- Friday, March 21 1958 -
NCAA Final Four (at Louisville, KY)
Kentucky - 61 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Final Rank 9th by AP]
Temple - 60 (Head Coach: Harry Litwack) - [Final Rank 5th by AP and 5th by UPI]
|Tink Van Patton||1||1||1||2||3||4||3|
Halftime Score: Kentucky 31, Temple 31
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Notre Dame 89 - 56|||||Seattle 84 - 72|
Game Writeup - by Larry Boeck, Louisville Courier-Journal
Hatton Fires Goal in Final 16 Seconds for 61-60 Win
Louisville, March 21, 1958 -- Vernon Hatton did it to Temple again last night -- this time from right under the basket with 16 seconds left.
The imperturbable, dead-pan guy who sank an incredible 47-footer with a second left in overtime in December to help beat Temple, did it again last night on a huddle-planned, driving layup that game Kentucky at 61-60 triumph over the Owls.
That victory sends the Wildcats against Seattle tonight at 9 o'clock for the N.C.A.A. championship. The underdog, but sharp-shooting Chieftains upset giant Kansas State in last night's second game of the National Collegiate Athletic Association semifinals, 73-51.
Temple will meet Kansas Sate in the consolation game at 7 tonight.
A record N.C.A.A. Tournament crowd of 18,586 thundered in exultation or despair when the senior guard from Lexington took a pass at the circle, swerved to his right behind a screen by Ed Beck, cut down the baseline, leaped and laid in the game-winning basket.
So once more, as in Lexington in December, the crew-cut Hatton spelled heartbreak for the speedy, ballhawking Owls. Last December, the Owls seemed a cinch winner until Hatton's 47-footer that led to an 85-83 triple overtime victory.
Last night Kentucky again appeared a doomed club as Temple led by 4 points with 2:56 remaining. But again, the Owls collapsed under the pressure of the relentless Cats.
Thus, Kentucky -- which had a mediocre 19 and 6 regular season -- appears in its fourth N.C.A.A. final with a team that has no all-American and which could place just one man (Johnny Cox) on one of three All-Southeastern Conference teams released. And for the fourth time, Kentucky seeks the national championship.
Another packed-house at Freedom Hall -- which took the 1946 N.C.A.A. record of 18,479 away from Madison Square Garden -- is expected for the duel with Seattle.
The smaller but faster and deadlier shooting Chieftains - 8 point underdogs - outfought the rangy Kansas State Wildcats on the boards. And their chances of winning this title were set at 4 to 1 before the meet opened.
Those odds tumbled as Seattle grabbed 56 rebounds to Kansas State's 34.
Led by the remarkable shooting Elgin Baylor and by Charley Brown, an Indiana U. transfer, the Chieftains overcame an early Kansas State lead, went into the half ahead, 37-32, and then poured it on at the second half's onset.
UK -- a team that fought and bled and scraped its way all this pressureful season to get this far -- appeared a doomed ball club in the final minutes.
Once more, and once again in a classically dueled, tensefull battle, Temple needed but to control the situation to triumph.
In a frantically fought contest that was close all the way, Temple led by 4 points at 59-55 after erasing a seven-point UK first half lead and a five-point Wildcat early second-half margin.
The magnificent Guy Rodgers, an all-American guard, got hot with 10:53 to go in the second half and the teams tied for the third time at 42-42 in a defensive battle.
Rodgers sank four buckets from outside in the next five minutes to give Temple temporary mastery of the situation.
Then, with the count 59-55, Temple coach Harry Litwack of the Owls jumped from the bench, stretched out both hands, palms upward, in a slowdown signal, and Temple went into a stall.
This was its undoing.
Adrian Smith sank two free throws after sophomore Bill Kennedy -- the eventual goat of the game -- charged into him. This made it 59-57.
Now 1:30 remained on the scoreboard clock.
With 55 seconds on the clock, Dan Fleming hit a free throw on the bonus to make it 60-57.
Rodgers fouled Smith -- and again Smith hit two free throws to make it 60-59 with 29 seconds left.
Lincoln Collingsworth then fouled Rodgers -- but this time Rodgers missed on the first free throw of the bonus.
Ed Beck jumped high, tipped the ball to Smith, and UK called time-out with only 23 ticks left. In the timeout huddle, Coach Adolph Rupp told the Cats how he wanted it played. Hatton's clutch field goal followed.
Temple got possession and quickly called time-out then put the ball into play with 12 seconds left for a final important shot. But Kennedy bobbled a pass, the ball bounced out of bounds, Kentucky took over and that was it.
The defeat was all the more bitter for Temple because the Owls outscored UK from the field, 25 to 19. They outshot Kentucky, too, sinking 25 of 61 field goal attempts for a solid 41 percent while the Cats sank just 19 of 63 field goal attempts for a meek 30.2 percent.
But the Cats did out-rebound Temple, 44 to 36, and shot well from the free throw line in sinking 23 of 28 shots.
Johnny Cox, showing no ill effects from an injured shooting hand, led UK with 22 points, Hatton followed with 13 and Smith with 12.
Guy Rodgers didn't seem to be impaired by an ailing back as he fired home 22 points.
Each team committed nine turnovers.
The teams were nip-and-tuck until the end, although Temple did open up a 7-2 early lead and Kentucky went to the fore, 23-16, before the teams went into halftime tied, 33-33.
The score was tied eight times and changed hands 10 times.
John Crigler floats in for a lay-up
Ed Beck fights Temple's Tink Van Patton for the ball as John Crigler and Johnny Cox (24) look on.
Vernon Hatton guards Bill "Pickles" Kennedy