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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--UCLA (30-0; coached by John Wooden/24th of 27 seasons with Bruins; won Pacific-8 title with a 14-0 record, which was four games ahead of Washington).
NIT Champion--Maryland (27-5; coached by Lefty Driesell/third of 17 seasons with Terrapins; finished in a tie for second place in ACC with an 8-4 record, which was one game behind North Carolina).
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Henry Bibby, G, Sr., UCLA (15.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 80.6 FT%); Jim Chones, C, Jr., Marquette (20.6 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 51.6 FG%); Dwight "Bo" Lamar, G, Jr., Southwestern Louisiana (36.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg); Bob McAdoo, C, Jr., North Carolina (19.5 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 51.6 FG%); Ed Ratleff, F-G, Jr., Long Beach State (21.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 6.5 apg); Tom Riker, C, Sr., South Carolina (19.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 55.5 FG%); Bill Walton, C, Soph., UCLA (21.1 ppg, 15.5 rpg, 64 FG%).
National Player of the Year--Walton (AP/UPI/USBWA/Naismith).
National Coach of the Year--John Wooden, UCLA (30-0/AP, UPI, NABC, USBWA).
Kentucky's Adolph Rupp, called the "Baron of the Bluegrass," retired after a 41-year coaching career with a 875-190 record. Rupp won four NCAA Tournament championships but had a losing NCAA playoff record (10-12) after capturing his last national title in 1958. "Every boy who puts on a Kentucky uniform just plays a little better than he would in one of another color," Rupp said.
UCLA's Bill Walton joined Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati '58) as the only players in history to be named national player of the year in their first season of varsity competition. UCLA set an NCAA single-season record for highest average scoring margin (30.3). Incredibly, the Bruins' average halftime margin (17.4) was greater than any other team over an entire game excluding North Carolina's 17.7. They won their 12 non-league regular-season games by an average margin of 40.8 points, including three first-division SWC schools (Texas A&M, TCU and Texas) by an average of 50.7.
Long before premier pivotmen such as Georgetown's Patrick Ewing (Jamaica), Dikembe Mutombo (Zaire), Houston's Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria), Marist's Rik Smits (Netherlands), New Mexico's Luc Longley (Australia) and Wake Forest's Tim Duncan (Virgin Islands) arrived from outposts off the mainland U.S., there was an influential international big man by the name of Kresimir Cosic. The Yugoslavian ranked 42nd in the country by averaging 22.3 points per game as a junior for Brigham Young. Cosic was the only foreigner to earn All-American honors until Ewing and Olajuwon came on the scene in the 1980s.
The nation's top three scorers represented teams playing their initial season at the major-college level--Southwestern Louisiana's Bo Lamar (36.3), Oral Roberts' Richie Fuqua (35.9) and Illinois State's Doug Collins (32.6). Fuqua nearly caught Lamar by averaging 41.4 points to Lamar's 38.7 in their last 10 outings. . . . Lamar and fellow junior Ed Ratleff of Long Beach State became the only set of former high school teammates to be named NCAA consensus first-team All-Americans together. USL's 90-83 early-season victory over visiting Long Beach might have been one of the best intersectional matchups few people remember. Lamar and Ratleff attended East High in Columbus, Ohio, where another one of their teammates was Nick Conner, a starter for Illinois. They were seniors on a 1968-69 high school squad that went undefeated (25-0 record), won the Ohio AA title and extended its winning streak to 49 games. . . . Lamar's explosiveness sparked USL to a 25-4 record for the second consecutive season. He scored 51 points in back-to-back road games at Louisiana Tech and Lamar en route to becoming the only player in NCAA history to lead the nation in scoring at both the college and university divisions.
Collins was the star player for Will Robinson, the first black head coach at a predominantly white Division I school. ISU had its first black player before 1920. Oddly, Rich Herrin, Collins' high school coach at Benton (Ill.), never had an opportunity to coach an African-American player in his 29 small-town seasons of high-school coaching before he was hired by Southern Illinois after the 1984-85 campaign. . . . USL's Lamar, ORU's Fuqua, ISU's Collins, West Virginia's Wil Robinson (29.4 ppg), Central Michigan's Ben Kelso (25.4), Brown's Arnie Berman (25.3), Texas Tech's Greg Lowery (24.5), Georgia Southern's Johnny Mills (24.3) and Harvard's Jim Fitzsimmons (24.2) set school Division I records for highest scoring average in a single season.
