Sunday, March 21, 2021

1975

Well, I certainly don't remember having heard of this twist ... 

Fri, Mar 21, 1975 – 1 · The Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com I did, however, know that UK won its second-round game in the 1975 NCAA men's basketball tournament ...

Fri, Mar 21, 1975 – 1 · The Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com

Note to self: Don't forget to say in the comments what you want to say about this picture ...

Fri, Mar 21, 1975 – 25 · The Lexington Herald (Lexington, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com

And now No. 1 IU ...


Meanwhile, in Louisville, the action is hot and heavy in the state tournament ...

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Fri, Mar 21, 1975 – Page 41 · The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com

The 1970s Paducah Sun-Democrat Channel Selector is one of my all-time-favorite periodicals ...

Fri, Mar 14, 1975 – 29 · The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com
Fri, Mar 14, 1975 – 30 · The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com
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Fri, Mar 21, 1975 – 27 · The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com
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Fri, Mar 21, 1975 – 28 · The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com
19750321 ky-paducah sun tv75 c
Fri, Mar 21, 1975 – 29 · The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com
19750321 ky-paducah sun tv75 d
Fri, Mar 21, 1975 – 30 · The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) · Newspapers.com

41 comments:

  1. OK, so here's what happened in the Regional Semi-Finals:

    East Region (in Providence, R.I.):
    (20) Syracuse 78, (6) N. Carolina 76
    (17) Kansas St. 74, Boston College 65

    Mideast Region (in Dayton, Ohio):
    (1) Indiana 81, (13) Oregon St. 71
    (5) Kentucky 90, Central Michigan 73

    Midwest Region (in Las Cruces, N. Mex.):
    (3) Louisville 78, (12) Cincinnati 63
    (4) Maryland 83, (9) Notre Dame 71

    West Region (in Portland, Ore.)
    (2) UCLA 67, Montana 64
    (7) Arizona St. 84, (16) UNLV 81

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  2. For the historian of college basketball, there are some really interesting results here. Louisville crushes Cincinnati in a big rivalry game, and the Cardinals will dominate the Bearcats for most of the next 20 years. UCLA has a hard time with Montana, and the Montana coach will take advantage. His name is Jud Heathcote, and in April 1976 he will take the job at Michigan State. Digger Phelps has a team that disappoints in the tournament, while Tarkanian's UNLV team suffers a heartbreaker.

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  3. As for Kentucky, the Wildcats continue to be red hot. The win over Central Michigan is their fourth blowout in a row. But next up is Indiana, which truly is one of the great college teams of all time. On December 7, 1974, the Hoosiers beat UK 98-74, and IU has not lost a game since.

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  4. Also, the Regional Final has been a house of horrors for UK since Rupp's Runts went to the National Final in 1966.

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  5. In 1968, UK was 22-4, and number 5 in the country, when they hosted Ohio State in the Regional Final in Lexington, Kentucky. Ohio State won 82-81.

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  6. In 1970, UK was 26-1 and number 1 in the country, when they played Jacksonville in the Regional Final in Columbus, Ohio. Jacksonville won 106-100.

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  7. In 1972, UK was 21-6 and number 18 in the country, when they played Florida State in the Regional Final in Dayton, Ohio. Florida State won 73-54, and Adolph Rupp was forced to retire in the off-season.

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  8. In 1973, UK was 20-7 and number 17 in the country, when they played Indiana in the Regional Final in Nashville, Tennessee. Indiana won 72-65.

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  9. Meanwhile, Louisville went to the National Semi-Finals in 1972, and Indiana went there in 1973, and both Indiana and Louisville were ranked ahead of UK when this tournament began.

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  10. So on the morning of the regional final, it seemed very likely that UK fans were in for another disappointment, and that we would be watching IU and U of L in the National Semi-Finals next weekend.

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    1. Here's another thing about the Indiana game. Bobby Knight had taken over as the coach at IU before the 1971-72 season. Here was his record against UK before March 22, 1975:

      12/11/1971: Indiana 90, Kentucky 89 (2 OT) (at Louisville)
      12/9/1972: Indiana 64, Kentucky 58 (at Bloomington)
      3/17/1973: Indiana 72, Kentucky 65 (NCAA Mideast Regional Final) (at Nashville)
      12/8/1973: Indiana 77, Kentucky 68 (at Louisville)
      12/7/1974: Indiana 98, Kentucky 74 (at Bloomington)

      So going into this game, he was 5-0 against the Big Blue. After this game, he would win only four more games against Joe Hall -- and would never again beat Hall twice in a row.

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  11. As previously reported, here's Russell Rice, writing on Page 97 and 98 in Joe B. Hall, My Own Kentucky Home:

    ... (T)his time Kentucky was determined not to be intimidated. (Bob) Guyette decked (Kent) Benson with a forearm early in the game and Benson later connected solidly with an elbow to (Rick) Robey's chin, a violation that was detected by an official and resulted in two Robey free throws that gave UK a 79-70 lead.

