March 26, 1973: Bill Walton's nearly perfect night at the Arena

March 26, 1973: Bill Walton's nearly perfect night at the Arena

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The NCAA had a no-dunking rule at the time, otherwise it would have been 25-of-26 for Bill Walton and 52 points. But the big red-head had four baskets nullified for offensive goaltending and thus "settled" for 44 points on 21-of-22 shots. With the help of a couple of free throws Walton's 44 points was a championship game record in UCLA's 87-66 basketball victory over Memphis State on March 26, 1973 at The Arena.

Walton scored on tip-ins and turnarounds, ripped down 13 rebounds, and was intimidating on defense. Give an assist to Bruins teammate Greg Lee for Walton's magical night _ actually, give him 14 assists on one lob pass after another over the Tigers' defense to Walton under the basket. The victory was the 75th in a row for coach John Wooden's UCLA dynasty, giving the Bruins nine national titles 10 years. "I can see where people in the pros think (Walton's) worth $2 million," said Memphis coach Gene Bartow, who once coached at St. Charles High. "Isn't he something?"

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