1959-60

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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Ohio State (25-3; coached by Fred Taylor/second of 18 seasons with Buckeyes; won Big Ten title with a 13-1 record, which was two games ahead of Indiana).
NIT Champion--Bradley (27-2; coached by Chuck Orsborn/fourth of nine seasons with Braves; finished in second place in Missouri Valley with a 12-2 record, which was one game behind Cincinnati).
NCAA Probation--Arizona State, Auburn, Montana State, North Carolina State, Seattle.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Darrall Imhoff, C, Sr., California (13.7 ppg, 12.4 rpg); Jerry Lucas, C, Soph., Ohio State (26.3 ppg, 16.4 rpg, 63.7 FG%); Oscar Robertson, F, Sr., Cincinnati (33.7 ppg, 14.1 rpg, 7.3 apg, 52.6 FG%); Tom Stith, F, Jr., St. Bonaventure (31.5 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 51.8 FG%); Jerry West, F, Sr., West Virginia (29.3 ppg, 16.5 rpg, 4.3 apg, 50.4 FG%).
National Player of the Year--Robertson (UPI/USBWA).
National Coach of the Year--Pete Newell, California (28-2/UPI, USBWA).

St. Bonaventure's Tom and Sam Stith combined to average 52 points per game, an NCAA single-season record for brothers on the same team. Tom Stith, runner-up in scoring nationally to Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson, improved from ranking 71st in the country the previous year (see accompanying chart).

Tom Stith averaged more points per game than Robertson over the last two-thirds of the campaign, but the Big O hung on for the title by averaging over 40 points per game through his senior season's first 10 contests. The season's single-game scoring high was Robertson's school- and Missouri Valley Conference-record 62 points against North Texas State. He is the only player in MVC history to lead three consecutive league champions in scoring and rebounding.

Robertson's reputation was further enhanced because of his willingness to distribute the ball. He went on to become the first NBA player to average more than 10 assists per game in a season. His greatest assist, however, came in April 1997 when he donated a kidney to his ailing daughter, Tia, who suffered from lupus and needed a transplant.

St. Bonaventure's Tom Stith (31.5 ppg), Tennessee Tech's Jimmy Hagan (28.8) and Montana State's Larry Chanay (23.7) set school records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Tom Stith poured in 46 points, including a jumper with 15 seconds remaining in triple overtime, in a 90-89 triumph over Providence to extend the Bonnies' homecourt winning streak to 91 consecutive games. He also scored 46 when brother Sam contributed 22 for a total of 68 points in a 93-80 triumph over Marshall. . . . Chanay, originally from Pine Bluff, Ark., became Montana State's all-time scoring leader after a military stint. He led the Bobcats in scoring each of his four seasons. . . . Ohio State's Jerry Lucas had the largest-ever margin over the national runner-up in field-goal shooting. Lucas hit 63.7 percent of his shots compared to 57.6 percent for Cincinnati's Paul Hogue. . . . William & Mary, powered by Jeff Cohen's 34 points and 20 rebounds, defeated West Virginia, 94-86, to end the Mountaineers' streak of 56 consecutive victories against Southern Conference competition (including league tournament). The Tribe, despite incurring double digits in defeats for the 10th year in a row, ended West Virginia's league-record string of 44 straight triumphs in SC regular-season play (see accompanying box). . . . West Virginia's Jerry West, who had 42 points in the loss against William & Mary, finished his career as the shortest player (6-3) to score more than 2,300 points and grab more than 1,200 rebounds. West, the Mountaineers' all-time leading rebounder (1,240), tied a school record when he retrieved 31 missed shots in a game against George Washington to help them finish among the Top 10 in a final wire-service poll for the fourth straight year under coach Fred Schaus.

York Larese set a North Carolina record by hitting all 21 of his foul shots in a game against Duke. Larese had a unusual free-throw form, simply shooting the ball as quickly as a referee handed it to him. Sometimes, the official couldn't even step back before the ball was in the air. . . . South Carolina lost 14 consecutive games to North Carolina in their series until the Gamecocks prevailed, 85-81. . . . Virginia posted its lone victory over North Carolina State (53-48) in a 17-game stretch of their series from 1955 through 1962. . . . Choppy Patterson became Clemson's only All-ACC first-team selection in the first 13 years of the league through 1966. Meanwhile, Al Bunge became Maryland's only All-ACC first-team choice in a 17-year span from 1954-55 through 1970-71.

