1968-69

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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--UCLA (29-1; coached by John Wooden/21st of 27 seasons with Bruins; won Pacific-8 title by two games with a 13-1 record, which was two games ahead of Washington State).
NIT Champion--Temple (22-8; coached by Harry Litwack/17th of 21 seasons with Owls).
NCAA Probation--Florida State, Illinois, La Salle, Mississippi State, St. Bonaventure, Texas-Pan American, Utah State.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Lew Alcindor, C, Sr., UCLA (24 ppg, 14.7 rpg, 63.5 FG%); Spencer Haywood, F-C, Jr., Detroit (32.1 ppg, 22.1 rpg, 56.7 FG%); Pete Maravich, G, Jr., Louisiana State (44.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.9 apg); Rick Mount, G, Jr., Purdue (33.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 51.5 FG%, 84.7 FT%); Calvin Murphy, G, Jr., Niagara (32.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 82.6 FT%).
National Player of the Year--Alcindor (AP/UPI/USBWA/Naismith).
National Coaches of the Year--Drake's Maury John (26-5/USBWA) and UCLA's John Wooden (29-1/AP, UPI, NABC).

LSU's Pete Maravich, averaging 44.2 points per game, won the national scoring championship by a larger margin than any player in history (10.9 points higher than Purdue guard Rick Mount). Duquesne, one of the nation's top defensive teams, was unbeaten through nine contests by limiting opponents to 57.3 points per game entering the Dukes' outing against LSU in the All-College Tournament final at Oklahoma City. Maravich erupted for 53 points in a 94-91 triumph over Duquesne to give LSU a 7-1 record at that juncture. The Tigers, however, lost their next six SEC assignments despite Maravich's prolific production.

Incredibly, Maravich averaged 46.5 points in 15 road games, compared to 41 at home. Needing 49 in the Tigers' finale at Georgia to set an all-time single-season record, he exploded for 58, including 11 in a second overtime when he climaxed the outburst with a hook shot from midcourt. Maravich was named SEC player of the year for the second of three consecutive seasons although LSU compiled losing league records the first two years.

A coach who might have wondered about all of the fuss over Maravich was Tennessee's Ray Mears, whose "Chinese" defense restricted Pistol Pete to a 19.8 average in four games over two seasons. No other team held Maravich under 30 points in his first 52 games.

Maravich had three consecutive games with at least 50 points against Division I opponents (66-50-54). His 66-point outburst at Tulane was not the season's single-game high. Niagara's Calvin Murphy claimed that distinction by pouring in a school-record 68 (34 in each half) in a 118-110 victory against Syracuse, which finished with its fifth losing record of the decade (9-16).

Mount joined guard Bob Lloyd (Rutgers '67) and forward Larry Miller (North Carolina '68) in an odd category by becoming the third NCAA consensus first-team All-America in as many years to go straight to the ABA and never play in the NBA. . . . Michigan's Rudy Tomjanovich, who coached the Houston Rockets to NBA championships in 1994 and 1995, set a Chicago Stadium college record and school standard with 30 rebounds in a 112-100 overtime defeat to Loyola of Chicago. Earlier in the season in another overtime game, he established a Michigan field-goal record with 21 baskets and tied Cazzie Russell's scoring standard with 48 points in an 89-87 overtime victory against Indiana.

Maine's Jim Stephenson (54 points vs. Colby), Wake Forest's Charlie Davis (51 vs. American University), St. Bonaventure's Bob Lanier (51 vs. Seton Hall), Larry Lewis of St. Francis, Pa. (46 vs. St. Vincent), Western Michigan's Gene Ford (46 vs. Loyola of Chicago), Vanderbilt's Tom Hagan (44 at Mississippi State) and Pacific's Bill Stricker (44 vs. Portland) also set school single-game scoring marks. Toledo's Steve Mix established a school modern era single-game scoring standard with 47 points vs. Butler while Clemson's Butch Zatezalo tied a school modern era single-game scoring mark with 46 points at Wake Forest. Davis tallied 15 straight Wake Forest points in a span of less than five minutes against AU. . . . Detroit's Spencer Haywood (32.1 ppg), George Washington's Bob Tallent (28.9), Boston University's Jim Hayes (25.7), Tulane's Johnny Arthurs (25.6), John Conforti (24.3) of St. Francis (N.Y.), Vanderbilt's Hagan (23.4) and Middle Tennessee State's Willie Brown (23.3) set school records for highest scoring average in a single season. Tallent eventually coached his alma mater for seven seasons from 1974-75 through 1980-81.

