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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--UCLA (28-2; coached by John Wooden/22nd of 27 seasons with Bruins; won the Pacific-8 title by three games with a 12-2 record).
NIT Champion--Marquette (26-3; coached by Al McGuire/sixth of 13 seasons with Warriors).
New Conference--Pacific Coast Athletic Association (forerunner of Big West).
NCAA Probation--Centenary, Florida State, La Salle, Yale.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Dan Issel, F-C, Sr., Kentucky (33.9 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 55.3 FG%); Bob Lanier, C, Sr., St. Bonaventure (29.1 ppg, 16 rpg, 56.1 FG%); Pete Maravich, G, Sr., Louisiana State (44.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 6.2 apg); Rick Mount, G, Sr., Purdue (35.4 ppg, 83.1 FT%); Calvin Murphy, G, Sr., Niagara (29.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 88.1 FT%).
National Player of the Year--Maravich (AP/UPI/USBWA/Naismith).
National Coach of the Year--John Wooden, UCLA (28-2/AP, UPI, NABC, USBWA).
This season boasted perhaps the most dominant senior class in college basketball history. Bob Lanier (St. Bonaventure), Mike Maloy (Davidson), Pete Maravich (LSU), Jim McMillian (Columbia), Rick Mount (Purdue), Calvin Murphy (Niagara) and Charlie Scott (North Carolina) concluded their careers as three-time All-Americans. Two-time first-team All-American Dan Issel (Kentucky) was among the following sterling senior crop supplementing the seven three-time All-Americans: Tiny Archibald (Texas-El Paso), Dennis Awtrey (Santa Clara), Jimmy Collins (New Mexico State), Dave Cowens (Florida State), John Johnson (Iowa), Sam Lacey (New Mexico State), Geoff Petrie (Princeton), Dave Sorenson (Ohio State) and Rudy Tomjanovich (Michigan). Collins, who went on to coach Illinois-Chicago to the NCAA Tournament in 1998, is New Mexico State's first and only All-American.
Duke, North Carolina and North Carolina State haven't always dominated the ACC. But it wasn't until the league's 17th season that a school outside of the Big Four would capture a regular-season title. South Carolina, ranked No. 1 in preseason polls and considered the favorite to upend UCLA, lost its season opener to visiting Tennessee (55-54) before going unbeaten in conference competition and finishing a league-record five games ahead of the Gamecocks' closest rival. It was their only regular-season conference championship in a 51-year span from 1946 through 1996.
The ACC selected its representative to the NCAA playoffs at the time through its own postseason tourney and seven of the eight previous winners reached the Final Four. But the Gamecocks, featuring a starting lineup with Bobby Cremins as its only senior, lost against N.C. State in the ACC Tournament final (42-39 in double overtime) when Cremins collected two points, no assists and no rebounds in 49 minutes. Cremins, a three-year starter, went on to become Georgia Tech's all-time winningest coach. Consensus second-team All-American John Roche, entering the ACC Tournament with a 23.8-point average, sustained a severely sprained ankle in the semifinals and wound up averaging just nine points per contest in three ACC tourney outings. . . . South Carolina edged Notre Dame, 84-83, in the championship game of the Sugar Bowl Classic despite an almost perfect game by Irish guard Austin Carr, who hit 14 consecutive field goals in one stretch to go 19 of 24 from the floor, sank all five of his free throws, grabbed six rebounds and did not commit a turnover.
Maravich set NCAA single-season records for most points (1,381) and highest average (44.5), finishing his LSU career with NCAA career marks for most points (3,667) and highest average (44.2). He also established an NCAA record for most successful free throws in a game when he converted 30 of 31 foul shots at Oregon State (see accompanying box). Maravich, who broke Oscar Robertson's NCAA career scoring mark with 13 regular-season games remaining, is the only player in NCAA Division I history to score more than 1,000 points and average over 40 points per game in each of three seasons. Pistol Pete finished with 694 more points than the Big O. Maravich had 56 games with at least 40 points in his three-year career, including a school- and SEC-record 69 in a 106-104 postgame brawl-marred defeat at Alabama when he was hampered by leg ailments. No other player has had more than 21 games with a minimum of 40. He averaged more than 50 points per game in a 10-game stretch spanning his last three contests as a junior and first seven as a senior. Incredibly, Maravich improved his field-goal accuracy and assists average each year. Combining scoring and assists, Maravich was responsible for a whopping 59.4 percent of LSU's offense during his career. He was outscored, however, by teammate Danny Hester in two of his three NIT appearances.
