BASKETBALL—NBA: The regular season ended just the way everybody said it would before it began, Boston running away in the Eastern Division and Los Angeles an easy winner in the West. The Celtics finished strong, beating Syracuse 125-116 on the last day, while LA, 2-2 for the week and loser of nine of its last 12, managed to win its finale against San Francisco 111-105. Boston will meet the winner of a Cincinnati-Syracuse playoff to determine who represents the Eastern Division in the championship series against the West. Los Angeles will face the winner of a Detroit-St. Louis playoff. The final standings: in the East; Boston, Syracuse, Cincinnati, New York. In the West: Los Angeles, St. Louis, Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago.
BOWLING—J. B. (Great Stone Face) SOLOMON, 39, a part-time bowler on the PBA tour, needed only a 196 final game to win the $25,000 New Orleans Open tournament, beating Andy Marzich, the current PBA leading money winner, and collecting $5,000 for first place.
BOXING—CASSIUS CLAY, roundly booed for the first time in his short, loud career, won an unpopular 10-round decision from Doug Jones before a sellout crowd in Madison Square Garden (see page 16). Cocky Cassius predicted that Jones would "fall in four," but Jones did not fall at all. What did fall was Clay's reputation as a challenger for Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston.
Ray Patterson, 20, of New York, younger brother of Floyd Patterson and a former Golden Gloves champion, made a successful professional debut by scoring a second-round TKO over chubby Duke Johnson of Red Bank. N.J. The bout was a preliminary to the Clay-Jones match in Madison Square Garden.
March 25, 1963
Sugar Ray Robinson, 43, five-time world middleweight champion, knocked out Billy Thornton of Memphis with a series of combinations to the head in the third round of a scheduled 10-round bout in Lewiston, Maine.
Archie Moore of San Diego, in his first fight since Cassius Clay knocked him out last November, scored a third-round TKO over 238-pound Iron Mike DiBiase—who is better known as a wrestler—in Phoenix, Ariz. Moore, as a joke, entered the ring in an old sweater and baggy brown trunks. He earned $2,500 and has admitted he needs it.
DOG SHOWS—CH. PIXIECROFT SUNBEAM, a 22-month-old apricot-colored miniature poodle owned by Mrs. Gardner Cassatt, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., topped a 1,477-dog field to win best-in-show in Harrisburg, Pa. under the handling of Anne Hone Rogers.
GOLF—RAYMOND FLOYD, 20, of Fayetteville, N.C. made his first paycheck on the tour a big one as he won the $25,000 St. Petersburg (Fla.) Open by a single stroke over Dave Marr. He collected $3,500.
HOCKEY—NHL: TORONTO swept into first place by shutting out league-leading Chicago 3-0 (see page 53), then extended its unbeaten streak to nine games and its lead over the Black Hawks to three points, by beating New York 2-1. Montreal remained in third place, one point behind Chicago. Fourth-place Detroit added to the Hawks' miseries by handing them a 4-2 loss. The Rangers, in fifth, lost two games, and Boston, also 0-2, stayed deep in the cellar. With only a week to go in the season the Red Wings' venerable Gordie Howe was closing in on an unprecedented sixth NHL scoring championship. He had 81 points on 35 goals and 46 assists. His nearest competition was Andy Bathgate of New York, with 76 points.
The United States finished dead last, as expected, in the world championships in Stockholm, where Russia beat Canada 4- 2 in the final match to win the title. Defending champion Sweden was second, and Czechoslovakia third.
North Dakota, led by Canadians Don Stokaluk and Al McLean, beat archrival and tournament favorite Denver University 6-5 to win the NCAA hockey championship in Newton, Mass. The Sioux skaters struck early, scoring five first-period goals, but had to rely on spectacular saves by their sophomore goalie. Joe Lech, to stave off the Pioneers. North Dakota's victory was the 14th for a Western College Hockey Association team in the 16-year history of the tournament. In the consolation final, Clarkson College of Potsdam, N.Y. beat Boston College 5-3.
HORSE RACING—KELSO ($2.40) led all the way as he easily won the 1-mile, $110,500 Gulfstream Park Handicap on a soft track in 2:03.2, the second-slowest time in the 17-year history of the race. Ridden by Jockey Ismael Valenzuela, the Bohemia Stables gelding finished 3¼ lengths in front of Sensitivo.
