L.A.'s greatest sports moments No. 4: John Wooden bows out on top
We asked you to send in your picks for the greatest sports moments in L.A. history, and 1,181 ballots later we are unveiling the top 20 vote-getters. Each weekday we will unveil a new moment until we reach No. 1.
No. 4: John Wooden goes out a winner (74 first-place votes, 3,417 points)
Fitting a coach of his greatness, legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden went out a winner on March 30, 1975, when UCLA defeated Kentucky, 92-85, to win the 1975 NCAA men's basketball title. It was the 10th time Wooden led the Bruins to the title.
When it was over, the crowd of 15,153 at the San Diego Sports Arena remained to give Wooden a standing ovation for about four minutes.
Wooden coached what would prove to be his final game in Pauley Pavilion on March 1, 1975, in a 93–59 victory over Stanford. After the Bruins defeated Louisville, 75-74, in the NCAA tournament semifinals, he announced he would retire following the title game.
During his tenure with the Bruins, Wooden won 620 games in 27 seasons and 10 NCAA titles, including seven in a row from 1967 to 1973. His teams also had a record winning streak of 88 games and four perfect 30–0 seasons.
Wooden was named NCAA college basketball coach of the year in 1964, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973 and was named Sports Illustrated magazine's Sportsman of the Year in 1972. He was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 1973. Wooden died in June 2010.
-- Houston Mitchell