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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--UCLA (28-3; coached by John Wooden/27th of 27 seasons with Bruins; won Pacific-8 title by two games with a 12-2 record).
NIT Champion--Princeton (22-8; coached by Pete Carril/eighth of 29 seasons with Tigers; finished in second place in Ivy League with a 12-2 record, which was one game behind Penn).
NCIT Champion--Drake (19-10; finished in third place in Missouri Valley with a 9-5 record).
New Conference--ECC (spinoff of the Middle Atlantic).
New Rules--A non-jumper on the restraining circle during a jump ball may move around after the ball leaves the referee's hand. . . . A player assessed a foul is no longer required to raise his hand. . . . A 32-team bracket is adopted for the NCAA Tournament and teams other than the conference champion can be chosen on an at-large basis from the same league for the first time.
NCAA Probation--Centenary, Illinois, Long Beach State, Louisiana Tech, Maryland-Eastern Shore, McNeese State, Southern Methodist, Texas-Pan American, Western Kentucky, Wichita State.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Adrian Dantley, F, Soph., Notre Dame (30.4 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 54.2 FG%, 80.6 FT%); John Lucas, G, Jr., Maryland (19.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, 54.9 FG%, 83.6 FT%); Scott May, F, Jr., Indiana (16.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 51 FG%); Dave Meyers, F, Sr., UCLA (18.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg); David Thompson, F, Sr., North Carolina State (29.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 54.6 FG%).
National Player of the Year--Thompson (AP/UPI/NABC/USBWA/Naismith).
National Coach of the Year--Bob Knight, Indiana (31-1/AP, UPI, NABC, USBWA).
John Wooden, earning a modest $32,500 base salary in his final season, concluded his 29-year coaching career with a 664-162 record. Wooden, the only coach to compile a double-digit total of Final Four victories, notched a 21-3 Final Four record with UCLA in 12 appearances from 1962-75. He won 94 percent of his games in his last 12 seasons (335-22 record), including more than 25 victories each of the final nine campaigns.
"You could probably go back since collegiate basketball first started and never find anyone that has had the impact on the game that he's had," said Hall of Fame Louisville coach Denny Crum, who was an assistant under Wooden. "Not only in style of play, but just in terms of how he approached the game. The way he dominated college basketball for so many years is mind boggling. You look around and no one can come close to doing what they did at UCLA, and of course Wooden was the architect of all that. He is probably as versatile a teacher as anyone I have ever seen. He was successful with small players, tall players and all different kinds of teams. He was the best. You kind of wish he was still coaching."
Wooden's final defeat was a 103-81 setback at Washington when Huskies reserve Larry Jackson collected 27 points and 14 rebounds. Washington claimed a 52-44 halftime advantage despite being outscored 16-0 at the free-throw line. The victory halted a 25-game losing skid for the Huskies against UCLA dating back to 1963 and was the Bruins' worst league loss under Wooden. "The only thing harder to handle than winning too much is losing too much," Wooden said. "But I think an occasional defeat is good for you."
Moses Malone, hailed as the country's No. 1 prep player, appeared bound for Maryland to help coach Lefty Driesell fulfill his prophecy of molding the Terrapins into "the UCLA of the East." But to Driesell's dismay, Malone chose to bypass a collegiate career and went straight from high school to the pros with the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association.
Richmond's Bob McCurdy won the national scoring title going away with outbursts of 41, 40, 46 and a school-record 53 points (vs. Appalachian State in double overtime) in a 17-day stretch at the end of the season. As a freshman for Virginia, McCurdy scored 42 points against Maryland's Len Elmore-Tom McMillen freshmen, but subsequently transferred.
North Carolina State, finishing in the Top 10 of the final wire-service polls for the third straight season, tied an ACC standard by extending its league winning streak to 27 consecutive games. Wake Forest, sparked by guard Skip Brown's 25 points, ended the Wolfpack's 37-game winning streak overall, 83-78. Later, N.C. State's string of nine consecutive victories in its series with North Carolina ended when the Tar Heels prevailed, 76-74. . . . N.C. State's David Thompson set a school record with 57 points in 34 minutes against Buffalo State. UNC Charlotte's George Jackson did likewise with 44 points at Samford. It was deva ju for Jackson, who also hit 21 of 30 field-goal attempts against Samford three weeks earlier when he scored 43 points. . . . Arkansas State's Don Scaife established a school Division I standard by scoring 43 points at Samford and later tied the mark against Northeast Louisiana. . . . McCurdy (Deer Park) and King (Brooklyn) joined Utah's Ticky Burden (Albany), Penn's Ron Haigler (Brooklyn), North Carolina's Mitch Kupchak (Brentwood), Rutgers' Phil Sellers (Brooklyn) and Southern California's Gus Williams (Mt. Vernon) in a group of seven New York products who earned All-American status for universities outside the state. It was one of 27 consecutive years from 1958 through 1984 when at least one New York product was in this category.
McCurdy (32.9 ppg), Thompson (29.9), Iowa State's Hercle Ivy (28.3), Southern Mississippi's Mike Coleman (28.2), New Mexico State's John Williamson (27.2), Arkansas State's Scaife (27.1), Tennessee's Bernard King (26.4), Georgia's Jacky Dorsey (25.8), UNCC's Jackson (24.5) and Houston Baptist's Mack Coleman (22.4) set school Division I records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . King and Dorsey joined Auburn's Mike Mitchell (18.4) and LSU's Kenny Higgs (18.1) to give the SEC four of the top seven freshman scorers in the nation.
Clemson ended a 17-game losing streak in its series with North Carolina en route to making its lone Top 20 appearance in a final wire-service poll until 1987. The Tigers' Skip Wise became the only freshman to be an All-ACC first-team selection until Kenny Anderson in 1990. No Clemson player has scored at least 35 points in a game since Wise poured in 38 in a 76-75 defeat against Pennsylvania in the IPTAY Tournament. . . . Duke defeated North Carolina (99-96 in overtime) for the Blue Devils' lone victory in a 17-game stretch of their series from 1972 to 1978. . . . North Carolina trailed Wake Forest, 90-82, with only 50 seconds remaining in the first round of the ACC Tournament before the Tar Heels scored the final eight points of regulation and won in overtime, 101-100. Carolina also won the semifinals in overtime against Clemson en route to capturing the ACC Tournament title. . . . The Carolina/Wake contest, featuring a disputed length-of-the-court pass with 34 seconds remaining in regulation that the referees ruled hit an overhanging scoreboard, was a bizarre beginning to what was the tightest, most competitive and, some say, the best-ever ACC tourney with six games decided by a total of 20 points. . . . Wake Forest (13-13) finished in the ACC cellar, but the Demon Deacons defeated defending NCAA Tournament champion N.C. State, 83-78, in the Big Four Tournament at Greensboro. . . . Auburn defeated archrival Alabama, 76-70, for the Tigers' lone victory in their series in a 19-game stretch from 1972 to 1981. . . . Steve Steinwedel, a role player for Mississippi State, went on to become Delaware's all-time winningest coach. . . . Division III Washington & Lee (Va.) defeated Navy for the third time in six years.
Indiana's Bob Knight assembled one of the all-time greatest coaching staffs. His four assistants all eventually became head coaches for at least two different major colleges--Dave Bliss, Bob Donewald, Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Weltlich. . . . NCIT champion Drake had to go into double overtime to defeat Wisconsin-Whitewater, 114-111, early in the season. . . . Visiting St. Louis (12-14) blew a 23-point lead with less than 13 1/2 minutes remaining in a 75-68 setback to Final Four-bound Louisville. . . . Dayton, coached by Don Donoher, sustained four straight one-point defeats in mid-season. . . . Marquette, coached by Al McGuire, won all eight of its games decided by fewer than five points, giving the Warriors a stunning 25-3 mark in that category over a four-year span from 1971-72. . . . Shafer Suggs, Ball State's leading rebounder with 8.2 rpg, went on to become a second-round choice in the 1976 NFL draft (33rd pick overall) before the defensive back paced the New York Jets in tackles two years later. . . . Junior center Alvan Adams was named Big Eight Conference player of the year although Oklahoma finished with a losing league record (6-8). . . . Texas-El Paso led the nation in team defense for the third consecutive season under coach Don Haskins, a disciple of former Oklahoma State coach Hank Iba.
Penn, coached by Chuck Daly, won its sixth consecutive Ivy League championship. Penn defeated Villanova for the eighth time in nine meetings before starting a stretch where the Quakers lost to the Wildcats in 12 of 13 outings through 1987. . . . Coach Rollie Massimino lost all 13 of his games against eventual Big East Conference members in his first two seasons with Villanova. . . . Holy Cross (20-8/coached by George Blaney) was the nation's most-improved team. The Crusaders were 8-18 the previous season. . . . Temple's streak of 15 straight winning seasons ended when the Owls compiled a 7-19 record. Fellow Philadelphia Big 5 member St. Joseph's lost a school-record 12 consecutive games en route to its first losing mark in 20 years (8-17). . . . Joe Bryant, La Salle's scoring and rebounding leader, is the father of Kobe Bryant, who bypassed college and became an NBA celebrity. By the end of the century, Kobe bought a 50 percent interest in the Italian franchise his father played for during his professional career. . . . Boston College backup Mitch Buonaguro eventually coached Fairfield in the NCAA playoffs before accepting a similar position with Siena. . . . Maine's Skip Chappelle posted his only losing record (11-14) in his first 10 seasons as coach of the Black Bears through 1980-81. . . . Iona lost to LeMoyne (N.Y.) for the fourth consecutive season and 11th time in 20 years.
An NCAA single-season high of 10 schools were on NCAA probation with sanctions prohibiting them from participating in the NCAA Tournament. . . . Long Beach State's 75-game homecourt winning streak, which started in 1968, was snapped in its home opener by San Francisco, 94-84, in overtime. Long Beach State won the Pacific Coast Athletic Association title with a different coach for the third time in as many seasons, but the 49ers finished out of the final national Top 20 for the first time in six years. . . . Pepperdine lost more than 10 games in 12 consecutive seasons until the Waves compiled a 17-8 record. . . . Arizona's Fred Snowden became the first African-American coach to have a team finish in a final wire-service Top 20 poll (17th in UPI). The Wildcats were 22-7, with their first five defeats by an average of just three points. The Top 20 appearance was also the first for the school.
Centenary (25-4/coached by Larry Little), Middle Tennessee State (23-5/Jimmy Earle), Pan American (22-2/Abe Lemons) and Stetson (22-4/Glenn Wilkes) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. . . . Center Leon Douglas became the only Alabama player ever to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American. . . . Guard Ron Lee was the first Oregon player since 1940 to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American. . . . Seattle's Frank Oleynick made game-winning shots at the buzzer against Penn State (62-60), St. Mary's (72-70) and Pepperdine (72-71 in overtime) but the Chieftains still finished in the second division of the West Coast Athletic Conference. UNLV captured the WCAC championship in the Rebels' final season as a member of the league.
Northern Arizona's Tom DeBerry set a Big Sky Conference record with 12 steals against Portland State. . . . Weber State incurred a losing Big Sky record (6-8) and overall mark (11-15) for the only time in its first 17 seasons as a member of the Big Sky through 1979-80. . . . Stanford, which finished 12-14, upset top-ranked and NCAA champion-to-be UCLA, 64-60, in Howie Dallmar's final season as coach. . . . Southern California finished in second or third place behind UCLA in the Pacific-8 Conference standings for the eighth straight year, but the Trojans didn't participate in the NCAA playoffs any of those seasons. They appeared in the NIT only once in that span (first-round loss against Notre Dame in 1973). Bob Boyd-coached USC, despite losing five of seven straight league games decided by fewer than six points, wound up in the Top 20 of a final AP national poll for the fourth time in six years. . . . Oregon (21-9), coached by Dick Harter, had 15 of its last 21 contests decided by fewer than five points. . . . Pacific (12-14) incurred its first losing record in 12 years although Len Armato led the PCAA in assists for the second straight season. Armato went on to become an agent for NBA super stars Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon. . . . Los Angeles State competed in its final season at the major-college level. . . . The West Coast Athletic Conference's freshman of the year was Pepperdine's Ollie Matson Jr., the son of the famous football player.
George Ireland, Loyola of Chicago's coach when the Ramblers won the NCAA title in 1963, was forced to resign because of ailing health midway through the campaign. . . . South Florida coach Bill Gibson, 47, died of a heart attack following the season after returning from a recruiting trip. He had suffered a severe heart attack before the start of his only season as coach of the Bulls.
1975 NCAA Tournament
Summary: John Wooden's farewell resulted in another NCAA title. Richard Washington scored 54 points in two Final Four outings as a sophomore for UCLA after averaging a modest 4.1 points per game the previous season for the national third-place Bruins. UCLA erased a four-point deficit in the last 50 seconds of regulation to send its national semifinal game against Louisville into overtime. Three Louisville regulars shooting better than 52 percent from the floor for the season (swingman Junior Bridgeman, center Ricky Gallon and guard Phillip Bond) combined to hit 25 percent (6 of 24) in a 75-74 loss against UCLA. Adding insult to injury for the Cardinals was reserve guard Terry Howard missing the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity in the closing seconds of overtime after he converted all 28 of his previous foul shots that season. The Bruins led a charmed life throughout the playoffs. They won their opener in overtime after Michigan's C.J. Kupec missed a shot at the end of regulation and defeated Montana by three points (67-64) in the West Regional semifinals when future pro standout Micheal Ray Richardson scored just two points for the Grizzlies. "I'm sad I'm getting out, but I'm going out pretty happy, too," Wooden said. "I told them (his team) how proud I was of them. I told them they'd won a national championship but to keep it in perspective. There are other things ahead."
Outcome for Defending Champion: N.C. State (22-6) finished in a three-way tie for second place in the ACC. Despite the presence of national player of the year David Thompson, the ACC Tournament runner-up did not compete in the NCAA playoffs after losing twice against regular-season champion Maryland in league play.
Star Gazing: Indiana, undefeated entering the tourney (29-0), lost the Mideast Regional final against Kentucky (92-90) despite Kent Benson's 33 points and tourney-high 23 rebounds. IU coach Bob Knight said he made a mistake by playing an offensive player (John Laskowski) substantially more minutes (33 to 3) than defensive standout Tom Abernethy. Kentucky prevailed despite 6-of-19 field-goal shooting by leading scorer Kevin Grevey. UK guards Jimmy Dan Conner and Mike Flynn combined to outscore Indiana counterparts Quinn Buckner and Bobby Wilkerson, 39-22. It was IU's only setback in a 68-game stretch from March 15, 1974, until December 1, 1976.
One and Only: Louisville is the only school to lead UCLA at halftime in the 20 Final Four games for the Bruins' 10 titlists under Wooden. The Cardinals led UCLA at intermission, 37-33, in the national semifinals before bowing to the Bruins in overtime, 75-74. . . . Louisville participated in national postseason competition all 10 years of the decade, but this was the only season in the 1970s that the Cardinals compiled a winning playoff record (9-12 overall in six NCAAs and four NITs). . . . UCLA is the only NCAA champion to have three different opposing players score more than 30 points against them during a single playoff--Montana forward Eric Hays (32 in regional semifinal), Louisville forward Allen Murphy (33 in national semifinals) and Kentucky forward Kevin Grevey (34 in national final).
Numbers Game: UCLA backup center Ralph Drollinger grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds in the final against Kentucky despite playing only 16 minutes. . . . North Carolina became the only school to hit more than 60 percent from the floor in a playoff series. The Tar Heels, who won the East Regional third-place game, sank 113 of 187 shots from the floor (60.4 percent) in three contests. . . . Carolina was eliminated by Syracuse, 78-76, in the East Regional semifinals although Rudy Hackett, the leading scorer and rebounder for the Orangemen, was limited to six points and one rebound. Hackett had three playoff games with at least 28 points and 12 rebounds. . . . Incredibly, Final Four Most Outstanding Players-to-be Jack Givens of Kentucky and Butch Lee of Marquette were blanked in the same game in their freshman season when Kentucky mauled Marquette, 76-54, in the Mideast Regional. . . . Kentucky finished national runner-up after entering the tourney with an 11-13 NCAA playoff record in its first 11 appearances after capturing the 1958 title. . . . Kansas State sustained its third regional final defeat in four years under coach Jack Hartman. Standout Wildcats freshman guard Mike Evans hit only 6 of 21 field-goal attempts in a 95-87 overtime loss to Syracuse in the East Regional final. He was wearing a hockey goalie mask after breaking his nose in the semifinals. . . . Alabama, coached by C.M. Newton, appeared in the NCAA playoffs for the first time. The Crimson Tide probably would have made it earlier in the decade if it had kept some of the following in-state recruits home instead of watching them become All-Americans for other schools: Jacksonville's Artis Gilmore (A-A in 1970 and 1971), Memphis State's Larry Kenon (1973), Southern Illinois' Joe C. Meriweather (1975), Louisville's Allen Murphy (1975) and Kansas' Bud Stallworth (1972). . . . Georgetown coach John Thompson, participating in his inaugural NCAA Tournament, guided the Hoyas to their first NCAA appearance in 32 years. . . . Kansas had a playoff-record six players disqualified because of fouls in a 77-71 defeat to Notre Dame in the opening round of the Midwest Regional. . . . Louisville's Junior Bridgeman (36 points vs. Rutgers) and Mitch Kupchak (36 vs. Boston College) tied for the highest-scoring game in the playoffs. Rutgers was making its initial NCAA Tournament appearance. . . . Syracuse, the only school to play in as many as three overtime games in a single tournament, reached the Final Four for the only time in the first 47 years of the NCAA playoffs. Winning close contests was nothing new for coach Roy Danforth, who won 66 percent of his games decided by fewer than six points in his eight seasons with the Orangemen.
What Might Have Been: Kentucky had four regulars shoot better than 50 percent from the floor during the campaign--forward Kevin Grevey, guard Jimmy Dan Conner, and centers Rick Robey and Mike Phillips. If only they combined to hit 44.2 percent of their field-goal attempts instead of 36.5 percent (19 of 52) in the championship game, the Wildcats could have defeated UCLA rather than losing 92-85. . . . Kentucky could have received more of a challenge from Marquette (23-4) in the Mideast Regional if Maurice Lucas had stayed in college and exercised the remainder of his eligibility. . . . In another opener, Michigan (19-8) might have given UCLA more of a contest in the West Regional if Campy Russell didn't left school early. . . . Notre Dame (19-10) probably would have had more of a chance of advancing beyond the regional semifinals if Gary Brokaw didn't leave school early. . . . Arizona (22-7) might have been one of the WAC representatives in the NCAA playoffs instead of Arizona State or Texas-El Paso if Eric Money and Coniel Norman didn't forsake their remaining eligibility.
Putting Things in Perspective: Consensus first-team All-American forward Scott May's broken arm possibly cost Indiana the national crown. May returned to the lineup against Kentucky, but he was rusty and scored just two points. He was the Hoosiers' initial NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-America in 14 years.
NCAA Champion Defeats: At Stanford (4-point margin), at Notre Dame (6), and at Washington (22). . . . Kentucky forward Kevin Grevey's 34 points was the highest single-game scoring output by an individual opponent against UCLA.
Scoring Leader: Jim Lee, Syracuse (119 points, 23.8 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Adrian Dantley, Notre Dame (92 points, 30.7 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Richard Washington, UCLA (60 rebounds, 12 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Mike Franklin, Cincinnati (49 rebounds, 16.3 rpg).
Kevin Grevey, F, Sr., Kentucky (48 points, eight rebounds in final two games)
Jim Lee, G, Sr., Syracuse (50 points, eight rebounds)
David Meyers, F, Sr., UCLA (40 points, 18 rebounds)
Allen Murphy, F, Sr., Louisville (53 points, 10 rebounds)
*Richard Washington, C-F, Soph., UCLA (54 points, 20 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: UCLA 103 (Meyers team-high 26 points), Michigan 91 (Kupec 28)*
Regional Semifinal: UCLA 67 (Trgovich/Washington 16), Montana 64 (Hays 32)
Regional Final: UCLA 89 (Johnson 35), Arizona State 75 (Lloyd 20)
National Semifinal: UCLA 75 (Washington 26), Louisville 74 (Murphy 33)*
Championship Game: UCLA 92 (Washington 28), Kentucky 85 (Grevey 34)