESPN's Doug Gottlieb, ranked among the Top 20 analysts by CollegeHoopedia.com, never has coached a game of college basketball - even as an assistant. Yet the legend in his own mind proclaimed he was fit to serve at Kansas State as Frank Martin's successor. The Wildcats weren't suckered, ignoring such ego chicanery and hiring former SIU and Illinois mentor Bruce Weber.

Who does Gottlieb think he is? The collegiate version of Pat Riley? Saying he is "self aware" (a/k/a "full of himself"), Gottlieb must have thought the coaching acumen of his father and brother would rub off on him. Before becoming head coach at Jacksonville and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Gottlieb's father (Bob) was an assistant at K-State in the early 1970s at a time when the program was in the midst of capturing 11 Big Eight Conference championships in an 18-year span. In a battle of Wildcats, mighty Kentucky was the only school at that point to boast more final Top 20 rankings than KSU.

Gottlieb, a Notre Dame transfer who led the nation in assists in 1998-99 and finished runner-up the next season with Oklahoma State, thought he could assist K-State basically because of the visibility of his mug being on TV. Well, criminals have their head shots at the post office. Would that help them recruit suspect student-athletes? How about throwing his hat in the ring and learning the trade first at Kansas Wesleyan?

The sports TV culture frequently fosters hero worshiped such as ESPN original Keith Olbermann who think the world revolves around them and they develop a sordid sense of "out-of-bounds" entitlement. Gottlieb was no different than Larry "Grandmama" Johnson, who was upset and probably lost "her" wig and outfit when he didn't inherit the UNLV coaching job.

"When you are among the high-flying adored, your view of the world becomes blurred," wrote psychologist Stanley Teitelbaum of the flouting-of-the-law behavior in the book "Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols: How Star Athletes Pursue Self-Destructive Paths and Jeopardize Their Careers."

"Off the field, some act as if they are above the rules of society; hubris and an attitude of entitlement become central to the psyche of many athletes. They may deny that they are vulnerable to reprisals and feel omnipotent and grandiose as well as entitled."

If Gottlieb's resume does eventually enable him to go straight to a DI head coaching assignment, he'll need to also break ground by hiring an assistant devoted exclusively to free-throw shooting. After all, he is a lifetime member on the All-Gang That Can't Shoot Straight Team (abysmal 45.3% mark from the "foul" line with OSU).

Moreover, if Gottlieb is qualified to go straight to accepting the K-State reins in a conference where he previously competed, it seems his ESPN colleagues should be treated in the same fashion. Andy Katz should be next in line for the Fresno State position in his old stomping grounds; Alabama grad Rece Davis should be able to anchor any SEC opening; Doris Burke should become the first full-time female coach of a men's program at her alma mater (Providence) or some other Big East member; Stephen Bardo should have been hired by Illinois (not John Groce); Adrian Branch should be Maryland's coach (not Mark Turgeon); Miles Simon should be at Arizona's helm (not Sean Miller); Sean Farnham should be groomed as Ben Howland's replacement at UCLA; LaPhonso Ellis should be designated as Mike Brey's successor at Notre Dame, and Kara Lawson should be the odds-on favorite to succeed Pat Summitt.

Where does the self-aggrandizement stop? Should former Florida dance-team member Erin Andrews strut her stuff on the Gators' sideline as Billy Donovan's successor? On second thought, maybe Erin can offer more incentive to UF players to win close contests (perhaps a cool Mountain Dew or dance lessons) than Donovan (woeful 62-74 record in games decided by fewer than six points).

In some ways, Gottlieb's gall emanating from the Worldwide Leader is almost as offensive as Dana Jacobson's inebriated onstage anti-Jesus rant at a roast for a couple of her colleagues or Jailin' Rose's "Uncle Tom" denigration of Duke's Dynasty. At least ESPN doesn't have to worry about Gottlieb needing to take a class to work on his self-esteem.

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Challenge (Day 22)

Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 22 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):

1. Name the only player to lead an NCAA Tournament team in season scoring and rebounding before becoming the only NCAA playoff participant to subsequently appear in both the NBA Finals and World Series. Hint: He became his alma mater's athletic director.

2. Name the only championship team to have two guards be its top two scorers for the season. Hint: It's the only school to win an NCAA title the year after losing an NCAA Tournament opener by a double-digit margin.

3. Who is the only individual to play for an NCAA champion, NBA champion and ABA champion? Hint: The 6-2 swingman averaged almost three times as many rebounds per game for back-to-back NCAA titlists as he did points per game in his pro career.

4. Name the only school to lose an NCAA Tournament game in which it connected on at least three-fourths of its field-goal attempts. Hint: The school's leading scorer in that game was a freshman who went on to average at least 22 points per game in four tourneys, including first-round games against No. 3 and No. 4 seeds his last three years.

5. Who is the only player to hit a game-winning basket in an NCAA final one year and become a consensus All-American for another university the next season? Hint: He was a second-team All-American the same season a former teammate was first-team All-American one year after being named Final Four Most Outstanding Player as a freshman.

6. Name the only team to defeat three #1 seeds in a single tourney. Hint: The three #1 seeds were the three winningest schools in the history of major-college basketball. The champion is the only team needing at least four games to win the NCAA title to have all of its playoff games decided by single-digit margins. It is also the only titlist to finish as low as fifth place in its conference standings.

7. Name the only NCAA championship team to have four freshman starters. Hint: Two of the freshmen were among three starters who also excelled in a sport other than basketball.

8. Who is the only Final Four coach to previously lead the nation in a statistical category as a major-college player? Hint: He coached his alma mater to the NCAA Tournament six years later before guiding another school to the Final Four twice in a four-year span.

9. Name the only school to appear in the NCAA Tournament under two coaches who subsequently became NBA coach of the year. Hint: The school participated in the NCAA playoffs under these individuals in back-to-back seasons before they earned their NBA awards in a five-year span.

10. Who is the only player to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds for an NIT semifinalist one year and an NCAA semifinalist the next season? Hint: After earning an NIT Most Valuable Player award, he helped his school become the first member of a first-year conference to reach the NCAA Final Four.

Answers (Day 22)

Last Man Standing: Who Will Be Next Final Four Most Outstanding Player?

"I'm gonna make it to heaven, Light up the sky like a flame. I'm gonna live forever. Baby, remember my name." - Theme from 1980s film and TV series Fame

Consensus National Player of the Year Anthony Davis of Kentucky appeared well on his way to becoming Final Four Most Outstanding Player with a sterling performance in the national semifinals. But that was before Thomas Robinson put Kansas on his back and helped the Jayhawks erase a 13-point deficit to defeat Ohio State in the other semifinal. As it should be, the two players who have been 1 and 1A most of the season as the nation's premier player will duel in the national final.

At any rate, a post-playing days vocation is probably the last thing either Davis or Robinson is thinking about. But what happens when the ball stops bouncing? What did the brightest stars do in the real world? The following individuals weren't always defined solely as basketball standouts who earned acclaim as the Most Outstanding Player at a Final Four:

Year(s) - Most Outstanding Player, School

1939 - Jimmy Hull, Ohio State
Employed as a dentist.

1940 - Marv Huffman, Indiana
Played one season with Goodyear in the National Industrial League in 1940-41 (5.1 ppg) and four with the Akron Collegians. After he stopped playing basketball, he was a special assistant to the president of Goodyear. He died in 1984 of multiple sclerosis.

1941 - John Kotz, Wisconsin
Retired in 1980 after working his way up from shipping clerk to president and majority stockholder of Badger Sporting Goods Company.

1942 - Howie Dallmar, Stanford
Averaged 9.6 ppg with the Philadelphia Warriors in three NBA seasons from 1946-47 through 1948-49. Compiled a 105-51 record (.673) for Penn in six seasons from 1948-49 through 1953-54 before posting a 264-264 record (.500) for Stanford in 21 seasons from 1954-55 through 1974-75. His best season was a 22-5 mark in 1952-53.

1943 - Ken Sailors, Wyoming
Averaged 12.6 ppg and 2.8 apg with seven different NBA teams in five seasons from 1946-47 through 1950-51. Lived in Gakona, Alaska, where he owned a guided big-game hunting business with his son. Had a winter home in Arizona.

1944 - Arnie Ferrin, Utah
Averaged 5.8 ppg with the Minneapolis Lakers in three NBA seasons from 1948-49 through 1950-51. General Manager of the ABA's Utah Stars, athletic director for his alma mater and chairman of the NCAA Tournament selection committee in 1988.

1945 and 1946 - Bob Kurland, Oklahoma A&M
Retired Phillips Petroleum executive had a retirement home in Florida.

1947 - George Kaftan, Holy Cross
Averaged 7.5 ppg with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets in five NBA seasons from 1948-49 through 1952-53. Graduated from Georgetown Dental School, coached C.W. Post for 17 seasons and maintained a dental practice.

1948 and 1949 - Alex Groza, Kentucky
Averaged 22.5 ppg with the Indianapolis Olympians in two NBA seasons in 1949-50 and 1950-51 before his pro career ended because of a college point-shaving scandal. Got a job at General Electric in Louisville before returning to his hometown (Martin's Ferry, Ohio) and running his mother's tavern. Compiled a 91-77 record (.542) as coach for Bellarmine College in seven seasons from 1959-60 through 1965-66. Executive with two ABA franchises (Kentucky Colonels and San Diego Conquistadors) before getting involved with professional volleyball. Joined Reynolds Metals in 1977 and traveled around the country as Pacific Coast manager of its chemical division.

