With the recent $136-million facelift to UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, I got to thinking, will this overhaul return the basketball arena to its former glory? If so, what other arenas would also belong in the NCAA Basketball Hall of Fame?
Pauley Pavilion opened on Nov. 27, 1965 for the first time and in the exhibition game, the freshmen beat the varsity squad 75-60. Yes, the two-time defending national champion varsity squad that was once again the preseason No. 1 team. The freshman squad was led by Lew Alcindor, who scored 51 points against some of the best basketball players in the country. Head coach John Wooden knew he had a special team and he now had a brand new home to show off to future recruits.
Alcindor, Wooden and others proceeded to win an unprecedented 10 national championships in the next 12 seasons, and Pauley Pavilion became one the most feared basketball arenas in the country where Bill Walton led the Bruins to an 88-game win streak in the '70s. Over the decades, the old girl began showing signs of age and like everybody and everything else in Los Angeles, Pauley Pavilion had "some work done."
Now, let's see if it makes the Elite Eight Arenas of All Time.