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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Connecticut (34-2; coached by Jim Calhoun/13th season with Huskies; won Big East Conference title by one game over Miami, Fla., with a 16-2 record).
NIT Champion--California (22-11; coached by Ben Braun/third season with Bears; finished in a tie for fifth place in Pacific-10 with an 8-10 record).
New Rules--In a held-ball situation initiated by the defense, the ball shall be awarded to the defensive team. Previously, possession was awarded by the direction of the possession arrow.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Elton Brand, C, Soph., Duke (17.7 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 62 FG%); Mateen Cleaves, G, Jr., Michigan State (11.7 ppg, 7.2 apg, 1.8 spg); Richard Hamilton, F, Jr., Connecticut (21.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 83.3 FT%, 34.7 3FG%); Andre Miller, G, Sr., Utah (15.8, 5.4 rpg, 5.6 apg, 2.5 spg); Jason Terry, G, Sr., Arizona (21.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.5 apg, 2.8 spg, 83.9 FT%, 39.8 3FG%).
National Player of the Year--Brand (AP/NABC/Naismith/USBWA/Wooden).
National Coaches of the Year--Auburn's Cliff Ellis (29-4/AP, USBWA, Wooden), Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (37-2/Naismith, shared NABC) and Ohio State's Jim O'Brien (27-9/shared NABC).
Duke tied the NCAA record for most victories in a single season (37) despite losing to Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament final. The Blue Devils became the first school in history to produce four first-round NBA draft choices with four of the top 14 selections, including three undergraduates as they had early defections for the first time.
Georgetown coach John Thompson quit in mid-season with a 596-239 career record after the Hoyas lost their first four Big East Conference contests. He lost 10 of his last 11 one-point verdicts. They finished the season with their first losing record (15-16) since Thompson's inaugural year with them in 1972-73 (12-15). "John is to black coaches what Martin Luther King was to his people during his time," Tulsa/Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said. "He was a leader, a trailblazer and someone who made a lot of things possible for us. He went down the path first to get the rest of us here." . . . Other coaches who departed the scene at the end of the season with more than 300 career victories at four-year schools were: Missouri's Norm Stewart (731), Texas-El Paso's Don Haskins (719), Tom Davis (543/final year with Iowa before returning at Drake), Pat Foster (366/Nevada), Wimp Sanderson (352/Arkansas-Little Rock), J.D. Barnett (346/Northwestern State, La.) and Charlie Spoonhour (319/final year with Saint Louis before returning at UNLV).
Connecticut (34-2/coached by Jim Calhoun), Michigan State (33-5/Tom Izzo), Auburn (29-4/Cliff Ellis) and Samford (24-6/Jimmy Tillette) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. . . . Duke (37-2/Mike Krzyzewski), Old Dominion (25-9/Jeff Capel Jr.) and Miami of Ohio (24-8/Charlie Coles) tied their school Division I records for most victories in a single season.
Syracuse, after winning in the first round of the first 22 in-season tourneys it hosted, bowed in the opening round to Ohio University, 61-55. The Orangemen participated in the NCAA playoffs despite compiling a 3-6 home record in Big East competition. . . . Miami (Fla.) managed its first 20-win season in 34 years. . . . Connecticut became the first school to go 9-0 on the road in Big East play.
Penn reeled off 29 unanswered points to assume a 29-3 lead, but Princeton extended its winning streak in Ivy League competition to 35 in a row by coming back from a 27-point, second-half deficit to win, 50-49. The Tigers committed only one turnover in the second half after managing only two field goals in the first half (both by Brian Earl). In Princeton's next game, the Tigers' string ended at Yale, 60-58, although the Bulldogs finished in the Ivy League basement. Later, visiting Penn snapped Princeton's streak of 26 consecutive Ivy victories at home, 73-48.
Harvard closed out the 20th Century with four straight .500 or better seasons for the first time since the mid-1920s. . . . Dartmouth sophomore Ian McGinnis became the first Caucasian in 31 years to lead the nation in rebounding (12.2 per game). . . . Niagara's Calvin Young (25.1 ppg) had the lowest national-leading scoring average in 50 years. . . . Duquesne lost a school-record 17 consecutive contests. . . . George Mason posted its first winning record in nine years en route to reaching the NCAA playoffs. . . . St. Francis (N.Y.), posting a 20-8 mark under coach Ron Ganulin, won more than 16 games for the first time in 43 seasons. . . . Columbia backup forward Ty Ugolyn was working on Wall Street two years later on 9/11/01 when he died during the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. . . . St. Joseph's backup John Gallagher wound up coaching Hartford.