Kansas' Bud Stallworth set a Big Eight Conference game record with 50 points against Missouri. Mizzou, however, made its first Top 20 appearance in a final wire-service poll. . . . Jacksonville's Ernie Fleming (national-high 59 points vs. St. Peter's), Florida's Tony Miller (54 vs. Chicago State), Virginia's Barry Parkhill (51 vs. Baldwin-Wallace), New Mexico State's John Williamson (48 at California), Georgia's Ronnie Hogue (46 vs. LSU) and Fairfield's George Groom (41 vs. Assumption) set school single-game scoring standards. . . . Parkhill, the first Virginia player to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American, led the ACC in scoring (21.6 ppg) en route to sparking the Cavaliers to their first-ever Top 20 ranking in a final wire-service poll. The junior guard eventually coached William & Mary for four seasons from 1983-84 through 1986-87. . . . Virginia won at Duke for the first time in 32 years and joined the 20-win club for the first time in 44 seasons. The Cavs managed a winning ACC record (8-4) for the only time in the first 25 years of the league's existence. . . . Frank McGuire, directing South Carolina to its third straight No. 6 finish in a final AP poll, became the only coach in the 20th Century to take three different schools to three Top 10 finishes. He previously coached St. John's (9th in 1950, 9th in 1951 and 10th in 1952) and North Carolina (1st in 1957, 9th in 1959 and 5th in 1961).
Southern Illinois' Greg Starrick, who began his college career at Kentucky, finished his career with 90.9 percent free-throw accuracy, an NCAA record. . . . Detroit ended Marquette's 56-game regular-season winning streak, 70-49, and Temple stopped Penn's 48-game regular-season winning streak and school-record 34-game homecourt winning streak, 57-52. Marquette's other regular-season defeat was in its regular-season finale at New Mexico State, 73-69. . . . Minnesota center Jim Brewer was annointed as Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten, but he wasn't named to the first- or second-five for either the AP or UPI all-conference teams. Brewer became the only player in the history of the conference's MVP award (first awarded in the 1945-46 season) to capture the honor with a scoring average under 10 points per game (8.5). The Gophers made their initial NCAA Tournament appearance after capturing their first Big Ten title in 35 years. Their season, however, was tainted by involvement in a brawl in a game with visiting Ohio State. The contest was stopped with 36 seconds remaining and the Buckeyes leading, 50-44, after a melee so violent that three OSU players were hospitalized. Ohio State junior center Luke Witte was knocked to the floor, kneed in the groin and incurred a concussion when stomped on his head. Minnesota's Corky Taylor and Ron Behagen were suspended for the remainder of the season. Witte eventually became a reverend. . . . Michigan State's Mike Robinson (27.2 points per game) became the third sophomore in five years to lead the Big Ten in scoring.
Providence's Marvin Barnes notched school records of 34 rebounds and 12 blocked shots in a 76-58 victory over Buffalo State. . . . Dartmouth, coached by George Blaney, defeated Connecticut for the ninth straight time, 107-89. Dartmouth sophomore guard Bill Raynor, an All-Ivy League second-team selection, coached Holy Cross for five seasons from 1994-95 through 1998-99. . . . Fordham's Tom Sullivan, winner of the Haggerty Award as the New York metropolitan area's top player, went on to coach Manhattan and Maryland-Baltimore County. . . . Chris Ford, who finished his Villanova career with a 15.7-point scoring average for three NCAA playoff teams, eventually coached the NBA's Boston Celtics, MIlwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers. . . . Chuck Crist, Penn State's second-leading scorer (10.9 ppg) and leader in free-throw accuracy (77.5%), went on to intercept 20 passes with three different NFL teams the remainder of the decade. . . . Boston University edged Holy Cross, 65-64, after losing 38 of its previous 40 contests against the Crusaders.
Pacific's John Gianelli set a single-season Big West Conference record by averaging 17.9 rebounds per game. Pacific (17-9) posted its last season with fewer than 10 defeats. . . . Hawaii's Bob Nash (30 vs. Arizona State) and Southwestern Louisiana's Roy Ebron (28 at Northwestern State) set school single-game rebounding records. Nash went on to coach his alma mater for three seasons from 2007-08 through 2009-10. . . . Hawaii twice defeated eventual NCAA playoff runner-up Florida State. The Rainbows took a 30-10 forfeit victory in the first contest when Seminoles coach Hugh Durham refused to leave the court following a couple of technical fouls. Hawaii, an independent at the time, hired game officials locally, which was an occasional bone of contention with visiting teams. . . . Southern California's Paul Westphal, averaging more than 14 points per game for the third consecutive year, eventually coached Pepperdine after serving in a similar capacity with the NBA's Phoenix Suns and Seattle SuperSonics. . . . Oregon sandwiched a winless league record between third-place finishes in the Pacific-8 Conference race. . . . Sophomore forward Dave Frost, who led Stanford in free-throw percentage (82.1%), went on to pitch for the California Angels in the 1979 American League Championship Series after ranking eighth in the league with 16 victories.
