1967 College Basketball Recap
Enter Lew Alcindor.
In 1966, UCLA was the defending NCAA champion but while the Bruins may have been No.1 in the country, they were No.2 on campus. The freshman team was better and beat the varsity 75–60 to prove it. A year later, those frosh were sophomores and they beat everyone in sight. Thirty and oh. At the NCAA tourney in Louisville, they won by margins of 49, 16, 15 and 15—the last against Dayton in the title game.
Alcindor, the 7-foot New Yorker who would later become one of the greatest pro basketball players ever as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, dominated the college game as his future pro colleagues Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain had done. He was easily the best player of the year and the tournament.
Back in New York, the NIT said goodbye to the only home it had ever known—the old Madison Square Garden on 50th Street. Future N.Y. Knick guard Walt Frazier and Southern Illinois won the finale, beating ex-Knick Al McGuire and his Marquette five, 71–56. The NIT would open shop at the new Garden on 33rd Street in 1968.