Michigan State set a school record by winning its last 15 Big Ten games. . . . Ohio State had the best turnaround in Big Ten competition in conference history, posting a 12-4 record good for second place after going 1-15 in the league basement the previous year. The Buckeyes were the nation's most improved team, going from an 8-22 overall mark in 1997-98 to 27-9. . . . Wisconsin won 20 games in a season for the first time in 58 years. . . . Michigan scored its fewest points in a game since 1951 when the Wolverines succumbed at Northwestern, 59-34. They also were on the road when holding Wisconsin to 39 points for the lowest output by a Big Ten opponent in 50 years. . . . Center Evan Eschmeyer became Northwestern's first NCAA consensus All-American in more than 50 years.
Cincinnati forward Pete Mickeal, a junior college recruit, participated in 87 consecutive victories in his career until the Bearcats lost at UNC Charlotte, 62-60, in their 17th game. Mickeal played in 72 straight wins while at Indian Hills (Iowa), leading the school to back-to-back NJCAA national titles. . . . The Bearcats handed Louisville coach Denny Crum the worst homecourt defeat in his first 28 seasons (81-55).
Drake broke a 39-game Missouri Valley Conference regular-season losing streak by defeating preseason favorite Creighton, 83-80. . . . Evansville's Markus Wilson hit all nine of his three-point attempts in a game at Tennessee-Martin. . . . Evansville's Kwame James, a Trinidad product who led the MVC in field-goal shooting (61.8%), helped subdue would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid on a trans-Atlantic flight in December 2001. Just over nine years later, James became a U.S. citizen. . . . Toledo participated in the NIT for the Rockets' first national postseason tournament appearance in 18 years. . . . Chicago State lost at least 20 games for the 11th consecutive season. . . . Coppin State's Fred Warrick tied the school's Division I single-game scoring standard with 40 points in overtime at Howard.
Kansas hit only 11 of 23 free-throw attempts when its school-record 62-game homecourt winning streak came to an end against Iowa, 85-81. The Hawkeyes had eight second-half three-pointers to overcome an 18-point deficit. . . . Nebraska erased an 11-point deficit with eight minutes remaining to sweep Kansas in conference competition for the first time in 16 years. The Huskers defeated four consecutive nationally-ranked opponents for the first time in school history en route to their best run in league play (9-1) in 33 years. Nebraska coach Danny Nee, participating in national postseason tournament competition for the ninth straight year and averaging more than 20 victories annually over that span, was only one season removed from being forced out from his job with the Huskers. . . . Texas Tech junior guard Rayford Young scored the final 32 of his career-high 41 points in the last nine minutes of a 90-84 win over Kansas. Young converted all 18 of his foul shots in Tech's first triumph in 10 meetings with the Jayhawks. . . . In perhaps the biggest upset of the decade, Florida Atlantic won at Oklahoma State, 83-81, to snap the Cowboys' 80-game homecourt winning streak against nonconference competition. FAU finished the season in the Trans America Athletic Conference cellar with a 6-20 overall record. . . . Oklahoma State's Doug Gottlieb, a Notre Dame transfer who led the nation in assists, became an ESPN analyst. He is a son of Bob Gottlieb, who coached Jacksonville to the 1974 NIT. . . . SMU (15-15), in the midst of seven straight non-losing seasons through 2002-03 under coach Mike Dement, had each of its last 13 WAC assignments decided by single digits by an average of 3.2 points. . . . Baylor's Rodney Smith, after leading the football squad in tackles, averaged 6.2 ppg and 2.2 rpg for the Bears' basketball team.
Duke handed Virginia the most lopsided homecourt defeat in the Cavaliers' history (100-54). . . . Duke posted its third winning streak of at least 23 games this decade en route to becoming the first school to go 16-0 in the ACC. . . . Maryland freshman guard Juan Dixon went scoreless three times against second-division ACC opponents in a nine-game stretch. Three years later, he was a unanimous first-team All-American and Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament. . . . notched a school-record 13 ACC victories. . . . Wake Forest might have salvaged its season by erasing an 18-point deficit in the last 6 1/2 minutes to frustrate visiting Florida State, 67-65.
