1980 College Basketball Recap
Denny Crum played for John Wooden at UCLA in the late 1950s and served as the Wizard's top assistant and chief recruiter from 1967?70. Then, after four NCAA championships, Crum left to coach Louisville in 1970?71.
In 1972 and again in '75, Crum got the Cardinals into the Final Four and both times lost to Wooden and the Bruins in the semifinals. In 1980, Crum & Co. returned to the Big Dance, beat Iowa in the semifinals and met UCLA (who else?) for the championship.
But Larry Brown was coaching the Bruins now. So with Wooden gone and Darrell Griffith (23 points) and Rodney McCray (11 boards) leading Louisville's Doctors of Dunk, Crum won his first NCAA title as head man.
Player of the Year Mark Aguirre and No.1 DePaul were eliminated by UCLA in the second round of the West Regional.
The NCAA tournament field, which expanded from 32 to 40 teams in 1979, grew to 48 in 1980 (24 automatic qualifiers and 24 at-large teams). The NIT, meanwhile, kept pace, adding 16 teams for a total of 32. In other words, 80 Division I teams now had a shot at a postseason tournament?double the number of berths available just 10 years ago.