As college basketball fans everywhere prepare for the long and winding road to the Final Four, there is no better time than the present to pay homage to the past with a look at some of the jerseys worn by the hardwood heroes whose stars shone brightest in March. Less than 24 hours removed from Selection Sunday, and with the Big Dance getting underway with tomorrow night’s opening round game, it’s time to stock up on some throwbacks to fill your closet between now and the tourney’s last stop at the National Championship game in Indianapolis on April 5. Enjoy the nostalgia and get pumped for the madness.
Larry Bird – 1979 Indiana State University
Before he was known as “Larry Legend,” senior forward Larry Bird led Indiana State to the NCAA championship game in 1979, his senior season, only to lose to the Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans. Larry orchestrated a magical, Cinderella 33-1 season for the underdog Sycamores earning the USBWA College Player of the Year, Naismith and Wooden Awards, given to the year’s top male college basketball player, in the process.
Bill Walton – 1973 UCLA
Bill “Big Red” Walton played college basketball for John Wooden at the UCLA from 1971 to 1974, winning the national championship in 1972 over Florida State and again in 1973 with an 87-66 win over Memphis State in which Walton made an impressive 21 of 22 field goal attempts and scored 44 points. Some regard this as the greatest offensive performance in NCAA basketball history. The Walton-led 1971-72 UCLA basketball team had a record of 30-0, in the process winning its games by an average margin of more than 30 points. He was the backbone of two consecutive 30-0 seasons and was also part of UCLA’s NCAA record 88 game winning streak.
Patrick Ewing – 1985 Georgetown (oversized, sweaty undershirt not included)
Prior to becoming the most decorated player in New York Knicks history, Ewing was one of the most highly touted college ballers ever, playing for Coach John Thompson at Georgetown University. Patrick led the Hoya Destroyas to the 1983-84 NCAA title with an 84-75 win over Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler of Houston’s Phi Slama Jama. Ewing was arguable of the best college basketball players of his era, as Georgetown reached the championship game of the NCAA tournament three out of four years.
Pete Maravich – 1969 LSU
In his first game on the LSU freshman team, “Pistol” Pete Maravich put up 50 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists against Southeastern Louisiana College, the rest was basketball history. In only three years playing for his father at LSU, Maravich scored 3,667 points — 1,138 points in 1968, 1,148 points in 1969 and 1,381 points in 1970 while averaging 43.8, 44.2 and 44.5 points per game. In his collegiate career, the 6′ 5″ guard averaged an incredible 44.2 points per game in 83 contests and led the NCAA in scoring in each of his three seasons.
On Wednesday, The Campus Socialite will have some more classic throwbacks to bring you back down memory lane.