Kan. (AP)- With about two minutes left to go, the 10,811 highly partisan
and very vocal fans crammed into the Wichita Fieldhouse began to lose
interest and started to chant:
K-State. Beat K-State."
was all well and good except that their Wichita Shockers hadn't, at that
moment, finished with Creighton.
was such a rout by then that the Shocker fans were already looking ahead
to tonight's all-Kansas final in the NCAA Midwest regional basketball
championships with Kansas State.
Wichita finished off Creighton 84-68 and Kansas State, the Big Eight
champion, outlasted troubled Texas Western 64-60 in Friday night's first
winner of their Saturday affair advances to the national championships
at Kansas City next week. Texas Western and Creighton play for regional
third place in a preliminary game.
were very fortunate," Kansas State Coach Tex Winter admitted after his
opening victory over TWC, the Wildcats' 12th straight.
were trying to give it away at the end," he said. "We were trying hard
to beat ourselves."
However, the crafty Wildcats lured the Miners' one-man gang, Jim (Bad
News) Barnes, into five quick fouls and got him out of their with 12:42
left. He played less than 18 minutes.
zone killed us," Miner Coach Don Haskins said.
State's Willie Murrell led all scorers with 24 points and Charles Banks
topped TWC with 20. The Wildcats now are 21-5 for the season, Texas
Wichita's All-America Dave Stallworth and Creighton's Paul Silas each
had 22 points. Wichita takes a 23-5 record into Saturday's game, while
Creighton is 22-6.
Kan. (AP)- Kansas State's Big Eight basketball champions ripped
Wichita's full court press for a 94-86 victory in the NCAA Midwest
Regional finals Saturday, sending the Wildcats into the semifinals
against UCLA's unbeaten, top-ranked Bruins Friday night in Kansas City.
K-State has a 13 game winning streak and the Wildcats, Willie Murrell in
particular, are itching for another shot at UCLA.
Murrell, a 6-foot-6 corner man of many shots, who won the Big Eight
scoring crown and hit 28 points against Wichita, was named most valuable
was held to six points and fouled out with nine minutes left when UCLA
edged K-State 78-75 at Lawrence, Kan. in December.
is K-State's seventh NCAA tourney but its first trip to the semifinals
since 1958, when the Wildcats beat Cincinnati and Oscar Robertson in the
Midwest finals. That sent Tex Winter's club to semifinals at Louisville
as the favorite, but it wound up fourth.
1959, K-State was No. 1 nationally in the final Associated Press poll,
but lost to Cincy and Robertson in the regionals. That started a five
year dominance by the Missouri Valley Conference in the Midwest
Stallworth, Wichita's All America, led both teams with 37 points and 16
rebounds but he didn't get as much help as Murrell.
Western beat Creighton 63-52 for third place.
Murrell and Stallworth were unanimous choices for the all tourney team.
Others on the first team were Roger Suttner of K-State, Paul Silas of
Creighton and Bob Dibler of Texas Western.
to the second team were Jim Barnes, Texas Western; Kelly Pete, Wichita;
Charles Officer of Creighton; and Simons and Sammy Robinson, both of
CITY (UPI)- Versatile Keith Erickson, the forgotten man in UCLA's
starting lineup, scored 28 points Friday night to lead the top-ranked
and undefeated Bruins to a 90-84 victory over Kansas State that
propelled them into the NCAA basketball championship game against Duke.
Duke whipped Michigan in the other semifinal game 91-80 behind the
inside-outside shooting combination of Jay Buckley and Jeff Mullins.
Erickson, who entered the game with a 10-point scoring average, ripped
Kansas State's zone defense from the corners and medium range while
All-America Walt Hazzard shot over it in leading UCLA to its 29th
consecutive victory and into the national finals for the first time.
Although Erickson's defensive assignment, Willie Murrell, took game
honors with 29 points and 13 rebounds, the 6-foot-5 junior forward
spearheaded UCLA's vicious play off the backboards and hit the key shots
in a second-half rally.
which held a 43-41 halftime advantage, lost its lead midway in the
second half and Kansas State pulled away by margins of as much as six
points. But in a three-minute period, UCLA scored 11 consecutive points
and took an 81-75 lead that stood the rest of the way.
that spurt, Erickson and Hazzard each scored four points. But Erickson
hit the bucket that tied the score 75-75 with 6:25 remaining, then drew
a foul 30 seconds later and sank both free throws to put UCLA ahead by
Erickson and Doug Mclntosh each grabbed 10 rebounds as UCLA took a 53-48
advantage off the boards over taller Kansas State.
