March 4, 2005
Austin Carr Week
Due to travel requirements during the University of Notre Dame’s Spring Break, it will be impossible to update 100 Years in 100 Days according to the schedule followed so far this year. To cover updates #85 – #89 – www.und.com dedicates a whole week to the great Austin Carr – the most prolific scoring player in Notre Dame Basketball history.
Most of this information is available in the book – 100 Seasons of Basketball – produced by the Notre Dame Sports Information Office. The book is available exclusively through the Notre Dame Bookstore (call 800-647-4641 or to go www.ndcatalog.com).
100 Years in 100 Days will return to its usual format on Monday, March 14. Until then, enjoy a long and enjoyable series of updates about Austin Carr.
- #86 (Tuesday, March 8, 2005)
- #87 (Wednesday, March 9, 2005)
- #88 (Thursday, March 10, 2005)
- #89 (Friday, March 11, 2005)
#85 (Monday, March 7, 2005)
On this date 35 years ago, Austin Carr dropped an NCAA tournament record 61 points on Ohio University…
by Lou Somogyi
Certain records are deemed unbreakable: Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941; Jesse Owens’ four-world record day in four track events on May 25, 1935; Iowa State’s Cael Sanderson’s 159-0 record as an NCAA wrestler…and Austin Carr’s 61 points in an NCAA Tournament game.
Carr’s feat occurred in a 112-82 first-round victory versus 21-4 Ohio University on March 7, 1970 in front of a capacity crowd of 13,450 at Dayton University. The Bobcats toppled Big Ten foes Ohio State, Indiana and Purdue and won the Mid-American Conference to make the 25-team field. Their season ended by witnessing the license plate number–61–of the Carr that ran over them.
Three of the top five and five of the top 12 NCAA Tournament single-game scoring totals are held by Carr. Since 1970, the closest anyone has come to Carr’s mark was when Navy’s David Robinson tallied 50 against Michigan in 1987.
Even more unattainable are Carr’s NCAA Tournament records for highest scoring average in one year (52.7 in three 1970 games) and career average (41.3 in seven contests). Those marks were achieved without a three-point line. “With that short three-point line in college, that’s a lay-up. I would have loved to have played with that line,” said Carr of the arc added in 1986. “Someone can get hot on a given night and [break the 61-point record], but there is a higher intensity level in the tournament.
“You’re going to have to be in top physical condition because it requires a lot of running, and you can’t get tired if you’re going to have a good shooting motion.” Carr’s effort versus Ohio helped snap a school-record 12-year drought without an NCAA Tournament victory. After three Elite Eight appearances from 1953 to 1958, the Irish floundered in the 1960s. Much of it was blamed on an archaic Fieldhouse where the team practiced and played. To many prized recruits, it manifested a lack of commitment to the program.
Upon his hiring in 1964, head coach John Dee accelerated plans for the Athletic & Convocation Center, which opened in 1968. The recruiting quickly improved, beginning with the Bob Arnzen, Bob Whitmore and Dwight Murphy trio in 1965, and continuing in 1967 with Carr. His classmates included forward Collis Jones (who averaged 23 points and 13 rebounds per game as a senior), big men Sid Catlett and John Pleick (the prime screeners in “double stack” sets for Carr) and point guard Jackie Meehan, whose role was to distribute the ball to Carr or Jones.
The late 1960s saw a renaissance in Notre Dame basketball, and the impetus of that surge was Carr and the ACC, whose acronym was soon dubbed “Austin Carr Coliseum.”
Despite Carr’s 38.1 points per game average as a junior in 1969-70–second to LSU’s Pete Maravich’s NCAA record 44.5–the first-team All-American unit was comprised of five seniors during college basketball’s golden age of scoring (see chart): Maravich, Purdue’s Rick Mount (35.4), Niagara’s Calvin Murphy (29.4), Kentucky’s Dan Issel (33.9) and St. Bonaventure’s Bob Lanier (29.1).
“Defense was a part of the game, but back then everyone was more into getting up and down the floor,” Carr said. “Today, coaches slow the game down more to limit the number of possessions.”
Egos also might be more fragile today, Carr acknowledged.
“I don’t know if teammates today are going to tolerate one guy taking 30 to 40 shots in a game,” Carr said. “But it’s not how many you take; it’s how many you make. What I was proud of was I was beyond 50 percent (.555 as a junior and .528 for his career). My high school coach told me, `I don’t care if you shoot 100 times in a game, just make 50 of them.’