Ken Johnson, Indiana's leading rebounder and an All-Big Ten Conference second-team selection, went on to become a defensive lineman with the Cincinnati Bengals for seven years from 1971 through 1977. . . . Larry Mikan, the son of Hall of Famer George Mikan, led Minnesota in scoring (18.4 ppg) and rebounding (10.5 rpg). . . . Purdue, coached by George King, made its national postseason tournament debut after capturing its first Big Ten title in 29 years en route to its initial 20-win campaign. . . . Illinois, which didn't post a winning record in any of the previous three seasons, won its first nine contests under coach Harv Schmidt, including a 97-84 victory at Houston to snap the Cougars' 59-game homecourt winning streak. . . . Michigan State coach John Benington died of a heart attack while jogging after the season. . . . Kent State, coached by Frank Truitt, compiled a 14-10 record to end a streak of 16 consecutive losing seasons. Truitt won less than 30 percent of his games decided by fewer than three points (11-26 mark) with the Golden Flashes through 1973-74. . . . George Thompson became the first of six different Marquette All-Americans in a 12-year span through 1980 to matriculate to the university from New York.

George Washington, coached by Wayne Dobbs, ended a streak of eight consecutive losing seasons by compiling a 14-11 record. . . . Four of the five All-Ivy League selections--Columbia's Jim McMillian, Princeton's John Hummer and Geoff Petrie, and Pennsylvania's Dave Wohl--went on to play at least six seasons apiece in the NBA. . . . Connecticut's streak of finishing among the top three in the Yankee Conference standings since 1947-48 ended when the Huskies went 3-7 in league play to place tied for fourth. . . . Mike Krzyzewski, captain of Army's fourth-place finisher in the NIT, went on to coach his alma mater before directing Duke to back-to-back NCAA Tournament championships in 1991 and 1992. . . . Princeton defeated a Bob Knight-coached Army squad for the fourth straight season. . . . Tom Schneider, Bucknell's leading scorer with 18.3 points per game, eventually coached Lehigh (1985) and Pennsylvania (1987) in the NCAA Tournament. . . . St. Peter's Bob Leckie, a playmaker for three NIT teams that combined for a 63-17 record, later coached his alma mater. . . . Lou Goetz, who averaged 6.8 points and five rebounds per game for Rutgers' 21-4 NIT team, went on to coach Richmond for three seasons from 1978-79 through 1980-81 as Dick Tarrant's predecessor. . . . Michael Miller led Lafayette's football squad in pass receptions with 42 before pacing the Leopards' basketball team in scoring with 17.6 ppg.

Kentucky became the first school to win 1,000 games. . . . Florida made its only appearance in a national postseason tournament until 1984. The Gators lost to Temple, 82-66, in the first round of the NIT. . . . Louisville guard Butch Beard, a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference first-team selection, went on to coach Howard University for four seasons from 1990-91 through 1993-94, including a trip to the 1992 NCAA playoffs. Beard also coached the NBA's New Jersey Nets for two seasons in 1994-95 and 1995-96. . . . Notre Dame finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the first time since 1958. The Irish dropped its NCAA Tournament opener to Miami (Ohio) when guard Austin Carr broke his foot early in the contest.

