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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--North Carolina (32-0; coached by Frank McGuire/fifth of nine seasons with Tar Heels; won ACC title by five games with a 14-0 record).
NIT Champion--Bradley (22-7; coached by Chuck Orsborn/first of nine seasons with Braves; finished in second place in Missouri Valley with a 9-5 record, which was three games behind St. Louis).
New Rules--The free-throw lane is increased from six feet to 12 feet. . . . On the lineup for a free throw, the two spaces adjacent to the end line must be occupied by opponents of the free thrower. Previously, one space was marked "H" for a home team player to occupy, and across the lane the first space was marked "V" for a visiting team player to stand in. . . . Grasping the goal is now classified as a technical foul under unsportsmanlike tactics.
NCAA Probation--Auburn, Florida, Louisville, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Southern California, Texas A&M, UCLA, Washington.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Wilt Chamberlain, C, Soph., Kansas (29.6 ppg, 18.9 rpg); Chet Forte, G, Sr., Columbia (28.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 85.2 FT%); Rod Hundley, G-F, Sr., West Virginia (23.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 4.3 apg); Jim Krebs, C, Sr., Southern Methodist (24 ppg, 12 rpg); Lennie Rosenbluth, F, Sr., North Carolina (28 ppg, 8.8 rpg); Charlie Tyra, C, Sr., Louisville (21.3 ppg, 20 rpg).
National Player of the Year--Forte (UPI).
National Coach of the Year--Frank McGuire, North Carolina (27-0/UPI).
Wilt Chamberlain's coming-out party at Kansas was an immense success as he poured in a school-record 52 points against Northwestern. It is the only existing single-game scoring record achieved in a varsity debut. Chamberlain scored many of the points in his inaugural against fellow sophomore Joe Ruklick. They would later be NBA teammates after becoming the first two draft choices for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1959. Ruklick averaged only 3.5 points per game in his three-year career as Chamberlain's backup, but supplied one of the most worthy yet long-forgotten assists in hoops history. Ruklick fed Wilt a pass in the closing seconds of a memorable March 1, 1962, game in Hershey, Pa., that resulted in Chamberlain scoring his 99th and 100th points of the evening.
Chamberlain, who averaged 29.6 points per game in his initial collegiate campaign, would have had a good chance at leading the nation in scoring except for three contests against Iowa State, which limited him to 16 points per game en route to a .500 league record (6-6). ISU guard Gary Thompson (5-10) outscored him in each of three games in a five-week span, but it was reserve center Don Medsker's last-second basket from the top of the key that was the difference when the Cyclones knocked the Jayhawks from the ranks of the undefeated, 39-37. . . . Chamberlain set a Big Eight Conference record by averaging 18.7 rebounds per contest. . . . Thompson, ISU's first multi-sport All-American, was a shortstop for the Cyclones' baseball squad that earned a berth in the NCAA College World Series.
South Carolina's Grady Wallace, who originally enrolled at Eastern Kentucky, became the only ACC player in the 20th Century to lead the nation in scoring (31.2 ppg). It was the fifth consecutive season the scoring title remained in the Palmetto State. Wallace's predecessors were Furman's Frank Selvy and Darrell Floyd. Oddly, none of the three were South Carolina natives. Selvy and Wallace were from Kentucky while Floyd was from North Carolina. Walt Hambrick, Wallace's coach at Pikeville (Ky.) Junior College, tagged along with him to USC as an assistant.
The top eight scorers in the country were separated by fewer than 3 1/2 points. The national runner-up in scoring was Mississippi's Joe Gibbon (30), who later pitched in the majors. A couple of other prominent hoopsters to end up in the majors were Ohio State's Frank Howard and Morehead State's Steve Hamilton. Howard was one of the nation's premier rebounders with 15.3 boards per game, including a school-record 32 against Brigham Young. Hamilton led the Eagles in scoring and rebounding. Hamilton became the only athlete to appear in the NCAA Tournament before playing in a World Series (New York Yankees in 1963 and 1964) and an NBA Finals (Minneapolis Lakers rookie in 1959 when they were swept by the Boston Celtics).
