Alex John Groza was an American professional basketball player from Martins Ferry, Ohio, banned from the National Basketball Association for life in 1951 for point shaving. This scandal was the CCNY point shaving scandal, he had an outstanding college career at the University of Kentucky and was a two-time All-NBA player for the Indianapolis Olympians before his career came to an abrupt end. Groza grew up in Martins Ferry and attended Martins Ferry High School, he was the brother of future Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Lou Groza. Alex Groza led the Purple Riders to two undefeated regular seasons and to the Ohio state tournament both years, as Martins Ferry finished 24-1 in 1943 and 26-1 in 1944. In 1944, he scored 628 points, including 41 in one game, was named first-team All-Ohio. Groza was the captain and center of the "Fabulous Five" that won the 1948 and 1949 NCAA Men's Basketball Championships, as well as the leading scorer on the gold medal-winning 1948 US Olympic basketball team. Groza was three-time All-American and All-SEC, two-time NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Groza was drafted in the 1st round of the 1949 NBA Draft by the Indianapolis Olympians. Groza was named NBA Rookie of the Year; because the award was selected by newspaper writers at the time, the NBA does not recognize Groza having won the award. He averaged 22.5 points per game over two seasons before being implicated along with college teammates Ralph Beard and Dale Barnstable in a point shaving scandal during the 1948–49 season at Kentucky. NBA president Maurice Podoloff banned all of the implicated players from the league for life; as a result of this ban, Groza became the first player in NBA history to end his career with a season in which he averaged at least 20 points per game. In NBA history, only three players have had higher scoring averages in their final NBA seasons: Bob Pettit, Paul Arizin, Dražen Petrović. After his playing career ended, Groza became the coach of Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1963, Groza led the Knights to a Kentucky Intercolliegiate Athletic Conference title and was named KIAC coach of the year.
Groza left Bellarmine in 1966 for a brief coaching and managerial career in the American Basketball Association. Between 1971 and 1975, Groza coached 40 games with the Kentucky Colonels and San Diego Conquistadors and held a number of front office positions, including becoming the Kentucky Colonels' business manager in 1969 and general manager of the San Diego Conquistadors in 1972. Groza was 2-0 as coach of the Colonels but 15-23 as coach of the Conquistadors, putting his career coaching record at 17-23. Groza served as general manager of the San Diego Conquistadors beginning in 1972 until taking over as the team's coach in 1974, replacing Wilt Chamberlain. In 1975 Groza became director of player development for the San Diego Sails of the ABA. After the team moved to Houston, Groza remained in San Diego, working as a sales manager for Reynolds International until his death. Alex Groza died of cancer in 1995 at age 68, he was survived by his wife of 42 years, Jean Groza, two sons, two daughters, two grandchildren.
Groza led the league in field goal percentage in 1950. Alex Groza was the brother of football Hall of Famer Lou Groza. Groza's nickname was "The Beak". Alex Groza Info Page at NBA.com Alex Groza Player Statistics at Basketball-Reference.com Alex Groza Coach Statistics at Basketball-Reference.com Alex Groza – UK Career Statistics and Biography "Alex Groza, Basketball Star For Kentucky, Is Dead at 68", The New York Times, January 23, 1995 "Alex Groza". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 3, 2010
Wilton Norman Chamberlain was an American basketball player who played as a center and is considered one of the greatest players in history. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, he played for the University of Kansas and for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA. Chamberlain stood 7 ft 1 in tall, weighed 250 pounds as a rookie before bulking up to 275 and to over 300 pounds with the Lakers. Chamberlain holds numerous NBA records in scoring and durability categories, he is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He won seven scoring, eleven rebounding, nine field goal percentage titles and led the league in assists once. Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season, which he accomplished seven times, he is the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career.
Although he suffered a long string of losses in the playoffs, Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, was selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. He was subsequently enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, in 1996 he was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Chamberlain was known by several nicknames during his basketball playing career, he hated the ones that called attention to his height, such as "Goliath" and "Wilt the Stilt". A Philadelphia sportswriter coined the nicknames during Chamberlain's high school days, he preferred "The Big Dipper", inspired by his friends who saw him dip his head as he walked through doorways. After his professional basketball career ended, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association, was president of that organization, is enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions.
