Best YouTube Moments in Stanford Basketball: The Nominees

Posted by Connor Pelton (@ConnorPelton28) on February 24th, 2014

Last month we introduced our new project, which is centered around determining the top YouTube moment in Pac-12 basketball history. We continue the nomination portion with Stanford.

[ed note: These are just the top moments we could find on YouTube, which has a vast number and array of videos, but we won’t be able to cover the entire 99 years of the conference.]


We open with a shot that I think is the favorite for this entire tournament. Down 77-74 with 27 seconds remaining against #12 Arizona, Josh Childress buried a corner three off a Matt Lotich steal to pull the second-ranked and undefeated Cardinal even. What happened next will go down in Pac-12 lore, as guard Nick Robinson, known for his defense, stole the ball while Arizona tried to hold the ball for the final shot. Robinson took two dribbles and put up a 35-foot runner as time expired, which hit nothing but twine. The shot set off one of the greatest court rushes in the history of the game, as the blacked-out “6th Man” dog-piled the Stanford players in the corner of the floor. If you look closely, you can even see an on-top-of-the-world Tiger Woods celebrating his team’s 20th straight win in the video below.

Another clip, another buzzer-beater. Four weeks after the above thriller against Arizona, Stanford was trailing Washington State by one in Pullman with 17 seconds remaining. The Cardinal forced a five-second count on the Cougars, giving the still-unbeaten team the ball back with a chance for the win. With 10 seconds left, Stanford lost control of the ball but Nick Robinson came away with it after a mad scramble. He shoveled the ball over to Matt Lotich, who hoisted a deep three at the buzzer. It dropped, of course, to give the Cardinal their 26th consecutive win and stunning the home crowd. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can All Six Expected Kentucky Draftees Find NBA Success? History Shows It’s Unlikely…

Posted by EJacoby on June 27th, 2012

At this Thursday’s NBA Draft, expect to hear six former Kentucky players’ names called. But what are the chances that all six end up having strong pro careers? Four of the UK players are locks to go in the first round while two others are fringe picks, so there are high expectations for this group of newcomers. Has any past college team ever produced four or even five solid pros in the same draft? It turns out that 12 different college teams have seen at least four of their players get selected in a draft since 1989, when the draft shrunk from seven rounds to two. Unfortunately, none of these teams produced more than three successful pros, though the most recent examples include small sample sizes and show some promise. The bottom line is that history is working against the six former Wildcats, and it would be unprecedented for even five of them to pan out. Kentucky basketball has had a way of setting records recently, though, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if most or all of Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller eventually become strong NBA players.

Can at least five Kentucky players from the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft end up having strong careers? (AP Photo)

Since the draft shrunk to only two rounds back in 1989, no college team has ever had six players drafted in the same year. It goes to show just how talented the 2011-12 Wildcats were, starting at the top with the expected #1 pick Anthony Davis.  The 2006 Connecticut, 2007 Florida, 2008 Kansas, and 2010 Kentucky teams are the only others to produce as many as five NBA draft picks, so the trend has been pointing toward this day.

Today we’ll break down the teams that have come closest to producing four quality pros, including the most recent teams which still have a chance to do so. In order to qualify as a successful pro, our criteria requires players to have enjoyed extended, productive NBA careers. Career scoring averages of around 10 points per game is a general floor. Statistics don’t always tell the tale, so minutes played and games started are also considered to generally mean that a player was useful to his team. A one-stop statistic is Win Shares, which calculates the value a player adds over accumulated time and can be easily accessed through Basketball Reference’s database. Players who aren’t ranked in the top 20 Win Shares of their draft class generally don’t qualify as contributors. We’ll note if exceptions apply for certain players.

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Final Four Numbers Game – Who Has the Historical and Statistical Edge?

Posted by EJacoby on March 28th, 2012

Evan Jacoby is a regular contributor for RTC. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter.

All week long we have read and will continue to read about the specific breakdowns of each upcoming Final Four matchup. Check out our own Zach Hayes’ previews here and here for the on-court analysis. One of the other important factors to keep in mind on an enormous stage like the Final Four, though, is the experience and preparedness of the players and coaches from each team. Coaches will tell the media that they prepare for the National Semifinals just like it’s any other game, but we all know that the circus and spotlight surrounding the postseason finales, in any sport, can be trying on the competitors. That’s why we put so much emphasis on “big-game players,” the “clutch” factor, and coaches who can win the “big one.” Here’s a look at how each team shakes out historically on the biggest stage and whether or not that will play a factor:

Rick Pitino is the Most Experienced Coach at this Year's Final Four, Including a 1996 National Title (Getty Images)


  • Rick Pitino is the most experienced and successful head coach in New Orleans, as Pitino is making his sixth trip to the Final Four with three different schools. He has compiled a 3-4 record in the Final Four up to this point, which includes a National Championship with Kentucky in 1996 and a return to the National Title game the following season (Kentucky 1997), that time with a loss. His 1987 Providence1993 Kentucky and a 2005 Louisville teams all lost in the National Semifinals.
  • Bill Self has caught flak for several early NCAA Tournament upsets, but he got the full job done during his one visit to the Final Four in the past, when the 2008 Kansas Jayhawks won the National Title, giving Self a 2-0 record at the Final Four.
  • Thad Matta brought his 2007 Ohio State team to the National Finals before a loss to Florida, making his record 1-1 all time at the Final Four. He’s looking to best Bill Self in each coach’s second trip to the National Semis.
  • This is John Calipari’s fourth trip to the Final Four, with three different schools, where he is a combined 1-3 in the past. Kentucky detractors need to find something to nitpick about the overwhelming favorites, and Cal’s inability to win it all is a key criticism. His 1996 Massachusetts team and last year’s Kentucky (2011) team both lost in the National Semifinals, while the 2008 Memphis team beat UCLA before falling to Kansas in the National Championship.