1950 - Irwin Dambrot, CCNY
Became a dentist.

1951 - Bill Spivey, Kentucky
After 16 years in the bush leagues with assorted nondescript teams, he extended his nomadic existence with a series of jobs - salesman, insurance agent, real estate developer, government official (Kentucky's deputy insurance commissioner) and restaurant and bar owner - before relocating to Costa Rica.

1952 - Clyde Lovellette, Kansas
Averaged 17 ppg and 9.5 rpg with the Minneapolis Lakers, Cincinnati Royals, St. Louis Hawks and Boston Celtics in 11 NBA seasons from 1953-54 through 1963-64. Assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers in 1967 when they started their ABA franchise. Served as a sheriff in his native Indiana and taught and coached at White's Institute, a school for troubled youngsters in Wabash, before moving to Munising, Mich.

1953 - B.H. Born, Kansas
Played AAU basketball until the late 1950s with the Peoria (Ill.) Caterpillars before going to work in the personnel office for Caterpillar Bulldozers. He spent his entire career working for Caterpillar until his retirement.

1954 - Tom Gola, La Salle
Averaged 11.3 ppg and 8 rpg with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks in 11 NBA seasons from 1955-56 through 1965-66. He invested in driving ranges, apartment complexes, recycling companies and residential sites. Gola owned his own insurance company and a skating rink. He was a spokesman for Texaco, Vitalis and the Army Reserve. In 1966, Gola began a two-term career as a state legislator while coaching his alma mater before becoming Philadelphia's city controller. He later became a vice president of the Valley Forge Investment Corporation and served on the board of the Philadelphia Convention Center.

1955 - Bill Russell, San Francisco
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 15.1 ppg, 22.5 rpg and 4.3 apg with the Boston Celtics in 13 NBA seasons from 1956-57 through 1968-69. Five-time MVP was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). Compiled a 341-290 record (.540) with the Celtics (1966-67 through 1968-69), Seattle SuperSonics (1973-74 through 1976-77) and Sacramento Kings (1987-88) in eight seasons. Network analyst dabbled with acting but retreated to the quiet life on Mercer Island in Washington, and has a clothing line company called Center Court.

1956 - Hal Lear, Temple
Played in three games for the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors in 1956-57 before playing 10 seasons in the Eastern Basketball League, becoming MVP in 1956-57 and averaging 39.7 ppg for Easton in 1960-61. Also averaged 13.1 ppg for Los Angeles and Cleveland in the ABL in 1961-62.

1957 - Wilt Chamberlain, Kansas
Averaged 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg and 4.4 apg with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers in 14 NBA seasons from 1959-60 through 1972-73. Made a fortune in the restaurant business, designed homes, owned racehorses and played professional volleyball. Also wrote four books: Wilt; A View From Above; Chamberlain House: The Possible Dream, and Who's Running the Asylum: The Insane World of Sports Today.

1958 - Elgin Baylor, Seattle
Averaged 27.4 ppg, 13.5 rpg and 4.3 apg with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers in 14 seasons from 1958-59 through 1971-72. Coached the New Orleans Jazz for four seasons in the late 1970s (86-135 record). Executive with the Los Angeles Clippers.

1959 - Jerry West, West Virginia
Averaged 27 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 6.7 apg with the Los Angeles Lakers in 14 NBA seasons from 1960-61 through 1973-74. Long-time executive with the Lakers before accepting a similar position with the Memphis Grizzlies.

1960 and 1961 - Jerry Lucas, Ohio State
Seven-time All-Star averaged 17 ppg and 15.6 rpg with the Cincinnati Royals, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks in 11 NBA seasons from 1963-64 through 1973-74. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). Memory expert and motivational speaker lived in Templeton, Calif., while working on revolutionary educational programs. Taught his memory and learning technique to many Fortune 500 companies and countless churches. He authored more than 60 books on learning, including The Memory Book, which was on the New York Times' best-seller list for 50 weeks and reached the No. 2 position behind All the President's Men, the investigative story that uncovered the Watergate scandal.

1962 - Paul Hogue, Cincinnati
Averaged 6.3 ppg and 7.1 rpg with the New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets in two NBA seasons in 1962-63 and 1963-64. Worked with the Tennessee juvenile program before moving back to Cincinnati to work at a milling machine firm. He served as a physical therapist at a state mental hospital, a counselor at a neighborhood youth center and as a counselor in a local school system before becoming the division supervisor for the Postal Services' Employee Assistance Program.

1963 - Art Heyman, Duke
Averaged 10.3 ppg and 2.8 rpg with the New York Knicks, Cincinnati Royals and Philadelphia 76ers in three NBA seasons from 1963-64 through 1965-66 before averaging 15.4 ppg and 6.4 rpg with the New Jersey Americans, Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers and Miami Floridians in three ABA seasons from 1967-68 through 1969-70. Owned and operated several restaurants.

1964 - Walt Hazzard, UCLA
Averaged 12.6 ppg, 3 rpg and 4.9 apg with five different NBA teams in 10 seasons from 1964-65 through 1973-74. Worked in the Los Angeles Lakers' front office and coached his alma mater and Chapman College before suffering a stroke and undergoing open-heart surgery in 1996.

1965 - Bill Bradley, Princeton
Rhodes Scholar averaged 12.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 3.4 apg with the New York Knicks in 10 NBA seasons from 1967-68 through 1976-77. Three-term U.S. Senator (Democrat-N.J.) until 1995 was a tax and trade expert with a strong voice on race issues and campaign finance reform. The presidential candidate against Al Gore in 2000 authored two basketball books (Life on the Run in 1976 and Values of the Game in 1998).

1966 - Jerry Chambers, Utah
Averaged 8.3 ppg and 3.2 rpg with the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Buffalo Braves, San Diego Conquistadors and San Antonio Spurs in six NBA/ABA seasons from 1966-67 to 1973-74. Worked for the L.A. city parks and recreation department for many years.(323/732-0391 or 323/939-8874)

1967, 1968 and 1969 - Lew Alcindor, UCLA
Six-time league MVP averaged 24.6 ppg and 11.2 rpg in 20 NBA seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969-70 through 1988-89. Nineteen-time All-Star is one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). In 1999, he worked with a high school team at White Mountain Apache Reservation in Whiteriver, Ariz. He was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000 and then worked in training camp with the Indiana Pacers before becoming head coach of the USBL's Oklahoma Storm for one season. Hired by the New York Knicks as a scout in March, 2004 before serving as a Lakers aide helping develop center Andrew Bynum. In January 2012, he was appointed a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.

1970 - Sidney Wicks, UCLA
Averaged 16.8 ppg and 8.7 rpg with the Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics and San Diego Clippers in 10 NBA seasons from 1971-72 through 1980-81. Worked in property management. Served as an assistant coach at his alma mater under Walt Hazzard for four seasons in the mid-1980s. At the completion of his coaching stint with the Bruins, Wicks has been in private business.

1971 - Howard Porter, Villanova
Averaged 9.2 ppg and 4.1 rpg with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets in seven NBA seasons from 1971-72 through 1977-78. Senior probation officer for Ramsey County (Minn.) after getting clean from drugs with the help of a colleague working with him loading furniture for a construction firm in Orlando. Earlier, Porter failed at running a club in Florida and a convenience store. He was trying to trade money and crack cocaine for sex with a prostitute in St. Paul in May, 2007, when the probation officer was beaten to death, according to murder charges filed several months later.

1972 and 1973 - Bill Walton, UCLA
Averaged 13.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 3.4 apg with the Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics in 10 NBA seasons from 1974-75 to 1986-87. Network commentator for both the NBA and NCAA after and while working in a similar capacity for the Clippers.

1974 - David Thompson, North Carolina State
Averaged 22.7 ppg and 4.1 rpg with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle SuperSonics in nine ABA/NBA seasons from 1975-76 through 1983-84. Motivational speaker with Unlimited Sports Management was also community relations director for the Charlotte Hornets.

1975 - Richard Washington, UCLA
Averaged 9.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg with the Kansas City Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers in six NBA seasons from 1976-77 through 1981-82. Contractor in Portland.

1976 - Kent Benson, Indiana
Averaged 9.1 ppg and 5.7 rpg with four different NBA teams in 11 seasons from 1977-78 through 1987-88. Resided in Bloomington, where he worked with Diversified Benefit Services.

1977 - Butch Lee, Marquette
Averaged 8.1 ppg and 3.2 apg with the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers in two NBA seasons in 1978-79 and 1979-80. Owned two restaurants, coached pro ball in Puerto Rico and had a sign business in San Juan.

1978 - Jack Givens, Kentucky
Averaged 6.7 ppg and 2.9 rpg with the Atlanta Hawks in two NBA seasons in 1978-79 and 1979-80. Announcer for the Orlando Magic.

1979 - Magic Johnson, Michigan State
Averaged 19.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 11.2 apg with the Los Angeles Lakers in 13 NBA seasons from 1979-80 through 1990-91 and 1995-96. Business entrepreneur emphasized attempting to revitalize a number of minority neighborhoods. He owned the Magic Theatres, an L.A. restaurant chain (Fatburgers), a TGI Friday's and some Starbucks coffee shops. Johnson was a principal in a local black-owned bank and delved into the entertainment business as a concert promoter and owner of the Magic Johnson Record label. Part of ownership group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in the spring of 2012.