He was a successful businessman, authored several books, appeared in the movie Conan the Destroyer. He was a lifelong bachelor and became notorious for his claim of having had sexual relations with as many as 20,000 women. Chamberlain was born in 1936 in Philadelphia, into a family of nine children, the son of Olivia Ruth Johnson, a domestic worker and homemaker, William Chamberlain, a welder and handyman, he was a frail child, nearly dying of pneumonia in his early years and missing a whole year of school as a result. In his early years Chamberlain was not interested in basketball, because he thought it was "a game for sissies". Instead, he was an avid track and field athlete: as a youth, he high jumped 6 feet, 6 inches, ran the 440 yards in 49.0 seconds and the 880 yards in 1:58.3, put the shot 53 feet, 4 inches, long jumped 22 feet. But according to Chamberlain, "basketball was king in Philadelphia", so he turned to the sport; because Chamberlain was a tall child measuring 6 ft 0 in at age 10 and 6 ft 11 in when he entered Philadelphia's Overbrook High School, he had a natural advantage against his peers.
According to ESPN journalist Hal Bock, Chamberlain was "scary, flat-out frightening... before he came along, most basketball players were mortal-sized men. Chamberlain changed that." It was in this period of his life when his three lifelong nicknames "Wilt the Stilt", "Goliath", his favorite, "The Big Dipper", were born. As the star player for the Overbrook Panthers, Chamberlain averaged 31 points a game during the 1953 high school season and led his team to a 71–62 win over Northeast High School, who had Guy Rodgers, Chamberlain's future NBA teammate, he scored 34 points as Overbrook won the Public League title and gained a berth in the Philadelphia city championship game against the winner of the rival Catholic league, West Catholic. In that game, West Catholic quadruple-teamed Chamberlain the entire game, despite the center's 29 points, the Panthers lost 54–42. In his second Overbrook season, he continued his prolific scoring when he tallied a high school record 71 points against Roxborough.
The Panthers comfortably won the Public League title after again beating Northeast in which Chamberlain scored 40 points, won the city title by defeating South Catholic 74–50. He led Overbrook to a 19 -- 0 season. During summer vacations, he worked as a bellhop in Kutsher's Hotel. Subsequently, owners Milton and Helen Kutsher kept up a lifelong friendship with Wilt, according to their son Mark, "They were his second set of parents." Red Auerbach, the coach of the Boston Celtics, spotted the talented teenager at Kutscher's and had him play 1-on-1 against University of Kansas standout and national champion, B. H. Born, elected the Most Outstanding Player of the 1953 NCAA Finals. Chamberlain won 25–10. In Chamberlain's third and final Overbrook season, he continued his high scoring, logging 74, 78 and 90 points in three consecutive games; the Panthers won the Public League a third time, beating West Philadelphia 78–60, in
Utah Utes men's basketball
The Utah Utes men's basketball team represents the University of Utah as an NCAA Division I program that plays in the Pac-12 Conference. They are led by head coach Larry Krystkowiak and play their home games at the Jon M. Huntsman Center; the school has made the NCAA Tournament 27 times, which ranks 20th in NCAA history and tied for third most appearances behind UCLA and the University of Arizona in the Western United States. They last made the tournament in 2016. Utah won the NCAA Championship in 1944, defeating Dartmouth College 42–40 for the school's only NCAA basketball championship. However, the school claims the 1916 AAU National Championship, awarded after winning the AAU national tournament, they have won the NIT once, defeating Kentucky in 1947. In 1998, the Utes played in the NCAA championship game. Utah began play in 1908, finishing with a record of 3–8. However, by 1916, they had won their first national championship, winning the National AAU Tournament; the team would compete in the tournament two other times, in 1918 and 1919.
