The heralded battle between Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton turned out to be a mismatch. The heralded battle between their teams turned out to be a classic matchup.
Alcindor's 1967 UCLA team, with its towering center accomplishing a triple-double with 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots, defeated Walton's 1973 UCLA team 81-76 in the championship game of the Unbeaten Only computer tournament.Walton, plagued by fouls, had only six points, 10 rebounds and two blocks before fouling out with 5:06 left and his team trailing 70-68.
In the semifinals, Alcindor had 49 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocks, leading the 1967 UCLA team to a 93-81 victory over the 1991 UNLV team, and Walton had 30 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks as his 1973 UCLA team edged his 1972 UCLA team 88-86.
In opening-round games, UNLV scored a 78-70 victory over Indiana; Alcindor collected 33 points as the 1967 UCLA team defeated the 1957 North Carolina squad 82-66; Walton's 1972 UCLA team beat Bill Russell's 1956 San Francisco team 71-63, and Walton's 1973 UCLA team downed the 1964 UCLA team 80-73.
The games were produced for The Associated Press by Lance Haffner Computer Games as part of a tournament matching unbeaten UNLV against the seven teams that have won the NCAA championship with perfect records. The games were played without either a shot clock or 3-point field goals.
The first half of the championship game was close, with neither team leading by more than three points.
However, it was obvious during those first 20 minutes that Alcindor was the dominant center. He and Walton each scored their team's first basket, but after that, Walton failed to score the rest of the half, and incurred three fouls
Meanwhile, Alcindor had 15 points and eight rebounds, and got help from Lynn Shackelford with 12 points. Keith Wilkes led the 1973 team with 14 points and Larry Hollyfield had 10, as the teams were tied 42-42 at halftime.
A field goal by Lucius Allen just before the buzzer got the 1967 team even.
In the second half, the 1973 team led early, as Walton picked up the scoring pace with two quick baskets. But Walton was hit with his fourth foul with 14:21 left and the 1973 team ahead 60-58.
The margin remained two points until Alcindor began taking charge. His stuff shot with 8:29 to play tied the score 64-64, then he followed with two more field goals in the next two minutes, giving the 1967 team a 68-64 lead.
A short time later, Walton was gone on fouls, but the 1973 team rallied and forged ahead 72-71 on two free throws by Greg Lee with 2:55 left.
The '73 team still led, 76-75, until 21 seconds remained, when Alcindor tipped in a missed shot by Mike Warren. Ten seconds later, Alcindor blocked a shot by Dave Meyers.
The 1967 team completed the scoring on two free throws each by Ken Heitz and Allen in the final five seconds, clinching the victory.
Shackelford finished with 15 points, Warren had 11 points and seven assists and Allen 10 points for the 1967 team. Wilkes and Hollyfield led the 1973 team with 20 points apiece, and Larry Farmer had 13 points and nine rebounds.