State outscored UCLA from the field by one field goal but managed only
10 of 21 shots from the free throw line. UCLA connected on 18 of 23 from
the stripe, with Erickson hitting eight of nine.
shooting of Murrell and Jeff Simons, who has only three fingers on his
firing hand, kept Kansas State in the game until UCLA's final spurt to
victory. Simons scored 24 points.
State's alternating 1-3-1 and 2-3 zone defense bothered UCLA only
occasionally. UCLA raced to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the
game. It looked
like a potential runaway.
that point the Kansas State zone had one of its few effective periods.
UCLA was unable to score for four minutes and, in the meantime, Kansas
State hit 10 points in a row to forge a one-point lead that stood for 40
except for another one point lead that stood for only 13 seconds, Kansas
State trailed throughout the first period in the game that broke its
winning streak at 13.
the Atlantic Coast Conference champion and fourth ranked team in the
nation, avenged an earlier loss to Michigan during the regular season
with a devastating barrage from both beneath and beyond the basket.
CITY (AP)- Burly Bill Buntln, a 6-foot-7 frontliner, led Michigan's
injured Wolverines to a 100-90 conquest over Kansas State and third
place in the NCAA national basketball championships Saturday night.
Unbeaten UCLA played Duke for the national championship in the second
popped in 33 points and, along with sophomore Oliver Darden, dominated
the backboards for Michigan in the opener. Buntin clinched it with a
three-point play putting the Wolverines ahead 93-86 with 2:59 to go.
Wolverines, apparently troubled by the loss of sophomore sensation
Cazzie Russell, struggled through 13 ties and 15 occasions on which the
lead changed hands before little Bobby Cantrell hit on a long jump shot
to put them ahead to stay at 67-65 midway through the last half.
State, the Big Eight champ, stayed within shooting distance primarily on
the efforts of Willie Murrell until Buntin jammed one in from pointblank
range and made it a three-pointer by hitting a free throw when he was
gave the Wolverines margin enough to slow it down and force Kansas State
to come out after them. The Wildcats just couldn't make it up and fouls
helped Michigan pull away in the final seconds.
and Darden each pulled down 14 rebounds and the 5-foot-10 Cantrell
contributed 20 points. Murrell and lanky Roger Suttner topped the Kansas
State scorers with 20 each. Michigan closed out with a 23-5 record and
Kansas State at 22-7.
is a certain mystical something about the UCLA basketball team that
defies calculation. The Bruins go for long spells at a time looking
mortal and vulnerable and capable of inspiring sympathy. Then they put
you under with such thorough execution that a witness has to look twice
to be sure that innocent-looking truck was really the one. UCLA coaches
call it "the two-minute explosion," this mystical something-or-other,
and since it is not an eclipse of the moon, only of an opponent, they
cannot predict when it will occur. Only that it will occur. Eventually.
week in Kansas City, a town unequipped for too much excitement, 10,000
people at the Municipal Auditorium were permitted the treat of watching
UCLA's two-minute explosion explode on consecutive nights. In each case
the explosion was extended a few seconds, but the time was put to good
use and the practical result was exceedingly gratifying- for UCLA. The
Bruins beat Kansas State, a good team, 90-84 and beat Duke, a better
team, 98-83 and won the national championship.
Anybody unromantic enough to believe UCLA could not finish 30 games
undefeated, with undersized, unimpressive-looking players and a coach,
John Wooden, who does not smoke, drink or recruit very much, deserved to
be kept awake by UCLA insurgents yelling, "We're No. 1," down Baltimore
Street until morning and to see "We Try Harder" buttons (the ones UCLA
rooters obtained from a second-rated auto-rental agency) in any sleep he
about the two-minute explosions. In the semifinal on Friday night, after
Duke had taken Michigan 91-80 in such a tour de force that not one of
the 600 convening members of the National Association of Basketball
Coaches dared be unimpressed, UCLA bumped around with Kansas State and
was behind 75-70 with seven minutes to play. There followed a flurry of
hands ("Does UCLA have quick hands?" said one coach. "Are there Mexicans
in El Paso?") and feet ("You run with UCLA and you die," said another).
