In our updated rankings of the top 25 all-time college basketball teams, you will notice several have only one or two games played. We decided we will focus on those teams now - particularly the teams in our Top 75 that only have one game played. We set up "doubleheaders" for each of them to see if they hold or can even improve their rankings.
The most intriguing double header we set up heading into the Michigan vs. Ohio State football game this weekend, was letting Jerry Lucas 1960 Buckeyes National Champs play the 1989 Champs from Michigan - but also the game that never happened - a 1960 National Championship between them and the Cincinnati Bearcats as the warm up for Michigan.
In 1960, the Bearcats were ranked 1st all year behind Oscar Robertson, the Big O, and both the Bearcats and Buckeyes made the Final 4. The Bearcats lost in the semifinals for the third straight year with the Big O, this time to a great Cal team - which ironically had left the Pac-12 that year only to later return, so Oscar Robertson did not face Jerry Lucas for the championship.
The really ironic part of the story is the Big O then went to the NBA, and the two years after he left, Cincinnati not only won the national title, but did it by beating Jerry Lucas and Ohio State. The were then national runner-ups in 1963, to make it six straight years in the Final Four. Cal interrupted what would have been three straight national title rematches between the two teams from the same state. Those two teams were in the middle of a 98 year stretch during which they never played on each others campuses, so they could only meet in tournaments.
Bearcats fans may ask why I included their 1960 team instead of one of the national champs the next two years. Well, that is because I look at both the greatest teams ever but also the greatest players ever to choose who gets a team in the game. The Big O was the only player who went onto the NBA from this Bearcats team in the game, and no player from the National Champs went onto the NBA.
|Team||Year||Player You Might Know||Opponent||Opp Yr|
|Cincinnati||1960||Oscar Robertson||Ohio St.||1960|
|Connecticut||1999||Richard Hamilton||San Francisco||1956|
|Georgia Tech||1990||Dennis Scott||Purdue||1969|
|Jacksonville||1970||Artis Gilmore||San Francisco||1956|
|Loyola-Chicago||1963||Jerry Harkness||St. John's||1985|
|Marquette||2011||Jimmy Butler||St. John's||1985|
|Michigan||1989||Glen Rice||Ohio St||1960|
|Ohio St.||1960||Jerry Lucas||Cincinnati||1960|
|Ohio St.||1960||Jerry Lucas||Michigan||1989|
|Purdue||1969||Rick Mount||Georgia Tech||1990|
|San Francisco||1956||Bill Russell||Connecticut||1999|
|San Francisco||1956||Bill Russell||Jacksonville||1956|
|St. John's||1985||Chris Mullin||Marquette||2011|
|St. John's||1985||Chris Mullin||Loyola||1963|