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NEW: Former Holy Cross Star Kaftan Named a March Madness Great

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

 

Former Holy Cross center George Kaftan. Photo Courtesy Holy Cross Athletics

For the 75th anniversary of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, the NCAA has released its list of the greatest players and teams in March Madness history, and Holy Cross was well represented.

The 1946-1947 Crusader national championship squad made the list as one of the Top-25 teams in March Madness history, and center George Kaftan was named one of the Top-75 individual players.

While that great Crusader team featured the legendary Bob Cousy, then only a freshman, it was Kaftan who would claim the 1947 NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player award. Kaftan averaged 21 points per game during the tournament, culminating with Holy Cross' national championship game victory over Oklahoma in Madison Square Garden.

Despite standing just 6-foot-3, considered undersized for the center position, Kaftan became Holy Cross' all-time leading scorer before the end of his sophomore season. His NCAA Tournament numbers were equally impressive, as he averaged 17.3 points per game, including 18 in the 1947 national championship game.

"Over the 75 years, the basketball championship has grown from a small eight-team tournament to one of the world's most popular sporting events," said Dan Gavitt, vice president of men's basketball championships. "To honor the growth of our sport, we are celebrating past players, teams and moments that have helped turn March Madness into one of the year's most anticipated sporting events. We invite all NCAA basketball fans — both new and loyal — to take a stroll down memory lane. And of course, we encourage friendly debate among fans around all their favorites."

From a pool of more than 100 former players, NCAA staff analyzed statistical data compiled exclusively from performances in NCAA tournament games [e.g., points, rebounds, field goals, free throws, three-pointers (since 1987), assists, steals, blocks] to determine the 75 player finalists.

The lists were compiled and researched by the NCAA's basketball and statistics staffs, which consulted with the NCAA's media partners and selected members of the United States Basketball Writers Association.

To see the complete list of teams and players, click here.

 

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