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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--North Carolina State (30-1; coached by Norman Sloan/eighth of 14 seasons with Wolfpack; won ACC regular-season title by three games with a 12-0 record).
NIT Champion--Purdue (21-9; coached by Fred Schaus/second of six seasons with Boilermakers; finished in third place in Big Ten with a 10-4 record, which was two games behind co-champions Indiana and Michigan).
CCAT Champion--Indiana (23-5; tied for Big Ten title with a 12-2 record).
New Conferences--ECAC divided to receive multiple automatic qualification berths in the NCAA Tournament.
New Rules--Referees may penalize players for fouls occurring away from the ball (grabbing, illegal screens, etc.). . . . The NCAA Tournament bracket rotation changes for the first time, eliminating East vs. West bracketing in effect since the event's inception. . . . The first public draw to fill oversubscribed orders for Final Four tickets was administered.
NCAA Probation--Centenary, Long Beach State, Louisiana Tech, McNeese State, New Mexico State, Pan American, Western Kentucky, Wichita State
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Marvin Barnes, C, Sr., Providence (22.1 ppg, 18.7 rpg); John Shumate, C-F, Soph., Notre Dame (24.2 ppg, 11 rpg, 62.7 FG%); David Thompson, F, Jr., North Carolina State (26 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 54.7 FG%); Bill Walton, C, Sr., UCLA (19.3 ppg, 14.7 rpg, 66.5 FG%); Keith Wilkes, F, Sr., UCLA (16.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 87.2 FT%).
National Players of the Year--Thompson (AP) and Walton (UPI/USBWA/Naismith).
National Coaches of the Year--Marquette's Al McGuire (26-5/NABC); Notre Dame's Digger Phelps (26-3/UPI), and North Carolina State's Norman Sloan (30-1/AP, USBWA).
UCLA's NCAA-record 88-game winning streak ended at Notre Dame, 71-70, when guard Dwight Clay's fallaway jump shot from the right baseline with 29 seconds remaining climaxed a 12-0 spurt in the last three minutes for the Irish (see accompanying box). Bruins All-American center Bill Walton, who had injured his left hip/back two weeks before, hadn't played in 12 days but still went 12 for 14 from the floor. Five consecutive turnovers by UCLA let Notre Dame back into the game and halted the Bruins' amazing streak of 46 consecutive weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Notre Dame also ended Indiana's 19-game homecourt winning streak, 73-67, and South Carolina's school-record 34-game homecourt winning streak, 72-68. The Irish, who suffered their most lopsided loss in history two years earlier at IU (94-29), subsequently lost 13 consecutive assignments in Bloomington. . . . Notre Dame All-American forward John Shumate, who scored at least 24 points in all three streak stoppers, eventually coached SMU for seven seasons from 1988-89 through 1994-95, including a trip to the 1993 NCAA playoffs. Teammates Gary Brokaw (Iona) and Ray Martin (Long Island) went on to coach Eastern universities.
UCLA compiled a 149-2 record at Pauley Pavilion under coach John Wooden, but its conference-record streak of Pacific-8 victories ended at 50 when the Bruins bowed at Oregon State, 61-57 (see accompanying box). George Tucker handed out 11 assists for the Beavers to help them overcome shooting only 44.3 percent from the floor and 53.8 percent from the foul line. OSU's lone victory over UCLA in a 26-game stretch of their series from 1967 through 1979 represented coach Ralph Miller's third victory over a top-ranked team with three different schools (previously Wichita State over Cincinnati in 1963 and Iowa over UCLA in 1965).
The Bruins also succumbed at Oregon, 56-51, to give them back-to-back defeats for the first time since 1966. "When you have the same group for three years, they're a little more difficult to work with. They don't mean to be, but they are," Wooden said. "I can't find fault with my team, but I failed to motivate them. And I'm not talking about won-lost record. In many games we won, I didn't think we displayed intensity and didn't play up to our potential."
Maryland's 65-64 setback at UCLA in the Bruins' second game of the season was the closest and one of only three of their 49 home games during the 88-game winning streak decided by fewer than 11 points.
UCLA's Walton finished his career with an amazing field-goal percentage of 65.1 although he never won a single-season shooting title. Walton, who paced three consecutive league champions in scoring and rebounding, is the only player to be a three-time first-team NCAA unanimous All-American and first-team Academic All-American. He shot an NCAA Tournament-record 68.6 percent from the floor in 12 playoff games.
