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Now Here’s a Matchup UCLA Couldn’t Lose

Which is the best college basketball team of all-time?

According to the Unbeaten Only computer tournament, produced by a Nashville-based computer company for the Associated Press, it’s UCLA.

And the runner-up is . . . UCLA.

Getting 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots from Lew Alcindor, the Bruins of 1967 defeated Bill Walton and the Bruins of 1973, 81-76, in the championship game as Walton, plagued by foul trouble, was badly outplayed by Alcindor.

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Walton had only six points, 10 rebounds and two blocks before fouling out with 5:06 to play.

The fantasy tournament matched this year’s Nevada Las Vegas team against the seven teams that won NCAA championships with unbeaten records.

Walton fared better against himself in the semifinals, contributing 30 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks as his 1973 team defeated his 1972 team, 88-86.

No word on how he played for the 1972 team.

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Trivia Time: What number did Gerald Ford wear as a center for the University of Michigan football team?

It gets worse: Last Wednesday, after the former Dodger pitcher allowed eight runs in 3 1/3 innings of a 17-9 exhibition loss to the Baltimore Orioles, the Associated Press started a spring training roundup: “It wasn’t a good day for Fernando Valenzuela.”

Thursday wasn’t any better.

The Dodgers released him.

Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: Said Charles Barkley of the Philadelphia 76ers, explaining that he didn’t mean to spit on an 8-year-old girl when he confronted fans last Tuesday night during a loss to the New Jersey Nets at East Rutherford, N.J.: “I was tired, and I didn’t have enough foam in my mouth; it went everywhere.”

Barkley, who said that he meant to spit at a heckler behind the basket, was suspended for one game and fined $10,000 by the NBA office.

Wait a minute: Introducing Cecil Fielder, who hit 51 home runs for the Detroit Tigers last season, Eric Tracy of KABC on Thursday called Fielder “the first American Leaguer to hit 50 home runs since Hank Greenberg.”

Greenberg hit 58 for the Detroit Tigers in 1938.

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Eighteen years later, Mickey Mantle hit 52 for the New York Yankees and in 1961, Mantle hit 54 for the Yankees. And in the latter season, of course, Mantle’s teammate, Roger Maris, set a major league record by hitting 61 home runs.

Sixteen years ago: On March 31, 1975, in Coach John Wooden’s last game, UCLA defeated Kentucky, 92-85, for its 10th NCAA basketball championship in 12 seasons.

Wooden retired with a record of 620-147.

Money man: Kyle Petty, who has won more than $250,000 in the last two spring events at Rockingham, N.C., has come up with a nickname for the Pontiac Grand Prix that has carried him to victory both times:

Grover.

It is named in honor of President Grover Cleveland, whose picture appears on the $1,000 bill.

Dept. of Misinformation: According to Wallace Matthews of Newsday, the following conversation took place between boxing promoter Bob Arum and a reporter on the morning before the Mike Tyson-Razor Ruddock fight:

Arum: “I heard the fight’s off. Ruddock’s got a broken hand.”

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Reporter: “You’re crazy. I saw Ruddock yesterday and his hand’s fine.”

Arum: “It is? Well, then forget it.”

Trivia Answer: 48.

Quotebook: Baseball Coach Sandy Davis of Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C., explaining why it took only 3 hours 15 minutes for his team to complete a 43-0 victory over Maryville of Tennessee: “They were throwing a lot of strikes and we were hitting them.”


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