“I played with a great group of guys. They wanted me to shoot and they set me up.”
In the first 11 minutes versus Ohio, Carr tallied 21 points, but Notre Dame didn’t take the lead for good until the 6:29 mark of the first half. By halftime, Notre Dame held a 54-41 cushion, with Carr scoring 35 on 15-of-23 (65 percent) field-goal shooting.
“The only thing I was thinking about was getting past the first round because it had been so long since Notre Dame won a game in the tournament,” Carr said. “I was probably more focused in the first half than normal because of that. I was moving well, and the ball kept coming to me in stride. Everything was going perfectly. It felt like I was the only person in the gym.”
Carr poured in 35 points on 15-of-23 shooting in the first half during his 61 point performance vs. Ohio University in the NCAA Touranment.
As Carr’s onslaught continued and Notre Dame upped its lead to 87-62, Dee faced a decision. Should he rest Carr prior to facing No. 1 Kentucky in the second round? Or should he keep him in to break the single-game tournament record (58) set in 1965 by Princeton’s Bill Bradley?
“It would have been unfair not to let him try for it when he was so close,” explained Dee afterwards.
Carr’s final basket with 49 seconds left upped his total to 61. He finished 25 of 44 from the field (57 percent) and 11 of 14 from the foul line. Every corner of the arena saluted him with a standing ovation.
“I had no idea at the time about the magnitude of it,” said Carr, who noted that Jones tallied 24 points and Meehan dished out 17 assists. “I never realized until I was in the pros what I had done.”
The day before the meeting with No. 1 Kentucky, Issel approached Carr at a media gathering and expressed his shock that Carr didn’t join him as a first-team All-American that year.
“Don’t take it out on us,” Issel joked.
Carr nearly did as the Irish led, 87-86, before Jones and Catlett fouled out. Issel tallied 44 points in the Wildcats’ 109-99 victory, but Carr tossed in 52 on 22-of-36 shooting (61 percent) from the floor. In the consolation game against Big Ten champ Iowa, Carr added 45 more points in a 121-106 defeat.
Behind Carr’s career 41.3 NCAA Tournament scoring average are Bradley’s 33.7 (nine games) and Oscar Robertson’s 32.4 (10 games).
Also – on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history –
March 7, 1959 – In his final game at Notre Dame, Tom Hawkins scores 19 points in Notre Dame’s 51-35 victory at home against #13 Marquette to finish 12-13. Twelve days earlier the Warriors had defeated the Irish by 19. Two-time All-American Hawkins ends his college career as Notre Dame’s all-time leader in scoring average (23.0) and rebounding average (16.7) – and he still ranks #3 and #2, respectively.
#86 (Tuesday, March 8, 2005)
Legend of the Hardwood – Austin Carr
by Tim Bourret
Most Notre Dame fans would have to take a few minutes to consider an answer to the question, “Who is the greatest football player in Notre Dame history?” After all, there are seven Heisman Trophy winners alone to consider, not to mention 177 All-Americans and 40 former Irish players already in the College Football Hall of Fame.
But, when asked that same question about Irish basketball, 90 percent of fans would give a quick answer: “Austin Carr!”
For the over-40 generation who saw him play, or even the younger set that just examines his data, Austin George Carr is the obvious choice. When Street & Smith’s Magazine selected its Top 100 college basketball players of all time, Carr ranked 19th, fourth among pure guards.
During Carr’s 74-game Notre Dame career, he averaged 34.6 points per game, still second in NCAA history behind Pete Maravich’s 44.2 average. Unlike Maravich, Carr shot better than 50 percent for his career. In fact, Carr reached 54 percent for his final 58 games, 10 percent higher than Maravich, who never took LSU to an NCAA Tournament.
Carr never led the nation in scoring, as he finished second to Maravich in 1969-70 as a junior and second to Johnny Newman of Mississippi in 1970-71, his senior year. In the 33 years since Carr played, only one player, Freeman Williams of Portland State in 1976-77, reached Carr’s 38.1 average as a junior or his 37.9 figure as a senior.
Carr was a model of consistency in everything he did, including his performance on the court. Despite being the marked man every night, the Washington, D.C., native scored at least 20 points in every game of his junior and senior years (58 games in a row). He scored 1,106 points as a junior and 1,101 as a senior in the same amount of games (29).
