Lucas was All-American on court, in class
March 19, 1960 - Ohio State had ended the regular season ranked No. 3 in the country, while defending national champion California was rated second. But when the NCAA final was over, it was clear that the Buckeyes, led by Jerry Lucas, were No. 1.
The sophomore All-American center connected on 5-of-6 field-goal attempts in the first half as Ohio State started 16-of-19 in taking a 37-19 halftime lead. The five-point underdogs didn't let down in the second half and coasted to a 75-55 victory in the Cow Palace in San Francisco as five Buckeyes scored in double figures.
"One of the great things about that team is that it was a team," Lucas said.
He was voted the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four after being the top scorer (16 points) and rebounder (10) in the biggest title-game rout in the first 22 years of the NCAA Tournament. But the job he did defensively might have been his biggest contribution.
Lucas had the task of guarding All-American center Darrall Imhoff, who had scored 25 points in Cal's semifinal victory over No. 1-ranked Cincinnati and Oscar Robertson. But the 6-foot-8 Lucas forced the 6-foot-10 Imhoff into 3-of-9 shooting, holding him to eight points and five rebounds.
Odds 'n' Ends