'MAD' Moments: March 1970
July 20, 2010
Editor's Note: The following was written by Gus Schrader and first appeared in the March 15, 1970 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Coach Ralph Miller didn't score a point or even get far enough off the bench to snare a long rebound Saturday, but his players generously credited him with routing Notre Dame and smashing the all-time NCAA basketball tournament record.
The Hawks skewered Notre Dame with near-perfect passes and .635 shooting in compiling an incredible 75-42 halftime lead. Then they romped home to a 121-106 victory to take third place in the Mideast regional.
"The coach made a speech Friday and asked us to win this game for him," said Chad Calabria, who tied John Johnson for Iowa's high with 31 points, a career high for him.
"The majority of us guys have been with Coach Miller for two, three or four years. He's meant a great deal to us, and we vowed we would do our best to win it as a sort of going-away present for him."
Iowa's full-game statistics were amazing enough. The Hawks hit 52 of 96 shots for .531, and they made 17 of 19 free throws.
Their 121 total broke the old NCAA tournament record set by Princeton when Bill Bradley played in 1965 - a 118-82 lashing of Wichita. Iowa's 52 field goals constituted another record. Princeton had 48.
The 227 points by both teams topped the 214 scored when Oklahoma City beat Grigham Young, 112-103, in 1965. Iowa school records fell in all those categories. The Hawks also equaled a school mark of 20 victories in one season, set in 1956.
Never had the 13,865 fans seen a start in college basketball like Iowa's. The Hawks had a 27-8 lead after 6 ½ minutes, and it zoomed to 39-13 with 9:18 gone.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeye floor game was practically flawless. The Hawks didn't commit their first foul until 7:14 had elapsed, and their first turnover occurred after 9:47.
Fred Brown had his most dazzling game of a remarkable junior season. He demoralized the Irish with his thefts out front, a big factor in Notre Dame's 28 turnovers.
The crowd gasped in awe at Iowa's passing. It was headed by Brown, with Johnson, Calabria and Glenn Vidnovic also feeding each other with fast break deals and close-under flips. "I haven't seen such a display since the Harlem Globetrotters used to beat their patsies, the Hawaiian All-Stars," shouted one press box veteran.
"We wanted to let everyone know we were the No. 1 team here after losing that one to Jacksonville," said Brown.- "I'll bet Kentucky is glad they didn't have to play us," said Ben McGilmer grimly. Ben canned six of nine shots for 12 points.
"We wanted to give Coach Miller a second birthday present," beamed Dick Jensen. Dick canned his only two shots and his one free throw for five points. Miller's 51st birthday was last Monday.
"We decided we'd try to beat hell out of `em," said Johnson, who was still smoldering after the game because he claimed the officials let the game become so rough the players were in danger of being hurt.
"We would have beaten Notre Dame by 30 or 40 points if the officials would have made them cut out the rough stuff. I thought we were playing Notre Dame's football team. I was chopped in half of my shots. Once we got so far ahead, the officials quit calling fouls and the other team felt they could get away with everything."
"We just keyed ourselves up to playing a great last game in honor of Coach Miller," said Vidnovic, who hit 24 points. Vid made half his 14 shots and all 10 of his free throws. "He's a helluva fine coach, and after he talked to us Friday, we all determined to play as hard as we could today. We were ready."
Calabria said the Hawks almost wore themselves out with the fury of their play in the first half.
"I was so blamed tired after that I didn't think I could even run in the second half," he said. "I didn't realize I was scoring 31 points. Yes, that's my career high, and it's great finally to break the 30 mark."
Iowa school records broken Saturday were: The old scoring mark of 119, set against Wisconsin this season; the old two-team record of 219 in the same game and the field goal record is now 52 in one game. The Hawks also have tumbled a flock of other individual, school and Big Ten marks.