BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
March Madness will start this Thursday. Fifty years ago, March 13, 1971, it started with several teams playing and some with an open date.
Twenty five teams were invited to play. Today 64 play in the tournament.
It’s broken down by tournament and the four regional champions who made it to the final four. On March 4, 1971, in the East Regional, Villanova beat St. Joseph’s 93-75. On 3-18-71, Villanova beat #9 Fordham 85-75. On 3-20-71, they took down Penn 90-47.
The Mideast Regional Champions were Western Kentucky (WKU). On 3-13-71, WKU beat Jacksonville 74-72. On 3-18-71, WKU scorched Kentucky 107-83. On 3-20-71, WKU beat Ohio State 81-78.
The Midwest Champion was Kansas. On 3-18-71, Kansas beat #14 Houston 78-77. On 3-20-71 Kansas beat #18 Drake 73-71.
The West Champion was UCLA. On 3-18-71, they beat BYU 91-73. On 3-20-71, they took down #16 Long Beach State 57-55.
In the semifinals on 3-25-71, UCLA (West) beat Kansas (Midwest) 68-60. Villanova (East) beat WKU (Mideast) 92-89. In the third place game WKU beat Kansas 77-75.
In the championship game UCLA beat VILLANOVA 68-62. UCLA won its 5th National Championship in a row.
They won 15 games in a row, which was the start of their 88 game win streak.