50th anniversary of 1965 Princeton Tigers’ Final Four berth

Bill Bradley still owns the top 11 scoring games in Princeton history 49 years after graduating.
Bill Bradley still owns the top 11 scoring games in Princeton history 49 years after graduating.

This is the 50th anniversary of arguably the greatest Ivy League basketball team of all time, the 1964-65 Princeton Tigers.

Princeton was coached by the legendary Butch van Breda Kolff and was led by one of the five greatest players in college basketball history, Bill Bradley, as well as a host of other complementary players.

The Tigers finished the season at 23-6 and 13-1 in the Ivies, suffering only an upset loss on the road to a strong Cornell team. They had a stirring 109-69 NCAA win over No. 4 Providence on the road and finished third in the country with a 118-82 win over Wichita State and future New York Knick Dave Stallworth in a game in which Bradley scored 58 points to set an NCAA tournament record. We will be providing our readers with weekly capsules of significant games in conjunction with interviews with key players on that team.

Stay tuned.

1 thought on “50th anniversary of 1965 Princeton Tigers’ Final Four berth

  1. Ivy League fans are grateful, and properly so, to Bill Bradley and his Tiger teammates for setting standards of academic and athletic excellence with which our League has identified in the 50 years that have passed since 1965. In the Ivy League the term “student-athlete” is not just a public relations label dreamed up by a shill for the NCAA marketing department.
    Bradley’s Princeton career has been well-chronicled, but is always fun to review. He remains, after 50 years, the League’s all-time scoring leader with 2503 points in just three seasons (30.2 ppg). It is not unreasonable to suggest that his output would have been significantly higher if he had been eligible to play as a freshman and if the 3 PT field goal was recognized. Of the scorers ahead of him on the NCAA list only Pete Maravich, who scored an astonishing 3667 points in the same number of games as Bradley, is clearly out of reach. To make a recent comparison, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, generally regarded as the outstanding player last year, finished his career with 3150 points in 145 games, including more than 700 points from beyond the arc. With 60 more games Bradley might well have reached 4000.

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