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FlyZag
04-18-2017, 12:39 PM
In 1955 our WCC brothers to the South (USF) won a National Championship. (Actually two, but for this discussion lets ignore that.)

They won a 24 team tournament, where it can be argued that not all of the "best" teams participated. There was still competition from the NIT at the time, but this is about the when the NCAA tourney started to win dominance as "the" tournament. It is also the era where 4 regional sites were used to produce an actual "final four". But it cannot be denied that the NIT still was stealing talent (the 1955 NIT field included: Louisville, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Connecticut, Dayton, St. Louis, etc).

I know that winning a NCAA championship in any era is "better" than being National runner up. Champions are Champions, and those banners hang forever.

But... which is more impressive? Is Being National Runner up in 2017 in a field of 68 more impressive than winning a 24 team tournament in 1955?

Discuss.

adoptedzag
04-18-2017, 12:48 PM
banners > no banners

krozman
04-18-2017, 12:54 PM
It's like comparing Citizen Kane to Star Wars. You could argue that basketball is almost a completely different sport today as it was in 1955. I wouldn't diminish the accomplishment of any team. I just take it in context. Like the world series winner from any team in the first 30 years in baseball, transported to the MLB today, wouldn't win a single baseball game. Just unfair comparison.

TexasZagFan
04-18-2017, 12:58 PM
It's like comparing Citizen Kane to Star Wars. You could argue that basketball is almost a completely different sport today as it was in 1955. I wouldn't diminish the accomplishment of any team. I just take it in context. Like the world series winner from any team in the first 30 years in baseball, transported to the MLB today, wouldn't win a single baseball game. Just unfair comparison.

I think Murderer's Row, the 1927 Yankees, would be competitive today. The Babe would be eating healthier hot dogs and drinking craft beers, and still swing that 50 oz bat.

TravelinZag
04-19-2017, 11:13 PM
It's like comparing Citizen Kane to Star Wars. You could argue that basketball is almost a completely different sport today as it was in 1955. I wouldn't diminish the accomplishment of any team. I just take it in context. Like the world series winner from any team in the first 30 years in baseball, transported to the MLB today, wouldn't win a single baseball game. Just unfair comparison.

With all respect, completely disagree. MLB numerous teams now (including many that used to be minor league), coupled with fewer kids playing baseball now than then dilutes the quality of the "Bigs" today. Combined, its more likely that the majority of today's MLB players would never have made it to the majors 30 years ago.

WallaWallaZag
04-19-2017, 11:36 PM
With all respect, completely disagree. MLB numerous teams now (including many that used to be minor league), coupled with fewer kids playing baseball now than then dilutes the quality of the "Bigs" today. Combined, its more likely that the majority of today's MLB players would never have made it to the majors 30 years ago.

30 years ago and the first 30 years of baseball (what krozman used) are two completely different animals...agree that the popularity of baseball has probably gone down in recent years in the USA, but on the flipside the growth of the game internationally has exploded so the pool of talent is much larger.

comparing different eras is an impossible task...yes, teams from the early years mostly wouldn't be able to compete, but that's not necessarily a talent discrepancy as much as it is an evolution of athletes and training/nutrition and even strategy/analytics. i'm pretty sure that mickey mantle or ted williams would still be superstars if they grew up today.

sittingon50
04-19-2017, 11:40 PM
With all respect, completely disagree. MLB numerous teams now (including many that used to be minor league), coupled with fewer kids playing baseball now than then dilutes the quality of the "Bigs" today. Combined, its more likely that the majority of today's MLB players would never have made it to the majors 30 years ago.

Disagree 100%.

You've got more kids from all over the world in the bigs now; much bigger pool that is being drawn from. And pitching is so much different. Now you bring any one of 6 guys out of the pen that on some staff's are all throwing 95 MPH or better.

