1972 College Basketball Recap

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Final AP Top 20

Major Conference Champions

NCAA Tournament (25 teams)

NIT Tournament (16 teams)

Player of the Year

Coach of the Year

Consensus All-America

Only one man has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame twice—John Wooden.

He was enshrined the first time in 1960 when he was cited for his accomplishments as a star guard at Purdue from 1930–32. Wooden captained the Boilermakers his junior and senior years and was Player of the Year in 1932, the school's only national championship season.

In 1972 he was honored again, this time for his coaching achievements at UCLA. Ordinarily, Halls of Fame wait until an all-time great has retired before they hand him a plaque, but Wooden's eight NCAA championships were anything but ordinary, so they elevated the Wizard of Westwood now.

And he wasn't finished yet. Not with the arrival of Bill Walton. In '72, UCLA went 30–0 and posted an average winning margin of 33 points. Both Walton and Wooden were everybody's picks for Player and Coach of the Year.

Meanwhile in Kentucky, Adolph Rupp, the only other coach to win as many as four NCAA titles, retired after 41 years and 875 wins.

The low point of the year in amateur basketball came during the Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, where the unbeaten United States team, (62–0) lost for the first time ever in a controversial gold medal final agasint the Soviet Union. The Russians were given three chances to win the game in the final seconds and finally won, 51–50. The Americans refused to accept the silver medal.

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