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Sports Then and Now



Avoid Sports Withdrawals: Vintage College Basketball Games to Watch on YouTube 2

Posted on March 14, 2020 by Dean Hybl

With March Madness cancelled, the entire sports world on pause and many public gatherings and places across the country and globe closed due to the COVID-19 virus, there are only so many shows on Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ and other streaming channels that we can watch before sports withdrawals are surely to kick in.

Fortunately, YouTube is home to a plethora of vintage sporting events that can help pass the time before live sports return.

In part 1 of a multi-part series, Sports Then and Now has selected 10 vintage conference tournament games that include some of the all-time moments and players in college basketball history. For each one we have included the records, rankings, coaches and notable players at the time of the game, but are not spoiling the game with a summary in case you don’t remember the outcome and want to enjoy the moment without spoilers.

Ray Allen led Connecticut against Georgetown and Allen Iverson in the 1996 Big East Tournament Finals.

The fun part about watching vintage games is that it includes the original announcers, as well as showcasing some players who went on to greatness often before they had become household names, or as they were building their reputation. Players like Patrick Ewing, Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Jerry Stackhouse and many more are included in our selections.

There are certainly other great games to watch on YouTube, but we have chosen these partly because the entire game is available and the game epitomized the excitement of March Madness.

Enjoy!

1983 ACC Tournament Championship Game – Virginia vs. North Carolina State

Records Entering Game: Virginia 27-3; North Carolina State: 19-10

National Ranking: Virginia #2; North Carolina State unranked

Coaches: UVA: Terry Holland; North Carolina State: Jim Valvano

Notable Players: UVA – Ralph Sampson, Othell Wilson, Ricky Stokes, Rick Carlisle; NC State – Thurl Bailey, Sidney Lowe, Lorenzo Charles, Dereck Whittenburg, Terry Gannon

Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting for the Weekend: Old Fuddy Duddy Watching the NBA Draft 10

Posted on June 23, 2017 by Dean Hybl

Markelle Fultz was selected with the first pick in the 2017 NBA Draft after playing only 25 games at the college level.

Markelle Fultz was selected with the first pick in the 2017 NBA Draft after playing only 25 games at the college level.

I have decided in this column to serve as the old “fuddy duddy”, which is defined as being old fashioned and fussy.

Last night was the NBA Draft and I must admit, my 11-year-old son had a much better grasp of the players being selected than I did. Not only because he is significantly closer in age to them, but also because in today’s electronic world, he is much more familiar with their exploits than I am. Though most of the top players played roughly 30 games at the college level, if you are interested and tech savvy, you can find all their highlights on YouTube.

Sorry to sound dated and bitter, but I fondly remember a day when players being drafted into the NBA were familiar to fans not because of a YouTube video, but because we had watched them play through usually three or four years of college. Even in a time when cable television was not yet prominent and not every game was available to watch, we still had ample chances to enjoy the top players for quite a while before they moved to the NBA.

When Michael Jordan entered the NBA in 1984 he had played 101 games as a college player, not to mention being on the 1984 Olympic team. While I don’t recall there necessarily being discussion then that he was going to be the greatest player of all-time (such labels weren’t really all that important in a time before sports talk shows), there was no question that he was a great player and would be a successful pro.

You can say similar things about all the other top draft picks from the 1970s and 1980s. In most cases, they were familiar to fans across the country because they had been showcased in college for multiple years.

Now not every great college player in the past panned out in the NBA. As is the case today, there were many players in past generations who were great college players, but just didn’t translate to the NBA. But even in those cases, you had four years to watch them play at college and the number of top picks who didn’t have at least some semblance of an NBA career was pretty minimal. Read the rest of this entry →

Ten Sports Dynasties That Might Have Been 25

Posted on December 07, 2011 by Jena Ellis

Despite having many of the top stars in Major League Baseballs, the Brooklyn Dodgers won only one World Series title.

Now that the 2011-12 NBA season will happen, sports prognosticators will return to projecting how many championships the Miami Heat will win. Forget about the disappointment of last season — this team has more than enough talent to bring home at least a few Larry O’Brien Trophies, right? That’s what people were saying about the Lakers in the ’60s, Mets in the ’80s, and Mariners in the ’90s (different trophies for the latter two, of course), yet they wound up with just two championships between them when all was said and done. The following would-be dynasties failed to meet expectations for a multitude of reasons — including injuries, team chemistry problems, free agency, drugs, and even a strike — leaving fans wondering what might have been had things gone a little differently.

1940s and ’50s Brooklyn Dodgers
Even if the Dodgers had won multiple World Series titles during this era, the franchise would’ve been more remembered for its role in integrating baseball by signing and promoting Jackie Robinson. More than just an inspiring figure in the Civil Rights Movement, Robinson was an ideal second baseman with tremendous speed, excellent contact ability, and exemplary defense. He played alongside Hall of Famers Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Don Drysdale, and Sandy Koufax, one of the most talent-rich rosters in baseball history. From 1947 to 1956, the team won six NL pennants and the 1955 World Series, a resume worthy of NL dynasty status, but not MLB dynasty status.

1960s and ’70s Los Angeles Lakers
Before the Buffalo Bills, there were the Lakers. Sure, they had already won four of the first 10 NBA championships, but, with seven Finals losses in nine seasons during the 1960s and ’70s, they were the original poster child for second best. The primary culprit for their failures was the Celtics, who reeled off a remarkable 11 championships in 13 seasons. The Lakers also faced a 76ers team with perhaps the most dominant player off all time, Wilt Chamberlain, and a hungry Knicks team led by Willis Reid and Walt Frazier. When management figured out the mere presence of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor wasn’t enough, it added an older but still effective Chamberlain. The team finally got over the hump in 1973, after Baylor retired and Gail Goodrich had been added to the roster. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Lefty Gomez: First All-Star Starter
      July 11, 2020 | 6:22 pm
      Lefty Gomez

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the American League starting pitcher for the first three All-Star Games and five times in a six-year stretch.

      It didn’t take long for Vernon “Lefty” Gomez to become established as one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball.

      After posting a 2-5 record in 15 starts in 1930, Gomez quickly became the staff ace. In 1931, at the age of 22, Gomez posted a 21-9 record and 2.67 ERA.

      Read more »

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