1980 - Darrell Griffith, Louisville
Averaged 16.2 ppg and 3.3 rpg with the Utah Jazz in 11 NBA seasons from 1980-81 through 1990-91. Resides in Louisville where he has several real estate investments and business interests. Father-in-law of NBA standout Derek Anderson established a foundation in his hometown.

1981 - Isiah Thomas, Indiana
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 19.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 9.3 apg with the Detroit Pistons in 13 NBA seasons from 1981-82 through 1993-94. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996) served as president of the New York Knicks from 2003-04 through 2007-08. Executive and part owner of the Toronto Raptors, owner of the CBA and coach of the Indiana Pacers (131-115 record in three seasons from 2000-01 through 2002-03). Served as coach for Florida International the last three seasons.

1982 - James Worthy, North Carolina
Averaged 17.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 3 apg with the Los Angeles Lakers in 12 NBA seasons from 1982-83 through 1993-94. Network TV analyst.

1983 - Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 21.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg and 3.1 bpg with the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors in 18 seasons from 1984-85 through 2001-02. Six-time All-NBA first-team selection was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). NBA Most Valuable Player in 1993-94 is one of only eight players in league history to amass more than 20,000 points and 12,000 rebounds.

1984 - Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
Eleven-time All-Star averaged 21 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 2.4 bpg with the New York Knicks, Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic in 17 seasons from 1985-86 through 1991-02. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996) became an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets.

1985 - Ed Pinckney, Villanova
Averaged 6.8 ppg and 5 rpg with seven different NBA teams in 12 seasons from 1985-86 through 1996-97. Miami Heat TV analyst while trying to cope with an overactive thyroid.

1986 - Pervis Ellison, Louisville
Averaged 9.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg with the Sacramento Kings, Washington Bullets and Boston Celtics in 10 NBA seasons from 1989-90 through 1997-98 and 1999-2000. Lives in Atlanta.

1987 - Keith Smart, Indiana
Played in two games with the San Antonio Spurs in 1988-89 before basketball took him to the Philippines, Venezuela and France. After playing and coaching in the CBA with the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Fury, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as director of player development and assistant coach. Smart was named interim head coach of the Cavs midway through the 2002-03 campaign, replacing John Lucas. Also coach the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.

1988 - Danny Manning, Kansas
Two-time All-Star averaged 14 ppg and 5.2 rpg with seven different franchises in 15 NBA seasons from 1988-89 through 2002-03. Assistant coach at his alma mater for nine seasons before accepting head coaching position with Tulsa.

1989 - Glen Rice, Michigan
Averaged 18.3 ppg and 4.4 rpg with six different NBA franchises in 15 seasons from 1989-90 through 2003-04. Three-time All-Star is still the Heat's all-time leading scorer.

1990 - Anderson Hunt, UNLV
Pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with marijuana found in his possession during a traffic stop in October 1993. Worked in real estate in Detroit.

1991 - Christian Laettner, Duke
All-Star in 1996-97 averaged 12.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 2.6 apg with six different NBA franchises in 13 seasons from 1992-93 through 2004-05. He and Duke teammate Brian Davis faced huge financial and legal hurdles stemming from a loan their real estate company failed to repay nearly $700,000 to former Duke captain and current Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. Court documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal indicated that Laettner and Davis were defendants in several civil lawsuits seeking repayment of about $30 million.

1992 - Bobby Hurley, Duke
Averaged 3.8 ppg and 3.3 apg with the Sacramento Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies in five NBA seasons from 1993-94 through 1997-98. Owned race horses and did TV commentary on the ACC for Fox Sports. Assistant coach under his brother, Danny, with Wagner and Rhode Island.

1993 - Donald Williams, North Carolina
Played professional basketball overseas in Germany and Greece and with the Harlem Globetrotters.

1994 - Corliss Williamson, Arkansas
Averaged 11.1 ppg and 3.9 rpg with the Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers in 12 NBA seasons from 1995-96 through 2006-07. Scored a career-high 40 points against the Pistons on 3-4-98. Coached for Arkansas Baptist College and Central Arkansas.

1995 - Ed O'Bannon, UCLA
Averaged 5 ppg and 2.5 rpg with the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks in two NBA seasons in 1995-96 and 1996-97. After his NBA career, he played in several other professional leagues and is currently playing in Poland.

1996 - Tony Delk, Kentucky
Averaged 9.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.9 apg with eight different franchises in 10 NBA seasons from 1996-97 through 2005-06. Scored a career-high 53 points against the Kings on 1-2-01.

1997 - Miles Simon, Arizona
Appeared in five games with the NBA's Orlando Magic in 1998-99. Played professionally in Israel in 2000 and Italy in 2001 before joining the Dakota Wizards of the CBA where he earned 2002 Newcomer of the Year and MVP honors. Also played in Venezuela and Turkey before joining his alma mater's staff as an assistant under Lute Olson in 2005. Served as a commentator for ESPN.

1998 - Jeff Sheppard, Kentucky
After playing the 1998-99 season with the Atlanta Hawks, he played professionally in Italy. Married former UK women's player Stacey Reed.

1999 - Richard Hamilton, Connecticut
Averaged 17.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 3.5 apg with the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls in 13 seasons from 1999-2000 to 2011-12.

2000 - Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State
Averaged 3.6 ppg and 1.9 apg with four different NBA franchises in six seasons from 2000-01 through 2005-06.

2001 - Shane Battier, Duke
Averaged 9.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 1.9 apg with four different NBA franchises in 11 seasons from 2001-02 to 2011-12.

2002 - Juan Dixon, Maryland
Averaged 8.4 ppg with five different NBA franchises in seven seasons from 2002-03 through 2008-09 before playing overseas in Greece, Spain and Turkey.

2003 - Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse
Averaged 24.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 3.1 apg with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks in nine seasons from 2003-04 to 2011-12.

2004 - Emeka Okafor, Connecticut
Averaged 12.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg and 1.8 bpg with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets in eight seasons from 2004-05 to 2011-12.

2005 - Sean May, North Carolina
Averaged 6.9 ppg and 4 rpg with the Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings in four injury-plagued seasons from 2005-06 through 2009-10 before playing overseas.

2006 - Joakim Noah, Florida
Averaged 8.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg with the Chicago Bulls in five seasons from 2007-08 to 2011-12.

2007 - Corey Brewer, Florida
Averaged 8.9 and 3.2 rpg with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets in five seasons from 2007-08 to 2011-12.

2008 - Mario Chalmers, Kansas
Averaged 8.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.6 apg and 1.5 spg with the Miami Heat in four seasons from 2008-09 to 2011-12.

2009 - Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
Averaged 6.4 ppg with the Minnesota Timberwolves in three seasons from 2009-10 to 2011-12.

2010 - Kyle Singler, Duke
Second-round draft choice by the NBA's Detroit Pistons has played overseas the past two seasons in Spain.

2011 - Kemba Walker, Connecticut
Averaging 12.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 4.1 apg as a rookie with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2011-12.

College Exam: Day 21

1. Who is the only player to post the highest-scoring game in a single tournament the same year he also played major league baseball? Hint: He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

2. Who is the only Final Four player to become AAU national champion in the decathlon in the same year? Hint: The Final Four team's third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder finished third in the decathlon the previous year.

3. Who is the only Final Four player to finish among the top two high jumpers in four NCAA national track meets? Hint: The starting center for a national championship team is the first athlete to place in the NCAA high jump four consecutive years.

4. Name the only coach in NCAA history to reach an NCAA Division I Tournament regional final in back-to-back years with different schools. Hint: He also reached a regional final in his first season at his next coaching outpost.

5. Name the only top-ranked team entering the tournament to be eliminated by an opponent it defeated by more than 40 points during the regular season. Hint: The school that avenged the embarrassing defeat upended the nation's second-ranked team in its next playoff game.

6. Who is the only individual to play in the NCAA Tournament before setting several major league fielding records for a second baseman? Hint: He was the second-leading scorer for his school's playoff team and one of his teammates has been a prominent college basketball coach for more than 20 years.

7. Who is the only member of the College Football Hall of Fame to participate in back-to-back Final Fours? Hint: He is one of the few athletes to earn consensus football All-American honors at two positions.

8. Who is the only individual to lead a school in scoring in an NCAA Tournament before leading a major league in doubles as a player and manage a team in a World Series? Hint: The outfielder drove in six runs in one inning of an American League game.

9. Name the only university to win a minimum of two games in four different postseason national tournaments - NAIA, NCAA Division II, NIT and NCAA Division I. Hint: Of the schools to win at least one game in all four national tourneys, it is the only one with an overall losing record in postseason competition.

10. Name the only school to win back-to-back basketball championships the same academic school years it participated in New Year's Day football bowl games. Hint: One of the two basketball title teams is the only school to have as many as 26 different players appear in its games in a season it won an NCAA crown. The two titlists helped the school become the only university to reach the NCAA championship game in its first three playoff appearances.

