1968–69 UCLA Bruins men's basketball team
|1968–69 UCLA Bruins men's basketball|
Pac-8 Championship (First as Pac-8, 6th overall)
NCAA National Championship Game
vs. Purdue, W, 92–72
|1968–69 record||29–1 (13–1 Pac-8)|
|Head coach||John R. Wooden|
|Assistant coach||Denny Crum|
|Assistant coach||Gary Cunningham|
|Home arena||Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California|
The 1968–69 UCLA Bruins men's basketball team won UCLA's fifth NCAA National Basketball Championship under head coach John R. Wooden with a win over Purdue, coach Wooden's alma mater. The Bruins started the season with a 25–0 record.
On March 20, UCLA had a two-point lead over Drake, 41–39, at half time and then went on to defeat Drake by three points, 85–82, to advance to the championship game against Purdue. Wooden graduated from Purdue in 1932, after earning All-American honors as a guard on the school's basketball team that he captained during his junior and senior years. The Boilermakers won two Big Ten titles and the 1932 National Championship during his years there. Wooden also played baseball during his freshman year.
The "Money Man", John Vallely, scored 29 points and Alcindor had 25 points at the semi-final game. Alcindor scored 37 points with 20 rebounds in the championship game.
- Lew Alcindor, now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33, 24.0 ppg/14.6 rpg)
- John Ecker (#52)
- George Farmer (#34)
- Kenny Heitz (#22, 6.5 ppg/2.3 rpg)
- Jim Nielsen (#34)
- Steve Patterson (#32)
- Curtis Rowe (#30, 12.9 ppg/7.6 rpg)
- Don Saffer (#25)
- Terry Schofield (#42)
- Bill Seibert (#54)
- Lynn Shackelford (#53, 7.0 ppg/4.0 rpg)
- Bill Sweek (#45)
- John Vallely (#40, 11.0 ppg/3.2 rpg)
- Lee Walczuk (#44)
- Sidney Wicks (#35)
Schedule and results
|12/6||Ohio State||1/13||A||84–73 W|
|12/7||Notre Dame||1/5||A||88–75 W|
|12/21||West Virginia||1/-||H||95–56 W|
|12/30||St. John’s||1/-||A||74–56 W|
|1/11||Oregon State||1/-||A||83–64 W|
|2/7||Washington||1 1/-||H||62–51 W|
|2/8||Washington State||1 1/-||H||108–80 W|
|2/15||Washington State||1 1/-||A||83–59 W|
|2/21||Oregon State||1/-||H||91–66 W|
|3/13||New Mexico State||1/12||H||53–38 W|
|3/15||Santa Clara||1/3||H||90–52 W|
- Three consecutive national championships for the Bruins, five in six years.
- This was the first year in which the Athletic Association of Western Universities officially adopted the name Pacific-8 Conference, although that name had been used unofficially since the 1964–65 season after Oregon and Oregon State joined the conference.
- USC, after losing a 61–55 double-overtime game to UCLA at the Sports Arena the night before, defeated the Bruins, 46–44, at Pauley Pavilion with a slowdown game. The Trojans' win ended four extended winning streaks by the Bruins:
- 51 games in Pauley Pavilion.
- 41 overall.
- 45 in AAWU/Pac-8 play.
- 17 over USC.
- Last season for the 7-foot-1 and 1/2-inch center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), who led the Bruins to an overall three-year record (1967-68-69) of 88–2, and is the only player in history to be named three-time NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. In 1969, Abdul-Jabbar earned the first ever Naismith Trophy, given to the nation's top player.
- On the 40th anniversary, the team was honored at halftime of UCLA's Senior Day game, March 7, 2009, at Pauley Pavilion.
- Lew Alcindor's father played trombone with the UCLA band during the championship game.
Awards and honors
- Lew Alcindor, NCAA Basketball Tournament MOP (1969)
- Lew Alcindor, Naismith College Player of the Year 
- Lew Alcindor, Helms Foundation Player of the Year award
- Lew Alcindor, First Team All-American
Team players drafted into the NBA
|1||1||Lew Alcindor||Milwaukee Bucks|
|1||3||Lucius Allen||Seattle SuperSonics|
|5||48||Ken Heitz||Milwaukee Bucks|
|7||85||Bill Sweek||Phoenix Suns|
|7||90||Lynn Shackelford||San Diego Rockets|
- Official Collegiate Basketball Guide
- 1964 and 1965 NCAA Championship Teams to be Honored
- Jerry Crowe, "Mack Calvin waited it out with USC to beat UCLA", Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2009
- Jeff Borzello, Top 16 college basketball teams of all time, cbssports.com, March 21, 2012
Media related to 1968–69 UCLA Bruins men's basketball season at Wikimedia Commons