1955 College Basketball Recap
After opening the 1954?55 campaign with two quick wins, San Francisco lost its third game to UCLA (47?40, in Westwood) before running off 21 consecutive victories to finish the regular season first in the AP poll.
Led by guard K.C. Jones and center Bill Russell, the Dons edged PCC champ Oregon State, 57?56, in the West Regional final at Corvallis, Ore., then went on to meet Tom Gola and defending champion La Salle in the NCAA championship game in Kansas City. In a surprise move, USF coach Phil Woolpert assigned the 6-1 Jones to cover the 6-7 Gola and K.C. outscored UPI's first Player of the Year, 24?16. Russell, meanwhile, scored 23 and pulled down 25 rebounds as the Dons beat the third-ranked Explorers easily, 77?63, to end the year at 28?1.
No.2 Kentucky entered the NCAA tournament at 22?2, but was an eight point loser to Marquette in the semifinals of the East Regional. ACC champ North Carolina State, 28?4 and fourth in the final AP poll, was on probation for a year (recruiting violations) and ineligible for the NCAAs.
Sixth-ranked Duquesne, paced by first team All-Americans Si Green and Dick Ricketts, captured its first NIT in eight tries.