Answers: Day 21

Manning the All-American Front: Tulsa's New Coach Seeks Another Miracle

Kansas assistant Danny Manning, who won more than three-fourths of his games as an All-American with the Jayhawks (113-34, .769) assumes control of the Tulsa coaching position with an impressive pedigree. He comes from a program where headliners John Calipari, Tim Jankovich, Bill Self, Kevin Stallings and Mark Turgeon served as KU aides.

Manning likely won't hire a truck driver dad as an assistant coach similar to what Larry Brown did in the mid-1980s to help lure him halfway across the country from North carolina. Unless Manning goes where no man has gone before, it will take another miracle for him to win a higher percentage of games than he did as an All-American player. That's because it has never been achieved including by icon John Wooden, who won 84% of his games as an All-American player with Purdue before winning 80.8% of his games in 27 seasons as UCLA's celebrated coach.

Five active mentors - Steve Alford, Tommy Amaker, Mark Macon, Isiah Thomas and Corliss Williamson - are among the following 30 coaches who each posted a higher winning percentage over their college playing careers than they did in their stints as a major-college head coach:

All-American (School; Winning Mark as Player) Coaching Career Summary (Winning Mark as Coach)
*Steve Alford (Indiana; .724) SW Missouri State/Iowa/New Mexico (.634)
*Tommy Amaker (Duke; .783) Seton Hall/Michigan/Harvard (.579)
Forrest "Whitey" Baccus (SMU; .580) Southern Methodist (.437)
Alfred "Butch" Beard (Louisville; .783) Howard/Morgan State (.326)
Henry Bibby (UCLA; .967) Southern California (.526)
Charles "Tub" Bradley (Wyoming; .616) Loyola Marymount (.244)
Gary Brokaw (Notre Dame; .746) Iona (.493)
Bob Calihan (Detroit; .714) Detroit (.559)
Ernie Calverley (Rhode Island; .807) Rhode Island (.552)
Tom Churchill (Oklahoma; .725) New Mexico (.627)
Jimmy Collins (New Mexico State; .841) Illinois-Chicago (.512)
Bob Cousy (Holy Cross; .839) Boston College (.750)
Howie Dallmar (Stanford/Penn; .714) Penn/Stanford (.534)
Larry Finch (Memphis State; .750) Memphis State (.629)
Tom Gola (La Salle; .856) La Salle (.740)
Sidney Green (UNLV; .719) Florida Atlantic (.309)
Clem Haskins (Western Kentucky; .851) Western Kentucky/Minnesota (.585)
Walt Hazzard (UCLA; .773) UCLA (.621)
*Mark Macon (Temple; .729) Binghamton (.247)
Kyle Macy (Kentucky; .752) Morehead State (.424)
Willie McCarter (Drake; .646) Detroit (.407)
Jim O'Brien (Boston College; .641) St. Bonaventure/Boston College/Ohio State (.547)
John Oldham (Western Kentucky; .887) Tennessee Tech/Western Kentucky (.679)
Jeff Ruland (Iona; .773) Iona (.507)
Frank Selvy (Furman; .738) Furman (.427)
*Isiah Thomas (Indiana; .734) Florida International (.286)
Monte Towe (North Carolina State; .919) New Orleans (.473)
Paul Westphal (Southern California; .744) Pepperdine (.514)
*Corliss Williamson (Arkansas; .817) Central Arkansas (.224)
John Wooden (Purdue; .840) UCLA (.808)

*Active coaches in 2011-12.

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Challenge (Day 20)

Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 20 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):

1. Who is the only athlete to rank among the top five in scoring average in an NCAA Tournament and later start for an NFL champion? Hint: He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection who played in back-to-back Super Bowls. His brother was the first black player for the major leagues' last integrated team.

2. Who is the only player to lead an NCAA championship game in scoring while playing for his father? Hint: The son has the lowest game-high point total in NCAA final history.

3. Who comprise the only father/son combination to twice reach the Final Four together as coach and player? Hint: The son was a starter for a team that was undefeated entering the Final Four.

4. Who is the only active coach to have played in the NCAA Tournament and College World Series in the same year? Hint: He served as captain on the baseball and basketball teams as a college senior. After graduation, he played minor league baseball before becoming an outstanding fast-pitch softball player who was named to a couple of national All-Star teams.

5. Name the only school to have a single coach guide the same group of players to victories in the NAIA Tournament, NIT and NCAA Tournament. Hint: It's the only school in the last 60 years to enter the NIT with an undefeated record. One of the five regulars from the three national postseason tournament winners was one of the NBA's premier rebounders before becoming an assistant coach in the league and head coach of his alma mater.

6. Who is the only coach to guide teams to the championship game in both the Division I and Division II Tournaments? Hint: He is the only coach to have a career NCAA Division I Tournament record as many as eight games below the .500 mark, only title team coach to compile a non-winning career playoff mark and only coach to lose three consecutive regional final games.

7. Who is the only player to score more than 60% of his team's points in an NCAA Tournament game and be on the losing end of the score? Hint: It was a first-round contest and the individual was national player of the year.

8. Who is the only player to score more than two-thirds of his team's points in an NCAA Tournament game? Hint: He scored more than 50% of his squad's points over three playoff outings.

9. Name the only school to win a small college national postseason tournament before capturing at least one NCAA Division I title. Hint: The school opposed the same coach in the championship game of the small college tournament and the NCAA Final Four. The school also supplied the only team to win an NCAA crown after setting or tying an existing school record for most defeats the previous season.

10. Who is the only individual to participate in the Final Four before playing and coaching in the NFL at least five seasons apiece? Hint: He was a member of an NFL team that moved to another city the year after capturing the league title.

Answers (Day 20)

Illinois Fans Anticipate Quick Turnaround From New Coach John Groce

Is former Ohio University coach John Groce inheriting a gross situation after two fellow mid-major coaches rejected overtures from Illinois? The Illini boast one of the 10 schools with the most Top 20 appearances, but it seems to be in as much disarray as it was in the 1970s when failing to finish in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll or appear in the NCAA playoffs the entire decade.

After compiling a losing Big Ten Conference record over the last six years, it boils down to in-state recruiting. Among the Illinois natives who earned All-American status during the '70s with other universities were DePaul's Mark Aguirre (from Chicago), Minnesota's Jim Brewer (Maywood), Indiana's Quinn Buckner (Dolton), Penn's Corky Calhoun (Waukegan), Illinois State's Doug Collins (Benton), DePaul's Dave Corzine (Arlington Heights), Marquette's Bo Ellis (Chicago), Michigan's Rickey Green (Chicago), Kentucky's Dan Issel (Batavia), Iowa's Ronnie Lester (Chicago), Colorado's Cliff Meely (Chicago), Bradley's Roger Phegley (East Peoria), Kansas' Dave Robisch (Springfield), Marquette's Lloyd Walton (Chicago) and Jerome Whitehead (Waukegan) plus Georgia Tech's Rich Yunkus (Benton). Four of these standouts were All-Americans in the same season - Buckner, Ellis, Green and Walton in 1975-76.

Just like several decades ago, recruiting Chicago won't be a panacea for Groce. His staff needs to take every back road. After all, Issel and Yunkus were among 22 different major-college All-Americans in less than 30 years to come from Illinois high schools in towns with populations smaller than 20,000.

Until Groce starts delivering some goodies such as switching to an up-tempo offense, he simply joins the following list of 70 different active coaches who had at least three years remaining on their contracts when they departed for greener pastures:

  • Steve Alford (3 years remaining on contract) - left Southwest Missouri State (after 1998-99 season)/hired by Iowa
  • Steve Alford (4) - Iowa/New Mexico
  • Tommy Amaker (3) - Seton Hall/Michigan
  • Mike Anderson (4) - UAB/Missouri
  • Mike Anderson (5) - Missouri/Arkansas
  • Tony Barbee (4) - Texas-El Paso/Auburn
  • Rick Barnes (3) - George Mason/Providence
  • Rick Barnes (6) - Clemson/Texas
  • John Beilien (6) - Richmond/West Virginia
  • John Beilien (5) - West Virginia/Michigan
  • Tony Bennett (6) - Washington State/Virginia
  • Ken Bone (4) - Portland State/Washington State
  • Ben Braun (3) - Eastern Michigan/California
  • Mike Brey (7) - Delaware/Notre Dame
  • Milan Brown (3) - Mount St. Mary's/Holy Cross
  • Brad Brownell (4) - Wright State/Clemson
  • Jeff Bzdelik (4) - Air Force/Colorado
  • John Calipari (10) - Massachusetts/New Jersey Nets
  • John Calipari (4) - Memphis/Kentucky
  • Patrick Chambers (5) - Boston University/Penn State
  • Jim Christian (5) - Kent State/Texas Christian
  • Ed Conroy (5) - The Citadel/Tulane
  • Ed Cooley (5) - Fairfield/Providence
  • Tom Crean (9) - Marquette/Indiana
  • Ed DeChellis (3) - Penn State/Navy
  • Larry Eustachy (6) - Utah State/Iowa State
  • Tim Floyd (6) - New Orleans/Iowa State
  • Tim Floyd (8) - Iowa State/Chicago Bulls
  • Geno Ford (4) - Kent State/Bradley
  • Travis Ford (7) - Massachusetts/Oklahoma State
  • Mark Fox (5) - Nevada/Georgia
  • Billy Gillispie (3) - Texas-El Paso/Texas A&M
  • Billy Gillispie (8) - Texas A&M/Kentucky
  • Mark Gottfried (4) - Murray State/Alabama
  • Anthony Grant (5) - Virginia Commonwealth/Alabama
  • Brian Gregory (7) - Dayton/Georgia Tech
  • Leonard Hamilton (7) - Miami (Fla.)/Washington Wizards
  • Stan Heath (4) - Kent State/Arkansas
  • Paul Hewitt (3) - Siena/Georgia Tech
  • Ben Howland (6) - Pittsburgh/UCLA
  • Bob Huggins (4) - Kansas State/West Virginia
  • Ron Hunter (5) - IUPUI/Georgia State
  • Trent Johnson (5) - Nevada/Stanford
  • Donnie Jones (4) - Marshall/Central Florida
  • Billy Kennedy (4) - Murray State/Texas A&M
  • Lon Kruger (4) - Kansas State/Florida
  • Lon Kruger (5) - Florida/Illinois
  • Lon Kruger (4) - Illinois/Atlanta Hawks
  • Jim Larranaga (5) - George Mason/Miami FL
  • Jeff Lebo (8) - Chattanooga/Auburn
  • Gregg Marshall (8) - Winthrop/Wichita State
  • Cuonzo Martin (4) - Missouri State/Tennessee
  • Frank Martin (3) - Kansas State/South Carolina
  • Thad Matta (9) - Xavier/Ohio State
  • Fran McCaffery (7) - Siena/Iowa
  • Jim McDermott (5) - Northern Iowa/Iowa State
  • Jim McDermott (5) - Iowa State/Creighton
  • Tim Miles (4) - Colorado State/Nebraska
  • Sean Miller (9) - Xavier/Arizona
  • Dan Monson (10) - Gonzaga/Minnesota
  • Mike Montgomery (4) - Stanford/Golden State Warriors
  • Stew Morrill (3) - Colorado State/Utah State
  • Porter Moser (5) - UALR/Illinois State
  • Kevin O'Neill (3) - Marquette/Tennessee
  • Kevin O'Neill (4) - Tennessee/Northwestern
  • Louis Orr (4) - Siena/Seton Hall
  • Matt Painter (3) - Southern Illinois/Purdue
  • Eddie Payne (3) - East Carolina/Oregon State
  • Tom Pecora (4) - Hofstra/Fordham
  • Buzz Peterson (9) - Appalachian State/Tulsa
  • Buzz Peterson (4) - Tulsa/Tennessee
  • Buzz Peterson (4) - Appalachian State/UNC Wilmington
  • Rick Pitino (5) - Providence/New York Knicks
  • Rick Pitino (3) - Kentucky/Boston Celtics
  • Oliver Purnell (6) - Clemson/DePaul
  • Mike Rice Jr. (7) - Robert Morris/Rutgers
  • Lorenzo Romar (4) - Saint Louis/Washington
  • Joe Scott (4) - Air Force/Princeton
  • Bill Self (5) - Tulsa/Illinois
  • Bill Self (5) - Illinois/Kansas
  • Herb Sendek (4) - North Carolina State/Arizona State
  • Larry Shyatt (4) - Wyoming/Clemson
  • Tubby Smith (3) - Tulsa/Georgia
  • Tubby Smith (6) - Georgia/Kentucky
  • Tubby Smith (4) - Kentucky/Minnesota
  • Mark Turgeon (9) - Wichita State/Texas A&M
  • Mark Turgeon (4) - Texas A&M/Maryland
  • Gary Waters (5) - Kent State/Rutgers
  • Roy Williams (5) - Kansas/North Carolina

NOTE: Amaker (Harvard), Braun (Rice), Eustachy (Southern Mississippi), Montgomery (California), Moser (Loyola Chicago), Payne (USC Upstate), Scott (Denver), Shyatt (returned to Wyoming) and Waters (Cleveland State) subsequently changed jobs and are now coaching other DI schools.

False Start: Stanford's NIT Title Doesn't Mean Much for Next Year

If history means anything, a National Invitation Tournament crown won't serve as a springboard to NCAA playoff success for Stanford. Defending NIT champions combined for a 10-16 NCAA Tournament record from 1986 through 2012.

The NIT titlists from 1985 through 2004 combined for a losing national postseason tournament record (15-17) the year after capturing an NIT championship - NCAA (8-13) and NIT (7-4) - with three of them not reaching national postseason play. Two more NIT champions in the last six years - South Carolina '06 and Penn State '09 - also failed to appear in national postseason competition the next season. West Virginia '08, Ohio State '09 and Wichita State '12 combined for a 2-3 NCAA playoff mark the years after winning an NIT title.

Only two schools in the last 28 years reached an NCAA regional semifinal the year after capturing an NIT title (Virginia '93 and West Virginia '08). Here is a breakdown of how the NIT champions fared the next season since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985:

Year NIT Champion Performance the Following Season
1985 UCLA 15-14 record; 9-9 in Pacific-10 (4th place); no postseason
1986 Ohio State 20-13; 9-9 in Big Ten (6th); lost in NCAA 2nd round
1987 Southern Mississippi 19-11; 5-7 in Metro (7th); lost in NIT 2nd round
1988 Connecticut 18-13; 6-10 in Big East (T7th); lost in NIT 3rd round
1989 St. John's 24-10; 10-6 in Big East (4th); lost in NCAA 2nd round
1990 Vanderbilt 17-13; 11-7 in SEC (4th); lost in NCAA 1st round
1991 Stanford 18-11; 10-8 in Pacific-10 (4th); lost in NCAA 1st round
1992 Virginia 21-10; 9-7 in ACC (5th); lost in NCAA regional semifinal
1993 Minnesota 21-12; 10-8 in Big Ten (T4th); lost in NCAA 2nd round
1994 Villanova 25-8; 14-4 in Big East (2nd); lost in NCAA 1st round
1995 Virginia Tech 23-6; 13-3 in Atlantic 10 (T1st/W); lost in NCAA 2nd round
1996 Nebraska 19-14; 7-9 in Big 12 (4th/N); lost in NIT 3rd round
1997 Michigan 25-9; 11-5 in Big Ten (4th); lost in NCAA 2nd round
1998 Minnesota 17-11; 8-8 in Big Ten (6th); lost in NCAA 1st round
1999 California 18-15; 7-11 in Pacific-10 (7th); lost in NIT 3rd round
2000 Wake Forest 19-11; 8-8 in ACC (T5th); lost in NCAA 1st round
2001 Tulsa 27-7; 15-3 in WAC (T1st); lost in NCAA 2nd round
2002 Memphis 23-7; 13-3 in C-USA (1st/National); lost in NCAA 1st round
2003 St. John's 6-21; 1-15 in Big East (14th); no postseason
2004 Michigan 13-18; 4-12 in Big Ten (9th); no postseason
2005 South Carolina 23-15; 6-10 in SEC (5th/East); won NIT championship
2006 South Carolina 14-16; 4-12 in SEC (6th/Eastern); no postseason
2007 West Virginia 26-11; 11-7 in Big East (T5th); lost in NCAA regional semifinals
2008 Ohio State 22-11; 10-8 in Big Ten (T4th); lost in NCAA 1st round
2009 Penn State 11-20; 3-15 in Big Ten (11th); no postseason
2010 Dayton 22-14; 7-9 in Atlantic 10 (T8th); lost in NIT 1st round
2011 Wichita State 27-6; 16-2 in Missouri Valley (1st); lost in NCAA 1st round
2012 Stanford To be determined in 2012-13

Been Around the Block: Barry Hinson Returns to Missouri Valley

Former Missouri State coach Barry Hinson returned to the Missouri Valley Conference in a similar capacity at Southern Illinois. After the retirements of Charlie Coles and Bobby Cremsins, Hinson joins the following alphabetical list of active coaches - four in the MEAC - who were bench bosses of two different schools in the same conference:

Active Coach Conference First School Second School
Cy Alexander Mid-Eastern Athletic South Carolina State (1988-2003) North Carolina A&T (since 2013)
Frankie Allen Mid-Eastern Athletic Howard (2001-05) Maryland-Eastern Shore (since 2009)
Horace Broadnax Mid-Eastern Athletic Bethune-Cookman (1998-2002) Savannah State (since 2006)
Keith Dambrot Mid-American Central Michigan (1992 & '93) Akron (since 2005)
Bill Herrion North Atlantic/America East Drexel (1992-99) New Hampshire (since 2007)
Barry Hinson Missouri Valley Missouri State (2000-08) Southern Illinois (since 2013)
Bob Huggins Big 12 Kansas State (2007) West Virginia (since 2013)
Donnie Jones C-USA Marshall (2008-10) UCF (2011)
Greg McDermott Missouri Valley Northern Iowa (2002-06) Creighton (since 2011)
Jim Molinari Mid-Continent/Summit Northern Illinois (1991) Western Illinois (since 2009)
Mike Montgomery Pacific-10/12 Stanford (1987-2004) California (since 2009)
Stew Morrill Western Athletic Colorado State (1992-98) Utah State (since 2006)
Kevin Nickelberry Mid-Eastern Athletic Hampton (2007-10) Howard (since 2011)
Rick Pitino Big East Providence (1986 & '87) Louisville (since 2006)
Keith Richard Sun Belt Louisiana Tech (1999-2001) Louisiana-Monroe (since 2011)

Short-Term Success: Junior College Recruits Win Multiple NCAA Titles

Often overlooked amid UCLA's amazing run of nine NCAA Tournament titles in a 10-year span from 1964 through 1973 was the impact of junior college products on the Bruins' success. They had six J.C. recruits, includng 1970 Most Outstanding Player Sidney Wicks, who were part of multiple NCAA championships.