Two-minutes-plus later UCLA was ahead 81-75. Permanently ahead.
final night, in a match that promised to be a dandy but proved to be a
dry throat for Duke, UCLA trailed 30-27 midway in the first half. In two
minutes and 30 seconds the Bruins scored 16 straight points, the Blue
Devils agonized, and when the score reached 43-30 there was no doubt in
which direction that game was heading.
with half a superstition was willing to believe it was so simple, of
course, and omen for omen, UCLA people stack up with anybody. What
immediately precipitated the 11-point rush on Kansas State, for example,
was the strategic arrival of four UCLA cheerleaders just at the moment a
Kansas State shot was heading for the basket. The cheerleaders' plane
had been delayed by a snowstorm. Hollywood smiles still intact but
frozen on, they skipped into the arena. There was a mighty cheer. The
Kansas State shot whirled uncertainly inside the basket and popped out.
No. 30 in UCLA's magnificent procession, had then to face this kind of
lineup: John Wooden's daughter Nan's 30th birthday ("Oh, that's a sure
thing," cooed Publicist Vic Kelley), Nell Wooden's lucky acorns, her
husband's collection of lucky pats and tics, and assistant Jerry
Norman's 13-year-old lucky road suit. "Since we don't need it anymore,"
sniffed Jerry's wife, June, looking pained at her husband's style lag,
"we are going to burn that suit." Jerry's father, Arthur Norman, said
all the other accessories were really unnecessary, because it had come
to him in a dream last December that UCLA was going to go undefeated and
win the national championship.
else quite shared Mr. Norman's serenity, however, and on the morning of
the Duke game, Wooden sat in front of his orange wedges, oatmeal and
sweet roll at the Hotel Muehlebach and said he had slept barely three
hours. "Nell fell asleep about 2," he said, "and I was on my own until
about 4, thinking about Duke." Wooden is a man so straightforward as to
make you blush, and he is devoted to the outlandish proposition that
character really is more important than winning.
has not been an easy team for Wooden to coach, but through skins thick
and thin he has stuck with his five starters and is proud of the reward.
"Lately," he said, "we have not been going well, but somehow we keep our
poise and get out of the jams we get ourselves into. Now we have to do
it one more time."
had experienced immediate discomfort in Kansas City. The chartered plane
carrying 90- the team, cheerleaders and guests- slid off the landing strip
at the Kansas City airport and almost nosed over. The Kansas City Star
kept referring to the Blue Devils as the " Tar Heels." The hotel
neglected to obtain the 7-foot beds Coach Vic Bubas had ordered for his
6-foot-10 boys, Hack Tison and Jay Buckley (7-foot beds would not fit in
most Kansas City hotel rooms, anyway). When the Devils went to practice
at the auditorium their dressing room was being painted.
first had to get by Big Ten champion Michigan. The Blue Devils prepared
for Michigan "like it was the Normandy invasion," said Assistant Coach
Bucky Waters. Michigan had beaten Duke by 16 points at Ann Arbor in
December, and Buckley was reminded how he had been outrebounded 18-2 by
Bill Buntin. Buckley later was called the team's "weak link" by a
Charlotte sportswriter and the Blue Devils had taken to calling him
"Link." Properly incensed, he had become a tiger.
smashed them on the boards at Ann Arbor," said Michigan Coach Dave
Strack. "We will have to resmash them." Despite this amiable suggestion,
Michigan was unable to smash Buckley and Tison again. Duke got good
outside shooting from Buzzy Harrison and Denny Ferguson, made half as
many errors and wound up with an equal number of rebounds. Captain Jeff
Mullins was, as usual, the steadying hand, and Tiger Buckley, curling
around Buntin like he was a lamppost, scored 25 points. Michigan star
Cazzie Russell was given painkiller for his damaged and swollen right
ankle and he scored 31, but obviously he was not the typically reckless
Meanwhile UCLA did as expected with the K-State zone, but under
considerable duress. Walt Hazzard split it on drives and passes to the
flanks, from where Keith Erickson hit for 28 points- only a point less
than the number scored by State's superb Willie Murrell. "Any time one
of our men can be a point away from Murrell we're all right," said
Wooden. Not all right, ominously, had been the play of Center Fred
Slaughter (Kansas is his home and he could not quite get used to being
back before home folks). Jack Hirsch and Guard Gail Goodrich, Hazzard's
shooting mate, were still missing. UCLA flubbed half a dozen layups
trying to pierce the zone, and there was fraternal conjecture in
downtown hotel lobbies that the Duke coach might try a zone, too.