Notre Dame lost back-to-back road games at Indiana (94-29) and UCLA (114-56) by a total of 123 points in coach Digger Phelps' first season at the Irish helm. Two years later, Notre Dame defeated both teams. . . . Kent State was 7-17 overall under coach Frank Truitt, but compiled its only winning Mid-American Conference record (6-4) in the Golden Flashes' first 33 years in the league from 1951-52 through 1983-84. . . . Coach Maury John compiled an 8-6 record in games decided by fewer than six points in his initial season with Iowa State. The Cyclones had four consecutive three-point contests just before the start of Big Eight Conference home-and-home competition.
Memphis State, after losing its first 11 meetings with Tulsa, swept the Golden Hurricane. . . . Roy Thomas, Baylor's leading scorer with 17.6 points per game, went on to coach North Carolina A&T for five seasons from 1994-95 through 1998-99, including an NCAA tourney appearance in his first year at the Aggies' helm. . . . Junior guard Martin Terry became Arkansas' first All-SWC first-team selection in nine seasons. The J.C. transfer went on to have a total of 18 30-point games for the Hogs.
North Carolina's three ACC defeats were on the road by a total of five points--at Duke, Maryland (in overtime) and North Carolina State. The Tar Heels' Dennis Wuycik became the only player ever to shoot better than 60 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the free-throw line in back-to-back seasons. . . . Maryland, after losing 27 of its previous 33 meetings with North Carolina State, swept the Wolfpack. . . . Florida State (27-6/coached by Hugh Durham), Oral Roberts (26-2/Ken Trickey) and Southwestern Louisiana (25-4/Beryl Shipley) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. FSU made its lone appearance in the final Top 10 of a wire-service poll. ORU's only regular-season defeat was at Murray State, 94-87. The Titans' Trickey became the first coach to direct two different schools to a national rebounding title. He was at the helm of Middle Tennessee State's program in 1969. USL became the only school ever to finish in the Top 10 of the final Division I rankings the year after finishing in the Top 10 of the final Division II poll. . . . Carl Tacy's only season as Marshall's coach resulted in the Thundering Herd finishing in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the lone time in school history. . . . Loyola (La.) competed in its final season at the major-college level.
Brigham Young's Stan Watts ended his 23-year coaching career with a 371-254 record. His final campaign resulted in his highest winning percentage (21-5 mark, .808) and was after he overcame a rare form of cancer following 14 hours of surgery and a two-month stay in a hospital. . . . Future Hall of Famer Denny Crum launched his head coaching career at Louisville with a 26-5 record and trip to the Final Four. His predecessor, John Dromo, suffered a heart attack after nine games in 1970-71 and did not complete his fourth season. . . . Coach Bob Knight compiled a 17-8 record in his initial season at Indiana. The Hoosiers ended their longest ever drought out of the Top 20 by cracking the select circle for the first time in eight years. Senior forward Joby Wright, an All-Big Ten first-team selection, eventually coached Miami (Ohio) and Wyoming.
IU's worst defeat was an 85-71 decision at Northern Illinois when Huskies sophomore Jim Bradley collected 24 points and 20 rebounds shortly before they climbed into the AP Top 20. A last-second 86-85 setback against Illinois State probably cost 21-4 NIU a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Two years later, the 6-9, 230-pound Bradley was ruled ineligible during his senior year, finishing his career with averages of 23.1 points and 16.8 rebounds per game. He signed with the ABA's Kentucky Colonels after they purchased his draft rights from San Diego.
Ten years later, Bradley was 29 when he died from a shot in the back in the wee hours of the morning in Portland, Ore., outside a downtown disco two days after his arrest for dealing in a controlled substance. "He was as talented a player as I ever saw," said college and pro standout Dan Issel, who played on two ABA teams with Bradley, "but nobody will ever remember his name because he didn't come close to what he could have been. He could have been as good as anybody who ever played, as far as I'm concerned."
1972 NCAA Tournament
Summary: UCLA won the national championship by an average of 18 points. Although the Bill Walton-led Bruins trailed Florida State by a season-high seven points in the first half and the final margin of the championship game was just five (81-76), the outcome never seemed in doubt. Excluding a six-point triumph at Oregon State, they won every other game by at least 13 points. Oregon State guard Freddie Boyd had the highest single-game scoring output against UCLA during the season with 37 points.
