- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 20, 2013

As the 75th NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament begins this week, The List examines some historical tidbits regarding this sporting event that captivates the entire country every March.

  • 10. Oldest and Youngest — In 2011, at the age of 68, Jim Calhoun became the oldest coach ever to win a national championship when his Connecticut Huskies defeated the Butler Bulldogs 53-41. Emmett B. “Branch” McCracken was the youngest coach ever to win a national championship, when in 1940, at the age of 31 his Indiana Hoosiers beat the Kansas Jayhawks 60-42.
  • 9. Big margin — In 1963, the Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers set an NCAA record that still stands for the largest margin of victory in an NCAA tournament game when they beat the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, 111-47. Loyola went on to win the championship over the Cincinnati Bearcats 60-58.
  • 8. POTUS attends — In 1994, Bill Clinton became the first sitting president to attend an NCAA tournament game, watching the Arkansas Razorbacks advance over the Michigan Wolverines, 76-68, to get to the Final Four. Mr. Clinton also attended the championship game, where Arkansas defeated the Duke Blue Devils 76-72.
  • 7. Prime time — 1973 was the first time the NCAA championship was broadcast in prime time on aMonday night. NBC showed Bill Walton making 21 of 22 field goal attempts and scoring 44 points in leading the UCLA Bruins over the Memphis State Tigers, 87-66.
  • 6. John Thompson — John Thompson was the first black coach to win an NCAA basketball championship, when his Georgetown Hoyas defeated the Houston Cougars, 85-74, in 1984.
  • 5. Alma maters — Twelve coaches have lead their alma maters to the NCAA championship: Howard Hobson of Oregon in 1939, Harold “Bud” Foster of Wisconsin in 1941, Vadal Peterson of Utah in 1944, Phog Allen of Kansas in 1952, Branch McCracken of Indiana in 1940 and 1953, Fred Taylor of Ohio State in 1960, Ed Jucker of Cincinnati in 1961 and 1962, Norm Sloan of North Carolina State in 1974, Joe B. Hall of Kentucky in 1978, Gary Williams of Maryland in 2002, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse in 2003, and Roy Williams of North Carolina in 2005 and 2009.
  • 4. Double the fun — In 2004, the University of Connecticut Huskies defeated the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 82-73 to win the national championship. The next day the Connecticut women defeated the Tennessee Volunteers 70-61 to win the Division I women’s basketball championship, making Connecticut the only Division I school in history to win the men’s and women’s basketball championship in the same year.
  • 3. Perfect — Seven teams have won the national championship with perfect records: the 1956 University of San Francisco Dons, the 1957 University of North Carolina Tar Heels, the 1964, 1967, 1972 and 1973 UCLA Bruins, and the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.
  • 2. Holy power — Catholic universities have won the national championship eight times: Holy Cross in 1947, LaSalle in 1954, the University of San Francisco in 1955 and 1956, Loyola University of Chicago in 1963, Marquette in 1977, Georgetown in 1984 and Villanova in 1985.
  • 1. Double wins — Bob Knight, Dean Smith and Joe B. Hall are the only individuals who have won an NCAA championship as a player and as a head coach. Knight won as a player at Ohio State in 1960 and as the coach of Indiana in 1976, 1981, and 1987. Smith won as a player at Kansas in 1952 and as the coach of North Carolina in 1982 and 1993. Hall won as a player at Kentucky in 1949 and as the coach of Kentucky in 1978.

Compiled by John Sopko

Sources: The Hartford Courant, Loyola University of Chicago, University of Maryland, University of Connecticut, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Wikipedia, The Philadelphia Daily News, University of Kentucky