    The key to the Hoosier offense was a 'moving' pick that would be set up on on the baseline, where the forwards would react to the defense's move and either drive the baseline for open layups or shoot over the screens. Joe B. told his players to avoid the pick, but if it was a moving screen, to go ahead and make contact, which meant body-checking as in football. After the officials called Indiana for four or five offensive picks, the Hoosiers became more cautious and the Wildcats were able to fight through the picks and get their man. There were times when the 'Cats were called for blocking, but they did stop the easy layups.

    On defense, the Hoosiers utilized half-court pressure with a deep sag designed to keep an opponent from getting down and setting up, Joe B. urged his players to get out fast and get some penetration and for the guards to take the 15-foot shots, even if they were missing. Flynn scored 22 points as UK won, 92-90, for UK's biggest victory in many seasons, and advanced to the national finals at San Diego with Syracuse, Louisville, and UCLA.

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  12. And on Pages 102 and 103:

    That was a fine group of freshmen to bring in as support personnel for an equally fine group of seniors, but those youngsters were not quite prepared for the baptism of fire they were to receive at Bloomington. In light of past history and the fierce rivalry between the two schools, the roughness of that game is understandable, but there was a feeling in Lexington that Bobby Knight had overstepped his bounds by tapping Joe B. on the head. It would be several years later before Knight would make a surprise appearance during a Joe B. Hall Roast in Lexington and win his way back into the good graces of UK supporters, who love a winner as long as he does not beat UK too many times.

    By tournament time, that Indiana team was awesome, having won all its games and earned the number one ranking; however, the Hoosiers had been playing without their injured All-American Scott May during the latter part of the season, and he would see limited action against the 'Cats in the Mideast Regional at Dayton. Prior to the opening round of that regional, Joe B. openly predicted that Oregon State would upset Indiana, which seemed rather unrealistic, but he later explained that he wanted to plant in his players' minds the thought that the Hoosiers were not invincible, that they could be had.

    In the dressing room before meeting IU in the championship game, Joe B. wrote on the blackboard: "NETS!" "BUS!" "POLICE!" "COLISEUM," explaining that he wanted the players to be careful that no one got his fingers cut or fell off the ladder as they cut down the nets after the game, that they would ride the bus back to Lexington, that the Kentucky State Police would escort them to Lexington after they crossed the Ohio River, and that there would be a victory celebration in the Coliseum.

    The bus ride back to Lexington after that fine victory was an unforgettable experience. The police escort led the UK team bus and a long stream of vehicles south on an interstate that at intervals was lined with cheering fans, many of whom had hung banners on the overpasses and anxiously waited there for the parade to pass underneath. The celebration sounded louder than most such celebrations in the past, with the usual introduction of players, coaches and staff, autograph-signing, and cheering to the cues of the UK cheerleaders.

    A sidelight of the UK-IU game that would be a subject of conversation in Kentucky for weeks to come was the manner in which the NBC-TV cameras kept panning on Mrs. Bobby Knight during the entire course of the game while ignoring Katherine Hall. There also would be criticism of the sometimes seemingly biased remarks of "color" commentator Jerry Lucas, who was a teammate of Knight at Ohio State. The videotape of that game would be a popular item among Lexington households that owned the proper equipment to play it, especially in the Hall basement den, where it would be much in demand during Joe B.'s annual Christmas party. The Wildcats really destroyed NBC-TV's game plan that afternoon.


    Rise, Russell. Joe B. Hall, My Own Kentucky Home (Huntsville, Ala.: Strode Publishers, 1981).

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    1. For most of the last minute and a half of the tight game, TV viewers had to do with only the audio of the 1 p.m. Central NBC telecast. (Makes me wonder who did the game—Curt Gowdy, I imagine—and whether they knew the picture was gone and were able to adjust on the fly how much visualization they inserted into their commentary.) Technical difficulties ensued with 33 seconds on the game clock, and NBC video didn’t come back until there were five seconds to go. Once the complete telecast resumed, Kentucky had the ball out of bounds and the 92-90 lead that held up to the buzzer.

      Of course, all the turn-down-Channel 6/turn-up-Cawood people were sitting pretty.

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  13. I haven't seen it anywhere alive on the internet in the last few years, but at least 37 minutes of this video does exist somewhere.

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  14. OK, so in my lifetime there are three huge life-changing wins by Kentucky, each of which took place in the Elite Eight. There's this win against Indiana. There's the win over Duke that led to the 1998 title. And there's the win over UNC that got us back to the final four in 2011. To me, those are the three games that made me the happiest as a fan -- not counting the national championships, of course. Each of them was not only a great win in and of itself -- it symbolized a great era in the history of the program.