Hamilton's boardwork helped Morehead State set an NCAA single-season record for rebounding margin with an average of 25 more caroms per game than its opponents. He set a school single-game standard by retrieving 38 missed shots against Florida State.
Wayne Embry of Miami (Ohio) grabbed a school-record 34 rebounds in each of back-to-back games against Eastern Kentucky and Kent State. Niagara's Alex Ellis hauled down a school-record 31 rebounds in two games separated by 10 days (vs. Villanova and Kent State). Denver's Dick Brott (38 vs. Evansville), NYU's Cal Ramsey (34 vs. Boston College), Cincinnati's Connie Dierking (33 vs. Loyola of New Orleans) and San Jose State's Marv Branstrom (28 at Arizona State) also established school single-game rebounding standards.
Illinois, coached by Harry Combes, ended San Francisco's 60-game winning streak, 62-33, when Dons star Gene Brown was sidelined by a broken hand. The Illini, however, finished out of the final wire-service Top 20 polls for the first time in seven years and posted a non-winning Big Ten record (7-7) for the first time since 1944. Illini forward-center Harv Schmidt, an All-Big Ten second-team selection, went on to coach his alma mater for seven seasons from 1967-68 through 1973-74. . . . Michigan, coached by Bill Perigo, compiled a 13-9 overall record to snap its streak of seven consecutive non-winning seasons. The Wolverines, 8-6 in the Big Ten, finished ahead of Illinois in the conference race for just the second time in 19 years. They posted their lone victory (87-86) over Indiana in a 17-game stretch of their series from 1951 to 1962. . . . Iowa finished in eighth place in the Big Ten after capturing the title the previous season. . . . Indiana and Michigan State shared the Big Ten crown to snap a streak of 19 consecutive undisputed conference championships. . . . George Hanson, a two-year starting guard who averaged 6.5 ppg for Minnesota, coached his alma mater in 1970-71. . . . Wisconsin forward John DeMerit, who averaged 2.2 ppg and 2.1 rpg, played in a World Series game for the Milwaukee Braves later in the year as a rookie outfielder.
Columbia's 5-9 Chet Forte became the first Ivy League player to score more than 400 points in a conference campaign by pouring in 403 points in 14 games (28.8 per league contest). . . . Harvard (12-9 mark under coach Floyd Wilson) notched a double-digit victory total for the first time in 10 years although it canceled a four-game Southern trip to protest athletic segregation. . . . Bucknell compiled a 16-8 record under coach Benton Kribbs to end its streak of nine consecutive losing seasons. . . . St. Joseph's (17-7) posted its fewest victories in Jack Ramsay's 11 years as coach of the Hawks from 1955-56 through 1965-66. . . . Canisius (22-6/coached by Joseph Curran) had its winningest season in school history. . . . Guard Vinnie Cohen became Syracuse's only All-American in a 28-year span from 1937 through 1964. . . . St. Joseph's Jack McKinney, who averaged five points per game, coached his alma mater to four NCAA Tournament appearances in a six-year span from 1969 through 1974 before coaching in the NBA. . . . Junior Larry Weise, who led St. Bonaventure in scoring (13.5 ppg) and field-goal shooting (47.3%), went on to become his alma mater's all-time winningest coach in 12 seasons from 1961-62 through 1972-73, including a trip to the 1970 Final Four. . . . George Washington (3-21) absorbed its first losing record under coach Bill Reinhart in his first 15 years at the Colonials' helm. . . . Dave Smalley, the first to captain two successive Navy teams, led the Midshipmen in scoring for the second year. He went on to succeed Ben Carnevale as coach and directed his alma mater for 10 seasons from 1966-67 through 1975-76.
