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UCLA and Duke to Meet in NCAA Basketball Final

Mar. 20, 1964 - U.C.L.A. staged a late rally tonight to beat Kansas State, 90-84, and Duke whipped Michigan, 91-80, to gain tomorrow night’s NCAA basketball final. After Duke’s fast-running team had beaten the physically stronger Big Ten team at its own game by controlling the backboards, unbeaten U.C.L.A. rolled to its 29th victory before 10,731 fans at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium.

The championship game looms as a speed classic. Duke, one of the nation’s fastest squads, ran Michigan ragged from late in the opening period until the end after gaining complete control of the backboards against big fellows like Cazzie Russell and Bill Buntin.

Russell was the high scorer, but he received little help. The Blue Devils got 25 points from Jay Buckley and 21 from Jeff Mullins (pictured #44).

Time after time, Duke grabbed rebounds and raced up court on three-on-one situations that produced baskets.

Last December, Michigan whipped Duke, 83-67. This time, Duke played a man-to-man defense as opposed to a zone the last time, and they turned the tables with the big control of the boards. The work of Buckley and Hack Tison primarily gave Duke control. Buckley grabbed 14 rebounds and Tison 13.

“Fellows,” said 37-year-old Duke coach Vic Bubas afterward, “we are extremely happy to have beaten what I consider a great Michigan team. I don’t know how much of a psychological advantage it was for us to have been trounced by Michigan in that December game [83-67], but it could have had something to do with it.”

Michigan coach Dave Strack said: “I can’t complain about my boys. They’ve played well all year, and they did their best out there. Jay Buckley played a great game. Jeff Mullins is a great player. We lost to a great club.”

Asked what he thought of Duke’s chances tomorrow night, Strack remarked: “Since they beat us, I’d be satisfied to let them have the title.”


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