Every SI Story ... Every SI Photo ... Ever SI.COM/VAULT
EXCERPT | Jan. 29, 1968
Rise of the Big E
UCLA's 47-game winning streak died in the Astrodome
February 1, 2010
In college basketball's Game of the Century, Elvin Hayes outscored an injured Lew Alcindor (scratched cornea) 39--15 to lead second-ranked Houston to a 71--69 upset over No. 1 UCLA at the Astrodome in front of 52,693, the largest crowd ever to see a basketball game in the U.S. Joe Jares reported for SI.
It was not a matter of the Cougars sneaking up on UCLA. The Bruins were ranked first in both wire-service polls and were riding a 47-game winning streak, but Houston was ranked second and had won 48 straight games at home. The Cougars had won 17 in a row since losing to UCLA in last year's NCAA semifinal, and Hayes was the third-leading scorer in the nation and certainly no stranger. The city of Houston was all atwitter about the confrontation, to the point that one radio station kept listeners up to date with "KTHT Ruin-the-Bruins time is five-oh-four." The manager of UCLA's motel provided a 10-foot bed with "Big Lew" printed in large letters at the foot.
But the 7'2" Alcindor was completely outplayed by the 6'8" Big E. The Bruins' defense could not cope with Hayes in the first half. Edgar Lacey tried, then Lew, then Mike Lynn, all to no avail. Elvin pumped in 29 points and every time he got the ball, the crowd started chanting, "E, E, E," until it sounded like one long "EEEE." When a Hayes shot went in, the monstrous Astrodome message board would flash a big E two stories high.
In the national semis 62 days later the No. 2 Bruins whipped the top-ranked Cougars 101--69 on the same floor—borrowed from and then reinstalled at L.A.'s Sports Arena—en route to a second straight NCAA title.
SI.COM | Breaking News | Real-time Scores | Daily Analysis
One Tough Job
SI.com's Andy Staples mulls the perils of being a college football coach
Florida head coach Urban Meyer (above) nearly walked away from his program after chest pains put him in the hospital the night after the Gators lost to Alabama in the SEC title game. The stress of the season had caused Meyer, 45, to drop considerable weight, and he had suffered from periodic chest pain for years. Meyer isn't the only coach whose work habits put him at risk. Nearly every Division I head coach puts in more than 100 hours a week during the season and heavy recruiting periods.
By Joe Posnanski
Carlton Fisk misses the point on Mark McGwire and other steroid users
By Seth Davis
With his persistent health issues, UConn's Jim Calhoun should retire
INSIDE THE NBA
By Britt Robson
How Josh Smith's maturation has improved the surging Hawks