"Shooting is nothing. Anybody can shoot," Pistol Pete said. "The big thrill is putting on a show for the crowd." His college teammates included Jeff Tribbett, who had been the playmaker at Lebanon (Ind.) High School for Purdue's Mount, and Russ "Rusty" Bergman, who went on to become Coastal Carolina's all-time winningest coach.
Maravich (64) and Kentucky's Issel (51) each scored more than 50 points in the same game on February 21 when the Wildcats won, 121-105 (see accompanying box). It was one of eight times in Issel's senior season that he scored at least 40 to help Kentucky become the most prolific scoring team in SEC history (96.8 points per game).
Mount set a Big Ten Conference record with 61 points (13 of his 27 field goals would have been behind the current three-point line), but it wasn't enough to prevent a 108-107 setback against visiting Iowa. The Hawkeyes, snapping Purdue's school-record 30-game homecourt winning streak, went unbeaten in league play in coach Ralph Miller's final season at their helm before moving to Oregon State. They compiled a 5-9 Big Ten record the previous season.
Iowa had four players average more than 17 points per game on the Hawkeyes' way to a Big Ten-record 102.9-point average. They went undefeated in the league just one year after finishing in a tie for eighth place. Iowa's Johnson set a school single-game standard with 49 points against Northwestern. . . . Also setting school single-game scoring records were Auburn's John Mengelt (60 points vs. archrival Alabama), Loyola of New Orleans' Ty Marioneaux (53 vs. Virginia Commonwealth), NYU's James Signorile (50 vs. Herbert Lehman), Boston University's Jim Hayes (47 vs. Springfield) and John Conforti of St. Francis, N.Y. (45 vs. Wagner). . . . Maravich, Notre Dame's Carr (38.1 ppg), Purdue's Mount (35.4), Kentucky's Issel (33.9), SMU's Gene Phillips (28.5), Iowa's Johnson (27.9), Butler's Billy Shepherd (27.8), Florida's Andy Owens (27) and Northwestern's Dale Kelley (24.3) set school records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Niagara's Murphy, 5-9, finished his career as the only major-college player in the 20th Century shorter than 6-0 to score more than 2,500 points. His mark was shattered by St. Peter's Keydren Clark in 2005-06. Murphy has accounted for 19 of the 21 games with more than 40 points in Purple Eagles' history.
Vanderbilt, coached by Roy Skinner, suffered its first losing record (12-14) in 22 seasons. . . . Forward Bob Lienhard became Georgia's first All-SEC AP first-team selection in 16 years. . . . Kentucky forward Mike Pratt, an All-SEC first-team selection, went on to coach UNC Charlotte for four seasons from 1978-79 through 1981-82. . . . Georgia Tech center Rich Yunkus, a three-time NCAA Academic All-American, twice scored 47 points in a game (vs. Furman and North Carolina). His outburst against the Tar Heels is the highest-ever individual total versus a Dean Smith-coached team. . . . North Carolina lost five of its last seven outings to finish with an 18-9 record. It was the Tar Heels' last season in the 20th Century that they failed to win more than 20 games. Eddie Fogler, who led Carolina in assists, went on to coach two SEC schools (Vanderbilt and South Carolina).
