“That night (of the UH panel discussion) was a rich experience in so many ways, but with the passing of Dick Enberg it takes on a whole new meaning,” Nantz said. “My family was in the audience, my Cougar family was in the audience, and I was with a man that I have looked up to and cherished for years who became a friend and a mentor to me.”
Hayes and Chaney carry much of the conversation regarding UH’s 71-69 win over a UCLA team led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) that came to Houston riding a 47-game win streak. Even though the story of the game has been retold countless times, there are a few new revelations, such as the impact that the game had on Hayes’ relationship with Jabbar for the next 25 years.
Younger fans also will learn much about the historic nature of the game in college basketball’s emergence from relative obscurity to a sports TV staple.
“It set the standard and orchestrated what the future was going to be,” Enberg said during the UH event. “It was the intersection of the great game of college basketball (with) television as a growing medium. … Everything was so much bigger than life.”
Watched it tonite…great show. Would have liked to have heard more about Guy V’s efforts to get the game played but all in all it was well worth watching. brought back some wonderful memories. Loved hearing Dwight Davis’ thoughts especially.
If you do not subscribe to CBSSN, is there any other way to watch it?
John Wooden was apprehensive about playing Houston in 1968. It was going to be a spectacle, too garish for the legendary coach’s famous business-like approach. And it was going to be a tough opponent in the nonconference season.
“He wanted to play patsy teams he could beat,” Rapoport said of Wooden’s nonconference scheduling philosophy.
Yet Wooden bowed to UCLA athletic director J.D. Morgan, who understood the game’s role in growing the sport.
The appeal of UCLA’s star-studded regular-season matchup paved the way for more of the marquee games required to make the cut for an NCAA Tournament bid now. Wooden’s Bruins played 24 nonconference teams ranked in the AP Poll in the 19 seasons leading up to their matchup with Houston in 1968. During the final seven years of his UCLA tenure, the Bruins faced 14 ranked foes.
The premiere regular-season matchups boost college basketball as an entertainment good, Ohanian said, as sports require two high-performing teams that are evenly matched to reach their peak quality.
UCLA and Houston fit the bill.
Each school received $125,000 for the event, according to the Houston Chronicle, four times more than the payout for the NCAA tournament that spring. That sum seems more and more like a bargain as the years progress.
“The UCLA-Houston game kind of fast-forwarded college basketball by at least 10 years and consequently created a lot more revenue,” Ohanian said. “I think neither UCLA nor Houston was adequately compensated for doing that favor for the rest of college basketball, but they certainly did.”
Since then, the Astros won a World Series, the Rockets celebrated two NBA championships and the Comets collected four consecutive WNBA trophies. But no sporting event in our city’s history had a more lasting impact than a basketball game played in the Astrodome a half century ago this Saturday night. What was touted as “The Game of the Century” vaulted the University of Houston into the national spotlight and transformed college basketball into a televised sensation. At the same time, it’s important to remember the civil rights breakthrough that made the game possible.
Unfortunately, CBS Sports Network is one of the hardest channels to find video from. Hopefully, it’ll go online once they finish airing it later this week. Either that, or hopefully someone can record and upload it.
Watched it tonite…great show. Would have liked to have heard more about Guy V’s efforts to get the game played but all in all it was well worth watching. brought back some wonderful memories. Loved hearing Dwight Davis’ thoughts especially.> Blockquote
Surely Nance at some point mentions this. Surprise it wasn’t the 1st thing said to give Coach his proper respect. Who’s is putting this on. Us or CBS. If it’s CBS then I’ll hold my tongue till it is complete