A ninth-grade English class at Princeton Junior High in Cincinnati is occasionally given quizzes by teacher Noel Johnston to test the youngsters' awareness of the world around them. One of the questions in a recent quiz asked what the letters UCLA stood for. To Mr. Johnston's amazement—he marks a lot of papers, you know—37 of 40 students correctly answered, "University of California at Los Angeles." One thought the letters meant University of Cincinnati, conveniently ignoring the LA, and another scrambler came up with United Citizens Law Association. But the 40th answer was the one the teacher found most apt. It said, simply, "Basketball."
Speaking of UCLA, you may have noticed that the Bruins walloped The Citadel 105-49 in Los Angeles a week or so ago. You may also have wondered how this odd mismatch—The Citadel is a small military college in South Carolina with no basketball reputation to speak of—came to be.
In the summer of 1970 Citadel Coach Dick Campbell ran into UCLA's John Wooden at a coaching clinic. "We'd love to come out to the coast to play you, coach," said Campbell to Wooden, and Wooden courteously replied, "We might work something out." Campbell was serious about trying to get a game some distance from home that he could utilize as a recruiting gambit, but he really didn't think anything would come of the conversation. However, a few weeks later a letter arrived, offering Citadel the opening game on UCLA's 1971-72 schedule. Obviously, with a sophomore-dominated lineup, Wooden figured he could use an easy opponent at the beginning of the season. Gleefully, Campbell booked the game.
Then, inevitably, Campbell got a better offer and went off to coach at Xavier of Cincinnati. The new Citadel coach, George Hill, came from the quiet confines of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. It was not until Hill had signed his contract that a Citadel official finally got around to telling him, "Oh, by the way, you're playing UCLA on Dec. 3." Hill looked up and, after a moment, said, "Why?"
HIGHER PRICED SPREADS
Here are point spreads on various bowl games from the betting book at Harrah's in Lake Tahoe:
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]