Archive for Friday, March 29, 2002

Final Four history

March 29, 2002


Here's a recap of the Jayhawks' 10 trips to the Final Four.


KU finished the regular season with a 19-6 record and tied Missouri and Oklahoma for first place in the Big Six at 8-2. In the Western Regional in Kansas City, the Jayhawks beat Rice and Southern Cal to make it to the NCAA final, where they lost to Indiana, 60-42.

KU had three all-conference players  Bob Allen, son of head coach Phog Allen; Ralph Miller, who went on to a long and distinguished coaching career at Wichita State and Oregon State; and Howard Engleman, who wound up as the top scorer in the NCAA tournament that year and who would become an All-American in 1941.


Kansas claimed sole possession of the Big Seven crown with an 11-1 record. Under Allen  he was in his 32nd season as KU head coach  and led by Clyde Lovellette, the Jayhawks beat TCU and St. Louis in the Western Regionals in Kansas City and Santa Clara in the semifinals. KU then blasted St. John's, 80-63, to capture the school's first NCAA championship.

Lovellette, who is still the only man to lead the nation in scoring and his team to the national championship, and Bob Kenney were named all-conference. KU finished with a 28-3 record.


Phog Allen built a Big Seven champion around one returning starter, and after posting a 10-2 record in the league, the Jayhawks won the NCAA Midwest Regional in Manhattan with victories over Oklahoma City and Oklahoma State.

KU hammered Washington, 79-53, in the national semifinals, once again earning a chance to play Indiana for the title. This time, the Hoosiers won, 69-68. KU concluded the season 19-6.

B.H. Born, who was voted the most outstanding performer in the Final Four, led Kansas and the conference in scoring, averaging 22.6 a game. Born and Allen Kelley were all-Big Seven selections.


Phog Allen retired as the Jayhawks' head coach following the 1955-56 season, and assistant Dick Harp inherited the job. Harp also inherited a 7-foot-1 sophomore named Wilt Chamberlain. The two led KU to the Big Seven title with an 11-1 record.

The NCAA tournament proved a tougher road. KU was assigned to the Midwest Regional in Dallas, where it beat Southern Methodist and Oklahoma City to make the Final Four. In Kansas City, KU cruised by San Francisco in the semifinal, but lost to North Carolina in three overtimes, 54-53, in the title contest.

The Jayhawks ended the season at 24-3. Pacing Kansas, along with Chamberlain, who was the Big Seven scoring champion and the NCAA tournament's outstanding performer, were Gene Elstun, Maurice King, Ron Loneski and John Parker. Chamberlain and Elstun were named all-Big Seven.


In his seventh year as the Jayhawks' coach, Ted Owens guided his team to a perfect 14-0 Big Eight record, a feat not accomplished again until 1994, when Missouri became just the third team ever to skate through the conference unscathed.

The Jayhawks beat Houston and Drake in the Midwest Regional in Wichita.

At the Final Four in the Astrodome in Houston, KU fell to John Wooden-coached UCLA, 68-60, in the semifinals, then fell to Western Kentucky, 77-75, in the third-place game.

Team leaders were Dave Robisch, Bud Stallworth, Roger Brown, Pierre Russell and Aubrey Nash. Robisch and Stallworth were all-Big Eighters.


As usual, Kansas' trip to the Final Four was preceded by a conference championship, earned with a 13-1 record. KU entered the postseason 21-5 and downed Creighton and Oral Roberts in the Midwest Regional on the ORU campus.

The Jayhawks lost in the semifinals again, 64-51, to Marquette, then fell to Bill Walton and UCLA in the consolation game.

Five players  Danny Knight, Roger Morningstar, Dale Greenlee, Norm Cook and Rick Suttle  averaged double figures for Kansas. Point guard Tom Kivisto was selected all-Big Eight.


A season that will be remembered for its school-record 35 wins, its Big Eight championship and its Final Four appearance will also be remembered for a 71-67 loss to Duke in the semifinals at Reunion Arena in Dallas.

Coached by Larry Brown, KU, the top seed in the Midwest Regional, steamrolled North Carolina A&T; and Temple, survived an overtime game against Michigan State and downed North Carolina State in the regional final.

Featured were three seniors  Ron Kellogg, Greg Dreiling and Calvin Thompson  each of whom scored over 1,000 points in his career. Cedric Hunter, a junior in 1985-86, went on to set the Big Eight assist record. Sophomore forward Danny Manning was voted Big Eight player of the year.


Behind senior Danny Manning, the most decorated player in school history, Kansas won its first national title in 36 years.

Manning, the Big Eight's all-time leading scorer, led the Jayhawks through a rollercoaster year to the sixth seed in the Midwest Regional. Benefiting from a string of upsets, KU maneuvered past Xavier, Murray State, Vanderbilt and Kansas State to make it the Final Four at Kansas City's Kemper Arena. There, the Jayhawks beat Duke in the semis and outlasted Oklahoma, 83-79, in the national championship game.

Manning was named national college player of the year, NCAA tournament MVP and was a three-time Big Eight player of the year. He finished with NCAA records in games and double-figure scoring games and tournament scoring.


KU won a share of the Big Eight title and tied for the fourth-highest win total in school history with 27.

After beating New Orleans and Pittsburgh, KU ran the gantlet, beating No. 3 Indiana and No. 2 Arkansas to win the Southeast Regional in Charlotte, N.C., and toppling No. 4-ranked North Carolina to make the national championship game where KU lost to Duke, 72-65.

The Los Angeles Times named coach Roy Williams national coach of the year.


Big Eight champions for a third straight year, the Jayhawks entered the NCAA tourney as the third seed in the Midwest Regional.

Their first stop was the Rosemont Horizon, where they downed Ball State and Brigham Young. Then it was on to St. Louis Arena, where KU advanced with wins over California and Indiana.

Another Final Four, another matchup with North Carolina and Williams' mentor, Dean Smith. The Tar Heels ended Kansas' tournament run in the semifinals, 78-68, at the Superdome in New Orleans.

Five players  Rex Walters, Adonis Jordan, Eric Pauley, Richard Scott and Steve Woodberry  averaged double figures for KU.

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