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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Kentucky (23-6; coached by Adolph Rupp/27th of 41 seasons with Wildcats; won SEC title with a 12-2 record, which was one game ahead of Auburn).
NIT Champion--Xavier (19-11; coached by Jim McCafferty/first of six seasons with Musketeers).
New Rules--Offensive goaltending is banned. . . . One free throw for each common foul is taken the first six personal fouls by one team in each half, and the one-and-one is employed thereafter. . . . Uniform numbers "1," "2," and any digit greater than "5" are prohibited.
NCAA Probation--Auburn, Florida, Louisville, Memphis State, Montana State, North Carolina State, UCLA, Washington.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Elgin Baylor, F-C, Jr., Seattle (32.5 ppg, 19.3 rpg, 50.6 FG%); Bob Boozer, F, Jr., Kansas State (20.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg); Wilt Chamberlain, C, Jr., Kansas (30.1 ppg, 17.5 rpg); Don Hennon, G, Jr., Pittsburgh (26 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 83.6 FT%); Oscar Robertson, F, Soph., Cincinnati (35.1 ppg, 15.2 rpg, 57.1 FG%); Guy Rodgers, G, Sr., Temple (20.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 5.2 apg).
National Player of the Year--Robertson (UPI).
National Coach of the Year--Tex Winter, Kansas State (22-5/UPI).
Undergraduates stole the spotlight from seniors. Temple guard Guy Rodgers was the only senior among the six NCAA consensus first-team All-Americans.
The three major-college players to average more than 30 points per game this season--Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson (35.1), Seattle's Elgin Baylor (32.5) and Kansas' Wilt Chamberlain (30.1)--each went on to become an All-NBA selection at least 10 times. Baylor finished his college career with an amazing cumulative average of more than 50 points and rebounds per game.
Baylor and Robertson each had four games during the year with at least 47 points. Baylor's school-record 60-point uprising against Portland was the highest in the nation. Robertson, Baylor and Chamberlain all averaged more than 15 rebounds per game. Chamberlain set Big Eight Conference records with 36 rebounds against Iowa State (also a school standard) and for scoring average. Robertson is one of only two individuals to be named national player of the year in his first season of varsity competition. The Big O outscored Seton Hall by himself with 56 points in a 118-54 verdict that represents the Pirates' most lopsided defeat in history (see accompanying box).
Chamberlain's final college season included one of the most amazing turnarounds in NCAA annals. Nebraska, in the midst of 15 consecutive losing seasons, suffered its most lopsided defeat in school history (margin of 56 points in a 102-46 decision at Kansas) before upsetting the Jayhawks (43-41) four games later in Omaha when backup guard Jim Kubacki hit a 15-foot basket with two seconds remaining (see accompanying box). Kubacki, a senior, spent all but the final seven minutes of the game sitting on the bench in street clothes because of a knee injury. When teammate Gary Reimers left the game with leg cramps, Kubacki convinced coach Jerry Bush to let him suit up. Four minutes later, Kubacki entered the game. Nearly three minutes after that, he furnished the fairytale ending. In the Cornhuskers' next outing, they defeated top-ranked Kansas State (55-48), a team that had overwhelmed them by a total of 46 points in two previous matchups.
In Kansas' ensuing contest, the Jayhawks were saddled with their most lopsided defeat in Chamberlain's two-year varsity career when they bowed at Iowa State by six points (48-42). KU's other seven setbacks with Wilt were by two points or in overtime.
Oklahoma, coached by Doyle Parrack, lost its last three games but compiled a 13-10 record to end a streak of six consecutive losing seasons. . . . Texas Tech's Gerald Myers, an All-SWC first-team selection, finished second in the nation in free-throw shooting by hitting 87 percent of his foul shots. Myers went on to become the Red Raiders' all-time winningest coach by compiling a 326-261 record in 21 seasons from 1970-71 through 1990-91. . . . Guard Don Lock, leading Wichita in field-goal percentage for the second straight season, went on to become an outfielder who ranked among the American League top 10 in home runs with the Washington Senators in back-to-back years (1963 and 1964). . . . Indiana, coached by Branch McCracken, entered Big Ten competition with a 1-6 record yet won the conference championship. The Hoosiers (13-11) are the only titlist in Big Ten history to incur more than 10 defeats overall. IU's Archie Dees became the first player in history to be named Big Ten MVP twice. . . . Frank "Bucky" O'Connor, who coached Iowa to the Final Four in 1955 and 1956, was killed in an automobile accident after the season. He died after swerving to avoid two guinea hens in the road, lost control of his car and skidded into the path of a truck hauling 16 tons of concrete tile.
