College Basketball in the 1970s has moved light years away from those old snake pits where visiting teams—and sometimes even home teams—were forever threatened by overhanging balconies, low candlepower and brass bands that blew right through them. The sport has come not so much of age as it has to money. Colleges everywhere are playing in jewellike showcases that rival the best arenas in the big cities, including Madison Square Garden and Chicago Stadium. On the following pages are some of the newest, plus an appraisal of amazing John Wooden and UCLA (page 39), scouting reports on the best (page 44) and the next best (page 61) and two remarkable small-college teams (page 64). But large or small, top 20 or next 60, the new game offers in clean and well-lighted places a...
At Notre Dame, ACC stands for Athletic Convention Center or, as many prefer, Austin Carr Coliseum. The handsome double-domed building, seating 11,343 for basketball, was opened in 1968, Carr's sophomore year. He has been the arena's star tenant ever since.
The Purdue Basketball Arena opened in 1967, when the Boilermakers almost upset UCLA. Round and bright, the place has been jammed to capacity (14,123) since, and Bob Ford (22) and George Faerber should keep it that way. South Carolina Guard John Roche has been as slick as the school's new colonnaded Carolina Coliseum.
Home for the Amazin' Aggies of New Mexico State is Pan American Center in Las Cruces, which seats 13,222, not far below the population of the town. Two of the more amazin' players there this year will be Milton (Road-runner) Home (left) and 6'8" Jeff Smith. They are from those nearby desert states, New York and New Jersey.
For 50 years or so Princeton athletes called their outdated gym "the cage," a hangover from the days when basketball courts were enclosed in rope or chicken wire. Now the Tigers have this futuristic complex, Jadwin Gymnasium, several years too late for Bill Bradley but just in time for a highly rated sophomore from New Jersey, Brian Taylor.
Home for Utah's Runnin' Redskins was once one of basketball's sorriest sights. Then last year the school opened in its mountain setting the 15,000-seat Sports and Special Events Center and the Utes—notably Mike Newlin finally had room to play in. One other plus: Coach Jack Gardner, who dearly loves home games, can now invite teams without having to blush.