The Miami Heat, a team that many had started to doubt following Game 2 in Dallas, is also battling history on their quest for an NBA title. When one of their college counterparts, the Florida Gators, won the men's NCAA title this season they setup a scenario that's occured just three other times.
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Since the inception of the NBA, the NCAA men's division one champion and NBA champion have come from the same state on three seperate occasions. The first was during the 1971-1972 season when the UCLA Bruins won the NCAA title, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the NY Knicks 4-1 to take home the NBA hardware. The second time occured during the 1974-1975 season when the UCLA Bruins again captured the NCAA title, but this time it was the Golden State Warriors beating out the Washington Bullets 4-0 for the NBA title. The third, and most recent occurence, was in the 1988-1989 season when the Michigan Wolverines won the NCAA title, and the Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-0 for the NBA championship.
However, those three successful state related occurences aren't the only times that an NBA team had a shot at winning the title after one of their state counterparts captured the NCAA title. Over the course of the NBA's 59 year history there have been eight times where an NBA team could have added a title to a state university's but didn't. The first was during the 1949-1950 season when CCNY won the NCAA title, but the Syracuse Nationals were beaten by the Minneapolis Lakers 4-2 in the NBA Finals. The second through eighth occurences involved the UCLA Bruins winning the NCAA title('64, '65, '67, '68-'70, '73) , but California based NBA teams couldn't capture their championships.
In 1963-1964, it was the San Francisco Warriors falling to the Boston Celtics 4-1, 1964-1965 it was the L.A. Lakers losing to the Boston Celtics 4-1, 1966-1967 it was the San Francisco Warriors losing again, this time to the Philadelphia 76'ers 4-2, 1967-1968 the L.A. Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics 4-2, 1968-1969 the L.A. Lakers again lost to the Celtics, this time 4-3, 1969-1970 the L.A. Lakers lost to the N.Y. Knicks 4-3 and during the 1972-1973 season the L.A. Lakers lost to the Knicks again, this time 4-1.
Overall, NBA teams have a 3-8 record when trying to add to the NCAA men's division one championship from the same state in the same season.
Should the Miami Heat get a win in Dallas, thereby attaining the NBA title, they will have accomplished an extremely rare feat. If they lose, they can thank the NCAA champions to the north for a set of circumstances that's proven difficult to overcome.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Posted by BDoc at 10:13 AM