Carr elevated his game to the national stage during his senior year with a 50-point game in Louisville in a 99-92 victory over No. 8 Kentucky. “We put five different players on Carr tonight, and he still scored 50 points,” said Kentucky coaching legend Adolph Rupp. “It was an amazing performance.”
Later that same year, Carr scored 46 points in Notre Dame’s win over No. 1-ranked UCLA, an 89-82 Irish victory. Carr scored 15 of Notre Dame’s last 17 points on drives to the basket, free throws and a series of jumpers. It was the most points anyone ever scored against a John Wooden-coached team, and it was the last loss for UCLA in 88 games, until Notre Dame (under Digger Phelps) beat UCLA again nearly three years later.
One game that put Carr on the map took place in the 1970 NCAA Tournament. In front of a national television audience, Carr scored 61 points in a victory over Ohio University at the Dayton Arena.
With Jackie Meehan (who had 17 assists) feeding him inside and out, Carr connected on 25 of 44 field goal attempts and 11 of 14 free throws to establish an NCAA Tournament scoring record that still stands 33 years later.
When asked in his postgame press conference about how to stop Carr, Ohio University Coach Jim Snyder said simply, “deflate the ball.”
Also – on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history –
March 8, 1947 – Back from the war, Moose Krause sees his first post-war Irish team finish 20-4 with a 73-68 victory at Marquette. The NCAA Tournament extends a bid but the Irish decline, just as in 1943, citing the school’s ban on postseason play.
March 8, 1969 – Carr is injured early in Notre Dame’s first round NCAA Tournament loss to Miami (Ohio), 63-60. The sophomore finishes with six points, his career low, in the defeat.
#87 (Wednesday, March 9, 2005)
Instant Classic – Return To Glory
by Lou Somogyi
The early 1960s marked the darkest days for both Notre Dame football and basketball. From 1960-63, the football team was 14-25 while basketball faltered with a 46-53 mark and three losing campaigns.
Finally the winds of change blew into South Bend in 1964 with energetic new coaches Ara Parseghian and John Dee. Parseghian displayed his Midas touch with a 9-0 start and No. 1 ranking before losing the season finale in the 11th hour at USC.
Likewise, Dee enjoyed first-year success in 1964-65, when seniors Walt Sahm, Ron Reed, Larry Sheffield and Jay Miller led the Irish into the 23-team NCAA Tournament.
But after the quartet graduated, the basketball cupboard was barren, a tangible result of inferior facilities that led to handcuffed recruiting. That weakness was demonstrated during the 1965-66 campaign with a 5-21 record, the worst in the program’s history.
Yet during those darkest days, Dee set the table for Notre Dame’s most prominent era in the national spotlight from 1973-81 under Richard “Digger” Phelps. The blueprint was three-fold:
â€¢ New and improved facilities. By the early 1960s, University executive vice president Rev. Edmund Joyce, C.S.C., and athletics director Moose Krause began plans for the construction of the Athletic and Convocation Center. President Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., approved the plan with two stipulations: the funds had to be raised outside the University, and the cost could not exceed that of the new Memorial Library, dedicated in 1962. The Fieldhouse could shoehorn in only about 6,000 people–mostly the non-paying students–so prominent opponents became more reluctant to schedule outings there because of sub-par payouts. Consequently, most of Notre Dame’s contests were on the road. Marquee games versus Illinois were moved to Chicago Stadium, while the Kentucky game became a permanent fixture in Louisville.
â€¢ National scheduling. The recruiting budget was expanded to stretch beyond Chicago and Indiana. Thus, the schedule added national powers such as South Carolina, Villanova and Houston. UCLA also became a regular on the slate in 1966.
â€¢ Upgraded recruiting. The 1950s saw the emergence of dominant African-American players such as Elgin Baylor (Seattle), Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas), Bill Russell (San Francisco) and Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati). Although Notre Dame had Tom Hawkins (1956-59) and Sheffield (1962-65), the breakthrough occurred under Dee with the aid of bank executive Frannie Collins, who befriended Dee while serving with him in World War II.
The Washington, D.C., pipeline from 1965-80 began with Bob Whitmore (DeMatha) and continued with Austin Carr (Mackin), Collis Jones (St. John’s), Sid Catlett (DeMatha), Adrian Dantley (DeMatha), Don Williams (Mackin), Tracy Jackson (Paint Branch) and Tom Sluby (Gonzaga).
Dee’s East Coast gold mine also included New Jersey’s John Shumate (1970) and Gary Brokaw (1971) and Pittsburgh’s Dwight Clay (1971).
