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‘Take that.’“ That shot delivered the winning points in Not

edit:casino time:2019-01-19

There were about 3½ minutes remaining when Curtis — left in the clear when freshman Bill Paterno returned to guard his own man too quickly following a screen by the Bruins — hit a lightly challenged 12-foot jump shot from the right corner to extend UCLA’s lead to 70-59.

With 2 minutes left, Brokaw made a quick move to the left baseline and nailed a jumper over Wilkes’ reach. It was a 3-point game.

“As a basketball player, you always believe you could still win until the end of the game. We were ranked No. 2 at the time. We hadn’t played our best game throughout the whole contest. I knew we could play better. And that timeout kind of woke us up.”

The Iceman is open.

“That was really ingenious, for Digger and the assistants to come up with something like that,” Novak said. “When it happened, it was bedlam, the students all coming out of the stands and rushing to the court and the players. It was just an incredible feeling to be able to have that accomplishment.

Whatever you do, don’t get arrested.

“I think that UCLA game was the first time the nation saw people storming the court, and that’s obviously carried over for some 45 years. When a team beats somebody that has three losses, they still storm the court.

That was one achievement they managed. The Irish lost the rematch at Pauley Pavilion exactly one week later, but it remained their only defeat until they visited Dayton in the final regular-season game at UD Arena. They got run off the court, losing by 15, their own 12-game winning streak shattered.

That shot delivered the winning points in Notre Dame’s 71-70 upset of the No. 1 Bruins, who had won seven consecutive NCAA championships under coach John Wooden and every game for three solid years dating back to Jan. 23, 1971. Ironically enough, that was when UCLA allowed All-American guard Austin Carr to score 46 points in an 89-82 loss to the Irish.

“They just went out with the intensity and the will-how to make it happen.”

Notre Dame’s press became frantic then, all five defenders pushed up into the backcourt, and Wilkes threw the ball long toward the frontcourt, where Curtis had broken into the clear to receive it. But Curtis traveled as he caught the ball. He laid it in without hearing the whistle, and a Notre Dame cheerleader crossed the baseline to taunt Curtis and make him aware of the turnover.

The scene during that timeout huddle is something the players who were inside have remembered for more than four decades.

Clay will mark the day by watching his tape, and almost certainly by talking on the phone with some of his friends from the team.

In 1968, Einhorn helped to arrange the Game of the Century between UCLA, featuring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and the Houston Cougars, featuring Elvin Hayes. A court was placed at the center of the Astrodome and the game drew a capacity crowd and large television audience across the TVS syndicated network. The popularity of that game led to NBC agreeing in 1969 to pay $500,000 for rights to the NCAA championship game.

The comeback began with Shumate accepting a feed on the left post from Brokaw, getting Walton to bite on a pump-fake and then flashing to the middle to score on a jump-hook before Walton could get back in the play. With ND set up in a full-court man press, Shumate then intercepted the inbound pass near the foul line and drove quickly for finger-roll and two points more.

“Eddie used to send me notes from the truck to the bench,” Phelps told SN. “We’d be beating somebody by 15 or 16 points with 3 minutes, 4 minutes to go and he’d send a note that said, ‘Digger, get a technical.’ And I’d write back, ‘No.’ And he’d send back another note later in the game and say, ‘Digger, get a timeout.’ And he’d put dollar signs. And I’d jump right up and call timeout so they could run commercials.

“Based on this game and the exposure he got, he eventually sold TVS and got into TV wrestling, and then with that money he ends up buying the White Sox with Jerry Reinsdorf. So when they win the World Series back in ’05, he sends me a Christmas card with the World Series trophy on it, and him. I called him up and I said, ‘Hey, why aren’t I on the other side of that World Series trophy? Because without me and that UCLA game you don’t own the White Sox.’”

“I really think that Dayton game hurt us. It made us feel we weren’t invincible, that somebody else could beat us besides UCLA,” Novak said. “We were picked to go the Final Four, and actually we had beaten three out of the Final Four teams during the regular season. So that was sort of the opposite, dismay that we didn’t go on with probably the best team we’d had.”

And yes, it was N.C. State rather than UCLA in that title game. The Notre Dame loss, in a sense, hastened the end of the UCLA dynasty, and it can be argued that aided the sport’s growth, as well.

In fact, try to imagine a team cutting down the nets to celebrate a regular-season victory — knowing that a week later they’d have to go play the same team again on the road.

“When he came in, that kind of infused our press coverage,” Clay said. “We started putting the press on them and they couldn’t handle the press.

“It was the best feeling I ever had in terms of a victory. We really celebrated heartily after that game.”

“Sometimes he could be very sarcastic, and say, ‘Oh, sure, Novak, why don’t you just hang it up if you don’t want to play defense?” Gary Novak told SN. “It was just his way of kind of motivating players. He was honest about that. He said, ‘You’ve got to believe right now that we’re going to win this game. Just do what you do and play defense and we’re going to win.’ And we believed it. And it was just an incredible 3 minutes.”

“After the game, it was kind of funny, Shumate said, ‘There’s Clay, he’s about 0-for-13, and he wants the ball! He wants to shoot the last shot!’” Novak said. “He did not take a single shot the whole second half. That was his one and only shot that won the game. He was so cool and ready and confident he was going to hit that.”

They started calling him the Iceman after the Marquette game. They still do. Because when Notre Dame battled UCLA as the Bruins sought to extend an NCAA-record 88-game winning streak, and when the Fighting Irish recovered from an 11-point deficit inside the final 4 minutes to trail by a single point, and when star Irish guard Gary Brokaw controlled the ball at the foul line and noticed UCLA’s Tommy Curtis cheating too far toward the lane playing helpside defense, and when he saw Clay waving his arms as if he were doing jumping jacks on the right sideline, Brokaw knew what was up.

Clay — working in his hometown of Pittsburgh as an investigator in the casino industry regulation industry — still carries in his briefcase a copy of the video of the game’s final 6 minutes, given to him and the other Irish players when they held a reunion to mark the 25th anniversary of that victory.

With a minute left and 10 points trimmed off the Bruins’ lead, Wooden did not call time. He believed that to be a sign of weakness. Instead Curtis got the ball forward and down to Wilkes along the baseline, who made a quick spin move into his right shoulder against the smaller Martin, who was guarding him tightly and had no help behind him. Wilkes scored easily — but on the way he used his right arm to “chicken-wing” Martin and was called for an offensive foul.

“Bill Walton, they’d always throw a lob pass to him and he’d turn over his left shoulder and throw in a little hook shot, and he’d always make it,” Phelps said. “What was ironic about the last time they got the ball, he’s on the right side, so he’s got to turn over his right shoulder with the ball. Well, Shumate’s right there and sort of like semi-gets in his way, and he misses a shot. Pete Trgovich had a tip and missed, and I think Meyers had a tap and missed it, and then Shumate grabs the ball and throws it in the air and the game’s over.

“Of course! Any basketball aficionado calls me that,” Clay delightedly told Sporting News. “Anybody who knows the history of Notre Dame and UCLA calls me that.

"The Iceman," though, had been born only 12 months earlier.

Notre Dame assured it was not.


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