Mar-22-1969: Kareem Wins Third NCAA Crown for UCLA
On this day in 1969, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then known as Lew Alcindor) capped his college career with UCLA by scoring 37 points in UCLA’s 92-72 rout of Purdue in the NCAA Finals. With the win, he became the only player to this day to win 3 NCAA Finals MVP awards.
Jabbar led UCLA to 3 national championships while amassing a 88-2 record at UCLA under Coach John Wooden.
Jabbar could have led UCLA to a fourth title had freshman been able to play varsity at that time. As a freshman, he scored 31 points and 21 rebounds as he led the freshmen team in a 75-60 win over the then #1 ranked and two-time defending national champion varsity team in the opening game of Pauley Pavilion.
He was so dominant the NCAA banned dunking starting in 1967 and did not lift the ban for another decade.
After Jabbar left, Wooden guided UCLA to 7 straight final four appearances and 6 titles.