Crozier ($3.20) drew away in the stretch to win the $53,400 San Bernardino Handicap by 2¼ lengths, the final feature at the 55-day Santa Anita meeting, where betting and attendance were the highest in years. The winner's purse of $30,900 boosted the big 5-vear-old bay's earnings at Santa Anita this season to $188,650.
Bonjour ($6.20) held a narrow lead from the three-eighths pole to take the $55,400 Governor's Gold Cup at Bowie, beating City Line by a neck. The chestnut colt covered the seven furlongs in 1:24 3/5.
Hurdy Gurdy, a 10-year-old brown gelding. sloshed over a 2½-mile course in a driving rain to win the Warrenton Hunt Cup. a feature event on the Middleburg-Warrenton. Va., point-to-point racing circuit. Rider Kingdon Gould Jr. took his mount to the front in the first mile of the timber course and stayed there, beating Joseph Pumilia on Fondness.
JUDO—KAZUO SHINOHARA, a 24-year-old Japanese citizen who lives in Los Angeles, needed only 15 seconds to win the 176-pound title and his second straight overall crown in the AAU judo championships in Fresno, Calif. Other division winners included Ben Campbell. Sacramento (open) and Toshiyuki Seino, Hollywood (150-pound).
POLO—CORNELL, displaying a well-balanced attack, retained its National Intercollegiate Championship by outriding Yale University 11-4 in New York City. Pat Dix of Spokane, Wash. led the attack with six goals as Cornell won its seventh title in the last nine years.
SKIING-TORBJORN YGGESETH, 26, of Norway, a former jet pilot, soared 277.16 feet on his last jump and edged out America's John C. Balfanz of Minneapolis to win the jumping competition at the Holmenkollen Ski Festival in Oslo, Norway. Gene Kotlarek. an economics student at the University of Minnesota (Duluth), finished fourth, giving the U.S. a remarkable showing. Norway's flu-weakened Toralf Engan, a 1962 world champion and still the favorite to win a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics, was a disappointing 18th in the field of 79 jumpers. A crowd of 80,000 watched the competition.
Cathy Nagel of Enumclaw, Wash, and Dale Miller of Ogden. Utah won the girls' and boys' downhill and giant slalom races in the National Junior Championships in Jackson, Wyo. Cathy also finished second in the slalom, one of the best performances in the history of U.S. junior racing. The slaloms were won by Ron Downing of Soap Lake, Wash., and Karen Korfanta of Pinedale, Wyo.
MILEPOSTS HIRED: NED HARKNESS, 41, dynamic hockey coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.; by Cornell. Harkness had a 187-90-7 record at RPI, a perennial eastern hockey power.
SOLD: NEW YORK TITANS, voluble Harry Wismer's bankrupt AFL team; for $1 million, to the Gotham Football Club, Inc., a syndicate of five shareholders led by David A. (Sonny) Werblin of Elberon, N.J., president of Music Corporation of America TV, Ltd. and a director of Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport, N.J. The other four shareholders. Donald C. Lillis, Townsend B. Martin, Leon Hess and Philip H. Iselin, are also prominent in Thoroughbred racing.
POSTPONED: SONNY LISTON'S return match against ex-champion Floyd Patterson: from April 10 in Miami Beach, indefinitely, because of a Liston knee injury.
RETIRED: JOE KUHARICH, 45, as head football coach at Notre Dame, after four years without a winning season, to become supervisor of officials for the National Football League. Kuharich, who coached the NFL Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins before replacing Terry Brennan at South Bend in 1958, had a 17-23 record in four years with the Irish. His 2-8 mark in 1960 equaled Notre Dame's worst record in 73 years. Notre Dame named Freshman Coach Hugh Devore as its "interim coach for 1963."
DIED: JOE JUDGE, 68, little (5 feet 8½) Washington Senator first baseman for 17 years and fine fielder who stabbed the hot grounder against Boston in 1920 that gave Walter Johnson his only no-hitter; of a heart attack, in Washington.
DIED: JOHNNIE FRANKIE, 50, stocky, bluntspoken basketball coach at Rice University and former Rice football captain and star tackle; of hepatitis and encephalitis, in Houston. Coming to Rice in 1959, he brought the Owls from the bottom of the Southwest Conference to a second-place tie this season.