On This Day: John Wooden and UCLA win their fifth consecutive national title
With the NBA, MLB, NHL and other major sports leagues and sporting events suspended or canceled, on a daily basis, we will revisit some of the most unforgettable games and sports moments in history. Welcome to On This Day.
March’s greatest champion is John Wooden – and he’s arguably the greatest champion in sports history.
The legendary UCLA Bruins coach, who won 10 NCAA championships, is effectively known as the “Wizard of Westwood.”
And on this day 49 years ago, John Wooden and the Bruins captured title No. 7.
Wooden won his first NCAA title in the 1963-64 season, with the Bruins finishing undefeated on the season and beginning an unprecedented run of success.
From 1966-1973, the Bruins won seven consecutive championships and lost a total of five games in the process.
Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – known as Lew Alcindor during his 4-year UCLA career – are Wooden’s most famous Bruins, but the 1970-71 squad featured neither of the legendary big men.
The star of this squad was Los Angeles native Sidney Wicks.
And while he might be lesser known to the younger generation of basketball followers, his resume speaks loud and clear.
Interestingly enough, Wicks and his legendary coach didn’t always see eye-to-eye, even though their differences never stopped the Bruins from winning.
In the 1971 Final Four, the Bruins defeated Kansas, 68-60, before advancing to the National Title game to take on Villanova.
UCLA defeated the Wildcats, 68-62.