But it wasn't until 1927 that Utah began laying the foundation for what would become one of the winningest programs in college basketball. That began with the hiring of Vadal Peterson, who would become the winningest coach in Utah basketball history. Peterson would guide Utah to 6 conference and state championships and reached the ultimate prize in 1944, when the Utes won the national championship. Oddly enough, Utah had turned down a bid to the NCAA Tournament because they wanted to play in the NIT. Back the NIT was a far more prestigious tournament and drew the big time college basketball programs. However, after being bounced in the first round by Kentucky, Utah was given a second chance to play in the NCAA Tournament; the Arkansas Razorbacks were forced to withdraw after two of their players were badly injured in a car accident. Needing another team to take the Razorbacks' place, the NCAA invited Utah; the Utes accepted and went on to defeat Dartmouth 42–40. The legendary Arnie Ferrin was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after scoring 28 points in the final two games.
Three years Peterson would lead Utah to the more prestigious NIT championship, as they defeated enough, Kentucky 49–45. Peterson would retire from Utah with a 385–230 record and is the only coach in Utah history to have won a national championship. After Peterson retired, Utah basketball was known as one of the strongest in the west; that tradition helped convince Kansas State head coach Jack Gardner to accept the job. Gardner had led the Wildcats to two Final Fours prior to accepting the job and during his 18 years at Utah, he built a legacy that many today feel is the strongest in Utah history. Jack Gardner was known for his quick offenses, where Utah got its name as the Runnin' Redskins; because of his radical offensive sets, the Utes were regarded as the team that helped usher in a new era of college basketball. By his second season, Gardner had the Utes in their first NCAA Tournament since the 1945 season and the Utes dominated their way to a conference championship. Finishing the year 24 -- 4, Utah was eliminated in the second round.
In Gardner's third season he once again guided the Utes to a conference championship and an NCAA tournament berth. That year the Utes climbed to 11th in the polls and made it to the Elite Eight, before bowing out to eventual champion San Francisco, led by future NBA legend and Hall of Famer Bill Russell; the Utes kept their postseason streak alive for Gardner's fourth and fifth seasons, making the NIT, they lost in the first round both years. In 1959, Utah again returned to the NCAA Tournament, before losing to Idaho State in the second round; the Utes would make the NCAA Tournament again in 1960, like in'59, were defeated in the second round, this time by USC. After getting eliminated in the second round in consecutive years, Jack Gardner and Utah made a run at the national championship in 1961; that year the Utes finished 23 -- 12 -- 2 in conference play. They were faced Loyola-California in the first round; the Utes won 91–75 and advanced to the Elite Eight, where they defeated Arizona State 88–80, to make the school's first Final Four in 17 years.
There they would face the eventual national champions Cincinnati Bearcats, losing 82–67. Though the season had ended short of the national championship, Utah had returned to the national stage and would prove to be a worthy national foe for years to come. A season after the 1961 Final Four ushered in great change for Utah athletics; the Utes, along with the Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, New Mexico, Wyoming decided to form the Western Athletic Conference. The competitive conference made it far more difficult for the Utes to win, as Gardner struggled in the first three years of the conference's formation. During that span the Utes would go 12–14, 19–9 and 17–9. However, by 1966 Utah was once again ready to make a national splash, after cruising to a conference championship and the program's first tournament berth since the 1961 season during that season. Utah faced Pacific in the semifinals. After a easy 83–74 victory over the Tigers, Utah advanced to the Elite Eight where they would face the Oregon State Beavers.
In a competitive game, the Utes came out on top, defeating the Beavers 70–64 to once again advance to the Final Four. This was a historical achievement for Jack Gardner, because it made him the first, only, coach to guide two different teams to two Final Fours, but it was the cultural significance of this Final Four that would have far reaching historical impact and change the game
James R. Hull was an American basketball forward who led the Ohio State Buckeyes to the championship game in the first-ever NCAA Basketball Tournament; the Buckeyes finished the season with a 16–7 record, lost to the Oregon Ducks in the finals. Hull was named the Most Outstanding Player of that first tournament. Hull was a two-year starter for the Buckeyes; as a senior and captain of the 1938–1939 team he was the leading scorer in the Big Ten Conference and was a consensus All-America selection. In 1977 Hull was inducted as a charter member of the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame, he has been inducted into the Rocky Mountain Orthodontics Dentist Athletic Hall of Fame
NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament known and branded as NCAA March Madness, is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States featuring 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, was the idea of Ohio State coach Harold Olsen. Played during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States; the tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences, 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the "First Four" play-in games held in Dayton and dubbed Selection Sunday; the 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination "bracket", which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next.
Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a "first four" consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the "Sweet Sixteen" and "Elite Eight" rounds the next week and weekend and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the "Final Four" round; the Final Four is played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region, compete in a preselected location for the national championship; the tournament has been at least televised since 1969. The games are broadcast by CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV under the trade-name NCAA March Madness. Since 2011, all games are available for viewing nationwide and internationally.
As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity. Millions of Americans fill out a bracket, attempting to predict the outcome of 63 games of the tournament. With 11 national titles, UCLA has the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; the University of Kentucky is second, with eight national titles. The University of North Carolina is third, with six national titles, Duke University and Indiana University are tied for fourth with five national titles; the University of Connecticut is sixth with four national titles. The University of Kansas & Villanova are tied for 7th with three national titles. Since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams, Duke has won five championships; the NCAA has changed the tournament format several times since its inception, most being an increase of the number of teams. This section describes the tournament as it has operated since 2011. A total of 68 teams qualify for the tournament played during April. Thirty-two teams earn automatic bids as their respective conference champions.
Of the 32 Division I "all-sports" conferences, all 32 hold championship tournaments to determine which team receives the automatic qualification. The Ivy League was the last Division I conference. If two or more Ivies shared a regular-season championship, a one-game playoff was used to decide the tournament participant. Since 2017, the league conducts their own postseason tournament; the remaining 36 tournament slots are granted to at-large bids, which are determined by the Selection Committee in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the First Four play-in tournament and dubbed Selection Sunday by the media and fans, by a group of conference commissioners and school athletic directors who are appointed into service by the NCAA. The committee determines where all sixty-eight teams are seeded and placed in the bracket; the tournament is divided into four regions and each region has at least sixteen teams, but four additional teams are added per the decision of the Selection Committee.
The committee is charged with making each of the four regions as close as possible in overall quality of teams from wherever they come from. The names of the regions vary from year to year, are broadly geographic. From 1957 to 1984, the "Mideast" corresponding to the Southeastern region of the United States, designation was used. From 1985 to 1997, the Mideast region was known as "Southeast" and again changed to "South" starting from 1998; the selected names correspond to the location of the four cities hosting the regional finals. From 2004 to 2006, the regions were named after their host cities, e.g. the Phoenix Regional in 2004, the Chicago Regional in 2005, the Minneapolis Regional in 2006, but reverted to the traditional geographic designations beginning in 2007. For example, during 2012, the regions were named South, Midwest (St. Louis, Mis
Ohio State Buckeyes men's basketball
The Ohio State men's basketball team represents Ohio State University in NCAA Division I college basketball competition. The Buckeyes are a member of the Big Ten Conference; the Buckeyes share a classic rivalry with the Michigan Wolverines, in which OSU has a 97–77 series lead. The Buckeyes play their home games at Value City Arena in the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus, which opened in 1998; the official capacity of the center is 19,200. Ohio State ranked 28th in the nation in average home attendance as of the 2016 season; the Buckeyes have won one national championship, been the National Runner-Up four times, appeared in 10 Final Fours, appeared in 27 NCAA Tournaments. Thad Matta was named the head coach of Ohio State in 2004 to replace coach Jim O'Brien, fired due to NCAA violations which cost Ohio State over 113 wins between 1998 and 2002. On June 5, 2017, after consecutive years of missing the NCAA Tournament, the school announced Matta would not return as head coach after 13 years and 337 wins at Ohio State.