Drake's Red Murrell (51 points vs. Houston in overtime), Lafayette's Bobby Mantz (47 vs. Wilkes), Pittsburgh's Don Hennon (45 vs. Duke in double overtime) and Marquette's Mike Moran (44 vs. Creighton/later tied) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Hennon's outburst in an 87-84 decision before 400 paying customers handed Duke the Blue Devils' 12th consecutive road loss. Pitt coach Bob Timmons won 61.7% of his games decided by fewer than five points (37-23 mark in those close contests) in 15 seasons with the Panthers through 1967-68.
Cincinnati's Robertson, Seattle's Baylor, Kansas' Chamberlain, Pittsburgh's Hennon (26 ppg) and Fordham's Jim Cunningham (25.1) established school records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Furman's Steve Ross (32 vs. Presbyterian), Northwestern's Joe Ruklick (31 vs. Kansas), Auburn's Rex Frederick (27 at SMU), Toledo's Ned Miklovic (27 at Ohio/later tied), Montana's Russ Sheriff (26 vs. Gonzaga) and Mississippi's Ivan Richmann (25 vs. Tulane) set school rebounding records for a single game.
North Carolina's ACC-record 37-game winning streak ended when the Tar Heels lost to West Virginia, 75-64, in the championship game of the Kentucky Invitational. The Mountaineers, ranked eighth at the time, defeated host UK the previous evening, 77-70, en route to making the biggest jump to national No. 1 in only one week. . . . West Virginia became the only Southern Conference member ever to finish a season ranked No. 1 in the country. Mountaineers tri-captain Joedy Gardner eventually coached his alma mater and Northern Arizona. . . . Maryland, coached by Bud Millikan, became the only school outside the state of North Carolina to win the ACC Tournament in the first 17 years of the event (1954 through 1970). The fourth-leading scorer and rebounder for the Terrapins' first NCAA tourney team was Tom Young, who went on to coach Rutgers at the 1976 Final Four. . . . N.C. State backup Bucky Waters went on to coach ACC rival Duke for four seasons from 1969-70 through 1972-73. . . . Clemson snapped a 29-game ACC road contest losing streak with a triumph at Wake Forest.
All-SEC first-team guard Jack Kubiszyn, ranking among the nation's top 20 scorers for the second straight season with Alabama, went on to become an infielder with the Cleveland Indians in 1961 and 1962. . . . Tennessee Tech, coached by John Oldham, captured the Ohio Valley Conference crown just one season after finishing in last place. Senior captain Kenny Sidwell, an All-OVC selection, went on to succeed Oldham and coach his alma mater for five seasons the last half of the 1960s. . . . Tulane, coached by Clifford Wells, suffered its first losing record (8-15) in 13 seasons. . . . Sonny Allen, the trigger man for Marshall's fast-breaking squad that led the nation in scoring (88 ppg), eventually coached Nevada-Reno in the NCAA playoffs. . . . Senior guard Dom Flora was named Southern Conference player of the year although Washington & Lee finished in ninth place with a 4-9 league mark. . . . Middle Tennessee State's Ed Diddle Jr. defeated his father, Western Kentucky's Ed Diddle Sr., for the only time in their 12 matchups.
Dartmouth's Rudy LaRusso grabbed an Ivy League-record 32 rebounds in a game against Columbia. . . . Brown's Gerry Alaimo, an All-Ivy League second-team selection, eventually coached his alma mater for nine seasons from 1969-70 through 1977-78. . . . Duquesne defeated Villanova nine consecutive times until bowing to the Wildcats, 69-58. . . . Canisius compiled a 2-19 mark just one year after going 22-6. . . . Seton Hall incurred its only losing record (7-19) in a 14-year span from 1950-51 through 1963-64. . . . Manhattan captain John Powers went on to coach his alma mater for 10 seasons from 1968-69 through 1977-78. . . . Boston University backup Gene Prebola eventually played four years in the AFL as a tight end.
