Did a College Basketball Game Once End in One Team Playing ONE Player Against the Other Team’s Five?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about basketball and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the basketball urban legends featured so far.

BASKETBALL URBAN LEGEND: An NCAA basketball game once ended with a team playing 1-on-5!

In 1982, two small colleges got together to play a basketball game.

It was the Knights of West Coast Christian College (which closed its doors in 1992) versus the Sea Lions of University of California: Santa Cruz (who have since changed the name of their team to the Slugs…

The Knights were a bit short-manned for the game, having only 8 players available to play.

Well, early on, foul trouble plagued the Knights and they lost three players to fouls (you can only commit 4 fouls during a game – the fifth foul results in your removal from the game, you have “fouled out”).

Later on in the game, another player fouled out, so the Knights had to play 4 on 5, and yet were still leading the Sea Lions!

However, a string of fouls towards the end of the game resulted in SEVEN of the eight remaining Knights to foul out of the game with just over two minutes left to play!

All that was left was guard Mike Lockhart!

The NCAA rules at the time stated that a game could continue 1 on 5 under certain circumstances, including if the team with the 1 player was leading at the time (which the Knights were, 70-57).

There were two major drawbacks – one, Lockhart himself had four fouls, so a fifth foul would end the game in a loss for his team, two, it is pretty difficult to inbound the ball if you don’t have anyone to inbound the ball TO!

The first problem was dealt with by Lockhart just being very careful, the latter was solved by Lockhart just bouncing the ball off of the legs of the Sea Lion players, then collecting the ricochet (if he could).

Shockingly, Lockhart went on to hold off the Sea Lions, who actually ended up being forced to foul Lockhart towards the end of the game, in which he proceeded to hit 5 out of 6 free throws to lead the Knights to a 75-67 victory!

Pretty cool, no?

No wonder the story has been picked up frequently over the years by Christian ministries looking for inspirational stories!

The legend is…


Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com

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