- Monday, March 21 1949 -
NCAA Eastern Regional First Round (at New York, NY)
Kentucky - 85 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Final Rank 1st by AP]
Villanova - 72 (Head Coach: Al Severance) - [Final Rank 14th by AP]
|Perry del Purgatorio||2||0||0||2||4|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 48, Villanova 37
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Loyola (Chicago) 56 - 67|||||Illinois 76 - 47|
Game Writeup - by Mort Berry, Philadelphia Inquirer
Villanova Falls, 85-72; Illinois Trips Yale, 71-67
New York, March 21 - The expected rebound by power-packed University of Kentucky from its surprise loss in the National Invitational tournament materialized tonight in the opening round of the National Collegiate Eastern Basketball Tournament.
Before a Madison Square Garden gathering of 13,051, the defending champions won, 85-72, over stubborn Villanova College. Three NCAA tournament records - highest winning team total, highest winner-loser total and most foul conversions (23 by Kentucky) - were set in the action-packed nightcap which followed a slower 71-67 University of Illinois victory over Yale University.
MEET TONIGHT IN FINAL
Kentucky and Illinois are to meet tomorrow evening in the Eastern final. Then both will leave for Seattle where on Saturday, the NCAA crown won last year by Kentucky will be at stake.
Handicapped by its inability to use Tom Sabol, its ailing backboard wizard and with Joe Hannan's efficiency limited by two wrenched ankles, Villanova made a game bid to set the pace but faltered after taking a 15-10 command in five minutes.
The Villanova situation became critical when Paul Arizin, the team's most brilliant star, committed his fourth personal in the 14th minute of a 48-37 first half. Yet it was Arizin who prevented Kentucky's smooth-flowing offense from leaving the Main Liners deep in its wake.
ARIZIN SCORES 30
Arizin, who tallied 11 in the first half, made a glowing second-half comeback to gather an evening total of 30 before fouling out two minutes from the finish. Deep in the second half, Arizin made 16 straight Villanova points. During the game he made 11 of 17 floor shots. He was matched in scoring by his rival pivot, All-American Olympian Alex Groza, who got at least nine points while Arizin was on the bench. Alex made 12 of 25 shots.
On a comparative basis, Arizin appeared to have at least as much right to All-American recognition as Groza. Paul tallied baskets over the reach of his close-pressing rival and none of Alex's defensive tactics seemed to be effective against his shorter rival.
After the game, Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp said of Arizin: "He's a great ball player. He's everything they said about him."
Alex Groza snares a rebound while Jim Line(#25) and Villanova's Paul Arizin (#11) looks on