Gene Michael, Kent State's leading scorer with 14 ppg, subsequently became a major league shortstop, manager and G.M. . . . Guard Hank Stein became Xavier's only All-American until guard Byron Larkin 30 years later. . . . Xavier upset the top three seeds on its way to the NIT title--No. 2 Bradley (72-62), No. 3 St. Bonaventure (72-53) and top-seeded Dayton (78-74 in overtime). The championship game was the fifth time in eight seasons that Dayton reached the NIT final and lost and marked one of only two NIT finals matching two schools from the same state (Indiana-Purdue in 1979 was the other). . . . Dayton's squad included three brothers (Bucky, Terry and Harold Bockhorn). . . . Loyola of New Orleans (16-9/coached by Jim Harding) had its winningest season in school Division I history. Dartmouth (22-5/Doggie Julian) tied its school record for most victories in a single season. "The name on your jersey doesn't say Jones or Smith or Johnson," Julian said. "It says Dartmouth! And that's what we're striving for--not individual scoring titles but a win, a team win for Dartmouth!" . . . Wyoming (13-14) became the only school with a losing record ever to finish in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll (19th in UPI). . . . NYU's Howard Cann ended his 35-year coaching career with a 409-232 record.
Center Leroy Wright shared West Coast Athletic Conference player of the year honors although Pacific finished with a losing league mark (5-7). . . . Otis Davis, who played briefly for Oregon after transferring from Los Angeles City College, went on to become a double gold medal winner in track and field in the 1960 Olympic Games (400 meters and anchor of 1600-meter relay team).
Basketballs had been dark brown, but Butler coach Tony Hinkle wanted a ball that could be better seen by players and fans. He worked with the Spaulding Company to come up with a new orange ball, which was tested at the NCAA Finals in Louisville. The NCAA was impressed and the new orange ball was adopted.
1958 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Would Kentucky's storied "Fiddlin' Five," a team equaling the most defeats (six) of any Wildcats squad in the previous 15 seasons, snared the title if it didn't enjoy a home-state edge throughout the playoffs (Mideast Regional at Lexington and Final Four at Louisville)? Didn't a highly-partisan crowd give them an emotional lift in the national semifinals when they trailed Temple by four points and the Owls had the ball with less than a minute and half remaining? UK benefitted from a sub-par performance by Seattle's Elgin Baylor in the national final, where he went 9 for 32 from the floor. Baylor was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player although the award could have gone to Kentucky's Johnny Cox, who collected 22 points and 13 rebounds in a 61-60 victory over Temple and 24 points and 16 rebounds in an 84-72 triumph over Seattle.
Outcome for Defending Champion: North Carolina (19-7) tied for second place in the ACC after starting center Joe Quigg was sidelined his entire senior season following a leg injury in the team's first big scrimmage. Six of the Tar Heels' defeats were by more than 10 points.
Star Gazing: Seattle, which started the season 4-4, won the West Regional semifinals over highly-ranked San Francisco, 69-67, when Baylor hit a 35-foot shot at the buzzer.
Biggest Upset: West Virginia, ranked No. 1 in the country at the end of the regular season, was upset by Manhattan in the opening round of the East Regional at New York. Jack Powers, the current executive director of the NIT, collected 29 points and 15 rebounds to carry Manhattan (16-10) to an 89-84 victory. Jerry West scored just 10 points in his first NCAA Tournament game for West Virginia, which finished the season with the best winning percentage in school history (26-2, .929). The contest marked the fourth consecutive first-round defeat for the Mountaineers.
One and Only: Cox, a 6-4 forward, is the shortest player to lead an NCAA Tournament champion in rebounding (12.6 per game) since the NCAA began keeping rebounding statistics in the early 1950s. . . . Kentucky center Ed Beck (5.6 ppg, 11.6 rpg) is the only championship team member averaging more than five points per game to also post a rebounds-per-game average at least twice as high as his scoring.
