Duke is no modern day UCLA
Now that Duke has lost in the round of 16 – again – can we dispense with the canard that the Blue Devils are the modern day UCLA?
I heard that comparison again last week and it’s an insult to John Wooden. First off, if UCLA doesn’t win the conference, the Bruins don’t even go to the NCAA Tournament during Wooden’s run.
And that wasn’t a given, especially in years like 1971 in which UCLA had to overcome a nine-point deficit in the last 10 minutes to beat USC – which just happened to be No. 2 in the nation at the time – to win the Pac 10 title.
And don’t tell me about UCLA’s Sugar Daddy, Sam Gilbert. Wooden had already won two NCAA titles before Gilbert even arrived on the scene.
And it was Bill Walton’s dream to attend UCLA – Sam Gilbert or no Sam Gilbert. So maybe Wooden doesn’t win 10 national titles. Maybe he only wins eight.
And don’t tell me that every other major power in the country during Wooden’s time didn’t have influential alumni similar to Gilbert.
Let’s see. A shy, awkward inner city black kid like Wilt Chamberlain went to Kansas for the culture. Yeah, right.
I don’t care what era it is – or whose help you receive – winning 10 national titles in 12 years in uncomparable.