Auburn earned its highest poll ranking ever (#2), including a 73-70 triumph at LSU when Auburn erased a 19-point deficit midway through the second half. Forward Chris Porter became the school's initial NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American en route to helping the Tigers clinch their first SEC title since 1960. . . . Auburn's Cliff Ellis became the only active coach to hold three different school single-season records for wins at the same time with a minimum of 25 triumphs (previously set similar marks at South Alabama and Clemson). . . . LSU, which finished in first or second place in the SEC the first four years of the 1990s, snapped a 15-game league losing streak with a 71-70 decision over Alabama when a Crimson Tide player fouled LSU's Darryl Cooper with 0.1 seconds remaining because he thought the Tigers were ahead by one point. . . . Tennessee swept Kentucky in SEC competition for the first time in 20 years. . . . Michael White, who led Ole Miss in assists for the fourth straight season, went on to coach Louisiana Tech.
Middle Tennessee's Richard Duncan registered 12 steals in a 72-65 victory at Eastern Kentucky. . . . First-year coach Tevester Anderson guided Murray State to the OVC regular-season and conference tournament championships at the age of 62.
Winthrop, under first-year coach Gregg Marshall, captured the regular-season and postseason tournament championships in the Big South Conference. The Eagles ended a streak of nine consecutive losing records despite being picked to finish last in the preseason. . . . Nicholls State outscored Sam Houston State in overtime, 23-2, to win 86-65, the largest winning margin in overtime in major-college history. . . . Billy Donlon, UNC Wilmington's leader in assists for the second straight season, went on to coach Wright State.
UCLA incurred its most lopsided loss at California in 51 years (85-67). . . . Stanford captured its first conference championship in 36 years and its first undisputed league crown in 57 years. . . . UC Santa Barbara earned the No. 1 seed in the Big West Tournament after losing its first eight non-league games. The Gauchos finished in last place in the West Division the previous season. . . . Weber State (25-8) won the Big Sky Conference but coach Ron Abegglen was forced out because of a few minor NCAA recruiting infractions and a domestic issue when he was charged with assaulting his wife. . . . Cal State Sacramento defeated Montana to end a 34-game losing streak. Montana's first losing season in 22 years meant that the Grizzlies failed to qualify for the Big Sky Tournament for the first time in that span. . . . NAU posted its first victory at Arizona State in 44 years, 76-60. The Lumberjacks had lost their first 25 road games against Pacific-10 opponents. . . . Southern California forward Adam Spanich hit a pair of three-pointers in the last 2.8 seconds to give the Trojans an 85-84 triumph at Oregon.
Lou Henson participated in postseason conference competition for the first time in his 36 years as a head coach when New Mexico State won the Big West crown. Henson toiled 21 years at Illinois from 1975-76 through 1995-96 when the Big Ten did not conduct a tourney. . . . Texas-Pan American set an NCAA record for most consecutive road defeats. The Broncs' streak was at 59 by season's end. UTPA coach Delray Brooks, a former player with Indiana and Providence, was indicted by a grand jury after the season following his dismissal by the school, which thought he deposited a $25,000 check from a nonconference road game into his personal bank account and withdrew money from the account. . . . Patrick Gusters' 20.5-point average was the highest by a Stephen F. Austin player since the school moved up to Division I status.
1999 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Connecticut became the first team to win the national championship in its first Final Four appearance since Texas Western in 1966. The national championship matchup between UConn and Duke marked the first time since 1965 that the only two teams ranked No. 1 in the nation throughout the entire year went on to meet in the NCAA final. UConn was 10-0 during the season in games it trailed at halftime (including 39-37 vs. Duke). Senior guard Ricky Moore, who averaged a modest 6.8 points per game, tallied all 13 of his points in the first half against the Blue Devils. The Huskies held six playoff opponents to 37 percent shooting from the floor, including a season-low 41% by Duke. Oddly, UConn was deadlocked at 53-53 in three of its last four playoff games before taking charge. UConn's top eight scorers came from eight different states. The Huskies' Jim Calhoun was the first coach to make more than a dozen NCAA playoff appearances before reaching the Final Four.