You can pick any sport; mankind is bigger, stronger & faster than in days gone by.

bartruff1
04-20-2017, 05:58 AM
USF....won two (55,56) National Championships and were undefeated (29-0) and ranked #1 in both polls in 1955.

I believe they also made the FF in 1957/58... losing to Seattle U..... with Baylor making a miracle shot...

TheGonzagaFactor
04-20-2017, 06:17 AM
Without looking at the teams involved I'd say that just making the Final Four in the 64/68 team field is more impressive than winning a 24 team tournament without all the best teams.

However, knowing that they had one of the GOATs on that team, it's hard not to side with old school USF.

For all we know USF would have crumbled under the intense nationwide hatred of a smaller school that GU faced this season, but they didn't have that pressure and to their credit won it all**.




*Tournament did not include all the best teams

amaronizag
04-20-2017, 06:32 AM
No question players are better today than in 1950. Hormones in milk and food increase growth, genetics and evolution produce better specimens, medicine and science produce healthier kids with a better diet, and analytics produce better educated coaches and trainers and smarter players. But also the US population has doubled since 1950 so the talent pool is much larger and population growth in other countries has been even greater than in the US. Today there are more kids and way better specimens to choose from. Not to say there weren't some great athletes back then, who would have been all stars in today's games, but they would have been even better if they could have taken advantage of today's training advantages and tools.

GoZags
04-20-2017, 06:34 AM
Gonzaga's "story" is still unfolding.

I'd say USF has accomplished more "to date".

When all is said and done with this "cute little run" of Gonzaga ... it "could" be close ... very close.

At least that's my opinion.

willandi
04-20-2017, 06:42 AM
Disagree 100%.

You've got more kids from all over the world in the bigs now; much bigger pool that is being drawn from. And pitching is so much different. Now you bring any one of 6 guys out of the pen that on some staff's are all throwing 95 MPH or better.

You can pick any sport; mankind is bigger, stronger & faster than in days gone by.

They'll never break the 4 minute mile! LOL

Nike has designed a new shoe, and a new running suit, picked out the best of the best (determined by their use of oxygen while running), and is trying to break the 2 hour mark for a friggin' marathon!

http://www.runnersworld.com/2-hour-marathon/nikes-sub-2-hour-marathon-attempt-will-be-run-on-formula-one-oval

former1dog
04-20-2017, 07:05 AM
Win two championships with Bill Russell > National runner up

Zagger
04-20-2017, 07:10 AM
I was 3 in 1955. Prolly didn't know a basketball from a barrel cactus (we lived in El Paso then). I'm 65, today in fact .... On your Bday you tend to contemplate time, etc. We progress because those before us have made it better. The bar is upped but doing something for the first time is pretty special compared to the times aftewards ..... 4 Minute mile, yadda, yadda, etc. etc. I'd say any school's ascension to the top is significant. Maybe over time that accomplishment can be dulled but at the time .... Wow! It was a bummer being in Phoenix for the UNC game and having it be not only an odd game but having the Zags lose. But, it only took a day or two for my sorrow to be surpassed by the accomplishments of this season's team. They have outdone all teams before them. 37-2 and being in the Championship game ..... That's setting the bar pretty darn high. It may be quite a few years, if ever, that the same is matched or exceeded. Back to the question ..... it just cannot be answered - only opined. I'll give the Zags the edge due to GU/Spokane .....

MickMick
04-20-2017, 07:37 AM
Bill Russell was mighty impressive.

77Zag
04-20-2017, 07:57 AM
Bill Russell was mighty impressive.

He changed the game -- if I'm not mistaken, they banned the dunk in college ball because of him. Anyone have the details?

Go Zags!

stevet75
04-20-2017, 08:14 AM
It's more difficult now with 68 teams and really no competition from the NIT, but it is always more impressive to win a championship. At least to me.

CdAZagFan
04-20-2017, 08:24 AM
USF played and beat who they had on their schedule to win the championship... Same argument we use when national pundits debate our 37-2 record.