Southern California ended UCLA's 41-game winning streak, 46-44. It was one of only two defeats for the Bruins during Lew Alcindor's three-year varsity career with both of the setbacks by two points. . . . Alcindor led three consecutive conference champions in scoring and rebounding. . . . Ron Taylor, who led USC with 9.2 rpg, went on to become an actor best known for his roles as Lothar in The Rocketeer (1991) and Roc in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994). . . . Santa Clara (27-2/coached by Dick Garibaldi) had its winningest season in school history. . . . Santa Clara, finishing in the Top 10 of a final wire-service poll for the only time in school history, won its first 21 games before the Broncos absorbed their lone regular-season defeat, a 73-69 decision in double overtime against San Jose State. Weber State (27-3/Phil Johnson) became the only Big Sky team ever to go undefeated in conference competition since the league's inception in 1964. . . . Colorado captured the Big Eight Conference crown after finishing in a tie for last place the previous year.

Iowa State, coached by Glen Anderson, won five Big Eight Conference contests in overtime. It was part of a string over a three-year span where the Cyclones won nine league games in a row that required an extra session. . . . All-Big Eight first-team forward Don Tomlinson was Missouri's leading scorer and rebounder. His son, Trent, became a country music soloist who had two Top 20 songs in 2006 ("Drunker Than Me" and "One Wing in the Fire"). . . . More than half of Oklahoma State's games were decided by fewer than six points for the second straight season. Legendary OSU coach Hank Iba won only one-third of his contests decided by fewer than five points (19-38 mark) over his last seven campaigns through 1969-70. . . . Drake senior guard Willie McCarter, an All-MVC first-team selection, went on to coach Detroit for three seasons from 1979-80 through 1981-82. . . . SWC champion Texas A&M, coached by Shelby Metcalf, won six league games by one point. . . . Texas Tech did not have a player selected to at least All-SWC second-team honors for the only time in a 37-year span from 1957-58 through 1993-94. . . . North Texas State (15-10 under coach Dan Spika) posted its first winning record in 12 years at the Division I level. . . . Wyoming, coached by Bill Strannigan, finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the only time in a 22-year span from 1958-59 through 1979-80. Strannigan won 64% of his games decided by fewer than four points with the Cowboys in 14 seasons with them through 1972-73.

Georgia's Bob Leinhard (32 vs. Sewanee) and Boston College's Terry Driscoll (31 vs. Fordham) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Alabama lost its final 15 games in C.M. Newton's first season as coach.

Duke's Vic Bubas retired after a 10-year coaching career with a 213-67 record. The Blue Devils logged a 15-13 mark in their only season under Bubas without finishing in a final wire-service Top 20 poll. His first-year salary was $9,000. He later became commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference. . . . Virginia lost 22 consecutive games in its series with Duke until defeating the Blue Devils, 81-75. . . . Duke walloped Wake Forest by 29 points (122-93) after getting demolished by the Demon Deacons by 28 points at the Big Four Tournament (106-78). . . . North Carolina's senior class - Rusty Clark, Bill Bunting, Dick Grubar, Joe Brown and Gerald Tuttle - was one of the most accomplished in ACC history. In three years of varsity competition (45-6 record against ACC foes and 81-15 overall), this group became the first to finish No. 1 in the regular season, win the ACC Tournament and advance to the Final Four each year. One-third of the 15 defeats were at the Final Four. . . . Bigotry seemed to rear its ugly head when junior Charlie Scott, the first African American on Carolina's varsity roster, didn't become a consensus All-ACC first-team selection and lost the conference player of the year vote to South Carolina's white guard John Roche by a wide margin. . . . South Carolina christened its new arena (Carolina Coliseum) with the first 20-win campaign in school history (21-7).