On June 9, the school hired Butler head coach Chris Holtmann as head coach. The first basketball team at Ohio State University was formed in 1898, playing its first game against East High. Sparing success followed the Buckeyes throughout their time as an independent school. In 1912, some 13 years after forming their first basketball team, the Buckeyes joined the Big Nine Conference, which would be known as the Big Ten. At first, the Buckeyes were not able to mount a sustained run, never finishing higher than second in the conference standings. In 1923, Harold Olsen became head coach, launching the longest basketball coaching dynasty for OSU. Olsen began to see success with the Buckeyes' first conference championship during the 1922–1923 season; the Olsen era is highlighted by appearing in the final game for the first NCAA Championship Tournament in 1939, where the Buckeyes lost to Oregon 33–46. The Buckeyes would make three more Final Four appearances under Olsen, along with winning five Big Ten championships.
Following Olsen as head coach, Tippy Dye and Floyd Stahl led the Buckeyes. Not seeing the same amount of success as Olsen did and Stahl had one NCAA Tournament appearance between them. With the closing of the 1950s, the Ohio State basketball team was not considered a national powerhouse, but it continued to develop and led to the hiring of a man who would change basketball at Ohio State and bring it national fame. Of all Buckeye coaches, it was Fred Taylor. With the hiring of Taylor in 1958, not much was expected following an 11–11 record during the 1958–1959 season. However, in 1960, the second-year coach and All-American player Jerry Lucas led the Buckeyes to their first NCAA Championship Title, defeating California 75–55 in the final game; the 1960 season is the only NCAA Tournament championship. Taylor's team continued its dominance by being the runner-up the following two seasons, making a total of five tournament appearances during Taylor's 18 seasons tenure. With the departure of his championship team, Taylor began to see teams accustomed to Ohio State basketball of the past.
Taylor's last season at Ohio State in 1976 had the Buckeyes going 6–20, their worst record, only to be eclipsed by the team in 1995. Taylor achieved seven conference titles and an impressive overall winning percentage of over 65%. Past the Taylor era, Ohio State saw Eldon Miller, Gary Williams, Randy Ayers take the reins as head coach. Between 1976 and 1997, the Buckeyes made the NCAA bracket only eight times, while being crowned conference champions only twice. In 1997, Jim O'Brien was hired to replace head coach Randy Ayers. During his seven years as head coach, O'Brien drove the team to four 20+ win seasons, two Big Ten regular-season co-championships, the 2002 Big Ten Tournament Championship, a school record four-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Controversy erupted when Ohio State athletic director Andy Geiger fired O'Brien over alleged NCAA rules violations. A two-year NCAA investigation found that player Boban Savovic might have received improper benefits while he played for Ohio State.
On March 10, 2006, the NCAA gave Ohio State three years' probation and ordered it to pay back all tournament money earned from 1999–2002 when Boban Savovic was on the Buckeyes' roster. In addition, Ohio State was forced to remove all references to team accomplishments by the NCAA directorate from those years including a 1999 visit to the Final Four. Thad Matta, former head coach at Butler and Xavier, was hired by Ohio State in July 2004. During Matta's first season at Ohio State, the Buckeyes compiled a 20–12 record, highlighted by a win in the final game of the season over top-ranked Illinois, undefeated up until that game. Ohio State was defeated by Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, the team was ineligible for further postseason due to self-imposed sanctions related to Jim O'Brien's time at the school; the 2005–06 season opened with the Buckeyes 11–0 heading into Big Ten play. Ohio State ended the season with a 26–6 record and 12–4 record in conference, the Buckeyes' first outright Big Ten championship since the 1991–92 season.
Ohio State lost to Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament championship game, but received a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. After a first round win, the Buckeyes lost to No. 7 seed Georgetown 70–52 in the second round. Matta's 2006–07 Ohio State team entered the season with the second-rated recruiting class in the nation, headed by Greg Oden and Mike Conley, Jr. and ranked No. 4 in the preseason polls. Ohio State entered conference play with an 11–2 record, with the
Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball
The Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team is an American college basketball team that represents the University of Kentucky. Kentucky is the most successful NCAA Division I basketball program in history in terms of both all-time wins and all-time winning percentage; the Wildcats are coached by John Calipari. Kentucky leads all schools in total NCAA tournament appearances, NCAA tournament wins, NCAA Tournament games played, NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances, NCAA Elite Eight appearances, total postseason tournament appearances. Further, Kentucky has played in 17 NCAA Final Fours, 12 NCAA Championship games, has won 8 NCAA championships. In addition to these titles, Kentucky won the National Invitation Tournament in both 1946 and 1976, making it the only school to win multiple NCAA and NIT championships. Kentucky leads all schools with sixty-three 20-win seasons, sixteen 30-win seasons, six 35-win seasons. Throughout its history, the Kentucky basketball program has featured many notable and successful players, both on the collegiate level and the professional level.
