Stopped at 88

Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 by Travis Cody in

On 19 January 1974, Notre Dame trailed UCLA by 11 points with about 3:50 left to play in what was looking to be the Bruins' 89th straight win on the hardwood. The Irish had been the last team to defeat UCLA in basketball way back on 23 January 1971. That game had also been at South Bend.

Led by John Shumate, Gary Brokaw, and Dwight Clay, ND went on a 12-0 run to take a one point lead. Clay scored the final 2 points from the free throw line, and the Irish had bookend victories against legendary head coach John Wooden.

Coach Wooden won 664 games from 1948 to 1975 at UCLA, which included 10 NCAA championships in his final 12 seasons. He led his teams to 4 perfect seasons of 30-0, in addition to the 88 game win streak. In the NCAA Tournament, the Bruins won 38 consecutive games. Among the notable players Coach Wooden tutored were Walt Hazzard (1962-64), Gail Goodrich (1963-65), Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 1967-69), Sidney Wicks (1969-71), Henry Bibby (1970-72), Bill Walton (1972-74), and Jamaal Wilkes (1972-74).

But on a Saturday in January 1974, Digger Phelps and the Irish upset the applecart. And I've been a Notre Dame fan ever since.


  1. I like your admiration for the team that played David against the 88-streak Goliath.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just dropping by to send you a hug and say hello!

    Have a great week :-D)

  1. Bond says:

    Nice history lesson here. As I have never been a huge basketball fan, I do not remember the impact this had.

    Nice that one game caused you to be a fan and that you continue to be so.

  1. Basketball? I've heard of that sport.

  1. Travis says:

    Julia: I was 9-10 years old, and very impressionable. And I went the opposite way on this one. I admired Coach Wooden, but I didn't like that they dominated everyone. So I was primed for the Irish.

    Lois: Right back atcha.

    V: Sometimes one time is all it takes.

    Charles: LOL! Here's hoping that you get to focus on football for about 3 more weeks.