Kentucky's streak of 20-win seasons ended at 14 when the Wildcats finished with an 18-7 record after losing two of their last four games by a total of three points. Excluding the 1952-53 campaign when the Wildcats were banned by the NCAA from competing, it was the first time they didn't finish among the top 10 in a final wire-service poll. It was also the first time they lost more than twice to SEC opponents (10-4) in regular-season competition since 1940. . . . Auburn (19-3) became the first school to lead the nation in field-goal shooting by hitting more than half of its shots (52.1 percent). The Tigers, who were on NCAA probation, also paced the country in free-throw accuracy (77.2 percent) en route to their only SEC regular-season championship in their first 66 years in the league through 1998. Their biggest victory was a 61-60 decision over Kentucky when Jimmy Fibbe converted both ends of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity with four seconds remaining and backup center John Helmlinger blocked a last-second shot by UK's Allen Feldhaus. Auburn's team was fondly dubbed "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" because white-haired coach Joel Eaves' starting lineup didn't feature a player taller than 6-4. Eaves never posted a losing record in 14 seasons as head coach, winning 65.7% of his games decided by fewer than five points (46-24 mark). . . . Harbin "Red" Lawson, who coached Georgia for 14 seasons from 1951-52 through 1964-65, came as close as he ever did to avoid a losing season with the Bulldogs when they went 12-13. It's the longest coaching stint at a major college with nothing but losing records. . . . Mississippi State sandwiched a ninth-place finish between SEC titles in 1959 and 1961. . . . Center Chris Smith became Virginia Tech's only All-American until 1982. Teammate and captain Lewis Mills, the leading free-throw marksman (78.4%) for the Hokies' first 20-win squad, went on to coach Richmond for 11 seasons from 1963-64 through 1973-74. . . . Western Kentucky (21-7) was the only Ohio Valley Conference member to crack the 20-win plateau in an 11-year span from 1955 through 1965.

Bowling Green's James Darrow (52 points vs. Toledo in overtime and 52 vs. Marshall), Manhattan's Bob Mealy (51 vs. CCNY), Cornell's George Farley (47 at Princeton) and Arizona's Ernie McCray (46 vs. Los Angeles State) set school single-game scoring records. Darrow contributed 16 of Bowling Green's 17 field goals after intermission against Toledo. . . . Houston competed as a member of the Missouri Valley for the final season. . . . Wake Forest finished in a tie for first place in the ACC after finishing in a tie for sixth the previous year. Future broadcaster Billy Packer was 6 for 35 from the floor for the Demon Deacons in three ACC Tournament games. It was the last season that no ACC school finished among the Top 10 in a final wire-service poll.

Sophomore Dave DeBusschere grabbed a school-record 39 rebounds for Detroit against Central Michigan. It was one of four games in his career that DeBusschere topped the 30-rebound plateau. . . . Dayton's Garry Roggenburk (32 vs. Miami of Ohio), New Mexico's Tom King (26 vs. Wyoming) and Virginia's Bob Mortell (25 vs. Washington & Lee) set school single-game rebounding records. Michigan State's Horace Walker retrieved 28 missed shots in a Big Ten game against Iowa on his way to setting a league record for highest single-season rebound average (18.3 rpg).

Indiana, coached by Branch McCracken, finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the eighth time in 11 seasons. . . . Michigan wound up in the Big Ten Conference basement after finishing in a tie for second place the previous year while defending league champion Michigan State wound up eighth. . . . Ohio State sophomore Bob Knight, who went on to become a Hall of Fame coach, scored a career-high 15 points in a 109-38 demolishing of Delaware. . . . Toledo, coached by Eddie Melvin, notched an 18-6 record to end its streak of five consecutive losing marks and start a string of 26 straight winning seasons. . . . Iowa State registered a 15-9 mark in Glen Anderson's first year as head coach. The Cyclones didn't finish a season with fewer than 10 defeats for another 36 years.