Outcome for Defending Champion: Kentucky (28-9/2nd in SEC Eastern Division one games behind Tennessee). The Wildcats lost to Michigan State in the Midwest Regional final.
Star Gazing: Three NCAA consensus All-Americans reached the Final Four for the first time since 1985. . . . Lamont Long's driving jumper with five seconds remaining gave New Mexico a 61-59 triumph over Missouri in the opening round of the West Regional. . . . Wally Szczerbiak is the only player to score more than two-thirds of his team's points in an NCAA Tournament game. He supplied 72.9 percent of Miami's offense by scoring a tourney-high 43 points in the RedHawks' 59-58 victory against Washington in the first round of the Midwest Regional. Szczberiak tallied a staggering 53.6 percent of the RedHawks' points in their three outings. . . . George Mason's George Evans, Player of the Year in the Colonial Athletic Association, went scoreless in a first-round defeat against Cincinnati.
Biggest Upsets: No. 3 seed North Carolina lost its playoff opener for the first time in 19 years when the Tar Heels succumbed to No. 14 Weber State, 76-74, in the West Regional. Junior college transfer Harold Arceneaux contributed five three-pointers en route to 36 points for the Wildcats. His output matched the highest ever in the playoffs against Carolina. . . . Coach Lute Olson of Arizona (#4 seed in Midwest Regional) lost to a team seeded 12th or worse for the fourth time in eight years when the Wildcats bowed to #13 Oklahoma in the first round.
One and Only: Texas' Rick Barnes became the only active coach to twice take a team to the NCAA playoffs in his maiden voyage with them after they posted a losing mark the previous campaign. He previously coached Providence when the Friars made a dramatic turnaround. . . . Five double-digit seeded teams reached the regional semifinals. This is the only year there has been more than three. . . . Ohio State reached the Final Four after suffering more than 20 defeats the previous season. The Buckeyes are the only school to advance to the national semifinals after posting a losing record each of the previous five years. . . . Tubby Smith became the only coach to twice direct three different schools to the NCAA playoffs in the same decade (Tulsa, Georgia and Kentucky). . . . North Carolina became the only state in the 20th Century to reach the 200-win plateau in NCAA playoff competition.
Celebrity Status: Indiana QB Antwaan Randle El, who compiled 3,000 passing yards and 1,500 yards rushing faster than anyone in NCAA Divison I-A history (through 19 games), scored two points in each of two tournament contests (against George Washington and St. John's). He went on to become a vital wide receiver and kick returner for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins. . . . All-Big 12 Conference third-team selection Ryan Robertson scored a career-high 32 points for Kansas in a 92-88 overtime loss against Kentucky in the second round of the Midwest Regional. His wife, Andrea, won the title of Mrs. America 2010 and finished world runner-up. Mrs. Missouri, a member of Missouri's first women's soccer squad, is a tri-athlete.
Numbers Game: UConn's Kevin Freeman grabbed 10 offensive rebounds to help offset guard Khalid El-Amin's 0-for-12 field-goal shooting in a 67-62 victory over upstart Gonzaga in the West Regional final. . . . Duke lost six of eight NCAA playoff finals in the 20th Century. . . . Michigan State overcame an early 17-4 deficit to defeat Kentucky, 73-66, in the Midwest Regional final. . . . Ken Johnson rejected seven shots for Ohio State in the Buckeyes' victory over St. John's in the South Regional semifinals. . . . Ohio State guard Scoonie Penn, 5-10, grabbed 10 first-half rebounds in a second-round victory over Detroit. Penn scored 26 points and had no turnovers in a 72-64 triumph over No. 1 seed Auburn in the regional semifinals. . . . Tennessee notched its first tourney victory in 16 years before the Vols were embarrassed by Southwest Missouri State. . . . Boston hosted a tourney game for the first time in the first 61 years of the NCAA playoffs. . . . Wisconsin's output in a 43-32 first-round defeat against Southwest Missouri State was the lowest since Baylor lost to Oklahoma A&M, 44-29, in the 1946 Western Regionals. Badgers coach Dick Bennett had lost all 12 times his Wisconsin-Green Bay team faced the Bears in the Missouri Valley Conference. Guard Kevin Ault grabbed 14 