Friday, March 21, 2014

UCLA Bruins End Perfect Season

On March 21, 1964, the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team beat Duke by a score of 98-83 to win the NCAA Division I championship, and complete their perfect 30-0 season.

John Wooden (center) with the 1964 NCAA Champions UCLA Bruins.

At the time, the Bruins became only the forth team in NCAA men’s basketball history to record a perfect season.  The other three were the 1953-54 Kentucky Wildcats, the 1955-56 San Francisco Dons and the 1956-57 North Carolina Tar Heels.  The win was just the start of head coach John Wooden’s wonderful run at UCLA that would see him win 10 NCAA championships over the next 12 years, and earn the nickname as “The Wizard at Westwood.”

Since the Bruins’ perfect 1963-64 season, five more teams have record undefeated seasons, however, three of those were UCLA teams from Wooden’s era.  The other two were recorded by North Carolina State in 1972-73 and Indiana in 1975-76.

UCLA has since gone on to win 10 more NCAA Tournaments including eight straight from 1967-1973, with their last win coming in 1995.

They were the NCAA Tournament runner up in 1980 and 2006. They reached the Final Four 18 times, including a 10-year span where they went every year; 1967-1976. Their last appearance came in 2011, when they were making their first appearance since consecutive appearances from 2006-2008. However, the UCLA Bruins are in the back in the mix again this year as they take on Tulsa tonight.

The Bruins have reached the NCAA Tournament 46 times since 1950, including 20 straight years from 1962-1981.