Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Lucas' Ohio State Face the Big O's Cincy and Michigan

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.

Click on the game to play yourself - it contains everything you need to play the Value Add Basketball game, which lets you pit any of 136 great all-time college teams against each other. To pick your two teams it is best to click on this Google doc and print the pages of the teams you want (each team is one page). I track my games on this google sheet, but play your own for free!
Team                      Year     Player You Might Know   Opponent           Opp Yr
Arkansas1994Corliss WilliamsonLSU1992
Arkansas1994Corliss WilliamsonKentucky2006
Cincinnati1960Oscar RobertsonOhio St.1960
Connecticut1999Richard HamiltonSan Francisco1956
Connecticut1999Richard HamiltonDuke1992
Dayton2020Obi ToppinPurdue1969
Duke1992Christian LaettnerConnecticut1999
Duke2001Shane BattierUNLV1991
Georgia Tech1990Dennis ScottPurdue1969
Indiana1981Isaiah ThomasIowa2021
Iowa2021Luka GarzaIndiana1981
Iowa2021Luka GarzaKansas1957
Jacksonville1970Artis GilmoreSan Francisco1956
Kansas1957Wilt ChamberlainIowa2021
Kentucky1996Antoine WalkerArkansas1994
Loyola-Chicago1963Jerry HarknessMichigan1989
Loyola-Chicago1963Jerry HarknessSt. John's1985
LSU1992Shaquille O'NealArkansas1994
LSU1992Shaquille O'NealMarquette1971
Marquette1971Jim ChonesLSU1992
Marquette2011Jimmy ButlerSt. John's1985
Michigan1989Glen RiceOhio St1960
Michigan1989Glen RiceLoyola1963
Ohio St.1960Jerry LucasCincinnati1960
Ohio St.1960Jerry LucasMichigan1989
Purdue1969Rick MountDayton2020
Purdue1969Rick MountGeorgia Tech1990
San Francisco1956Bill RussellConnecticut1999
San Francisco1956Bill RussellJacksonville1956
St. John's1985Chris MullinMarquette2011
St. John's1985Chris MullinLoyola1963
UNLV1991Larry JohnsonDuke2001

No comments:

Post a Comment