Celebrity Status: Joe Kapp, a member of the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame who played 12 years as a pro football quarterback from 1959 through 1970, participated in the playoffs for the second straight season. Kapp, a 6-3 backup forward, was scoreless in three games for California. Teammate Earl Robinson, who went on to hit .268 in four seasons (1958 through 1964) as an outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles, averaged 15.5 points per game in the NCAA Tournament, leading the Bears in scoring in two of four playoff contests. . . . Jerry Adair, who set three major league fielding records for a second baseman (highest field average and fewest errors in a season and consecutive errorless games) in his 13-year American League career with four different franchises, was the second-leading scorer for Oklahoma State's team that reached the Midwest Regional final. . . . Yale forward John L. Lee scored more points (25 in first round) against North Carolina than Wilt Chamberlain did in the final (23). Lee was president and CEO of several businesses before leading a campaign that raised $1.75 billion for his alma mater in the 1990s. . . . Jack Harrington, captain and third-leading scorer for Boston College's first NCAA playoff team, later served as a Navy SEAL before becoming CEO of the Boston Red Sox. Executive Director and Trustee of the Yawkey Foundation sold the team to a consortium led by former Florida Marlins owner John Henry in January 2002 for $660 million, which doubled the previous record price for a pro baseball franchise.
Numbers Game: Arkansas' lone tournament appearance in a 35-year span from 1942 through 1976 was a disaster when the Razorbacks became the only school ever to lose back-to-back games by at least 25 points in the same tourney. They shot 26.5 percent from the floor in bowing to Oklahoma State, 65-40, and Cincinnati, 97-62. Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson poured in 56 points in the blowout of the Hogs in the Midwest Regional third-place game. . . . Notre Dame grabbed an NCAA playoff-record 86 rebounds in a 94-61 trouncing of Tennessee Tech in the opening round of the Mideast Regional. The Irish had six players with at least eight rebounds, including a game-high 21 by John McCarthy. Later, Notre Dame coach John Jordan lost his third regional final in six years. Jordan previously coached Loyola (Ill.) for one season. George Ireland, Jordan's successor with the Ramblers and a former Notre Dame teammate, guided them to the 1963 NCAA title. . . . Maryland, coached by Bud Millikan, made its only appearance in the first 33 NCAA Tournaments through 1972. . . . Boston College lost its only NCAA playoff game in the first 28 years of the event through 1966. . . . Minnesota's Ron Johnson and Mississippi State's Bailey Howell shared the highest-scoring individual output against UK with 28 points. . . . Kansas State defeated Kansas (Chamberlain) and Cincinnati (Robertson) before losing at the Final Four to two more opponents with first-team All-Americans--Seattle (Baylor) and Temple (Guy Rodgers).
What Might Have Been: West Virginia captain Don Vincent, averaging 12.8 points per game, broke his left leg in the Southern Conference Tournament. The Mountaineers had won by seven points against NCAA champion-to-be Kentucky, handing the Wildcats just their fifth homecourt defeat in 15 years. . . . SEC runner-up Auburn might have gotten off to a better league start and finished ahead of Kentucky in the standings if swingman Henry Hart didn't redshirt because of a knee injury. Hart averaged 14.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game the previous season as a sophomore and went on to become an All-SEC first-team selection in 1959-60. Auburn lost its first 13 assignments against Kentucky in their series until edging the Wildcats, 64-63.
NCAA Champion Defeats: At Maryland (9-point margin), at SMU (1), West Virginia (7), at Georgia Tech (19), at Loyola of Chicago (1), and neutral court vs. Auburn (1).
Scoring Leader: Elgin Baylor, Seattle (135 points, 27 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati (86 points, 43 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Elgin Baylor, Seattle (91 rebounds, 18.2 rpg).
*Elgin Baylor, C, Jr., Seattle (48 points, 41 rebounds in final two games)
Charley Brown, G, Jr., Seattle (31 points, 18 rebounds)
Johnny Cox, F, Jr., Kentucky (46 points, 29 rebounds)
Vern Hatton, G, Sr., Kentucky (43 points)
Guy Rodgers, G, Sr., Temple (39 points, nine rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
Regional Semifinal: Kentucky 94 (Cox team-high 23 points), Miami (Ohio) 70 (Embry 26)
Regional Final: Kentucky 89 (Hatton 26), Notre Dame 56 (McCarthy 17)
National Semifinal: Kentucky 61 (Cox 22), Temple 60 (Rodgers 22)
Championship Game: Kentucky 84 (Hatton 30), Seattle 72 (Baylor 25)