Kentucky holds the record for the most NBA Draft selections as well as the most #1 NBA Draft picks. The Wildcats have been led by many successful head coaches, including Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, Eddie Sutton, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith, John Calipari. Kentucky is the only program with 5 different NCAA Championship coaches. Three Kentucky coaches have been enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Rupp and Calipari. Former Wildcat players that have gone on to become head coaches include C. M. Newton, Pat Riley, Dan Issel, Dwane Casey, John Pelphrey, Steve Masiello and Travis Ford. During this early era Kentucky was unstable in that the school went through multiple coaches, many stayed only one or two seasons. Records indicate that the first head coach of the Wildcats was W. W. H. Mustaine, who in 1903 called together some students, took up a collection totaling $3 for a ball, told the students to start playing; the first recorded intercollegiate game at the college was a 15–6 defeat to nearby Georgetown College.
The team went 1–2 for their first "season" losing to Kentucky University but defeating the Lexington YMCA. Through 1908, the team did not manage a winning season, had an all-time record of 15–29. In the fall of that year a full-time head coach was hired, Edwin Sweetland; this made him the first paid coach in Kentucky's basketball history. That year, the team went 5–4, only three years boasted their first undefeated season with nine victories and no losses; the 1914 team under Alpha Brummage, led by brothers Karl and Tom Zerfoss, went 12–2 and defeated all its Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponents. In 1919, George Buchheit became the new head coach of the Wildcats. An alumnus of the University of Illinois, he brought with him a new system of basketball; the "Buchheit system" or "Illinois system", focused on defense and featured one player standing under each basket, while three roamed the court. Buckheit varied the system. While the Illinois system employed a zone defense, Buchheit's system used an aggressive man-to-man scheme.
On offense, he used a complicated system of passing called "figure eight" offense. Although the team had a losing season in Buchheit's first year, they won the first-ever Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament the next year, defeating the favored Georgia Bulldogs. Both of these teams were composed of native Kentuckians, anchored by All-American Basil Hayden; the tournament victory was considered Kentucky's first major success, the 1921 team became known as the "Wonder Team."In 1922, the team was unable to build on the success of the "Wonder Team." Although every player was eligible in 1922, two key players and Sam Ridgeway, were injured before the start of the season. Hayden returned from his knee injury during the season, but was never able to play at the level he had the previous year. Ridgeway fought a year-long battle with diphtheria, although he recovered, never played for the Wildcats again; the remaining three members of the "Wonder Team" went 9–5 for the season, bowed out of the SIAA tournament in the second round.
Buchheit remained as coach through the 1924 season before moving on to coach Trinity College. A different coach would guide the team for each of the next four years. C. O. Applegran followed Buchheit, his 1925 team posted a respectable 13–8 record. Applegran in college had played for the University of Illinois; the next year, Ray Eklund led the team to a 15–3 record, produced UK's second All-American, Burgess Carey. The record was enough for Kentucky to win their first regular season conference championship in the Southern Conference. Seeing the cupboard bare for the upcoming year, Eklund resigned shortly before the start of the 1927 season; the team scrambled to find a new coach, former player Basil Hayden left his coaching job at Kentucky Wesleyan College to answer the call. An inexperienced coach and a roster depleted of talent left the Wildcats with a 3–13 record that year; the disappointment convinced Hayden that he wasn't the "coaching type", he resigned after the season. For the Wildcats, 1927 would be their last losing season for six decades.
The Wildcats' new coach for the 1927–28 season was John Mauer. Although he had a talented group of players moving up from the junior varsity team, Mauer discovered that his players did not know the fundamen