Considered in some quarters as the most incredible comeback in major-college history, North Carolina freshman Walter Davis sent the regular-season finale against Duke into overtime with a 30-foot bank shot, climaxing an eight-point rally in the final 17 seconds of regulation. Carolina won in overtime, 96-92, for its first-ever overtime victory against the Blue Devils. . . . In the lowest-scoring game since 1938, Tennessee and Temple combined for a mere 17 points in the Volunteers' 11-6 victory (see accompanying box). . . . Jerry Tarkanian, one of the nation's winningest active Division I coaches by percentage, lost his home debut with UNLV (82-76 to Texas Tech) after Tarkanian-coached teams never lost a home game in five years with Long Beach State or in six years in junior college.
The nation's top three scorers grew up in New York City--Canisius' Larry Fogle, Pan American's Bruce "Sky" King and Austin Peay State's James "Fly" Williams. Fogle, who set a Canisius record for highest scoring average in a single season (33.4 ppg), enrolled there after Southwestern Louisiana's program was disbanded by the NCAA because of numerous indiscretions. He was the last sophomore to lead the nation in scoring in the 20th Century. . . . Fogle (55 points vs. St. Peter's) joined the following players who set school single-game scoring records: Appalachian State's Stan Davis (56 at Carson-Newman), Providence's Marvin Barnes (52 vs. Austin Peay), Illinois State's Robert "Bubbles" Hawkins (58 vs. Northern Illinois), Tulsa's Willie Biles (tied own mark with 48 vs. St. Cloud, Minn.), Eastern Michigan's Gary Tyson (47 vs. Wheaton), South Alabama's Eugene Oliver (46 at Southern Mississippi) and Fresno State's Charles Bailey (45 in double overtime at North Texas State).
Asked about Davis' outburst, Appalachian State coach Press Maravich said, "Excuse me if I don't seem too excited about the 56 points, but I've seen about 40 games with that many scored you know," referring to contests when his son, all-time NCAA scoring leader Pete Maravich, scorched the nets from 1967-68 through 1969-70 when they were together at LSU.
Fogle, 6-5, also grabbed 22 rebounds against St. Peter's, which was one of six games during the season when he retrieved at least 20 missed shots in a game, including a school-record 26 against Catholic. . . . North Carolina A&T's James Outlaw set a school Division I record for highest scoring average in a season with 24.9 points per game.
In a remarkable turnaround, Kansas reached the Final Four just one year after compiling an 8-18 record that tied the school standard for most defeats in a single season. The Jayhawks (23-7), coached by Ted Owens, were the nation's most-improved team. They posted their only victory over Kentucky (71-63) in the first 17 meetings of their series from 1950-51 through 1984-85. . . . Mississippi sustained its 14th of 21 consecutive non-winning SEC records but the Rebels handed Arkansas the Hogs' most lopsided defeat in history, 117-66. . . . This season marked won-loss records that were the best (27-2 by Maryland-Eastern Shore) and worst (1-25 by Georgia State) for any first-year Division I schools since classification was first introduced in 1948.
Maryland, ranking fourth in both polls, lost in overtime against eventual NCAA champion North Carolina State, 103-100, in the ACC Tournament final in what some believe might have been the greatest college game ever played (see accompanying box). Three players from each team earned All-American honors during their careers--N.C. State's David Thompson, Tom Burleson and Monte Towe and Maryland's John Lucas, Len Elmore and Tom McMillen. The Terrapins had four players score at least 20 points--Lucas, McMillen, Owen Brown and Mo Howard--in a 20-point victory over 22-6 North Carolina (105-85) in the semifinals. The Terps lost by one point at UCLA in their season opener before dropping both regular-season games against N.C. State by six points and bowing at North Carolina to finish in a tie with the Tar Heels for second place in the ACC standings. Brown died of a heart attack a week before his 23rd birthday in February 1976. . . . Towe, an All-ACC first-team selection, went on to become coach at the University of New Orleans. . . . A backup guard for Maryland was captain Billy Hahn, who eventually coached Ohio University and La Salle.
George Washington's Clyde Burwell (33 vs. St. Mary's, Md.), Maine's Bob Warner (28 vs. Trinity), Stanford's Rich Kelley (27 at Kentucky), Southern Illinois' Joe C. Meriweather (27 vs. Indiana State), McNeese State's Henry Ray (27 vs. Texas-Arlington) and Maryland's Elmore (26 at Wake Forest) set school single-game rebounding marks.