Kentucky's Eloy Vargas grabbed five rebounds in only seven minutes last year when the Wildcats lost, 56-55, to eventual champion Connecticut in the national semifinals. Vargas, a backup this season to freshman phenom Anthony Davis, will be fortunate to get any playing time at all in New Orleans. But Vargas does join the following alphabetical list of two- or three-time Final Four team members who previously played for a junior college:

J.C. Recruit Pos. Final Four Teams Junior College
Warren Baxter G San Francisco '55 & '56 San Francisco City
Alex Dillard G Arkansas '94 & '95 Southern Union AL
Keith Erickson F UCLA '64 & '65 El Camino CA
Larry Johnson F UNLV '90 & '91 Odessa TX
Bill McClintock F California '59 & '60 Monterey Peninsula CA
Swen Nater C UCLA '72 & '73 Cypress CA
Jim Nielsen F UCLA '67 & '68 Pierce CA
Mike Preaseau F San Francisco '56 & '57 Menlo CA
Terry Schofield G UCLA '69, '70 & '71 Santa Monica CA
Dwight Stewart C Arkansas '94 & '95 South Plains TX
John Vallely G UCLA '69 & '70 Orange Coast CA
Eloy Vargas C Kentucky '11 & '12 Miami-Dade FL
Sidney Wicks F UCLA '69, '70 & '71 Santa Monica CA

Change of Address: Each Final Four Team Benefits from Transfer

Although there is a disenchantment stigma attached to transfers, it shouldn't be considered a crime. Each of this year's Final Four rosters has at least one transfer among their regular rotations. If you include injured Kentucky star Derek Anderson in 1997, 25 of the last 29 Final Fours featured teams with at least one starter or key reserve who began his college career at another four-year Division I school.

Vanderbilt guard Billy McCaffrey, a transfer from Duke, is the only All-Tournament selection to finish his college playing career attending another major university. There was no All-Tournament team in 1942 when Stanford guard Howie Dallmar was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player before completing his undergraduate work at Penn toward the end of World War II. McCaffrey earned a spot on the 1991 All-Tournament team by scoring 16 points to help Duke defeat Kansas (72-65) in the championship game.

"What I really wanted was consistency; not playing a key factor in some games, very minimal in others," McCaffrey said. "My role probably would have been the same if I had stayed. I felt I could do more. I needed to enjoy the game more. I think a player likes to know that he can be counted on for certain things every night. That's how I get pleasure from the games. Your college career is too short to spend somewhere you're not happy.

"I don't regret leaving. I cherish those memories. I was happy for them (when the Blue Devils repeated in 1992). I knew when I left that they had a good chance to win (again). I took that into consideration when I made my decision to leave. I'd already been a part of a national championship. Maybe that made it easier."

Kentucky center Eloy Vargas is the fifth transfer since 1990 - joining UNLV guard Greg Anthony (1990 and 1991), Kentucky swingman Derek Anderson (1996 and 1997), Michigan State forward Mike Chappell (2000 and 2001) and Maryland swingman Byron Mouton (2001 and 2002) - to reach the Final Four in back-to-back seasons after leaving a four-year school.

2012 - Ohio State F Evan Ravenel (Boston College), Louisville G Chris Smith (Manhattan), Kentucky C Eloy Vargas* (Florida), Kansas F Justin Wesley (Lamar), Kansas C Jeff Withey (Arizona) and Kansas F Kevin Young (Loyola Marymount)

2011 - Kentucky C Eloy Vargas* (Florida), Virginia Commonwealth F Jamie Skeen (Wake Forest), Virginia Commonwealth F Toby Veal* (Colorado)

2010 - None

2009 - None

2008 - Kansas G Rodrick Stewart** (Southern California) and Memphis F Shawn Taggart (Iowa State)

2007 - Georgetown F Patrick Ewing Jr. (Indiana) and Ohio State G Ron Lewis (Bowling Green)

2006 - None

2005 - Illinois F-C Jack Ingram (Tulsa)

2004 - Oklahoma State G Daniel Bobik (Brigham Young), Georgia Tech G Will Bynum (Arizona), Oklahoma State G-F Joey Graham (Central Florida), Oklahoma State F Stephen Graham (Central Florida), Oklahoma State G John Lucas III (Baylor) and Oklahoma State F Jason Miller (North Texas)

2003 - Texas F Deginald Erskin (North Texas) and Marquette F-C Robert Jackson (Mississippi State)

2002 - Oklahoma C Jabahri Brown (Florida International) and F-C Aaron McGhee* (Cincinnati) and Maryland G-F Byron Mouton (Tulane)

2001 - Michigan State F Mike Chappell (Duke), Maryland G-F Byron Mouton (Tulane) and Arizona C Loren Woods (Wake Forest)

2000 - Michigan State F Mike Chappell (Duke)

1999 - Ohio State G Scoonie Penn (Boston College)

1998 - Kentucky F Heshimu Evans (Manhattan) and North Carolina C Makhtar Ndiaye (Michigan)

1997 - Kentucky G-F Derek Anderson (Ohio State)

1996 - Kentucky G-F Derek Anderson (Ohio State) and C Mark Pope (Washington)

1995 - Oklahoma State F Scott Pierce (Illinois)

1994 - None

1993 - Kentucky G Travis Ford (Missouri) and Kansas G Rex Walters (Northwestern)

1992 - Cincinnati G Anthony Buford (Akron) and F Erik Martin (TCU)

1991 - UNLV G Greg Anthony (Portland) and C Elmore Spencer (Georgia)

1990 - UNLV G Greg Anthony (Portland)

1989 - Illinois F Kenny Battle (Northern Illinois)

1988 - Oklahoma F Harvey Grant (Clemson) and Arizona F Tom Tolbert (UC Irvine)

1987 - Providence G Delray Brooks (Indiana) and UNLV G Mark Wade (Oklahoma)

1986 - Kansas C Greg Dreiling (Wichita State)

1985 - St. John's G Mike Moses (Florida)

1984 - Virginia G Rick Carlisle (Maine)

*Played for a junior college between four-year schools. **Injured.

Melting Pot: Final Four Anthem Could Be 'We Are the World'

College basketball has taken on an increasingly international flavor with an average of more than 400 foreign athletes competing for NCAA Division I men's teams over the last 10 seasons. A classic example is vastly-improved Louisville center Gorgui Dieng from Senegal.

You've heard of a trade deficit. How about the trade surplus the national semifinals have enjoyed of late? All but one Final Four since 1993 had an international flavor with at least one player from outside North America in the regular rotation of a team reaching the national semifinals.

"If communism hadn't fallen, I would have had to make the most difficult decision in my life," said UCLA center George Zidek, the starting center for UCLA's 1995 national champion who once was yelped at by dogs and arrested during a riot in Prague. "I would have had to leave to play basketball and never come back to my country or my family. I don't know if I could have done that."

An old adage claimed that fans couldn't tell the players without a roster. Now, it's at the point where fans can't pronounce the names on rosters without taking a couple of Berlitz language courses.

Following is a look at Final Four foreigners in the last 20 years coming from 22 different nations:

2012 - Kentucky C Eloy Vargas (Dominican Republic) and Louisville C Gorgui Dieng (Senegal)

2011 - Connecticut G-F Niels Giffey (Germany) and C Charles Okwandu (Nigeria) and Kentucky C Eloy Vargas (Dominican Republic)

2010 - West Virginia F Deniz Kilicli (Turkey)

2009 - Connecticut C Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania) and Michigan State C Idong Ibok (Nigeria)

2008 - UCLA F-C Alfred Aboya (Cameroon), F Nikola Dragovic (Serbia) and F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Cameroon)

2007 - UCLA F-C Alfred Aboya (Cameroon) and F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Cameroon)

2006 - Florida G Walter Hodge (Puerto Rico), F-C Al Horford (Dominican Republic) and G David Huertas (Puerto Rico), Louisiana State F Magnum Rolle (Bahamas) and UCLA F-C Alfred Aboya (Cameroon) and F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Cameroon)

2005 - Louisville F-G Francisco Garcia (Dominican Republic), F-C Otis George (Dominica) and Juan Palacios (Columbia)

2004 - Duke F Luol Deng (Sudan) and Georgia Tech C Luke Schenscher (Australia)

2003 - Texas G Sydmill Harris (The Netherlands)

2002 - Oklahoma C Jabahri Brown (Virgin Islands) and C Jozsef Szendrei (Hungary)

2001 - None

2000 - Wisconsin G Kirk Penney (New Zealand)

1999 - Connecticut C Souleymane Wane (Senegal) and Ohio State G Boban Savovic (Yugoslavia)

1998 - Utah F Hanno Mottola (Finland) and North Carolina C Makhtar Ndiaye (Nigeria)

1997 - North Carolina F Ademola Okulaja (Germany) and C Serge Zwikker (Netherlands)

1996 - Syracuse G Marius Janulis (Lithuania) and Massachusetts G Edgar Padilla (Puerto Rico) and G Carmelo Travieso (Puerto Rico)

1995 - UCLA C George Zidek (Czechoslovakia), Arkansas G Davor Rimac (Yugoslavia) and North Carolina C Serge Zwikker (Netherlands)

1994 - Arkansas G Davor Rimac (Yugoslavia) and Florida F Martti Kuisma (Finland)

1993 - North Carolina G Henrik Rodl (Germany)

Secret Agent Men: The Greatest Tourney Stories Never Told

They were real; not like four fictional characters such as Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery, Tom Cruise or Robert Culp. And they didn't go undercover and sneak in to a practice to scout an opponent's strategy.