Lafayette's streak of consecutive winning seasons ended at 17 when the Leopards compiled a 12-13 record. . . . Hofstra (23-1/coached by Butch van Breda Kolff) posted the best record of any team in the nation, but failed to win the Middle Atlantic Conference College Division-North because its only defeat came against first-place Wagner. . . . Rutgers defeated Penn, 51-44, for the Scarlet Knights' only victory in their first 17 meetings with the Quakers through 1965-66. . . . St. Joseph's achieved its average of 20 victories over the last five years, but one of the Hawks' seven defeats was the most lopsided in school history--by 44 points at Cincinnati (123-79). . . . Connecticut, coached by Hugh Greer, captured its 10th consecutive Yankee Conference championship despite having its 28-game winning streak against Maine snapped by the Black Bears. . . . Georgetown lost 12 consecutive games in its series with Maryland until defeating the Terrapins, 66-51. . . . All-American center Tom "Satch" Sanders of New York University would coach Harvard for four seasons from 1973-74 through 1976-77. . . . Providence guard Lenny Wilkens, averaging more than 14 points per game for the third straight year, eventually became the NBA's all-time winningest coach. . . . Bill Saul, Penn State's top sub with 6.1 points per game, became the Baltimore Colts' second-round draft choice as a linebacker two years later.

Texas, which finished in the SWC cellar the previous year when its only league triumphs were against Rice, captured the conference crown in Harold Bradley's first season as head coach of the Longhorns. . . . The SWC conducted its final pre-conference tournament, an event that started in the 1951-52 season. . . . Carroll Dawson, Baylor's leading scorer and rebounder for the second straight campaign, went on to coach his alma mater for four seasons from 1973-74 through 1976-77. . . . Tulsa's Gene Iba, who played sparingly for his father (Clarence), eventually coached Houston Baptist and Baylor in the NCAA playoffs. . . . South Dakota defeated Creighton for the fifth time in five years with each of the games decided by more than 10 points.

John Evans was in his first year as coach for Idaho State when the school won its eighth consecutive Rocky Mountain Conference championship. The Bengals went unbeaten in Rocky Mountain competition for the third time in four years. It was the final season of the league. Evans was the third different Idaho State coach in five years to capture a Rocky Mountain crown. . . . UCLA's Gary Cunningham, who would later coach his alma mater, sank all 28 of his free-throw attempts in conference competition. . . . En route to his worst college record (14-12) in 29 seasons, UCLA coach John Wooden returned to his alma mater (Purdue) and watched his Bruins blow a 12-point lead in the last 3:40 to lose to the Boilermakers, 75-74, after some controversial free throws. But Wooden won nine games by fewer than three points to stay above .500. . . . Southern California guard Jerry Pimm, an all-league second-team selection in the Athletic Association of Western Universities, went on to become UC Santa Barbara's all-time winningest coach after guiding Utah to five NCAA playoff appearances in a seven-year span from 1977 through 1983.

St. Louis-based Washington (Mo.) competed in its final season at the major-college level. The Bears went on to become a DIII power, capturing back-to-back national titles in 2008 and 2009. . . . NYU (22-5 record/coached by Lou Rossini) made its lone appearance in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll with its winningest Division I season in school history. . . . CCNY's Nat Holman ended his 37-year coaching career early in the season with a 423-190 record. . . . Utah State, coached by Cecil Baker, made its lone appearance in the Top 10 of a final wire-service poll. . . . California, coached by Pete Newell, finished among the Top 10 in a final wire-service poll for the third consecutive campaign. The Bears captured their final conference crown in the 20th Century.

Newell, who coached San Francisco, Michigan State and Cal, retired after a 14-year head coaching career with a 234-123 record. Newell, stepping down despite being named national coach of the year and guiding the Bears to a second-place finish in the NCAA Tournament, won his last eight assignments against UCLA counterpart John Wooden. Newell, who won almost 2/3 of his games decided by fewer than four points (43-22), went on to gain further recognition by tutoring hundreds of players at his week-long Big Man Camp every August in Honolulu.

"Pete has no equal when it comes to total understanding of the game," fellow Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight said. "And nobody's worked to help people like he has, whether it's a player or an opposing coach. He has a rare gift of being able to teach, not just players, but coaches."

Jerry West played for Newell on the 1960 U.S. Olympic team and had a close relationship with him when Newell was general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 1970s. "His reputation and integrity still amaze me," West said. "The respect that this man commands in the game of basketball is second to none."

