NCAA Tournament 2018: St. Bonaventure dedicates win over UCLA to 1970 team

This was one for the history books.

NCAA Tournament 2018: St. Bonaventure dedicates win over UCLA to 1970 team

NCAA Tournament 2018: St. Bonaventure dedicates win over UCLA to 1970 team

St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt dedicated his team's First Four victory against UCLA — which, by the way, knows a bit about college basketball lore — to a Bonnies team almost a half-century ago.

The reason: Tuesday's 65-58 win in Dayton was his university's first in the NCAA Tournament since 1970, when St. Bonaventure's potential run at a national championship ended with an injury to star player and future Hall of Famer Bob Lanier.

"What a game," Schmidt told reporters Tuesday night. "You know we've got great tradition at Bonaventure. We heard all week — and when I got the job here 11 years ago, we hear the stories about 1970 and how disappointing it was that Lanier got hurt and they didn't have a chance to have a full team and going to play Jacksonville. And everybody talks about if Lanier was healthy they would have taken on UCLA.

"And this victory is for those guys. They didn't get an opportunity to show their talent. Just really proud of our guys. They played extremely hard. This guy next to me was a huge part of it. Just proud of our effort. … And we just beat UCLA. How much prouder can I be?"

UCLA won the national title in 1970, as it did nine times in 10 years during that era. But Schmidt said St. Bonaventure's 1970 team popped into his head as soon as the 2018 bracket was revealed and his team was matched up against UCLA.

"That was the greatest [St. Bonaventure] team that's ever played," Schmidt said. "I talked to the team about it. Because I think that's really important — legacies and tradition. For our guys to be able to go out and play a great UCLA team and beat them, to me, hopefully that helps the disappointment back in 1970."

Making just their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance since 1970 but its second under Schmidt, the Bonnies thoroughly outplayed their Pac-12 opponents, a legacy seniors such as Jaylen Adams, Matt Mobley and Idris Taqqee can savor forever.

"Coach told us before the game, 'It was Lanier in '70, and it's Adams, Mobley and Taqqee in 2018,'" Adams told reporters afterward (via "I'm glad we could get this win over a powerhouse like UCLA. ... I'm just so excited to be a part of this Bonaventure tradition.

"We're going down in history."

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