West Virginia's Hot Rod Hundley and Washington & Lee's Lee Marshall finished among the nation's top 25 scorers, but it was the first time in seven years that the Southern Conference didn't have one of the country's top two point producers and the first time in nine seasons the league didn't have one of the top seven scorers. Hundley set a school single-game scoring record with 54 points against Furman. His output tied South Carolina's Wallace (vs. Georgia) for the highest single-game outburst during the season. . . . Mississippi State's Jim Ashmore (28.3) and Bailey Howell (25.9) became the first set of teammates in NCAA history to average more than 25 points per game in a single season. Howell (37) and Ashmore (24) combined for 61 points in MSU's first victory over Kentucky in 33 years (89-81) as the Wildcats missed their first 13 field-goal attempts. Howell grabbed a school-record 34 rebounds in a game against LSU.
Wake Forest teammates Ernie Wiggins and Jackie Murdock, deadlocked for the national lead in free-throw shooting entering the postseason, finished 1-2 in the country. Wiggins won by hitting all four of his tournament tosses. Murdock went on to coach his alma mater in the mid-1960s. . . . North Carolina's Lennie Rosenbluth scored an ACC Tournament-record 45 points in a quarterfinal victory over Clemson before avoiding a charge and hitting a sweeping hook shot in the waning seconds to give the Tar Heels the lead for good against Wake Forest in the semifinals. He led the NCAA champion-to-be in scoring in 14 of their last 15 outings. . . . Carolina went undefeated although its depth was affected when center Bill Hathaway and guard Stan Groll were declared academically ineligible in mid-season. . . . Clemson lost 15 consecutive games in its series with N.C. State until outlasting the Wolfpack in overtime, 96-94. Press Maravich took a pay cut from his high school coaching job to accept $5,000 annually as bench boss for Clemson. Ten years later, the father of Hall of Famer-to-be Pete Maravich left a comparable position at North Carolina State for $15,000 per year at LSU. . . . Ken Rosemond, a backup guard for North Carolina's NCAA champion, went on to coach Georgia for eight seasons from 1965-66 through 1972-73. . . . South Carolina's Wallace, Columbia's Forte (28.9 ppg), Mississippi State's Ashmore (28.3) and North Carolina's Rosenbluth (28) set school records for highest scoring average in a single season. Ashmore was an "A" student majoring in pre-medicine. . . . Georgia Tech (18-8 under coach Whack Hyder) won its last five games to end a streak of 11 consecutive seasons with more than 10 defeats. . . . Vanderbilt, coached by Bob Polk, finished among the Top 20 in the AP national poll for the third consecutive campaign.
Detroit and Oklahoma State competed in the Missouri Valley Conference for the final season. . . . Junior forward Eddie Sutton, who led Oklahoma State in free-throw percentage (84.3%), eventually coached his alma mater and three other schools to the NCAA playoffs. Sutton, the Cowboys' fifth-leading scorer (8.1 ppg), tallied a career-high 18 points on 9-of-12 field-goal shooting in a 56-54 upset win over Kansas two years before they joined the Big Eight Conference. . . . The top three scorers for SMU's SWC champion grew up together on the playgrounds of St. Louis--center Jim Krebs (24 ppg), guard Bobby Mills (14.2) and forward Rick Herrscher (12.2). . . . Two-time All-SWC forward Jerry Mallett, leading Baylor in rebounding for the third straight season, went on to become an outfielder with the Boston Red Sox briefly in 1959. . . . Creighton (15-6), coached by Tommy Thomsen, compiled its first winning record in 10 years.
Idaho State made its lone appearance in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll. . . . Seattle coach John Castellani was hung in effigy on the school's campus after the Elgin Baylor-led Chieftains, seeded No. 1 in the NIT, lost its postseason opener to St. Bonaventure, 85-68. . . . Santa Clara swingman Dick Garibaldi, an All-WCAC second-team selection, went on to coach his alma mater for eight seasons, including three straight league championships in his last three years at the Broncos' helm.