Sophomore Julius Erving set a Massachusetts record with 20.9 rebounds per game in powering the 18-7 Minutemen to their most victories in 60 years of basketball. . . . Jim Larranaga, Providence's leading scorer for the second consecutive season, eventually coached Bowling Green, George Mason and Miami (Fla.). . . . Jarrett Durham, who led Duquesne in scoring for the second straight year, went on to become Robert Morris' all-time winningest coach in 12 seasons from 1983-84 through 1994-95. . . . New Hampshire's streak of consecutive losing seasons ended at 17 when Gerry Friel compiled a 12-11 record in his first year as coach of the Wildcats. . . . Fran O'Hanlon, who tied a Villanova record with 16 assists against Toledo, would later coach Lafayette in the NCAA playoffs. . . . Fran Dunphy, La Salle's assists leader with 4.35 per game, went on to become Penn's coach and directed the Quakers to nine NCAA Tournament appearances before accepting a similar job with Temple. . . . Scott Beeten, who averaged 11.4 points per game for Lehigh as a junior, eventually coached Albany. . . . Columbia's George Starke, who averaged 4.2 rebounds per game, became an offensive tackle with the Washington Redskins for the Super Bowl XVII champion after the 1982 strike-shortened NFL campaign. . . . Yale, in the second of 11 consecutive losing seasons, pulled off one of the year's biggest upsets with a 97-94 win over LSU in the Rainbow Classic final. . . . Niagara's Calvin Murphy scored a career-low 14 points against Canisius. It was one of only four games in his three seasons with the Purple Eagles where he tallied fewer than 22 points.
Jacksonville (27-2/coached by Joe Williams), New Mexico State (27-3/Lou Henson), St. Bonaventure (25-3/Larry Weise), South Carolina (25-3/Frank McGuire) and Army (22-6/Bob Knight) had their winningest seasons in school history. . . . Army, which didn't appear in the NCAA Tournament during the 20th Century, participated in the NIT for the seventh time in 10 years. The Cadets compiled a 13-9 NIT record (.591) in that span. . . . Jacksonville became the first university to average more than 100 points per game (100.3). The Dolphins also finished runner-up in four categories--field-goal shooting, rebounding scoring margin and won-lost percentage. . . . New Mexico State, coached by Lou Henson, finished among the top 12 in a final wire-service poll for the third straight season.
Ohio State, coached by Fred Taylor, led the country in both field-goal shooting (54.4 percent) and free-throw shooting (80.9). The Buckeyes were the first team to hit at least 80 percent of its foul shots in a single season. They were the first team in Big Ten history to have three players average more than 20 points per game--Sorenson (24.2), Jim Cleamons (21.6) and Jody Finney (20.6). OSU backup Jim Geddes pitched briefly for the Chicago White Sox in 1972 and 1973. . . . Indiana finished in last place in the Big Ten for the fourth time in five seasons. . . . Iowa opposed intrastate rival Iowa State for the first time in 36 years. . . . Ric Cobb, who paced Marquette in rebounding for the second straight season, went on to coach Wisconsin-Milwaukee for four years from 1995-96 through 1998-99. . . . Ron Snyder became the fifth different Miami (Ohio) player in six years to lead the Mid-American Conference in field-goal percentage. . . . Memphis State finished in the Missouri Valley cellar for the third time in as many seasons, but ended its MVC losing streak at 27 games with an 85-81 victory over Wichita State. Cincinnati was runner-up to Drake in the MVC race in the Bearcats' final season as a member of the league. . . . New St. Louis coach Bob Polk lost all 10 games decided by fewer than six points. He won 23 contests in this category over the next four years.
Davidson of the Southern Conference became the only school since the end of World War II to go undefeated in back-to-back league seasons with different coaches. Terry Holland succeeded Lefty Driesell after his predecessor accepted a similar position at Maryland and Larry Brown began his nomadic head coaching career by resigning following only a couple of months at the Wildcats' helm. Brown reportedly departed primarily because Davidson didn't increase its recruiting budget and lower its high academic requirements for prospective recruits. He was also annoyed about the school's summer basketball camp and receiving bills for his temporary residence and carpeting he ordered for his office. . . . Western Kentucky, coached by John Oldham, went unbeaten in Ohio Valley Conference competition for the second time in five seasons. WKU was the only OVC member to go undefeated in league play during the 20th Century after the alliance was formed in 1949. . . . Jimmy Earle posted a winning record (15-11) in his initial season as Middle Tennessee State's coach although his first three defeats were against small colleges (Bethel, Bellarmine and Carson-Newman).
Virginia Tech, coached by Howie Shannon, dropped five of its first six contests en route to compiling its only losing record (10-12) in a 31-year span from 1955-56 through 1985-86. The Hokies suffered their lone defeat to William & Mary (84-79) in a 21-game stretch of their series from 1966 through 1974. . . . Pittsburgh, coached by Buzz Ridl, compiled a 12-12 record for its first season in six years with more than seven victories.