San Diego's Phil Woolpert, who gained national acclaim as coach of San Francisco's back-to-back NCAA champions in the mid-1950s, retired after a 16-year coaching career with a 239-164 record. Woolpert spent much of his post-coaching years as a bus driver in the Northwest. . . . Jerry Tarkanian embarked on his major-college coaching career with a 23-3 record (.885) at Long Beach State. Two other first-year head coaches had even higher winning percentages - La Salle's Tom Gola (23-1, .958) and Weber State's Phil Johnson (27-3, .900). Gola, UPI's national player of the year in 1955 with the Explorers, was a full-time state legislator commuting from Harrisburg, Pa. . . . Stanley Ward finished his 15-year stint at Brown as the school's all-time winningest coach although he won barely over one-third of his games (133-261 record, .338). However, Ward excelled in winning close contests (48-36 mark in games decided by fewer than six points). . . . Dartmouth, coached by Dave Gavitt, compiled its highest victory total in nine seasons (10-15 mark) despite losing seven games by a total of 14 points. Gavitt was named New England Coach of the Year for that performance before moving on to greater acclaim in a similar position at Providence. Joe Mullaney, Gavitt's predecessor, guided PC to the nation's best record through the first eight years of the decade until the Friars went 25-24 the last two seasons.

1969 NCAA Tournament
Summary: UCLA's Lew Alcindor, climaxing a streak when he became the only individual to earn three consecutive Final Four Most Outstanding Player awards, collected 37 points and 20 rebounds in his final college game, a victory against Purdue (92-72). The 37-point outburst was a tourney high and is the fourth-highest point total in championship game history. Teammate Ken Heitz was scoreless in the final but his defense was instrumental in making Boilermakers standout Rick Mount miss his last 14 field-goal attempts in the first half. UCLA coasted despite committing 19 turnovers to four for Purdue. Guard John Vallely, averaging a modest 10.2 points per game entering the Final Four, erupted for 29 points in the national semifinals and the Bruins needed all of them. They had a nine-point lead with 70 seconds remaining dwindle to one before defeating Drake (85-82) when the Bulldogs missed a go-ahead basket in the waning moments. Alcindor grabbed a tourney-high 21 rebounds in the Drake game. "Drake gave us as much trouble--maybe more--than any team we ever played in the tournament," UCLA coach John Wooden said after the aggressive Bulldogs hoisted up 33 more field-goal attempts than the Bruins (83-50). "They were a very quick team, and played tough man-to-man (defense)."
Star Gazing: UCLA excelled although All-American guard Lucius Allen missed the entire season because of scholastic shortcomings. Alcindor (No. 1) and Allen (No. 3) became the highest-drafted set of college teammates in NBA history. . . . Notre Dame guard Austin Carr, who holds the NCAA scoring average record with 41.3 ppg in seven contests, debuted in the playoffs with only six points against Miami (Ohio) when he re-broke his foot.
One and Only: Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is the only player to couple three unanimous first-team All-American seasons with three NCAA titles. He is also the only player to hit better than 70 percent of his field-goal attempts in two different NCAA title games (1968 and 1969). . . . North Carolina became the only school to lose two games by at least 20 points apiece in a single Final Four.
Celebrity Status: Drake center Rick Wanamaker, who blocked one of Alcindor's shots in the Bulldogs' 85-82 defeat in the national semifinals, won the decathlon title in the 1970 NCAA meet, 1971 Pan American Games and 1971 National AAU meet. He finished fourth in the National AAU event in 1972 and fifth in 1974. . . . Backup junior guard Jim Delany, playing in his second straight Final Four with North Carolina, went on to become Big Ten Conference commissioner. Teammate Dave Chadwick, a reserve forward, became a minister who presided over wedding of former NBA guard Tony Bennett before Bennett coached Washington State and Virginia. . . . Brigham Young guard Doug Howard, the Cougars' leader in scoring average and an All-WAC second-team selection, tallied 12 points in a West Regional first-round defeat against New Mexico State before playing five years of major league baseball as a first baseman-outfielder with the California Angels, St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians. . . . Princeton's John Hummer, who scored a game-high 28 points in a first-round loss against St. John's, became a venture capitalist focusing on software companies.
