Sport: The Wooden Touch

When he was a 5-ft. 10½-in. guard at Purdue, John Robert Wooden used to fling himself toward the hoop with such desire that he once ended up in the fifth row of the college band. Today, his fellow coaches in college basketball have good reason to wish Wooden had got permanently stuck in a tuba. For defeating the Wooden-coached U.C.L.A. Bruins has become as seemingly impossible as shooting a winning basket while sitting down—another feat of Wooden's playing career at Purdue.

Compounding the evidence of omnipotence, the Bruins swept through the National Collegiate Athletic...

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