By Gary Parrish | CBSSports.com College Basketball Insider
The 1967 UCLA Bruins weren't John Wooden's first title team. They were his third. But they were the first of seven consecutive titles, which means, in some ways, they were the team that started UCLA on the path that turned UCLA into UCLA. They had the best player in the country and a New York kid who went to make -- ready for this? -- 19 NBA All-Star teams. That number is astounding. What he did in his first year of college was equally so.
Team: 1967 UCLA
Coach: John Wooden
Primary starters: Lucius Allen, Michael Warren, Lynn Shackelford, Kenny Heitz and Lew Alcindor.
NCAA tournament final result: Defeated Dayton 79-64 for the national title.
Best player: Lew Alcindor. The iconic center who led UCLA to three consecutive national titles, this being the first. Truth is, Alcindor would've led UCLA to four national titles if freshmen were allowed to play back varsity back then. The man who later became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar averaged 29 points and 16 rebounds per game as a sophomore, which was his first year of eligibility. He scored 56 points in his first game as a varsity player and was so dominant in this season that the NCAA outlawed the dunk. Seriously, Alcindor changes the rules of college basketball (at least for a while). Think about that. Who's good enough to change rules? In any sport? Ever?
Another worth noting: Lucius Allen. A point guard who was, like Alcindor, just a sophomore during this season. He developed into an All-American and was the third overall pick in the 1969 NBA Draft despite missing his senior year because of a possession charge. That's how good Allen was. He got caught with weed, missed a season and was still drafted third overall in 1969 -- just two spots behind Alcindor.
This team is one of the best of all-time because ... It's the team that started a run of seven consecutive national titles. These Bruins won with a core of sophomores in an era when freshmen weren't allowed to play, and they had, arguably, the best college player of all-time. They averaged 90 points per game and only allowed 67 during the regular season. They won by an average of 24 points per game in the NCAA tournament and won every NCAA tournament game by at least 15 points.
Did you know ... Michael Warren has a son named Cash Warren? And that Cash Warren is married to Jessica Alba? And that Jessica Alba was once voted the sexiest woman in the world? (Michael Warren must be proud of his son.)