Numbers Game: Mount, who scored 122 points in four playoff games in Purdue's first NCAA Tournament appearance, is the only player to lead a single tourney in scoring with more than 120 points and not eventually play in the NBA. He played five seasons in the ABA with four different franchises. Mount (36 points) and Billy Keller (20) accounted for the highest-scoring starting backcourt in a single Final Four game in history when they combined for 56 points in a 92-65 rout of North Carolina in the semifinals. . . . Mount's 36 field-goal attempts against UCLA is an NCAA championship game record. He hit a corner jumper at the buzzer to nip Marquette, 75-73, in overtime in the Mideast Regional final after the Warriors' Ric Cobb misfired from the free-throw line with two seconds remaining in regulation. . . . Charlie Scott's second-half heroics enabled Carolina to reach the Final Four for the third consecutive year. Scott connected on 12 of 13 field-goal attempts after intermission in a come-from-behind 85-74 victory over Duke in the ACC Tournament final. The next week in the East Regional final, the 6-5 guard hit 10 of 14 shots from the floor in the second half, including a game-winning 20-foot jumper with three seconds remaining in an 87-85 verdict over Davidson. . . . Santa Clara's outstanding frontline of Dennis Awtrey, Bud Ogden and Ralph Ogden combined for 53 points per game before collaborating for just 27 in a 90-52 setback against UCLA in the West Regional final. . . . St. John's lost two of three playoff games despite hitting a tourney series record 87 percent from the free-throw line (47 of 54). The Orangemen were eliminated for the second straight year by Davidson when Wildcats star Mike Maloy hit all 13 of his foul shots in a 79-69 decision. Maloy's accuracy from the charity stripe during his three-year varsity career was less than 70 percent. . . . Backup center Garry Odom averaged a modest 3.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game on the season, but collected a total of 18 points and 18 rebounds in Drake's two Midwest Regional victories. . . . Texas A&M managed its first NCAA playoff victory (81-66 over Trinity in first round of Midwest Regional). . . . Trinity's Bob Polk lost the only tourney game he coached in 25 years with four major colleges.
What Might Have Been: La Salle, which defeated NCAA Tournament entrants Villanova, St. Joseph's and Duquesne by a total of 38 points on its way to a No. 2 ranking by AP, was ineligible for the tourney because of NCAA probation.
Putting Things in Perspective: North Carolina starting guard Dick Grubar, averaging 13 points per game, injured a knee in the ACC Tournament and was lost for the NCAA playoffs. A standout defensive player, the senior would have drawn the assignment of facing the explosive Mount, a 36-point scorer in a national semifinal victory over Carolina. . . . Drake nearly pulled off a gigantic upset against UCLA in the national semifinals although the Bulldogs shot just 38.6 percent from the floor. . . . Runner-up Purdue probably would have given UCLA more of game in the NCAA final if Boilermakers center Chuck Bavis wasn't sidelined because of a shoulder injury. . . . Providence guard Vic Collucci's 36 points was the highest single-game output by an individual opponent against UCLA during the season. Collucci finished the campaign with a modest 15.4-point scoring average.
Scoring Leader: Rick Mount, Purdue (122 points, 30.5 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Lew Alcindor, UCLA (64 rebounds, 16 rpg).

All-Tournament Team
*Lew Alcindor, C, Sr., UCLA (62 points, 41 rebounds in final two games)
Willie McCarter, G, Sr., Drake (52 points, 13 assists)
Rick Mount, G, Jr., Purdue (64 points)
Charlie Scott, F-G, Jr., North Carolina (51 points, 10 rebounds)
John Vallely, G, Jr., UCLA (44 points, 10 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.

Championship Team Results
Regional Semifinal: UCLA 53 (Alcindor team-high 16 points), New Mexico State 38 (Collins/Lacey 11)
Regional Final: UCLA 90 (Alcindor 17), Santa Clara 52 (Awtrey 14)
National Semifinal: UCLA 85 (Vallely 29), Drake 82 (McCarter 24)
Championship Game: UCLA 92 (Alcindor 37), Purdue 72 (Mount 28)