Rutgers lost 13 consecutive games in its series with Syracuse until defeating the Orangemen, 93-79, in Tom Young's first season as coach of the Scarlet Knights. . . . Providence (28-4/coached by Dave Gavitt) and UMES (27-2/John Bates) had their winningest seasons in school history. North Carolina State (30-1/Norman Sloan) and Southern California (24-5/Bob Boyd) tied their school single-season records for most victories. . . . Pittsburgh, making its only Top 20 appearance in a final wire-service poll until 1987, won a school-record 22 consecutive games after losing its season opener at West Virginia. The Panthers lost at least 10 contests each of the previous nine years when they posted just one winning record. . . . Seton Hall, coached by current network TV analyst Bill Raftery, compiled a 16-11 record to end a streak of nine consecutive losing seasons. Raftery won less than one-third of his games in two seasons of Big East Conference competition in the early 1980s and against eventual league members in his first nine years with the Pirates (22-48 mark). . . . Rick Pitino, who led Massachusetts in assists with 6.5 per game, would later coach Providence, Kentucky and Louisville to the Final Four mixed in with coaching stints in the NBA. UMass captain Al Skinner, who led the Yankee Conference in scoring with 18.7 points per game, eventually coached Rhode Island and Boston College. Coach Jack Leaman lost 12 of his first 13 one-point verdicts with the Minutemen before winning nine such decisions in a row. . . . Jim O'Brien, a regular for three national postseason teams with St. Joseph's, went on to coach Dayton in the 1990 NCAA playoffs. . . . Brown boasted two first-team selections (Phil Brown and Eddie Morris) for the only time in its first 49 years as a member of the Ivy League through 2001-02.
Furman's Fessor Leonard set a Southern Conference standard with 13 blocked shots against St. Peter's. . . . Alabama, coached by C.M. Newton, made its first Top 20 appearance in a final wire-service poll since 1956. The Crimson Tide, in the midst of winning 79 percent of its SEC regular-season games in a six-year span from 1972 through 1977, went on to finish in the Top 20 each of the next three seasons. Tide guard Raymond Odums, an All-SEC third-team selection for the third straight year, went on to become a three-time All-Canadian Football League defensive back in the early 1980s for the Calgary Stampeders. . . . Kentucky (13-13) didn't participate in a national postseason tournament for the only time in a 21-year span from 1968 through 1988. . . . Vanderbilt senior forward Jan van Breda Kolff, named SEC player of the year despite a modest scoring average of 10.9 points per game, eventually coached Cornell, his alma mater, Pepperdine and St. Bonaventure. Vandy (23-5), coached by Roy Skinner, won nine games by fewer than five points. . . . Richmond registered its first winning record (16-12/coached by Lewis Mills) in 16 years and St. Mary's posted its first winning mark (15-13/Frank LaPorte) in 11 seasons.
Texas notched its lone triumph over Texas Tech (75-74) in a 15-game stretch of their series from 1970 through 1976. . . . Center Alvan Adams became Oklahoma's first All-American in 27 years. . . . Kansas State guard Lon Kruger, a two-time Big Eight player of the year, eventually coached his alma mater, Florida and Illinois to final Top 20 spots and multiple NCAA playoff appearances. K-State (19-8), coached by Jack Hartman, had more than half of its games decided by fewer than six points (8-6 mark in close contests). The Wildcats were 24-9 in that category under Hartman over a four-year span through 1974-75. . . . Utah, coached by Bill Foster, improved to a tie for second place in the WAC after finishing eighth the previous year.
NIT champion Purdue, coached by Fred Schaus, lost six games by fewer than three points. Purdue's Bruce Parkinson averaged 11.9 points per game 28 years after his father, Jack, was the leading scorer (11.3 ppg) for Kentucky's NIT champion. Bruce's son, Austin, became the Boilermakers' playmaker in 2000-01. . . . Illinois suffered a school-record 11-game losing streak en route to a 5-18 mark in Harv Schmidt's seventh and final season as coach of the Illini. . . . Ohio State (9-15), coached by Fred Taylor, had more than half of its games decided by fewer than six points (4-9 in those close contests). . . . Tony Dungy, a backup guard who averaged 2.6 ppg in 16 contests with Minnesota, subsequently became an NFL defensive back and head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts. . . . DePaul captain Mike Gillespie, a three-year starting forward, went on to become coach at Florida A&M for six seasons from 2001-02 through 2006-07. . . . Dick Vitale, posting a 17-9 record with Detroit in his first season as coach of the Titans, defeated Southern Illinois by four points in overtime before bowing at SIU by 43, tying the mark for most lopsided loss in school history. Vitale won two-thirds of his games decided by fewer than five points in four years with UD but lost his first six outings against in-state Mid-American Conference members. . . . Tony Parker Sr., Loyola of Chicago's leading scorer as a freshman (17.1 ppg) is the father of a guard who captured multiple NBA crowns with the San Antonio Spurs.
Lute Olson launched his major college coaching career with a 24-2 record in his lone season at Long Beach State. The only defeats for the probation-shackled 49ers were by two points at Colorado and Marquette. Olson moved on to Iowa after the Hawkeyes went 8-16 in Dick Schultz's fourth and final campaign as their head coach. Schultz, who later became executive director of the NCAA and head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, finished his Iowa career with a 41-55 record and the worst winning percentage (.427) among the first 16 men to coach the Hawkeyes at least two years. . . . Gonzaga center Stew Morrill, an All-Big Sky Conference first-team choice, eventually became coach for three Western universities (Montana, Colorado State and Utah State). . . . Oregon transfer Paul Sunderland averaged 9.2 ppg and 6.4 rpg for Loyola Marymount. Sunderland went on to become a three-time U.S. Player of the Year for the National Volleyball team and member of Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. squad in 1984 before succeeding Los Angeles Lakers legendary announcer Chick Hearn. . . . California (9-17), coached by Dick Edwards, had half of its games decided by fewer than five points.
1974 NCAA Tournament
Summary: North Carolina State, unbeaten in 27 games the previous season when it was ineligible to participate in the national tournament because of an NCAA probation, defeated Marquette in the championship game (76-64) after Warriors coach Al McGuire was assessed two technical fouls late in the first half. The "T" helped the Wolfpack score 10 unanswered points in less than a minute and transform a 28-27 deficit into a comfortable 37-28 lead. The final in N.C. State's home state at Greensboro was anticlimatic after the Wolfpack avenged an 18-point loss to UCLA earlier in the season on a neutral court (St. Louis) by ending the Bruins' 38-game playoff winning streak (80-77 in double overtime). N.C. State erased an 11-point deficit midway through the second half and a seven-point deficit in the second extra session behind David Thompson's 28 points and 10 rebounds to halt UCLA's string of seven consecutive NCAA championships. The Bruins were ripe to be knocked off. The (Bill) Walton Gang also blew a 17-point advantage in its playoff opener before regrouping to outlast Dayton (111-100 in triple overtime). "It was the most disappointing, embarrassing event of my life," Walton said. "I think about it almost daily. If I had one week to bring back and live over, that would be it."
Star Gazing: It's inconceivable to think N.C. State would have won the crown if Thompson didn't recover from a nasty fall to the floor after attempting to block a shot by Pittsburgh in the East Regional final. Thompson, cartwheeling over the shoulders of a teammate, landed with a sickening thud on the back of his head and did not move for four minutes. He regained consciousness, was taken to a hospital and, after getting 15 stitches to mend a head wound, was permitted to return to the arena and watch the end of the game. The mild concussion didn't keep him from being ready for the Final Four, where the junior forward was named Most Outstanding Player. "No matter what you say about Thompson and his ability, you can't exaggerate. He's that good," Wolfpack coach Norman Sloan said.
One and Only: N.C. State starting forward Tim Stoddard is the only individual to play for an NCAA basketball champion and in a major league baseball World Series (relief pitcher for Baltimore Orioles '79).
Celebrity Status: Percy Howard, a wide receiver who failed to catch a pass in eight regular-season games for the Dallas Cowboys in 1975, caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach for their final TD in a 21-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl X. Howard had been a forward for Austin Peay State, averaging seven points and seven rebounds per game in four NCAA Tournament contests in 1973 and 1974 as a teammate of celebrated scorer James "Fly" Williams.
Numbers Game: Thompson became the only undergraduate non-center to average more than 23 points per game for a national champion (26 ppg). He tossed in a tourney-high 40 points and teammate Tom Burleson contributed a tourney-high 24 rebounds in a 92-78 victory over Providence in the East Regional semifinals. . . . N.C. State traveled a thorny path during the season to the NCAA title, defeating nine teams that, at the time, were ranked among the nation's top five. Sloan was the last coach of the 20th Century to guide his alma mater to the NCAA title. . . . UCLA's five starters played an average of 47.2 minutes in the national semifinal loss to N.C. State. Reserves Marques Johnson and Andre McCarter played a total of 14 minutes for the Bruins while Ralph Drollinger, Pete Trgovich and Richard Washington didn't get off the bench. . . . Texas, winner of just one non-conference game under coach Leon Black, became the only school with a losing overall record to secure an automatic bid by capturing a regular-season league title. . . . Guard Brian Winters, South Carolina's leading scorer with 20 points per game, tallied a game-high 22 points but it wasn't enough to prevent a 75-67 loss to intrastate rival Furman. Winters went on to coach the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies. His son, Brandon, was Davidson's leading scorer in 2003-04. . . . Kansas, which went 11-15 and 8-18 the previous two years, became the only school other than Ohio State and only one in a 54-year span from 1945 through 1998 to reach the Final Four after back-to-back losing seasons. . . . Oral Roberts, making its NCAA playoff debut, reached the Midwest Regional final before bowing at home to Kansas, 93-90, in overtime. ORU's bubble burst when coach Ken Trickey resigned under pressure in the wake of his arrest by Tulsa police on charges of drunken driving. . . . Adrian Dantley, who averaged 18.3 ppg as a freshman for Notre Dame, was limited to two points in a 77-68 Mideast Regional semifinal loss to Michigan.
What Might Have Been: Two-time consensus first-team All-American forward Keith Wilkes shot better than 50 percent from the floor in his three varsity seasons at UCLA before hitting half of his field-goal attempts in a 12-year NBA career. If only he connected on 41 percent of his field-goal attempts instead of 29.4 percent (5 of 17) in the national semifinals, the Bruins could have defeated N.C. State rather than losing 80-77. . . . Marquette (26-5) might have been more of a match for N.C. State in the NCAA final if Larry McNeill hadn't left school early for the NBA. . . . Memphis State (19-11) probably would have wound up in the NCAA playoffs instead of the NIT if Larry Kenon hadn't left school with eligibility remaining to turn pro. . . . Louisville (21-7) might not have been a flop in the NCAA Tournament if center Bill Bunton didn't miss the season for academic reasons and guard Phillip Bond didn't redshirt after contracting mononucleosis. In 1975, Bunton was the leading rebounder and Bond was the leading assists man for the Cardinals' Final Four team.
Putting Things in Perspective: Would N.C. State have become kingpin if the Wolfpack didn't play at home (East Regional at Raleigh and nearby Greensboro)? . . . Dayton's Don Smith scored 26 points in the triple-overtime game against UCLA but he had a basket denied when Flyers coach Don Donoher called an ill-timed timeout with 14 seconds remaining in regulation. . . . The highest-scoring single-game output by an individual opponent against N.C. State was by Memphis State's Billy Cook in late December with 33 points.
Scoring Leader: David Thompson, North Carolina State (97 points, 24.25 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: John Shumate, Notre Dame (86 points, 28.7 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Tom Burleson, North Carolina State (61 rebounds, 15.25 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Marvin Barnes, Providence (51 rebounds, 17 rpg).
Tom Burleson, C, Sr., North Carolina State (34 points, 25 rebounds, nine blocked shots in final two games)
Maurice Lucas, C, Jr., Marquette (39 points, 27 rebounds)
*David Thompson, F, Jr., North Carolina State (49 points, 17 rebounds)
Monte Towe, G, Jr., North Carolina State (28 points)
Bill Walton, C, Sr., UCLA (35 points, 26 rebounds, eight assists)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
Regional Semifinal: N.C. State 92 (Thompson team-high 40 points), Providence 78 (Stacom 18)
Regional Final: N.C. State 100 (Burleson 26), Pittsburgh 72 (Knight 19)
National Semifinal: N.C. State 80 (Thompson 28), UCLA 77 (Walton 29)**
Championship Game: N.C. State 76 (Thompson 21), Marquette 64 (Lucas 21)