Off The Boards by Jack Scheuer – March 14th 2018 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

March 14, 2018 Edition

As we are about to begin the greatest three weeks in basketball, I gave thought to some of the great performances  that have taken place in the NCAA’s over the years, and there have been quite a few.  I have two favorites, the best being Bill Walton’s sensational outing against Memphis in the 1973 championship game.  The Big Redhead connected on 21 of 22 shots from the field in rolling up 44 points, and pulled down 13 rebounds in UCLA’s  87-66 victory.  Pretty hard to top that one.

My second favorite occurred in the greatest college basketball game I’ve ever seen (over 48 years) in the Eastern Regional final at the Spectrum in 1992.  Duke and Kentucky battled back-and forth into overtime before Christian Laettner’s 17-footer at the buzzer gave the Blue Devils a 104-103 victory.  In addition to his miracle shot, Laettner was 10-for 10 from the field in the game, and 10-for 10 from the foul line.

There have been other outstanding  performances from players like Austin Carr, Bill Bradley, Carmelo Anthony, etc., but for me, I’ll go with Walton and Laettner.

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Penn’s last win in a tournament game was in 1994, 90-80, over Nebraska. (Barry Pierce 25 points). Next year the Quakers dropped a 91-85 overtime heart- breaker to #5 Alabama, despite 30 points from Jerome Allen .

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Trivia Time: What player holds the record for most total rebounds in an NCAA Tournament ?

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Best shooter in the NCAA’s might well be Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie. The 6-10 soph from France, has made 45 of 90 three pointers this season, including one streak of 11 in a row. He is also shooting at 59% overall.

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This and That: Temple plays at Penn State tonight in the N.I.T. The Nittanys have all of those Roman Catholic guys including Tony Carr ,who led the Big 10 in scoring (19.9 points per game)….Funny stats for Penn’s Sam Jones: He has made 16 of 40 three-pointers this season, while attempting only one 2-point shot….Notre Dame’s Austin Carr still holds the record for most points in a tournament  game, 61 against Ohio U.  in 1970….Tennessee goes into the tourney after having played the toughest schedule. The Vols will be making their first trip to the Dance since 2011-12… Best foul shooting team in the tournament is Davidson; the Wildcats converted 79.7 of their freebies…. Among all the other good things Omari Spellman has done this year, the  6-8 Villanova freshman is second in the Big East in blocked shots.

Finally, prediction time: I’m guessing the Final Four will be Virginia, Villanova, Michigan State and Gonzaga.  And the National Champion will be….. a team whose name begins with an V.

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Answer to Trivia Time :  La Salle legend Tom Gola still holds the rebound record, pulling down 102 in 5 games during the 1954 tournament.

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