1960 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Ohio State became the only titlist to win all of its tournament games by more than 15 points. 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. Ohio State, playing in the Bay Area (San Francisco) against the nation's top defensive team (California), hit a sizzling 84.2 percent of their first-half field-goal attempts (16-19) en route to a 75-55 victory over the defending champion Bears. Keep in mind this season marked the first time a school led the major-college ranks by hitting more than half of its shots from the floor (52.1 percent by Auburn). Ohio State's five starters--sophomores Lucas, John Havlicek and Mel Nowell, senior Joe Roberts and junior Larry Siegfried--were all high school centers. They each scored in double figures in the NCAA final before eventually playing at least two seasons in the NBA or ABA or both.
Outcome for Defending Champion: The only regular-season defeat for California (28-2) was at Southern California (65-57), ending the Bears' 30-game winning streak.
Star Gazing: Oscar Robertson, who generated glittering averages of 32.6 points per game and 33.7 in leading Cincinnati to the national semifinals in 1959 and 1960, respectively, before the Bearcats were beaten both years by California. The Bears restricted the Big O to a total of 37 points in the two Final Four games when he was just nine of 32 from the floor. He had poured in a tourney-high 43 points in an 82-71 triumph over Kansas in the Midwest Regional final. . . . West Virginia swingman Jerry West became the only player to score at least 25 points in eight consecutive tournament games (1959 and 1960). West is also the only player to rank among the top five in scoring average in both the NCAA Tournament (30.6 points per game) and NBA playoffs (29.1 ppg). His 34 points were in vain in the East Regional semifinals when NYU prevailed in overtime, 82-81. The Violets' last basket was scored by WVU transfer Jim Reiss for his only points of the game.
Biggest Upset: Oregon, which lost seven of its last 12 regular-season games, defeated Utah, 65-54, in the West Regional semifinals. Utah, ranked No. 5 by UPI and No. 6 by AP entering the tourney, didn't have a player score more than 10 points against the Ducks.
One and Only: Idaho State became the only school to make as many as eight consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from the year it participated in the event for the first time (since 1953 under three different coaches). . . . Ohio State's Fred Taylor became the only coach of an NCAA titlist to previously play major league baseball (first baseman for the Washington Senators in parts of three seasons from 1950 through 1952). Taylor didn't play baseball in high school. . . . Western Kentucky's Ed Diddle became the only coach to go at least 20 years between NCAA playoff appearances with the same school.
Celebrity Status: Rollie Sheldon, a pitcher for five seasons with three different American League teams from 1961 to 1966, was the third-leading scorer with 13.5 points per game as a 6-4 sophomore forward for Connecticut's team that was eliminated by NYU, which advanced to the Final Four. . . . Paul Popovich, an infielder for 11 seasons with three different National League teams from 1964 through 1975, was a backup guard on the Jerry West-led West Virginia squad that lost to NYU, 82-81, in the second round despite Popovich's five of six field-goal shooting. . . . Georgia Tech's Bobby Dews, a longtime coach for the Atlanta Braves, scored nine points in a Mideast Regional final loss against eventual champion Ohio State. . . . Utah's Billy Cowan, an outfielder with six different major league franchises, scored 25 points in three playoff games for the Utes.
Numbers Game: Ohio State is the only team to lead the nation in scoring offense and win the NCAA championship in the same season. . . . Lucas scored his playoff career-high 36 points in his OSU tournament debut (98-79 victory over Western Kentucky in Mideast Regional semifinal). . . . Duke posted its first NCAA tourney victory after going winless in the first 21 years of the event. . . . Georgia Tech, coached by Whack Hyder, made its only NCAA playoff appearance prior to 1985 and Miami (Fla.), coached by Bruce Hale, participated in its lone NCAA Tournament until 1998.
NCAA Champion Defeats: At Utah (5-point margin), at Kentucky (3), and at Indiana (16).
Scoring Leader: Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati (122 points, 30.5 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Jerry West, West Virginia (105 points, 35 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Tom Sanders, NYU (83 rebounds, 16.6 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Howard Jolliff, Ohio University (65 rebounds, 21.7 rpg).

All-Tournament Team
Darrall Imhoff, C, Sr., California (33 points, 16 rebounds in final two games)
*Jerry Lucas, C, Soph., Ohio State (35 points, 23 rebounds)
Mel Nowell, G, Soph., Ohio State (21 points)
Oscar Robertson, F, Sr., Cincinnati (50 points, 24 rebounds)
Tom Sanders, C, Sr., New York University (35 points, 33 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.

Championship Team Results
Regional Semifinal: Ohio State 98 (Lucas team-high 36 points), Western Kentucky 79 (Osborne 18)
Regional Final: Ohio State 86 (Lucas 25), Georgia Tech 69 (Kaiser 27)
National Semifinal: Ohio State 76 (Lucas/Siegfried 19), NYU 54 (Cunningham 14)
Championship Game: Ohio State 75 (Lucas 16), California 55 (Doughty 11)