1972: The Lakers finally do it and LA is the mecca of college sports
In 1972 Southern California claimed basketball’s biggest prize at both the amateur and professional stage. In March the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team won their sixth straight NCAA title going a perfect 30-0 on the season to stretching their winning streak to 45 games. The title-winning season was notable serving as the 25th year in John Wooden’s Bruin coaching career and future basketball hall of famers Bill Walton and Jamaal Wilkes made their varsity debuts.
The Bruins title win came in front of their home fans as the Final Four took place at the Los Angeles Sports Arena where the Bruins defeated Florida State 81-76 to wrap up the title. Down the road in Inglewood at the “Fabulous Forum,” the Los Angeles Lakers set an NBA record for the most consecutive win (33) and regular-season wins (69).
The Lakers would finally get the monkey off their back by winning their first NBA title in Los Angeles beating the New York Knicks in five games. Not to be outdone the USC Trojans dominated two sports, the baseball team won their third College World Series in a row and then that fall the football team went undefeated 12-0 on its way to their third consensus national championship of the John McKay era.