Notre Dame beats UCLA to end 88-game winning streak - HISTORY
Year
1974

Notre Dame beats UCLA to end 88-game winning streak

On January 19, 1974, the University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team defeats the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) 71-70, in South Bend, Indiana, snapping UCLA’s record-setting 88-game winning streak.

The Irish entered the game undefeated for the season and ranked No. 2 in the country. UCLA, coached by John Wooden and led by the future Hall of Fame center Bill Walton, held the No. 1 ranking. Despite injuring his back in a fall the previous week against Washington State, Walton played all 40 minutes of the game, wearing an elastic brace. He performed impressively, scoring 24 points and grabbing nine rebounds.

With three and a half minutes left in the game, the Irish were trailing by 11 points when they began an aggressive press that caught UCLA off guard. Notre Dame won the next 12 points, spurred by the play of center John Shumate (24 points), guard Gary Brokaw (25 points) and Dwight Clay, who scored the winning two points on a jump shot from the right corner, with 29 seconds remaining. When Walton missed a 12-foot shot in the final seconds, the game was over–as was UCLA’s long streak of wins. Many in the stunned crowd of 11,343 at Notre Dame’s Athletic and Convocation Center rushed onto the court to congratulate Coach Digger Phelps and the victorious players. “This was great for college basketball,” Phelps told the press. “I’m sure everyone was rooting for us the way they used to root against the New York Yankees.” It was the second big Irish upset that season, coming just three weeks after Notre Dame’s football team beat Alabama in a thrilling Sugar Bowl to gain the No. 1 spot.

The Irish played a pivotal role at several points in UCLA’s historic streak. The Bruins’ last loss had been on January 23, 1971, in South Bend. The previous year, the Bruins had broken the collegiate record for consecutive wins with their 61st straight victory–over Notre Dame. A week after their streak ended, the Walton Gang would get revenge, beating Phelps’ squad 94-75 in a return game at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles to regain the No. 1 ranking.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

First air raid on Britain

During World War I, Britain suffers its first casualties from an air attack when two German zeppelins drop bombs on Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn on the eastern coast of England.The zeppelin, a motor-driven rigid airship, was developed by German inventor Ferdinand Graf von ...read more

Butcher of Lyons arrested in Bolivia

Klaus Barbie, the Nazi Gestapo chief of Lyons, France, during the German occupation, is arrested in Bolivia for his crimes against humanity four decades earlier.As chief of Nazi Germany’s secret police in occupied France, Barbie sent thousands of French Jews and French Resistance ...read more

Edgar Allan Poe is born

On this day in 1809, poet, author and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts.By the time he was three years old, both of Poe’s parents had died, leaving him in the care of his godfather, John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. After attending school in ...read more

Operation McLain is launched

“Sky Soldiers” from the 173rd Airborne Brigade begin Operation McLain with a reconnaissance-in-force operation in the Central Highlands. The purpose of this operation was to find and destroy the communist base camps in the area in order to promote better security for the ...read more

Eisenhower cautions successor about Laos

Outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower cautions incoming President John F. Kennedy that Laos is “the key to the entire area of Southeast Asia,” and might even require the direct intervention of U.S. combat troops.Fearing that the fall of Laos to the communist Pathet Lao forces ...read more

Ford pardons Tokyo Rose

On this day in 1977, President Gerald R. Ford pardons Tokyo Rose. Although the nickname originally referred to several Japanese women who broadcast Axis propaganda over the radio to Allied troops during World War II, it eventually became synonymous with a Japanese-American woman ...read more

Mexican rebels kill Charles Bent

Angered by the abusive behavior of American soldiers occupying the city, Mexicans in Taos strike back by murdering the American-born New Mexican governor Charles Bent.The eldest of four brothers who all became prominent frontiersmen, Charles Bent began his involvement with the ...read more

Patricia Highsmith is born

On this day, crime novelist Patricia Highsmith is born in Forth Worth, Texas. Highsmith, who wrote some 20 novels and seven short story collections, examined the darkest sides of human nature and frequently portrayed a world chillingly free of morality or consequences.Highsmith ...read more

Production begins on Toy Story

On this day in 1993, production begins on Toy Story, the first full-length feature film created by the pioneering Pixar Animation Studios. Originally a branch of the filmmaker George Lucas’s visual effects company, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Pixar first put itself on the ...read more

Fog leads to deadly collision in North Sea

Heavy fog in the North Sea causes the collision of two steamers and the death of 357 people on this day in 1883.The Cimbria was a 330-foot, 3,000-ton steamship built in 1867 and operated by the Hamburg-Amerika Line. It left Hamburg, Germany, on January 18 with 302 passengers and ...read more

Man charged in California cyberstalking case

A mere three weeks after California passed a law against cyberstalking, Gary Dellapenta is charged with using the Internet to solicit the rape of a woman who had rejected his advances. Dellapenta terrorized a North Hollywood woman by placing ads in her name that claimed she had ...read more

Communist China recognizes North Vietnam

The People’s Republic of China bestows diplomatic recognition upon the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Communist China’s official recognition of Ho Chi Minh’s communist regime resulted in much needed financial and military assistance in Ho’s battle against the French in Vietnam, ...read more

Robert E. Lee born

Confederate General Robert Edward Lee is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia during most of the Civil War and his brilliant battlefield leadership earned him a reputation as one of the greatest military leaders in history as he ...read more

Battle of Logan’s Crossroads

On this day in 1862, at the Battle of Logan’s Cross Roads, Union General George Thomas defeats Confederates commanded by George Crittenden in southern Kentucky. The battle, also called Mill Springs or Beech Grove, secured Union control of the region and resulted in the death of ...read more