Zagceo
04-20-2017, 08:31 AM
Ask the recruits

TexasZag
04-20-2017, 08:39 AM
I think Murderer's Row, the 1927 Yankees, would be competitive today. The Babe would be eating healthier hot dogs and drinking craft beers, and still swing that 50 oz bat.

I believe many of today's craft beers are heavier and have higher alcohol/caloric content than the straight-up lagers and pils from back in the day. So maybe that wouldn't be such a good thing.

CDC84
04-20-2017, 08:41 AM
I think these questions are fun to ask, but at the end of the day, you just have to acknowledge that the game (whichever one it is) has changed to such a degree that comparisons are almost impossible and you really risk being disrespectful to the players and coaches of both eras. I mean, when it comes to baseball, even I can remember the days when managers and scouts could care less about lefty/righty matchups and all the number crunching that goes on today. You threw your best pitcher, and he threw a ton of innings. Both ends of the double header, not a problem. I understand that a lot of pitchers in the old days blew out their arms in the process and had all sorts of injuries that we are now aware of, but I also have come to believe that the specialization of pitchers has actually increased the amount of pitchers getting hurt. The disabled lists in the old days just weren't filled with all these pitchers. Then again, if your ace has a 250 million dollar deal, you're going to do everything possible to protect his arm if he has a little ache. Things have changed so much.

In football and basketball things have changed so much because the athletes are just flat out bigger, taller, in better shape, and WAY stronger. It's so funny watching Dick Butkus in those NFL highlight films. He was just so much bigger than everyone else. But in many ways he was just a bridge towards the future.

When it comes to college basketball, when it comes to John Wooden and UCLA, there is no question they would not have won as many national titles as they did if the NCAA tourney were constructed like it is today. Back in his day, the west region was truly the west region. It was all teams out west. Until Tark arrived at LBSU, Wooden had almost zero competition to get to the final four. And eventually Tark had to leave LBSU for UNLV because UCLA just had all the advantages, including the check book of Sam Gilbert.

TexasZag
04-20-2017, 08:42 AM
Disagree 100%.

You've got more kids from all over the world in the bigs now; much bigger pool that is being drawn from. And pitching is so much different. Now you bring any one of 6 guys out of the pen that on some staff's are all throwing 95 MPH or better.

You can pick any sport; mankind is bigger, stronger & faster than in days gone by.

Add to this the year-round strength and conditioning and overall focus on fitness...

sittingon50
04-20-2017, 09:03 AM
He changed the game -- if I'm not mistaken, they banned the dunk in college ball because of him. Anyone have the details?

Go Zags!

Pretty sure that was a Lew Alcindor (Kareem) thing, 77.

But my marbles are a little more mobile than they used to be.

bartruff1
04-20-2017, 09:08 AM
Of course athletes are better today....but that ignores the fact that throughout sports history there have been athletes and teams that were head and shoulders above the competition, ahead of their time ....can't prove it but I believe the Walton, Alcindor, Wicks, Hazzard, Goodrich ect....UCLA Teams would have won some National Championships ..... same for Lucas's teams at Ohio State...

The 61 Yanks would be formidable....Sam Snead would win....Bob Beamon could still broad jump with the best....ect...

GoZag
04-20-2017, 10:06 AM
In 1955 our WCC brothers to the South (USF) won a National Championship. (Actually two, but for this discussion lets ignore that.)

They won a 24 team tournament, where it can be argued that not all of the "best" teams participated. There was still competition from the NIT at the time, but this is about the when the NCAA tourney started to win dominance as "the" tournament. It is also the era where 4 regional sites were used to produce an actual "final four". But it cannot be denied that the NIT still was stealing talent (the 1955 NIT field included: Louisville, Cincinnati, Seton Hall, Connecticut, Dayton, St. Louis, etc).

I know that winning a NCAA championship in any era is "better" than being National runner up. Champions are Champions, and those banners hang forever.