But a Final Four player isn't required to hit a decisive basket or be selected Most Outstanding Player to be a hero. He doesn't even need to participate on the court. Bob Ames, a member of the Tom Gola-led La Salle teams in 1954 (national champion) and 1955 (runner-up to San Francisco), never got off the bench at the Final Four those two years although he was the only La Salle player to hit more than three-fourths of his free throws the season the Explorers won the NCAA title.

"Our coach, Ken Loeffler, only used seven guys, and Bob was the eighth man," said Frank Blatcher, a starter for the Explorers each season and their leading scorer with a total of 42 points at the Final Four on the championship team. "He had the talent. He just never got a chance to show it."

Ames, a pre-law major who scored a total of eight points in three NCAA playoff games in 1955, did have an opportunity to show his ability in another more vital endeavor, however. He joined the Central Intelligence Agency and worked his way up the chain of command to become the Director of the CIA's Office of Analysis of the Near East and South Asia. "The Spy Who Loved Basketball" worked closely with both the Carter and Reagan administrations.

Regrettably, Ames was killed in Beirut in 1983. A truck loaded with TNT on a suicide mission rammed into the facility where Ames was staying while serving as a liaison trying to allay contacts among the Lebanese, Syrians and Israelis in hopes of calming the escalating discord.

"Here was a guy that turned out to have had a greater influence on our lives than just about any 1,000 other basketball players you can name," Blatcher said. "It just shows you that you don't have to be a star to accomplish something." Something like becoming a genuine American hero.

Speaking of the CIA, the agency's deputy director under George Bush in 1976 was Hank Knoche, the leading scorer in the Mountain States (Big Seven) Conference with 16.4 points per game for Colorado's 1946 NCAA Tournament team. Knoche, the father of former American University coach Chris Knoche, reputedly was the first player selected in the NBA's first college draft in 1947 after enrolling at Washington and Jefferson (Pa.) to play on a 16-4 team with two of his brothers. But he never appeared in the then-fledgling league, which doesn't have any official draft records prior to 1949. The franchise that selected him, the Pittsburgh Ironmen, folded shortly after the draft, and his rights reverted to the New York Knicks.

"I didn't know I was the first No. 1 pick until a writer from Atlanta called me years ago for a story," Knoche said. "An NBA historian had informed him of my alleged status."

The elder Knoche, who went to live in the Denver area, chose not to play in an uncertain situation for little money. "I never received any contact from the Ironmen," he said. "The Knicks sent a contract offer in the mail, but it was for just $3,500 and that's if I made the team (many NBA standouts earn five times that amount every quarter).

"I chose to play industrial basketball, where I remember playing six times one year against seven-footer Bob Kurland (Oklahoma State three-time first-team All-American who never played in the NBA). That wasn't much fun going against Kurland because I was just a 6-4 center."

Knoche was recalled to the military during the Korean War, where he was assigned to intelligence work for the Navy and later embarked on a civilian career that led to a job with the CIA.

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Challenge (Day 19)

Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 19 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):

1. Name the only Final Four team to have a trio all average more than 20 points per game in the same season. Hint: The school won its conference tournament that year although none of the threesome shot better than 50% from the floor over the three games.

2. Name the only duo to twice reach the Final Four and both players average more than 20 points per game each season. Hint: Their team lost each year at the Final Four by the same score. One of the pair is the only player to score more than 25 points in Final Four defeats in back-to-back years.

3. Who is the only one of UCLA's eight first-team All-Americans from 1964 through 1975 to fail to earn a spot on an All-NCAA Tournament team when the Bruins won 10 national titles? Hint: He averaged more than 15 points per game in two of his three varsity seasons and went on to coach the Bruins' crosstown rival to a regional final.

4. Who is the only NCAA baseball championship coach to direct a basketball team from the same school to the Final Four? Hint: He is the school's all-time winningest basketball coach.

5. Who is the only championship team senior to average seven points per game or less entering the national semifinals before seizing the moment and averaging double digits in scoring in his last two games with an increase of at least six points per game from his pre-Final Four scoring mark? Hint: He was the seventh-leading scorer for the season on a team with just two seniors among its top eight point producers.

6. Who is the only player to score more than half of a championship team's points in a single NCAA Tournament? Hint: He was the team's only player to compile a double-digit season scoring average and no teammate scored more than seven points in either of the two Final Four games.

7. Name the only school to lose three national championship games in a city where it enjoyed a distinct homecourt advantage. Hint: The school lost two of the three title games by one point before capturing the title there in a season it became the only NCAA champion to lose four consecutive conference contests.

8. Name the only team to fail to have at least one player score in double figures in the championship game. Hint: It was the school's only NCAA Tournament appearance until the university started appearing regularly in the tourney since 1975.

9. Name the only Division II school to have three of its former head coaches go on to direct major-college teams to the NCAA Division I Tournament championship game. Hint: None of the three coaches compiled a losing record in any of the total of 11 seasons they coached at the small school, which won the Division II Tournament in 1984 and captured the first two NAIA Tournament titles.

10. Who is the only one of the individuals named NBA Most Valuable Player, score more than 20,000 pro points or be selected to at least five All-NBA teams after participating in more than six NCAA Division I Tournament games and not compile a winning tourney record? Hint: He left college with eligibility remaining, but was involved in two NCAA playoff defeats when the tournament conducted regional third-place games.

Answers (Day 19)

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Challenge (Day 18)

Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 18 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):

1. Who is the only major-college coach to finish his career with more than 500 victories and never participate in the NCAA playoffs? Hint: The coach spent his entire four-year school coaching career at one institution and had nine consecutive winning seasons at the Division I level from 1972-73 through 1980-81.

2. Who is the only player to average more than 26 points per game for an undefeated NCAA champion before averaging less than five points per game in his NBA career? Hint: He averaged the same number of points in the NCAA Tournament as he did for the entire season.

3. Who is the only coach to win three national third-place games? Hint: No coach accumulated as many different All-Americans as he did (16) in his first 20 campaigns at a single school.

4. Who is the only former major-college player to score more than 23,000 points in the NBA after never participating in the NCAA Tournament or NIT? Hint: His alma mater returned to small-college status after being at the Division I level for more than 50 years but never appearing in the NCAA playoffs or NIT.

5. Of the 10 different players to compile season scoring averages of more than 23 points per game for a national champion, who is the only individual in this group to tally fewer than 40 points in two games at the Final Four? Hint: His team won both Final Four games that year by a minimum of 20 points.

6. Who is the only individual to coach a team to the Final Four after becoming an NCAA consensus first-team All-American and NBA first-round draft choice? Hint: He joined Chet Walker and Bob Love as 20-points-per-game scorers for the Chicago Bulls in 1969-70 after becoming the first African-American to earn a league MVP while attending a Southern school.

7. Who is the only national player of the year to score less than 10 points when his school was eliminated in a Final Four contest the same season? Hint: He averaged more than 25 points per game in his four previous playoff contests that year.

8. Name the only Final Four team to have as many as six players still on its roster with double-digit season scoring averages. Hint: All six individuals played in the NBA as did another player on the squad who averaged eight points per game.

9. Who is the only All-Tournament selection to finish his college playing career at another major university? Hint: His brother was a wide receiver for a Super Bowl champion.

10. Who is the only leading scorer for a Final Four team to also play for the school's football squad in a New Year's Day bowl game and win a silver medal in the Olympics as a high jumper? Hint: The Olympics climaxed a superb academic school year for the versatile athlete who won the NCAA high jump crown and led his school's football and basketball teams in scoring. He also appeared in the first two NBA All-Star Games.

Answers (Day 18)

Menacing Man: Much More to Kansas State Basketball Than Frank Martin

Kansas State fans and some national basketball pundits are about to discern that no coach is indispensable. Life didn't begin with Frank Martin and didn't end upon him taking his stare, bulging veins and AAU ties to try to pump some life into South Carolina's moribund program. But if you're already in remorse missing his passion in the Midlands, you should be able to shake off the doldrums by returning to reality reading the following history lesson:

Seven different coaches, four of them in a 15-year span, guided Kansas State to the NCAA playoffs before Martin had the job dumped in his lap when Bob Huggins abandoned ship after only one "rehab" season to return to his alma mater (West Virginia). Manhattan wasn't leveled when the latest tornado passed through town.