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  15. There's also a great loss -- the 1992 loss to Duke in the Elite Eight -- was began the era that ended with that 1998 championship. For me, those are the four great Kentucky games of my lifetime.

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  16. So I was very, very lucky that one of the greatest wins in the history of Kentucky -- one of the greatest wins by any team in the history of the NCAA Tournament -- happened the first year that I seriously rooted for UK. I didn't have to suffer through all that heartbreak from the late 1960's and early 1970's -- although my parents made it clear that they did not expect UK to beat IU that day.

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  17. Of course, we did have the sound turned down and Cawood on the radio, so we weren't annoyed by the TV coverage as other folks were. For me, at the age of nine, the whole game had a dreamlike quality. As young as I was, I knew that UK was playing at a spectacular level -- something far beyond what they had done before or what we even knew they were capable of. It was one of those games that was close almost the whole way, and I felt it was impossible for UK to maintain that pace for the full 80 minutes.

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  18. Then, very late in the game, the Cats spurted out to an 89-81 lead, and the last few minutes were agony as we waited to see if IU could pull it out. The Hoosiers almost did, but not quite. And when it finally ended I was left with a new obsession that has never left me in all the years since.

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  19. I love all sports, and I have enjoyed watching my teams win in every sport there is. But there's nothing -- absolutely nothing -- like the thrill of surviving a close game in the NCAA Tournament. The gap between absolute elation if you win, and having your season end if you lose, is unlike anything else in sports.

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    1. I think I agree with this. Every game is potentially the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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  20. In baseball, for example, you have to lose a whole bunch of games to be eliminated. Football has a single-elimination system, but it's pretty rare to have your whole season come down to one play. But I've been on both sides of heartache in the NCAA's over and over. There's nothing like it.

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  21. And when you win a Regional Final, and you have a whole week to look forward to the Final Four, it's just unlike anything else. There are only four teams left, you get all the national coverage, and you have a chance of going all the way -- it's just a wonderful feeling.

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  22. I didn't know all of this when I was 9. But I did know that this was just about the happiest I had ever been about anything in my whole life -- and I have spent the rest of my life searching for that same joy.

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  23. So far, I've seen UK reach the Final Four 11 times: 1975, 1978, 1984, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015. They were all amazing, but none was better than 1975. It literally changed my life.

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  24. One final point about this game. Joe Hall cultivated an air of blandness. He wasn't very quotable -- certainly not compared to Denny Crum and Bobby Knight. His teams played a fairly traditional style. He didn't like the press very much, and the local press (especially Billy Reed) mostly hated him. So I always thought of him as a dour, conservative figure who was never quite as brilliant as his genius rivals. And I still think that's mostly true.

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  25. But he really hated to lose, and he had a bitter edge to him that sometimes led to fascinating (and successful) results. This game -- where he planned the celebration in advance -- is a good example. Another is the joy he took in watching Notre Dame flame out at the 1978 Final Four.

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  26. Hall was very close to being one of the great coaches of all time. If he'd beaten U of L in 1983 (and he lost in OT), if he'd gone to the 1980 Final Four (he lost in the Sweet Sixteen at home by 1 point), it he'd beaten Georgetown and won it all in 1984 -- and he could have won all of those games -- he would be remembered as an all-time great.

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  27. But he didn't, and so guys like Knight, and Crum, and John Thompson, and Dean Smith got the acclaim instead. That's how close it all is. Anyway, the job he did in 1975 is one of the best coaching jobs I've ever seen.

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  28. It also changed the national perception of the UK program. It meant that for the next 10 years, UK would be treated as a national power on the same level as U of L and IU. It helped a lot with Hall's recruiting. And most importantly, it meant that UK's greatness wasn't just the product of one man, but would be transmitted to a new generation.

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  29. The UK program could have been left behind after Adolph Rupp, and after the SEC was integrated. We could have ended up where the folks at IU are right now. Joe Hall saved us from that outcome, and he did it in large part by winning this game. Because that was a moment of true greatness that could never be taken away.

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  30. Here's the rest of the Regional Finals for 1975.

    1. In the East, Syracuse beat Kansas State 95 to 87 in overtime.
    2. In the Midwest, Louisville beat Maryland 96 to 82. I think the fact that Louisville and Kentucky both made the Final Four caused the Louisville Courier-Journal to be even more excited about what had happened. Dave Kindred's great book about Kentucky basketball came out soon after this season, and you can tell how excited the C-J was at having both teams in the Final Four.
    3. In the West, UCLA beat Arizona State 89 to 75.

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  31. So the Final Four was set: UK would play Syracuse, and U of L would meet UCLA.

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  32. I had never heard of Syracuse, so I assumed that we would certainly beat them. After all, hadn't we just beaten the best team in the whole country?

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  33. And in those choppy waters between coming to and going from, Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds' storm-battered ship found refuge on the beautiful island of 1975's perfect "Fallin' In Love." I am so grateful.

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