With improved resources, Dee led the Irish to a 21-9 record and third-place finish in the 1968 NIT, a 20-7 mark and NCAA Tournament bid in 1969, and a 21-8 record and final top 10 ranking in 1970.
Still missing was a victory to capture the nation’s imagination. It finally occurred on Jan. 23, 1971, with an 89-82 triumph against No. 1 UCLA.
From 1961 through 1969, Notre Dame was 3-16 against the AP’s Top 10. During Carr’s junior season in 1969-70, the pendulum began to swing Notre Dame’s way with victories against No. 3 West Virginia (84-80), No. 10 Illinois (86-83) and No. 9 Marquette (96-95 in double overtime).
But it was the 1971 nationally televised showdown with UCLA that showcased national player of the year Carr and the nouveau riche program. Whereas Notre Dame was never ahead until the final 29 seconds in the more famous 1974 contest with the Bruins, the Irish never trailed UCLA in 1971, jumping to a 10-3 lead and holding a 43-38 halftime advantage.
Carr is hoisted up by the Notre Dame student body to cut downt the net after the thrilling victory over UCLA in 1971.
After UCLA tied the score at 47 with 16:30 left, Carr staged the greatest individual performance against a Wooden team, finishing with 46 points (including 15 of the team’s last 17) on 17-of-30 shooting from the floor and 12-of-16 from the foul line. Collis Jones added 19 points and 14 rebounds.
In 25 games as a junior and senior at the ACC, Carr averaged 40.4 points while shooting 55.9 percent from the field. Four times he tallied more than 50 points in the ACC, but none of his performances was as memorable as the one against the Bruins. At the final buzzer, the student body and fans stormed the court and hoisted Carr to cut the nets, a scene captured in Sports Illustrated.
It would become an even more familiar ritual in the next decade under Phelps, whose 1971 Fordham Rams upset Dee’s Irish (94-88) on Feb. 18. Phelps was hired by the Irish on May 4 that year to replace Dee, who had become a victim of his own success when the Irish failed to advance beyond the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Nevertheless, the path was made straight for a new decade of Notre Dame basketball excellence in the national spotlight.
#88 (Thursday, March 10, 2005)
They Said It
Reflections of Notre Dame basketball by Austin Carr…
When I was a senior at Mackin High School in Washington, D.C., I received scholarship offers from just about all the major basketball powers in the country. But I narrowed my decision to Notre Dame and North Carolina.
I was impressed with Dean Smith and his program. Another selling point was the possibility of playing in the same backcourt with Charlie Scott, who was one year ahead of me and was the first African-American basketball player at North Carolina. I would have been the second.
People asked me, “Why are you thinking about going to a football school?” Notre Dame had just won the college football national championship in the fall of 1966, my senior year of high school, but that didn’t bother me. I was a football fan and knew about Notre Dame’s tradition.
The fact is, Notre Dame also had a basketball tradition. That tradition dated to Moose Krause and continued with Tom Hawkins in the 1950s and then to Bob Whitmore, who had played just two years ahead of me at DeMatha in Washington, D.C., under Morgan Wootten.
I wanted to go to a school where I could set a foundation for a great tradition. When I took my visit to Notre Dame, I fell in love with the campus. Although I knew Notre Dame wanted me, I wasn’t treated with any grand fanfare. I stayed in Whitmore’s dorm room and I remember sleeping in a chair over the weekend.
Bob’s presence had a big impact on my decision to come to Notre Dame. He had been a legend in Washington, D.C. and to play with him at Notre Dame, even for just one year on the varsity team, was something I really wanted to do.
Carr, shown here during a recent visit to the Joyce Center, has fond memories of his career at Notre Dame.
Johnny Dee was recruiting Collis Jones and Sid Catlett, who were also from Washington, D.C. We knew each other from high school basketball, so together we thought we could make a difference.
Another factor in my decision was the building of the Athletic and Convocation Center, now the Joyce Center. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Fieldhouse. When I played there my freshman year it had meaning to me because it had character and tradition. And I loved shooting in that place. I had 52 points in a freshman game against Michigan State–one of the best games I ever played at Notre Dame.
But the thought of playing in a beautiful new building with all the modern conveniences was intriguing. You see so many programs today building new facilities in college athletics. It’s like an arms race, and I can see why they do it. The building of the ACC had an effect on me.