One and Only: Bo Lamar collected 35 points and a tourney-high 11 assists and Roy Ebron contributed 33 points and 20 rebounds in Division I newcomer Southwestern Louisiana's 112-101 victory over Marshall in the opening round of the Midwest Regional when the Ragin' Cajuns scored the most points in the history of the tourney for a school in its first playoff game. . . . Hawaii coach Red Rocha became the only individual to play and coach in both the NCAA and NBA playoffs. Rocha played for Oregon State in the 1947 NCAA Tournament before appearing in 39 NBA playoff games (including '56 champion Syracuse Nationals) and coaching the Detroit Pistons in the 1959 NBA playoffs.
Celebrity Status: Dave Winfield, an outfielder who hit .285 in 20 seasons (1973-88, 1990-93) with five different major league franchises, was a starter for Minnesota's first NCAA Tournament team. Winfield, a 12-time All-Star Game player, reached the 3,000-hit mark during the 1993 season. . . . UCLA backup guard Andy Hill, who went on to become president of CBS Productions, scored 10 points against Weber State in the West Regional semifinals before scoring six points against Denny Crum-coached Louisville in the national semifinals.
Numbers Game: Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp's final game was a 73-54 defeat against Florida State in the Mideast Regional final. Reminiscent of the 1966 NCAA title contest against Texas Western, UK started an all-white lineup while FSU's starters all were black. In a subplot, FSU coach Hugh Durham and three of his players (Ron King, Otto Petty and Larry Gay) were Kentucky natives who had been largely ignored by "The Baron." Rupp, the only coach saddled with more than five regional final losses, sustained eight such setbacks from 1952 through 1972 by an average margin of 10 points. He also incurred a national quarterfinal reversal in 1945 when the first round of the eight-team event was identified as the regional semifinals. Six of Rupp's first seven "field of eight" defeats were against Big Ten Conference teams, including Ohio State four times. "Never worry about criticism from the misinformed," Rupp said. . . . USL's Lamar (36 points vs. Texas) and South Carolina's Tom Riker (36 vs. Villanova) tied for the highest-scoring game in the tourney. . . . Jim Brewer grabbed the most rebounds in a single game (22) to power Minnesota to a 77-72 success against Marquette in the Mideast Regional third-place game.
What Might Have Been: Marquette probably would have been the team with the best chance to unseat UCLA if Warriors All-American Jim Chones didn't terminate his eligibility by signing a professional contract late in the season during the ABA/NBA bidding war. . . . Big Ten champion Minnesota would have given national finalist-to-be Florida State more of a battle in the Mideast Regional if Gophers stars Corky Taylor and Ron Behagen hadn't been suspended for the remainder of the season following a violent fight with Ohio State in late January. . . . Indiana could have been the Big Ten representative in the NCAA playoffs instead of Minnesota if George McGinnis hadn't left school early for the pros. . . . Kentucky (21-7) might have given finalist-to-be Florida State more of a challenge in the Mideast Regional if center Tom Payne hadn't left the Wildcats with eligibility remaining to enter the NBA. . . . Duquesne (20-5 under coach Red Manning) probably would have returned to the Top 20 and been in postseason play if forward Mickey Davis didn't depart school early for the ABA. . . . NIT champion Maryland (27-5) might have been in the NCAA playoffs if forward Barry Yates didn't become the first ACC player to declare hardship and enter the NBA draft early. . . . Vanderbilt, which won at least 20 games each of the next years, might have reached that plateau this season if not for losing four SEC contests by seven points or less when center Steve Turner dropped off the squad and went home. Turner returned the next campaign and was an All-SEC third-team selection.
Scoring Leader: Jim Price, Louisville (103 points, 25.75 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Bo Lamar, Southwestern Louisiana (100 points, 33.3 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Bill Walton, UCLA (64 rebounds, 16 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Jim Brewer, Minnesota (36 rebounds, 18 rpg).
Ron King, G, Jr., Florida State (49 points, 11 rebounds in final two games)
Bob McAdoo, C, Jr., North Carolina (54 points, 34 rebounds)
Jim Price, G, Sr., Louisville (53 points, nine rebounds)
*Bill Walton, C, Soph., UCLA (57 points, 41 rebounds)
Keith Wilkes, F, Soph., UCLA (35 points, 16 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
Regional Semifinal: UCLA 90 (Bibby team-high 16 points), Weber State 58 (Davis 16)
Regional Final: UCLA 73 (Bibby 23), Long Beach State 57 (Ratleff 17)
National Semifinal: UCLA 96 (Walton 33), Louisville 77 (Price 30)
Championship Game: UCLA 81 (Walton 24), Florida State 76 (King 27)