No individual is bigger than the program. Essentially, all that really happened was Martin moved closer to his Southern roots (Miami) and joined the following list of 70 different active coaches who had at least three years remaining on their contracts when they departed for greener pastures:

  • Steve Alford (3 years remaining on contract) - left Southwest Missouri State (after 1998-99 season)/hired by Iowa
  • Steve Alford (4) - Iowa/New Mexico
  • Dana Altman (2) - Marshall/Kansas State
  • Tommy Amaker (3) - Seton Hall/Michigan
  • Mike Anderson (4) - UAB/Missouri
  • Mike Anderson (5) - Missouri/Arkansas
  • Ronnie Arrow (2) - Texas A&M-Corpus Christi/South Alabama
  • Tony Barbee (4) - Texas-El Paso/Auburn
  • Rick Barnes (3) - George Mason/Providence
  • Rick Barnes (6) - Clemson/Texas
  • John Beilien (6) - Richmond/West Virginia
  • John Beilien (5) - West Virginia/Michigan
  • Tony Bennett (6) - Washington State/Virginia
  • Ken Bone (4) - Portland State/Washington State
  • Tad Boyle (2) - Northern Colorado/Colorado
  • Ben Braun (3) - Eastern Michigan/California
  • Mike Brey (7) - Delaware/Notre Dame
  • Milan Brown (3) - Mount St. Mary's/Holy Cross
  • Brad Brownell (1) - UNC Wilmington/Wright State
  • Brad Brownell (4) - Wright State/Clemson
  • Jeff Bzdelik (4) - Air Force/Colorado
  • Jeff Bzdelik (2) - Colorado/Wake Forest
  • John Calipari (10) - Massachusetts/New Jersey Nets
  • John Calipari (4) - Memphis/Kentucky
  • Patrick Chambers (5) - Boston University/Penn State
  • Jim Christian (5) - Kent State/Texas Christian
  • Ed Conroy (5) - The Citadel/Tulane
  • Ed Cooley (5) - Fairfield/Providence
  • Tom Crean (9) - Marquette/Indiana
  • Mick Cronin (1) - Murray State/Cincinnati
  • Ed DeChellis (2) - East Tennessee State/Penn State
  • Ed DeChellis (3) - Penn State/Navy
  • Billy Donovan (2) - Marshall/Florida
  • Andy Enfield (3) - Florida Gulf Coast/Southern California
  • Larry Eustachy (6) - Utah State/Iowa State
  • Tim Floyd (6) - New Orleans/Iowa State
  • Tim Floyd (8) - Iowa State/Chicago Bulls
  • Geno Ford (4) - Kent State/Bradley
  • Travis Ford (7) - Massachusetts/Oklahoma State
  • Mark Fox (5) - Nevada/Georgia
  • Billy Gillispie (3) - Texas-El Paso/Texas A&M
  • Billy Gillispie (8) - Texas A&M/Kentucky
  • Mark Gottfried (4) - Murray State/Alabama
  • Anthony Grant (5) -F Virginia Commonwealth/Alabama
  • Seth Greenberg (2) - South Florida/Virginia Tech
  • Brian Gregory (7) - Dayton/Georgia Tech
  • Frank Haith (2) - Miami FL/Missouri
  • Leonard Hamilton (7) - Miami (Fla.)/Washington Wizards
  • Stan Heath (4) - Kent State/Arkansas
  • Paul Hewitt (3) - Siena/Georgia Tech
  • Ben Howland (1) - Northern Arizona/Pittsburgh
  • Ben Howland (6) - Pittsburgh/UCLA
  • Bob Huggins (4) - Kansas State/West Virginia
  • Ron Hunter (5) - IUPUI/Georgia State
  • Mike Jarvis (2) - Boston University/George Washington
  • Trent Johnson (5) - Nevada/Stanford
  • Trent Johnson (1) - Stanford/Louisiana State
  • Donnie Jones (4) - Marshall/Central Florida
  • Billy Kennedy (4) - Murray State/Texas A&M
  • Lon Kruger (4) - Kansas State/Florida
  • Lon Kruger (5) - Florida/Illinois
  • Lon Kruger (4) - Illinois/Atlanta Hawks
  • Lon Kruger (2) - UNLV/Oklahoma
  • Jim Larranaga (5) - George Mason/Miami FL
  • Jeff Lebo (2) - Tennessee Tech/Chattanooga
  • Jeff Lebo (8) - Chattanooga/Auburn
  • Mike Longergan (1) - Vermont/George Washington
  • Rick Majerus (2) - Ball State/Utah
  • Gregg Marshall (8) - Winthrop/Wichita State
  • Cuonzo Martin (4) - Missouri State/Tennessee
  • Frank Martin (3) - Kansas State/South Carolina
  • Thad Matta (9) - Xavier/Ohio State
  • Fran McCaffery (7) - Siena/Iowa
  • Ray McCallum (1) - Ball State/Houston
  • Jim McDermott (5) - Northern Iowa/Iowa State
  • Jim McDermott (5) - Iowa State/Creighton
  • Tim Miles (4) - Colorado State/Nebraska
  • Sean Miller (9) - Xavier/Arizona
  • Jim Molinari (2) - Northern Illinois/Bradley
  • Dan Monson (10) - Gonzaga/Minnesota
  • Mike Montgomery (4) - Stanford/Golden State Warriors
  • Stew Morrill (3) - Colorado State/Utah State
  • Porter Moser (5) - UALR/Illinois State
  • Kevin O'Neill (3) - Marquette/Tennessee
  • Kevin O'Neill (4) - Tennessee/Northwestern
  • Kevin O'Neill (2) - Northwestern/New York Knicks (assistant)
  • Louis Orr (4) - Siena/Seton Hall
  • Matt Painter (3) - Southern Illinois/Purdue
  • Eddie Payne (3) - East Carolina/Oregon State
  • Tom Pecora (4) - Hofstra/Fordham
  • Buzz Peterson (9) - Appalachian State/Tulsa
  • Buzz Peterson (4) - Tulsa/Tennessee
  • Buzz Peterson (2) - Coastal Carolina/Charlotte Bobcats (director of player personnel)
  • Buzz Peterson (4) - Appalachian State/UNC Wilmington
  • Rick Pitino (5) - Providence/New York Knicks
  • Rick Pitino (3) - Kentucky/Boston Celtics
  • Oliver Purnell (2) - Dayton/Clemson
  • Oliver Purnell (6) - Clemson/DePaul
  • Mike Rice Jr. (7) - Robert Morris/Rutgers
  • Lorenzo Romar (4) - Saint Louis/Washington
  • Joe Scott (4) - Air Force/Princeton
  • Bill Self (2) - Oral Roberts/Tulsa
  • Bill Self (5) - Tulsa/Illinois
  • Bill Self (5) - Illinois/Kansas
  • Herb Sendek (1) - Miami (Ohio)/North Carolina State
  • Herb Sendek (4) - North Carolina State/Arizona State
  • Larry Shyatt (4) - Wyoming/Clemson
  • Tubby Smith (3) - Tulsa/Georgia
  • Tubby Smith (6) - Georgia/Kentucky
  • Tubby Smith (4) - Kentucky/Minnesota
  • Mark Turgeon (2) - Jacksonville State/Wichita State
  • Mark Turgeon (9) - Wichita State/Texas A&M
  • Mark Turgeon (4) - Texas A&M/Maryland
  • Rex Walters (2) - Florida Atlantic/San Francisco
  • Gary Waters (5) - Kent State/Rutgers
  • Roy Williams (5) - Kansas/North Carolina

NOTE: Altman (Oregon), Amaker (Harvard), Braun (Rice), Eustachy (Southern Mississippi), Jarvis (Florida Atlantic), Majerus (Saint Louis), McCallum (Detroit), Molinari (Western Illinois), Montgomery (California), Moser (Loyola Chicago), Payne (USC Upstate), Scott (Denver), Shyatt (returned to Wyoming) and Waters (Cleveland State) subsequently changed jobs and are now coaching other DI schools.

College Exam: NCAA Tournament One-and-Only Challenge (Day 17)

Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 17 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):

1. Which school had the only trio to each score at least 20 points in two Final Four games? Hint: All three players finished their college careers with more than 2,000 points and were on the roster the next year when the school lost its playoff opener. The school is the only national runner-up to score more than 85 points in an NCAA final.

2. Name the only school to have three players score more than 20 points in a Final Four game. Hint: The school lost the championship game that year by more than 20 points although the score was tied at halftime.

3. Who is the only player to score 40 or more points in a Final Four game and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: He was held under 10 points in his other Final Four game that year.

4. Who is the only coach to go more than 40 years from his first to his last appearance in the playoffs? Hint: He and his son, who succeeded him, both compiled a losing tourney record.

5. Who is the only player to compile an NBA playoff scoring average more than 15 points per game higher than his NCAA Tournament average? Hint: He scored just six points in his NCAA playoff debut against a school participating in the tourney for just the second time.

6. Who is the only player to lead an NCAA tournament in scoring with more than 120 points and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: He averaged 32.3 points per game in his three-year college career.

7. Who is the only player from 1957 through 1996 to lead a tournament in rebounding and not eventually play in the NBA? Hint: His school was making just its second tourney appearance the year he led in rebounding.

8. Who is the only non-guard to be the undisputed leading scorer of an NCAA Tournament and not participate in the Final Four? Hint: He never played in the NBA.

9. Who is the first coach to make more than a dozen NCAA playoff appearances before reaching the Final Four? Hint: He was coach of the first team to win the national championship in its first Final Four appearance since Texas Western in 1966.

10. Who is the only player to take more than 40 field-goal attempts in a playoff game his team lost? Hint: The guard was the nation's leading scorer with more than 36 points per game for the only school to reach the national semifinals of a small-college tournament one year and participate in the NCAA Tournament the next season.

Answers (Day 17)

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed