NCAA champion 1949

Groza leads UK with 20.5 ppgas Cats repeat as NCAA champion

December 23, 2009 

  • Record: 32-2

    Coach: Adolph Rupp

    Starters: Dale Barnstable, Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones, Alex Groza, Cliff Barker and Ralph Beard

    NCAA finals: Beat Oklahoma A&M 46-36 (Groza 25 points)

    Average margin in NCAA Tournament: 20.6 points (three games)

    Team's legacy: Lost bid to become first team to sweep NCAA and NIT in same year when UK was upset by Loyola of Chicago 67-56

    Beard on Groza: "He was 6-6 and cat quick (in the pivot). Great passer. Great screener."

  • 1948-49 roster

    No. Player Pos. Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown

    5 John Stough G Jr. 6-0 170 Montgomery, Ala.

    12 Ralph Beard G Sr. 5-10 175 Louisville

    13 Roger Day F So. 6-2 170 Frostburg, Md.

    14 Garland Townes G So. 6-0 170 Hazard

    15 Alex Groza C Sr. 6-7 220 Martins Ferry, Ohio

    18 Dale Barnstable F/G Jr. 6-3 175 Antioch, Ill.

    19 Walter Hirsch F So. 6-4 180 Dayton, Ohio

    23 Cliff Barker G/F Sr. 6-2 185 Yorktown, Ind.

    25 Jim Line F Jr. 6-2 185 Akron, Ohio

    26 Robert Henne G So. 6-1 170 Bremen, Ind.

    27 Wallace Jones F/C Sr. 6-4 205 Harlan

    31 Joe Hall G So. 6-1 160 Cynthiana

    Al Bruno F So. 6-3 185 West Chester, Pa.

Except for the loss of Kenny Rollins, this was virtually the same team that won the title in 1948.

The Wildcats again won the SEC Tournament but then suffered a stunning 67-56 loss to Loyola of Chicago in the National Invitation Tournament.

Kentucky quickly made ammends in the NCAA, however. Alex Groza scored 30 points as the Wildcats defeated Villanova 85-72 in the first round of the East Regional.

Groza sparkled throughout the tournament. He scored 27 points in a 76-47 romp past Illinois in the East finals and poured in 25 as the Wildcats (32-2) knocked off Oklahoma A&M 46-36 to win their second consecutive national championship.

Herald-Leader staff report

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