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YouTube Gold: The Year Of The Tiger

Bill Bradley’s Princeton team had an amazing run

Clarkson NCAA Archive
 PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 19: Bill Bradley #42 of the Princeton Tigers drives to the basket against the Michigan Wolverines during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Basketball National Semifinal held at the Memorial Coliseum on March 19, 1965 in Portland, Oregon. Michigan defeated Princeton 93-76 to advance to the finals.
Photo by Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Duke and Princeton’s basketball programs are tied together in some interesting ways. First obviously, both are excellent academic schools that have great basketball traditions. Second, Princeton was the first team Duke scheduled in the newly built Duke Indoor Stadium in 1940 (Duke won). And third, Bill Bradley.

When Vic Bubas was turning Duke into an elite program, his first big-time recruit was 6-5 Art Heyman. His second was 6-4 Jeff Mullins. His third? The 6-5 Bradley.

Bradley committed to play for Duke but his father persuaded him to change his mind and go to Princeton. The late Carroll Youngkin once told us that he was golfing with Bubas when Bubas found out that Bradley wasn’t coming and that he broke or threw a club. It’s been a while, we can’t remember (Yunk’s son Glenn was recently elected governor of Virginia).

Bradley went on to have a legendary career at Princeton and later with the Knicks, after accepting a Rhodes Scholarship and spending time at Oxford).

Amazingly, Bradley led Princeton to the 1965 Final Four and the Tigers came very close to defeating Michigan, losing 93-76. Bradley scored 41 in that loss. This film is a documentary of that extraordinary season.

Although he never played with Mullins at Duke, the two were Olympic teammates in 1964.