tbd by editor

44. California, 1959

The Bears traveled to Freedom Hall in Lexington, Ky., for their national semifinal and shocked highly favored Cincinnati and Oscar Robertson, 64-58. The win earned Cal a date with West Virginia and Jerry West in the title game. Despite a 28-11 double-double by West, the Bears prevailed 71-70 behind 35 combined points from Denny Fitzpatrick and Bob Dalton. One of the earliest and best Cinderella stories in tournament history, Pete Newell's team won the title despite not having a single player who made first-team All-Pacific Coast. "Three coaches had the most influence on college basketball," Bob Knight once said. "Clair Bee, Hank Iba, and Pete. And I think Pete had the greatest total grasp. He was truly remarkable." -- John Gasaway