Southern Mississippi's Wendell Ladner (32 vs. Pan American), Minnesota's Larry Mikan (28 vs. Michigan), DePaul's Ken Warzynski (28 vs. Harvard), St. Peter's Juan Jiminez (28 vs. Upsala), New Mexico State's Sam Lacey (27 vs. Hardin-Simmons), Brigham Young's Scott Warner (27 at Texas Tech), Tulsa's Dana Lewis (26 vs. McMurry, Tex.), Iowa State's Bill Cain (26 vs. Minnesota) and Weber State's Willie Sojourner (25 vs. West Texas State) set school single-game records for most rebounds.
Lou Carnesecca, who left St. John's for the ABA's New Jersey Nets, wasn't the only mentor to depart after the season for the pros. NBA expansion teams Cleveland (Bill Fitch/Minnesota) and Portland (Rolland Todd/UNLV) hired a college coach as did third-year NBA franchise Phoenix (Cotton Fitzsimmons/Kansas State). Two years later, the Blazers lured Jack McCloskey away from Wake Forest.
Southern California incurred a total of 19 defeats in the last two seasons, but the Trojans won at UCLA for the second straight year when the Bruins were ranked No. 1 in the country. . . . Protestors claimed BYU and the Mormon church discriminated against blacks. The worst incident occurred at Colorado State where angry students stormed the floor and threw objects at the court--including a flaming molotov cocktail. The bottle reached the floor but did not break and the cocktail was extinguished before it could do any damage. . . . Idaho State, coached by Dan Miller, won its last four games to compile a 13-11 record for the Bengals' first winning season in eight years. . . . Gregg Popovich, Air Force's captain and leading scorer (14.3 ppg), went on to become head coach and general manager of the San Antonio Spurs when they captured NBA championships in 1998-99 and 2002-03. . . . Oklahoma (19-9/coached by John MacLeod), which tied a school record for most defeats the previous season (7-19), lost fewer than 10 games for the first time in 21 years. The Sooners, who last appeared in the NCAA playoffs in 1947, made their NIT debut. . . . Baylor (15-9), coached by Bill Menefee, lost three straight SWC games by one point.
Oklahoma State's Hank Iba (767-338 record) and Butler's Tony Hinkle (557-393) retired after 41-year coaching careers. Iba served as the United States' head coach for the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympic Teams.
Iba, the only coach with six or more NCAA Tournament appearances to reach the regional finals every time, is hailed as the patriarch of basketball's first family of coaches. He had seven of his former Oklahoma State players eventually coach teams into the NCAA playoffs--John Floyd (Texas A&M), Jack Hartman (Kansas State), Don Haskins (Texas-El Paso), Moe Iba (Nebraska), Bud Millikan (Maryland), Doyle Parrack (Oklahoma City) and Eddie Sutton (Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State).
Six generations of major college coaches emanate from Iba, encompassing those coaches who were either players or assistant coaches for Iba or later generations of coaches with ties to the sage. By the end of the century, more than 120 Division I schools had at least one head coach who could trace his ancestry to Iba in his family tree of coaches. "Mr. Iba's system was so sound and he inspired such confidence that there was never any question in my mind that his philosophy offered the best opportunity to be successful," Sutton said. "The things he gave us are as valid today as they were 30 years ago."
1970 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Kentucky, after absorbing just one regular-season defeat (at Vanderbilt), was ranked No. 1 in the nation entering the tourney although starting guard Mike Casey missed the entire campaign because of injuries suffered in an auto accident. But UK lost to eventual NCAA Tournament runner-up Jacksonville, 106-100, in the Mideast Regional final. Casey was the Wildcats' leading scorer as a sophomore in 1967-68 with 20 points per game and their second-leading scorer as a junior the next year with a 19.1-point average. JU wound up losing to UCLA in the championship game, 80-69, when the Bruins' Sidney Wicks, 6-8, blocked five shots of 7-2 All-American center Artis Gilmore to help them overcome a nine-point deficit midway through the first half. UCLA enjoyed a 35 to 8 advantage in free-throw attempts, including a 19-2 edge in the opening half. UCLA is the only NCAA titlist to have four players average more than 15 points per game--Wicks (18.6), John Vallely (16.3), Henry Bibby (15.6) and Curtis Rowe (15.3).
