College Basketball Trivia: The ACC

(Part -1)

By Lorenzo Tanos

We continue our series of NCAA Division I trivia articles with the first of two parts covering the Atlantic Coast Conference. Due to the fact that this conference has been around nearly six decades, I'll be preparing 16 questions divided into two parts. If your favorite ACC school isn't covered in this first batch of eight questions, don't worry – I'll find a way to sneak 'em in once Part 2 is published next week. Most of the initial questions, as you'll notice, center on the Tar Heels, Wolfpack and Blue Devils, arguably the three most successful teams in the ACC's 59-year history.

1. This former Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard (a former teammate of Tim Duncan) was far more successful as an actor, most notably as Buffy the Vampire Slayer character Riley Finn. Who is he?

Marc Blucas. For his career, he averaged 4.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 1.3 apg, and had his best season as a senior (1993-94), with norms of 6.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 47% from the field and 48% beyond the arc. After a failed professional basketball stint in Europe, he decided to give acting a try. He currently plays an athletic trainer named Matt Donnally on the USA Network series Necessary Roughness.

2. Which legendary coach led both North Carolina and South Carolina to ACC championships (and the former school to an NCAA title), primarily relying on players from his native New York?

Frank McGuire. In 1957, his North Carolina Tar Heels defeated Wilt Chamberlain's Kansas Jayhawks in a 54-53 triple-overtime classic that is still considered one of the best NCAA Championship games ever. UNC's best players in '57,LennieRosenbluth and Tommy Kearns (the latter of whom jumped center in the finale against Chamberlain, despite standing just 5'10") hailed from New York City, as did 1971 South Carolina Gamecocks and future NBA starters Tom Owens and John Roche. The '71 Gamecocks won the ACC title that year with a lineup some consider a precursor to the late-'80s Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" in terms of physical play.

3. Who was the only starter on the 1973-74 North Carolina State Wolfpack who did not play in one of the major sporting leagues in America?

Moe Rivers. The 6'1" junior was the Pack's backcourt defensive specialist, an excellent complementary player to future NBA superstar David Thompson and mildly overhyped, 7'4" NBA project Tommy Burleson. 5'7" point guard Monte Towe (who co-invented the alley-oop with the 6'4" Thompson) briefly played in the ABA. 6'7" power forward Tim Stoddard was bypassed in the 1975 NBA Draft, but was a second-round pick of the Chicago White Sox who enjoyed a long, successful career as a relief pitcher in the majors. Going back to Rivers, he was a 10th-round draft pick in 1975, but just like scores of other 10th-round NBA Draft picks, he never made it to the NBA.

4. Name five 1950s ACC stars who had stints as American "imports" in the Philippines shortly after their NCAA careers.

This one's for my fellow Filipino basketball fans, and quite an obscure bit of trivia overall. Pete Brennan (UNC), Lou Pucillo and John Richter (both from NC State) were three top-flight ACC players who briefly played as reinforcements (or "imports") in the old MICAA, a predecessor of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). Brennan and Richter both played in the NBA. Phil DiNardo and Bob Seitz, two other North Carolina State starters, didn't have distinguished NCAA careers like the other three, but also suited up for late '50s MICAA teams in the Philippines.

5. Same name, same high-scoring game, same collegiate team (briefly), different generations, but no relation. They even have the same middle initial and same position (2/3 swingman)!

Brian D. (Darnell) Oliver of the late '80s Georgia Tech teams is not at all related to Brian D. (Daniel) Oliver, who suited up for the Yellow Jackets from 2009 to 2011. The younger Brian Oliver is now with Seton Hall. The elder one, on the other hand, teamed up with Dennis Scott and Kenny Anderson on some great Yellow Jackets teams, and had a brief NBA career.

6. True or False – All 14 players on the 1981-82 North Carolina Tar Heels NCAA Championship team were drafted by an NBA team.

False. 12 players were drafted, of course led off by His Airness Michael Jordan (then a freshman) and "Big Game" James Worthy. Only backup guard Lynwood Robinson and backup center TimoMakkonen missed out on being drafted.

7. He may not have lived up to expectations as a McDonald's All-American, but this '90s Duke Blue Devil is the only one of Mike Krzyzewski's recruits to attend – and graduate from – medical school.

6'10" center/forward TaymonDomzalski had his best season as a freshman ('95-'96, 6.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg in 20.5 mpg), and didn't see more than 10 minutes per game for the remainder of his basketball career. Though he was one of the most disappointing Blue Devils in the '90s in terms of high school achievements translating to college, Domzalski was a good student who graduated from the Duke Medical School in May 2009.

8. This former Duke player from the early '60s enjoyed a 12-year NBA career as a high-scoring shooting guard, including ten years with the San Francisco and Golden State Warriors. He has the uncharacteristic nickname "Pork Chop."

Jeff Mullins was, together with Art Heyman (despite his being a mild disappointment as a first-overall draft pick), one of the first Duke players to enjoy success in the NBA. For some reason he was nicknamed Pork Chop, and it obviously wasn't due to his slim 6'4"-190 build. He averaged 16.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 3.8 apg in an NBA career which lasted from 1964 to 1976.

Check out College Basketball Trivia: The ACC (Part -2).

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