In one of the strangest games in NIT history, Bradley erased a 21-point deficit to defeat Xavier, 116-81, in the quarterfinals. The Braves outscored Xavier, 72-29, in the second half, setting NIT and Madison Square Garden college records for most points in a half. . . . Bradley, which finished in second place in the Missouri Valley Conference after tying for last the previous year, wound up winning the NIT with an 84-83 triumph over Memphis State College in the championship game. Memphis State, competing in just its second season as a major college, defeated Mississippi State twice, Western Kentucky twice and highly-ranked Louisville. The Tigers, coached by Bob Vanatta, won their first nine games decided by fewer than five points until the NIT finale. . . . Mississippi State lost 17 consecutive contests to Kentucky in their series until defeating the Wildcats, 89-81. . . . Iona claimed a forfeit victory over Ole Miss in a tournament at Kentucky Wesleyan when the Rebels pulled their team off the court just before tipoff after Mississippi Governor James Coleman called saying they couldn't play against an opponent with a black player.
1957 NCAA Tournament
Summary: A championship game frequently misconstrued as an enormous upset was North Carolina's 54-53 triple-overtime victory against Wilt Chamberlain-led Kansas. After all, Carolina was undefeated (32-0), winning 22 games by at least nine points, and the Tar Heels' top three scorers wound up playing in the NBA albeit briefly--forwards Lennie Rosenbluth and Pete Brennan and guard Tommy Kearns. Junior center Joe Quigg sank two free throws with six seconds remaining in the third overtime to tie the score and provide the decisive point as North Carolina nipped Kansas, 54-53. Carolina won the national championship by an average of 8.4 points after winning five of its last 11 games against ACC competition by five points or less. The Tar Heels didn't outscore their opponents in both halves of any of their five playoff victories, but Rosenbluth bailed them out by scoring at least 20 points in every game. Rosenbluth was Carolina's leading scorer in 27 of its 32 contests, although the Heels won the triple-overtime final after he fouled out with 1:45 remaining in regulation. "The pass to Wilt I knocked away was my moment of glory," Quigg said. "I was playing in front of him and everyone else was supposed to collapse on him. I tipped it out to Kearns, who threw it up to the rafters."
Outcome for Defending Champion: San Francisco (22-7) was clobbered by Kansas, 80-56, in the national semifinals. The Dons won their first five games of the season before losing five of their next six. They captured the WCAC title by two games.
Star Gazing: Carolina coach Frank McGuire became the first coach to take two different schools to the NCAA championship game. He guided St. John's to a second-place finish in 1952. In a psychological ploy, McGuire let Kearns (5-11) jump center at the start of the final against Chamberlain (7-0). "I think that ploy won the game for us because it put Kansas on the defensive," Kearns said. . . . Chamberlain was the third Philadelphia product in four years to be named Final Four Most Outstanding Player, joining La Salle's Tom Gola (1954) and Temple's Hal Lear (1956).
Biggest Upset: Kentucky, ranked No. 3 entering the tourney, blew a 12-point halftime lead at home in an 80-68 setback to Michigan State in the Mideast Regional final. It was only the Wildcats' fifth defeat on their homecourt since 1943. They compiled a modest .500 record (4-4) in NCAA playoff competition between national titles in 1951 and 1958.
One and Only: North Carolina, with all of its starters coming from the New York City area, became the only school to play in back-to-back triple-overtime games in the playoffs. The lead in the Tar Heels' 74-70 triumph over Michigan State in the national semifinals changed hands 31 times and the score was tied on 21 occasions. The Spartans' Jack Quiggle made a last-second, halfcourt shot at the end of regulation but it was disallowed. The end-of-game rule at the time was that the ball had to reach the apex of its arc before the buzzer. The officials ruled that the ball was still ascending. Teammate Johnny Green missed a free throw with 11 seconds remaining in the first overtime that would have sealed the verdict for MSU. Brennan grabbed Green's miss. Instead of tossing the ball out to a guard as Brennan normally would do, he dribbled downcourt and hit a game-tying jumper just to the right of the foul line at the buzzer.