rebounds for Southwest Missouri. . . . Iowa hit 10 of its first 12 three-pointers in a 77-64 first-round victory over UAB. . . . It was all in vain from beyond the arc for Penn's Jed Ryan and Evansville's Marcus Wilson. Ryan contributed six three-pointers in the first half of a 75-61 setback against Florida and Wilson had five treys in a 95-74 reversal against Kansas. KU outrebounded Evansville, 45-15. . . . Gonzaga had a 21-point second-half deficit trimmed to two before upending shorthanded Minnesota, 75-63. The Gophers were without four players, including two starters, who were suspended as part of an internal investigation regarding academic fraud. . . . Tulsa had a 26-point advantage cut to two before holding on to beat College of Charleston, 62-53. . . . Miami (Fla.) and Mississippi cracked the win column in NCAA playoff competition for the first time in their histories. Miami's Johnny Hemsley hit nine three-pointers in a 75-54 verdict over Lafayette, which was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1957. . . . Indiana's 25-point loss to St. John's in the second round was the worst for the Hoosiers in 75 tourney games since 1940. . . . Maryland, averaging more than 85 points per game, was blanked over a 10 1/2-minute stretch in a 76-62 loss to the Red Storm in the South Regional semifinals. . . . Miami's Leonard Hamilton posted his first NCAA playoff victory in his 13th season. Ditto Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson in his 12th campaign.
What Might Have Been: Maryland (28-6) might have made its first Final Four appearance if center Obinna Ekezie, a high second-round selection in the NBA draft, didn't miss the final month of the regular season and postseason because of a ruptured right Achilles tendon. . . . Arizona (22-7/without Mike Bibby), Florida (22-9/Jason Williams), Iowa (20-10/Ricky Davis), Kansas (23-10/Paul Pierce) and North Carolina (24-10/Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison) would have fared better in the playoffs if standout players had exercised their remaining eligibility instead of defecting to the NBA. . . . Iowa was also without forward Sam Okey, a transfer from Wisconsin who broke his right wrist. . . . Stanford (26-7) probably would have advanced deeper into the tourney if future All-American center Jason Collins (dislocated right wrist) and outside marksman Ryan Mendez (stress reaction in knee) weren't injured. Mendez shared the Pac-10 lead in free-throw shooting the next season. . . . Several other teams could have fared better in the tourney if not for notable injuries. UCLA (22-9) center Dan Gadzuric was sidelined because of knee surgery after an injury in practice. Washington (17-12) point guard Dan Dickau broke a bone in his left heel in mid-season. UNC Charlotte (23-11) guard Dalonte Hill missed the season because of a knee injury. . . . Xavier would have participated in the NCAA Tournament rather than the NIT if Darnell Williams hadn't been idled by a torn ACL.
NCAA Champion Defeats: The Huskies' two losses were at home in Big East play against Syracuse (59-42) and Miami (73-71). Trajan Langdon's 25 points for Duke in the NCAA final edged a 24-point outburst by Georgetown guard Anthony Perry for the highest single-game output by an individual during the season against UConn.
Scoring Leader: Richard Hamilton, Connecticut (145 points, 24.2 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Wally Szczerbiak, Miami of Ohio (30 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Elton Brand, Duke (55 rebounds, 9.2 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Eduardo Najera, Oklahoma (35 rebounds, 11.7 rpg).
Elton Brand, C, Soph., Duke (33 points, 28 rebounds, three blocked shots)
Khalid El-Amin, G, Soph., Connecticut (30 points, 10 assists)
*Richard Hamilton, F-G, Jr., Connecticut (51 points, 12 rebounds)
Trajan Langdon, G, Sr., Duke (32 points, seven rebounds)
Ricky Moore, G, Sr., Connecticut (19 points, 16 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: Connecticut 91 (Hamilton team-high 28 points), Texas-San Antonio 66 (Meyer 18)
Second Round: Connecticut 78 (El-Amin/Hamilton 21), New Mexico 56 (Walker 21)
Regional Semifinal: Connecticut 78 (Hamilton 24), Iowa 68 (Koch 14)
Regional Final: Connecticut 67 (Hamilton 21), Gonzaga 62 (Hall 18)
National Semifinal: Connecticut 64 (Hamilton 24), Ohio State 58 (Redd 15)
Championship Game: Connecticut 77 (Hamilton 27), Duke 74 (Langdon 25)