  • Kentucky is making its 15th appearance in the Final Four, seeking its 8th National Championship and first since 1998.
  • Kansas is making its 14th appearance to the Final Four seeking its 4th National Championship. The Jayhawks have the most recent title, coming in 2008.
  • Louisville makes its 9th all-time appearance in the Final Four in search of its 3rd National Championship. The first two came during the Denny Crum era in 1980 and 1986.
  • Ohio State is making its 11th appearance in the Final Four but is seeking just its 2nd National Title. Its only National Championship banner is from 1960 under Fred Taylor.

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Basketball’s Original Rules Have a New Home

Posted by Brian Goodman on December 15th, 2010

Brian Goodman is an RTC editor and contributor.

While Kansas fans get amped for what the immediate future brings when Josh Selby makes his long-awaited debut Saturday, the basketball purists who follow the Jayhawks received some pleasant news regarding the past of its program, and more importantly, the sport as a whole. Last Friday, longtime KU donors David and Suzanne Booth purchased the documents containing James Naismith’s original 13 rules of basketball at a Sotheby’s auction in New York for a cool $4.3 million. The final pricetag shattered the sports memorabilia mark of $3 million for Mark McGwire’s 70th (and now tainted) home run ball from 1998.

Unfortunately, Dr. Naismith's original rules don't address palming the ball or the need for a charge circle.

According to KU officials, the Booths, who donated funds in support of renovations to Allen Fieldhouse over the last five years, are working with the university to develop a plan to display the 119-year-old edition of the game’s rules at Allen Fieldhouse. The main entrance to the facility already houses several artifacts from Jayhawk lore.  Despite inventing the game, Naismith had a losing record as KU’s first head coach, with a 55-60 mark over the program’s first nine seasons. His grandson, Ian, was on hand for the auction as the former owner. He came to the conclusion to part ways with the historic yellowed pages to support the Naismith International Basketball Foundation, which serves to benefit underprivileged children, after the foundation fell on hard times due to the dwindling economy.  The plans for the big-ticket item, once cemented, will steepen Lawrence’s legacy as the birthplace of college basketball.

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Memphis Chasing History?

Posted by rtmsf on April 7th, 2008

If you’ve read this blog before, you know that we have an affinity for historical context when it comes to college basketball.  We like to think about how teams and players match up statistically in the NCAA Tournament given the parameters of greatness already set by precedent.  For example, much has been already written about this year’s F4 perhaps being the strongest of all-time, illustrated by the combined 143-9 record coming into last weekend and the four #1 seeds.  We love that stuff. 

To that end, we could be on the verge of another historic college basketball event the likes of which we haven’t seen for a generation.  Memphis currently sits at 38-1, which already gives the Tigers the record for most wins in a season, but if they win their 39th tonight versus Kansas they’ll be able to make a claim of greatness that only one team has been able to make since the UCLA run ended in 1975 – with a victory, they will become the first one-loss team in the post-UCLA era to win a championship.  Only the 1976 Indiana team (32-0) would surpass the final record that Memphis is contemplating tonight.

Memphis players Joey Dorsey (32), Andre Allen (15) and Kareen Cooper (42) celebrate with teammates during the closing minutes of a victory against Rice. The Tigers players live together in two adjacent houses and also work and eat with each other.  

Memphis Tigers – All Time Great Team?

Now, why does this matter?  We think it is important because a 39-1 record would squarely place 2007-08 Memphis into the argument of one of the greatest teams of the post-UCLA era.  This is especially true given the caliber of opponent that they have beaten in the last three rounds (#5 Michigan St., #2 Texas, #1 UCLA) and how they have beaten them.  A 50-20 halftime score against Michigan St.; a clamping down of Texas and DJ Augustin in their home state; and rendering the vaunted UCLA defense completely ineffective on Saturday.  Additionally, Memphis’ scoring margin of +18.6 this season would rank it #2 in the last ten years of champions (Duke 2001: +20.2), so this team is all kinds of legit in historical terms.     

It’s also interesting to consider that outside of the unbeaten 1976 Indiana team, no other team in the modern era has managed to win a title with less than 2 losses!  Here are the results for the group of teams with zero or one loss entering the Tourney.

1977 – San Francisco (29-1) – lost first round to UNLV
1979 – Indiana St. (33-0) – lost title game to Michigan St.
1988 – Temple (29-1) – lost regional finals to Duke
1990 – Lasalle (29-1) – lost second round to Clemson
1991 – UNLV (34-0) – lost semifinals to Duke
1996 – UMass (35-1) – lost semifinals to Kentucky
1997 – Kansas (32-1) – lost regional semifinals to Arizona
1999 – Duke (37-1) – lost title game to UConn
2004 – St. Joseph’s (27-1) – lost regional final to Oklahoma St.
2005 – Illinois (37-1) – lost title game to UNC
2008 – Memphis (38-1) – ???????

Without question, Indiana St., UNLV, UMass, Kansas, Duke and Illinois were on the verge of greatness had they won the national championship.  We think Memphis is on that same plane.  While it’s true that CUSA sucks and doesn’t provide much in the way of competition for the Tigers during the regular season, Memphis challenged itself this year with nine OOC games against NCAA Tournament teams, including UConn, Arizona, Gonzaga and Tennessee.  They certainly have the talent to be in the argument with many of those other one-loss teams, and their performance to date (despite all the naysayers, ourselves included) substantiates its inclusion among the pantheon of great teams should they pull it off tonight. 

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