But... which is more impressive? Is Being National Runner up in 2017 in a field of 68 more impressive than winning a 24 team tournament in 1955?

Discuss.
I don't care if this year's tournament was 68 or 24 teams. When you get down to the final four it is always from the best 24 teams. No question USF in 1955 is more impressive

gonzagafan62
04-20-2017, 10:17 AM
The best teams didn't even participate in the ncaas in 55. I'll take this years Bulldogs and it's not close

CDC84
04-20-2017, 11:07 AM
There is a great sports book that I read as a kid called "Zanies" that talked about sports stars from 1900-1960 who were just nuts. One of them was Babe Ruth. One game he got hungry and decided to down 9 hot dogs, a couple of sandwiches, six bottles of pop and an apple (making it a healthy meal, of course :)) before taking the field the next inning.

He ended up in the ER Room. Ruth said to the hospital staff "I Knew I shouldn't have eaten that damn apple."

NotoriousZ
04-20-2017, 11:20 AM
I don't care if this year's tournament was 68 or 24 teams. When you get down to the final four it is always from the best 24 teams. No question USF in 1955 is more impressive

Yeah, but what have you done for me lately?

USF is one of the teams from the WCC that could someday become a national contender (again). San Francisco is a huge market, even with competition from Cal and Stanford, and it's an amazing place to live (if you can afford it).

Our conference is on a major upswing with SMC on a roll and BYU looking decent enough. We just need one or two more teams to step it up and recruiting would improve for all of the WCC. This could really happen. But who's going to be that fourth and/or fifth team to get it done?

By the way, I'd take these Zags over the USF champions any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

ZagsObserver
04-20-2017, 11:30 AM
I don't care if this year's tournament was 68 or 24 teams. When you get down to the final four it is always from the best 24 teams. No question USF in 1955 is more impressive

Not true. When you look at the odds, winning that many more consecutive games is tougher.

bartruff1
04-20-2017, 11:38 AM
You can spin it or rationalize it or fool some of the people most of the time....but finishing second is just being the first loser..

Now getting to the FF and the NC game is a is a remarkable achievement....but winning it is so much better and a historic achievement...for example, I have no idea who SF beat to win it's two championships..and it doesn't matter...

ZagsObserver
04-20-2017, 12:06 PM
Which is harder, being the runner up in a presidential election today or being elected in the days of George Washington? Mathematically the former is a harder feat, but the latter deserves far more honor and recognition. You would need to rationalize the term "impressive" in order to have an effective debate.

SWZag
04-20-2017, 12:07 PM
On a slightly different note, I've enjoyed reading a bit about USF's coach Phil Woolpert. Here is a great article and sounds like a coach concerned with many things about basketball that I know people are still concerned about, including myself.

Sequim Gazette: Woolpert’s legend lives on (http://www.sequimgazette.com/sports/woolperts-legend-lives-on/)

maynard g krebs
04-20-2017, 01:39 PM
He changed the game -- if I'm not mistaken, they banned the dunk in college ball because of him. Anyone have the details?

Go Zags!

That was Alcindor/Jabbar, I think. Goaltending rule was instituted because of Russell.

SWZag
04-20-2017, 02:20 PM
That was Alcindor/Jabbar, I think. Goaltending rule was instituted because of Russell.

Actually, NCAA goaltending was instituted a decade before because of 6'10 George Mikan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Mikan) (also 7'0 Bob Kurland and one or two more) in the mid-40s. They added the goaltending rule to professional basketball shortly after.

Because of Mikan, they also widened the key and also later for Chamberlin.

gaels87
04-20-2017, 02:22 PM
That was Alcindor/Jabbar, I think. Goaltending rule was instituted because of Russell.

Offensive Goaltending was because of Chamberlin.

From an outsider, USF > Gonzaga in this case. Championships are championships. Add in the fact that they had two of the best players of all time on that team solidifies it for me (KC Jones too).