Before I had played a game at Notre Dame, Sid, Collis and I met with Father Theodore Hesburgh and Father Edmund Joyce. I will never forget that meeting. When I shook Father Joyce’s hand I thought he was going to break it. Father Hesburgh said, “Remember, gentlemen, at Notre Dame you are a student-athlete.”
That first meeting with both priests had a lasting impression on me. The importance of getting a Notre Dame degree was stressed from Day One. I came away from that meeting feeling that these men cared about me outside of basketball and that they would be like parents away from home.
When I look back at that today, it makes me think of how many university presidents have such a close relationship with their athletes. I wasn’t alone. I am sure Joe Theismann and many of the Notre Dame football players of that era would say the same thing.
Mike DeCicco, our academic advisor and the Notre Dame fencing coach, could be added to that group as well. When I lacked confidence academically, Coach DeCicco was always there to put me in the right direction.
I had a very rewarding career at Notre Dame. I played 74 games for the varsity team (freshmen weren’t eligible in 1967-68), but two stand out.
My junior year we were playing Ohio University in the NCAA Tournament in Dayton, Ohio. We had lost in the first round the year before to Miami (Ohio), a game in which I suffered a broken foot and played just a few minutes. So when we faced Ohio University, I wanted to make amends for our frustrating loss the previous year.
We didn’t get off to a great start as a team, and I didn’t individually from a defensive standpoint. Ohio had a player named John Canine who made his first six shots against me. Coach Dee called a timeout and asked me if I was ever going to stop him.
When Coach Dee called me out in front of the team, that got my attention. I turned it up on defense and then started hitting shots from everywhere. I was in The Zone, before anyone used that expression.
I didn’t know it at the time, but Roger Valdiserri, our sports information director (and a great friend to this day), went to Johnny Dee in the closing minutes when I had 55 points to tell him I was close to Bill Bradley’s NCAA Tournament record of 58 points. We were up by 30, but Coach Dee let me stay in the game to get the record.
The way teams play today, that record might stand for a while. It is a record I am proud of because it comes up every year during March Madness. But I have my coaches and teammates to thank for that record, especially Jackie Meehan, who had 17 assists in that game–and most of those passes were to me.
The other game in my career that stands out is the win over UCLA on Jan. 23, 1971, the front-end loss of UCLA’s 88-game winning streak. Of course, three years later Digger Phelps had the victory at the other end of the streak.
We were struggling coming into that game, having lost two of our last three, including an overtime loss at Duquesne in the most recent game. We had a team meeting the night before and we talked about what we needed to do to beat the Bruins, who had won four straight national championships.
We jumped out 10-3 and the crowd never let up. John Pleick, Sid Catlett, Collis Jones and Jackie Meehan all stepped up their games and we built a 13-point lead early. A key to that game was our ability to break their press. Coach Dee did something different in that he put me in the middle to break the press. That allowed me to take the ball up the middle and have more driving opportunities.
UCLA never left that press, and we never had to run many set plays because of it. Coach John Wooden always played a man-to-man defense, which I liked. Four different players guarded me during that game and the final opponent was Sidney Wicks, who was an All-American and future star in the NBA. In the closing minutes I took him to the basket and had a layup that clinched the game (an 89-82 victory ). I remember him looking at Wooden and saying, “I told you not to put me on him!”
After the game the Notre Dame student body lifted me on their shoulders and we cut down the nets at the Convocation Center. It was the first time Notre Dame had beaten the top-ranked team at home and the first time, to my knowledge, anyone had cut down the nets. I will never forget that moment because that day I felt I had helped put Notre Dame basketball on the map. It would be UCLA’s only loss of the year and they would go on to win the national championship.
Notre Dame certainly prepared me for life after college because it is such a national school with all nationalities represented. My experience at Notre Dame taught me to be responsible, but also to take pride in who and what you are. At Notre Dame I was around so many people who strove for greatness. When you are around successful people, it carries over to your own work ethic and self esteem.
I remember going with Digger Phelps to Adrian Dantley’s home in Washington, D.C., in 1973. I hope I had a positive effect on Adrian’s decision to come to Notre Dame, because he certainly had a terrific career.
I would do anything to help Notre Dame to this day. Once a Domer, always a Domer.
Also – on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history –
March 10, 1936 – Notre Dame’s first “point-a-minute” team finishes with a 42.1 points per game average after a 51-28 victory at Detroit. Notre Dame is later declared the Helms Foundation national champion. Sophomore John Moir, who averages 11.2 points per contest, is named Player of the Year by the Helms Foundation.
