UCLA used a 16-0 spurt late in the first half to spark a 98-83 victory over Duke and cap a perfect 30-0 season in the NCAA title game in Kansas City, Missouri. It was the beginning of the most dominant era in college basketball, a stretch in which the Bruins would win 10 national championships in 12 years. Head coach John Wooden had a relatively undersized team, but took advantage of its experience and quickness by utilizing a devastating zone press that would become UCLA's trademark. Senior Walt Hazzard, perhaps the top playmaker in Bruin history, averaged 18.6 points per game and was named college basketball's player of the year. Gail Goodrich led the Bruins with an average of 21.5 points per game. Top reserve Kenny Washington came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points and grab 12 rebounds in the championship game. The Bruins were not regarded as title contenders at the beginning of the season but moved into the top spot in the national polls early in January for the first time in school history.

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