Star Gazing: LSU's Pete Maravich became the only three-time first-team All-American to fail to appear in the NCAA playoffs. LSU lost to UCLA by 49 points (133-84) just before Christmas.
One and Only: Notre Dame guard Austin Carr became the only player to score more than 60 points in a single playoff game and the only individual to score more than 43 points at least twice. Carr tallied 35 of Notre Dame's 54 first-half points en route to a school-record 61 points against Ohio University in the first round of the Southeast Regional (see accompanying play-by-play). Carr accounted for half of the eight games in NCAA Tournament history of more than 46 points. He scored 52 points in the next round, but it wasn't enough to prevent a 109-99 defeat against Kentucky as the Wildcats' Dan Issel scored 44 points in the only tourney game in history to have two players score more than 40. Carr's 52-point playoff outburst is the highest ever in a losing effort.
Celebrity Status: Bruce Bochte, who collected eight rebounds in a loss against Utah State and 10 points in a victory against Jerry Tarkanian-coached Long Beach State in the West Regional, went on to become an A.L. All-Star first baseman with the Seattle Mariners in 1979 when he posted career highs in batting average (.316), doubles (38) and RBI (100).
Numbers Game: The best composite winning percentage when four teams converged at a Final Four occurred as UCLA (26-2), New Mexico State (26-2), Jacksonville (26-1) and St. Bonaventure (25-1) combined for a 103-6 record (.945). New Mexico State, JU and St. Bonaventure were making their only Final Four appearances. . . . New Mexico State's Sam Lacey grabbed a tourney-high 24 rebounds in an 87-78 triumph over Drake in the Midwest Regional final. . . . Jacksonville outlasted Iowa, 104-103, in the Mideast Regional semifinals on Pembrook Burrows' putback with three seconds remaining. . . . UCLA snapped Long Beach State's school-record 19-game winning streak with an 88-65 victory in the West Regional semifinals. . . . Rice made its lone national postseason tournament appearance in a 36-year span from 1955 through 1990. . . . North Carolina State coach Norman Sloan posted his first NCAA playoff victory in his 14th major-college season.
What Might Have Been: Dave Cowens-led Florida State, which split two games with national runner-up Jacksonville (losing at JU by just four points), was ineligible for the tourney because of NCAA probation. Cowens went on to coach the NBA's Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets. . . . St. Bonaventure's only regular-season defeat was by two points at Villanova. But the Bonnies' biggest loss against Villanova was in a 23-point victory over the Wildcats in the East Regional final when All-American center Bob Lanier tore a knee ligament in a freak accident. He was clipped accidentally by future Detroit Pistons teammate Chris Ford, who later became coach of the Boston Celtics.
NCAA Champion Defeats: At Oregon (13-point margin) and Southern California (1). . . . LSU's Maravich and Georgia Tech center Rich Yunkus shared the distinction for having the highest single-game scoring output against UCLA during the season with 38 points apiece.
Scoring Leader: Austin Carr, Notre Dame (158 points, 52.7 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Artis Gilmore, Jacksonville (93 rebounds, 18.6 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: David Hall, Kansas State (40 rebounds, 20 rpg).
Jimmy Collins, G, Sr., New Mexico State (46 points in final two games)
Artis Gilmore, C, Jr., Jacksonville (48 points, 37 rebounds)
Curtis Rowe, F, Jr., UCLA (34 points, 23 rebounds)
John Vallely, G, Sr., UCLA (38 points, 11 rebounds)
*Sidney Wicks, F, Jr., UCLA (39 points, 34 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
Regional Semifinal: UCLA 88 (Bibby/Wicks team-high 20 points), Long Beach State 65 (Trapp 20)
Regional Final: UCLA 101 (Rowe/Wicks 26), Utah State 79 (Roberts 33)
National Semifinal: UCLA 93 (Vallely 23), New Mexico State 77 (Collins 28)
Championship Game: UCLA 80 (Rowe 19), Jacksonville 69 (Gilmore 19)