March 10, 1953 – Lifting its ban on NCAA Tournament play because of the proximity of venues, #17 Notre Dame hammers Eastern Kentucky, 72-57, at the Fort Wayne Coliseum in its postseason debut. The Irish lose in the Elite Eight to the eventual champion, Indiana, who is spearheaded by All-American Don Schlundt;s 41 points.
#89 (Friday, March 11, 2005)
Austin Carr – by the numbers
To fully appreciate Carr’s career at Notre Dame, perhaps it is better to just look at the mind-boggling numbers he put up:
2,560 – points scored in three seasons
1,017 – field goals made
.528 – career shooting percentage
70 – of 74 career games at Notre Dame scoring over 20 points
61 – points scored against Ohio University in the 1970 NCAA Tournament (NCAA record)
58 – consecutive games scoring at least 20 points during his junior and senior seasons
55 – of 58 games converting double-digit field goals to end his career
41.3 – career scoring average in the NCAA Tournament (NCAA record)
34.6 – career scoring average
38.1 – scoring average in 1969-70
37.9 – scoring average in 1970-71
23 – times scoring over 40 points in a game
22 – double-doubles attained as a guard
3 – of the top five scoring performances in NCAA Tournament history were posted by Carr 2 – games during his career not scoring in double figures, the first coming on Feb. 11, 1969, the first game back after suffering a broken foot in practice, the second was the NCAA Tournament game of March 8 when he re-broke the foot
Carr posted 2,560 points during his Notre Dame career – a scoring mark that might never be approached again.
Also – some of Carr’s NBA numbers:
10,473 – points scored during his NBA career
21.2– scoring average his rookie season in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers
1– NBA draft selection – picked first overall in 1971 by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Also – on this date in Notre Dame basketball history (including dates which fall over the upcoming weekend) –
March 11, 1938 – The greatest three-year basketball era in school history concludes with a 45-31 victory at Detroit. Led by three-time consensus All-Americans John Moir and Paul Nowak, as well as two-time captain Ray Meyer, the Irish finish 62-8-1 (.880) – including 3-0 vs. Kentucky – and capture one national title.
The Irish decline a bid to the first-year, six-team National Invitational Tournament (NIT), whose goal is to feature the three best teams from New York City and three best in the nation. The policy is consistent with Notre Dame’s ban on postseason action.
March 11, 1963 – In what would be his final NCAA Tournament game, John Jordan’s Notre Dame unit loses a first-round clash at Evanston, Ill., to Bowling Green, 77-72. Jordan’s 8-6 NCAA Tournament record in six appearances is the best winning percentage among Irish coaches who have been to the Big Dance.
March 12, 1942 – Because of George Keogan’s health problems, Ray Meyer serves as Notre Dame’s “road coach” in nine of the 10 away contests in 1942. The Irish are 4-5 in those games, the last a 43-41 victory at Detroit. Meyer is hired soon afterwards as head coach of DePaul – a title he would hold for the next 42 seasons. To replace Meyer, Moose Krause comes back home to serve as an assistant in both football and basketball.
March 12, 1954 – Led by Dick Rosenthal’s 25 points and 15 rebounds, Notre Dame stuns #1 and defending national champion Indiana in the Sweet 16, 65-64, become the odds-on favorite to win the national title. Alas, the following day they lose to Penn State, 71-63, snapping the 18-game Irish win streak and ending the season with a 22-3 ledger. Rosenthal becomes the first Notre Dame player to average 20 points per game (finishing with 20.2) in a season.
March 12, 1957 – Led by sophomore sensation Tommy Hawkins, senior center John Smyth and 5-7 point guard Gene Duffy, head coach John Jordan takes the Irish into the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five seasons. The #17 Irish defeat MAC champ Miami (Ohio) in the first round, 89-77, before losing three days later to Michigan State, 85-83.
March 12, 1958 –For the third time in six years, John Jordan leads the Irish into the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. After defeating Indiana 94-87, in Lexington, Ky., Notre Dame loses the following night to eventual national champion Kentucky on its home floor, 89-56, ending Notre Dame’s season with a 24-5 mark.
March 13, 1976 – Toby Knight’s tip-in basketball at the final buzzer lifts Notre Dame to a 79-78 victory against Cincinnati in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Lawrence, Kan. It is the lone NCAA Tournament game in Irish annals that was won as time expired.
#90 (Monday, March 14, 2005)
Legend of the Hardwood – Dick Rosenthal