Celebrity Status: Hank Nowak, who represented the Buffalo area in the U.S. House of Representatives for nine terms (1975-93), was the leading rebounder for Canisius' only three NCAA Tournament teams. He averaged 19.4 points per game in eight playoff contests from 1955 through 1957. . . . Steve Hamilton, a 6-7 lefthanded pitcher for 12 seasons from 1961-72 with six different major league teams, averaged 18.5 points per game in four NCAA Tournament contests for Morehead State in 1956 and 1957. Hamilton, who became the athletic director at his alma mater, is the only athlete to play in a World Series (New York Yankees in 1963 and 1964) and an NBA Finals (Minneapolis Lakers rookie in 1959 when they were swept by the Boston Celtics). . . . Dr. Calvin W. Burnett, Coppin State's president for almost 30 years, was a 6-5 sophomore forward who led St. Louis in rebounding with 14.9 per game (19th in the nation in rebound percentage). He retrieved 18 missed shots in two NCAA Tournament games.
Numbers Game: Dick Harp became the only individual to play in an NCAA Tournament championship game (with Kansas in 1940 when the Jayhawks lost to Indiana) and later coach his alma mater to a final (KU lost to North Carolina). Harp's 24 victories in his initial season set a Big Eight Conference record that stood alone for more than three decades until first-year Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton tied the mark in 1990-91. Harp went on to become director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes after resigning as coach of the Jayhawks in 1964. . . . Michigan State outrebounded San Francisco (47-26) yet lost the national third-place game to USF, 67-60. The Spartans reached the Final Four despite losing five of six games in a mid-season swoon. . . . Oklahoma City became the first school to participate in six consecutive NCAA playoffs. . . . Rosenbluth fired in a tourney-high 39 points in North Carolina's 87-75 victory over Canisius in the East Regional semifinals. His 42 field-goal attempts (hit 11) in the national semifinals against Michigan State is a Final Four record. . . . Carolina was the only one of the first 20 ACC Tournament champions through 1973 to go ahead and also win the NCAA playoffs. The highest-scoring individual output against the Tar Heels was 35 points by South Carolina forward Grady Wallace. . . . Lafayette, coached by George Davidson, made its lone NCAA Tournament appearance in the first 60 years of the event. . . . Syracuse (18-7), coached by Marc Guley, participated in the NCAA playoffs for the only time in the first 27 years of the event.
Putting Things in Perspective: Kansas was fortunate SMU shot just 32.1 percent from the floor in their Midwest Regional opener at Dallas. Long before Georgetown tried to minimize distractions, the Jayhawks stayed 30 miles out of town, but some bigots still burned a cross in a yard across from their lodging quarters. And narrow-minded fans at the game punctuated the contest with racial slurs.
What Might Have Been: College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown quit Syracuse's basketball squad as a senior, allegedly because of a racial quota. "Well, they basically didn't want to start more than two blacks (Vinnie Cohen and Manny Breland) although nobody could outrun, outjump or outshoot me," said Brown, who averaged 14.9 points per game for the Orangemen as a sophomore and 11.3 as a junior. "It really was a tragedy the way athletics were handled there at the time," said Cohen, who went on to become a Washington, D.C., lawyer for 40 years.
Scoring Leader: Lennie Rosenbluth, North Carolina (140 points, 28 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Wilt Chamberlain, Kansas (121 points, 30.25 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Johnny Green, Michigan State (77 rebounds, 19.3 rpg).
Pete Brennan, F, Jr., North Carolina (25 points, 28 rebounds in final two games)
Gene Brown, G, Jr., San Francisco (32 points, nine rebounds)
*Wilt Chamberlain, C, Soph., Kansas (55 points, 25 rebounds)
Johnny Green, C, Soph., Michigan State (20 points, 32 rebounds)
Lennie Rosenbluth, F, Sr., North Carolina (49 points, eight rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: North Carolina 90 (Rosenbluth team-high 29 points), Yale 74 (Lee 25)
Regional Semifinal: North Carolina 87 (Rosenbluth 39), Canisius 75 (Nowak 24)
Regional Final: North Carolina 67 (Rosenbluth 23), Syracuse 58 (Cohen 25)
National Semifinal: North Carolina 74 (Rosenbluth 29), Michigan State 70 (Quiggle 20)***
Championship Game: North Carolina 54 (Rosenbluth 20), Kansas 53 (Chamberlain 23)***