chance. "Now is not the time to be changing," said Vic Bubas in his
hotel suite at the Continental. He sat relaxed on the sofa after three
hours of trying to figure out what makes UCLA tick so fast- or rather,
how to stop UCLA from ticking so fast. Daughter Sandy came in with a
poster: "Ruin the Bruins." The i ran into the n, so that it looked like
"Run the Bruins." "You'd better dot that i, honey," said Bubas.
turned to Bucky Waters. "I think we can beat their press," he said, "and
I'm not so sure we can't run with them." Waters said that Mullins had
figured that out for himself and had gone down to the deserted
auditorium that morning and taken practice shots for 25 minutes.
match was so attractive-big, resourceful Duke of the East against
not-so-big, resourceful and unbeaten UCLA of the West, smackdab in the
middle of the country- that scalpers asked for and received three times
the face value of tickets by game time. But the record crowd of 10,864
did not include the 50 tickets one man said were stolen from him. An
NCAA official immediately wanted to know how the man could buy 50
tickets when UCLA and Duke were allotted only 250 apiece. Abashed, the
man admitted they had not been stolen at all, that he never had them,
and that he was just too embarrassed to tell his 50 friends that he had
championship game started briskly and for a time it appeared Duke indeed
could beat the UCLA press. Quickly downcourt on the break, Buzzy
Harrison flipped to Buckley, who curled in a field goal around Erickson,
much as he had done with Buntin. Duke was out, 2-0. A full-length pass
over the press got another for Duke, and before too long Wooden replaced
Slaughter with a sophomore, Doug McIntosh. Soon after, another
sophomore, Kenny Washington, appeared in the normally pat UCLA lineup.
Both boys had done well against K-State, and now, subtly, they were
making their presence known to Duke.
makes Wooden's Bruins super- it is a word now safe to use in their
behalf- is not superstition, despite all those dreams and acorns. What
makes UCLA super is the deadly art of self-defense Wooden teaches, and
you cannot imagine how offensive defense can be until you have seen
UCLA's busters gang up on the backboard or on some taller team. Like
Kansas State. And like Duke.
presses and UCLA converts- a stolen pass into a basket, a rebound,
clearance and fast break into a basket, etc.- and the size disadvantage
UCLA always faces is, always, negligible. "How do you look at Duke?"
Johnny Wooden was asked. "Up," he said. But despite Buckley and Tison
and their five-inch advantage over any single UCLA player, the height
difference was a paper difference. UCLA attacks not singly but in
swarms, like mosquitoes.
offense, Wooden kept his post man high, drawing Buckley out and clearing
the middle for the drives of Walt Hazzard (see cover) and Gail Goodrich.
Goodrich, the lithe left-hander, got 27 points, his first up-to-par game
(he is UCLA's leading scorer) since the tournament began three weeks
defense, UCLA negated Duke's superior height by making it miserable for
Tison in the high post. Pressed by Keith Erickson, Hirsch and the
amazing sophomores Washington and McIntosh- especially the sophomores- the
combination of Tison to Buckley could not get going. Even Mullins,
though scoring 22 points, did not pass well and seemed powerless to
assist. Buckley scored 18 points but got only nine rebounds, and Tison
got only one, compared with McIntosh's 11 and Washington's 12.
amazing was Kenny Washington, the Negro boy who traveled 2,440 miles in
the back seat of a Greyhound bus from Beaufort, S.C. just to get a
chance to play for John Wooden. Washington, who is so shy that Wooden
frequently chucks his chin to keep his head up, couldn't put the ball in
the Pacific Ocean his freshman year. "I shot funny, kind of from behind
my head," he says. " Coach Wooden changed that." But Kenny is an
astounding leaper and he possesses the fast hands Wooden requires. So he
practiced 10 hours a day last summer. He also decided, after two trips
home in the back of the Greyhound, that his favorite spot on the UCLA
bus would be right up in front.
most accurate man in the game, Washington hit 11 of 16 against Duke and
scored 26 points. Typically, little UCLA outrebounded big Duke 43-35,
and as Duke came undone during the two-minute explosion, the mistakes
began to pile up. In the end, the Blue Devils committed 29 errors, a
season's supply, and more often than not had the wrong men with the ball
in the wrong places. That is the kind of team UCLA is.
dressing room, privately, Coach of the Year Wooden told his Bruins, "I
am immensely proud of you. You're really the best. You've proved it.
Now, don't let it change you. You are champions and you must act like
champions. You met some people going up to the top. You will meet the
same people going down." And that is the kind of man John Wooden is.