The 40th Anniversary: U-M's 1973-74 Team
Johnny Orr

Jan. 3, 2014

Photo Gallery

Michigan won its ninth Big Ten title in school history in 1973-74, posting a 22-5 overall record, 12-2 in conference play, and winning a memorable Big Ten tiebreaker over Indiana, 75-67, that sent the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament.

Campy Russell averaged 23.7 points per game, still the 10th-best scoring season in program history, to lead the Wolverines while earning consensus All-America second team and All-Big Ten first team honors.

C.J. Kupec and Steve Grote each earned All-Big Ten second team accolades. Kupec averaged 13.7 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, with the latter still ranking 10th best in U-M history. Grote scored 13.0 points per game for the Maize and Blue, while Johnny Orr earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.

Unranked to begin the season, the Maize and Blue started 8-1 before falling to defending national champion and top-ranked UCLA on the road in its final non-conference game. Following that defeat, Michigan opened Big Ten play at home against defending Big Ten champion and eighth-ranked Indiana, knocking off the Hoosiers, 73-71.

With an 8-1 mark in league play, the Wolverines went to Bloomington on Feb. 16, where Indiana was evened the season series with the Maize and Blue. Four straight wins to close Big Ten play, including a 103-87 victory at Michigan State on the final day of the regular season, set up a rubber match between Michigan and Indiana for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Meeting in Champaign, Ill., Michigan bested Indiana, 75-67, to claim the Big Ten title and trip to the NCAAs.

Russell, Grote & Britt
Wayman Britt Campy RussellSteve Grote

Returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1966, Michigan was sent to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Mideast Regional Semifinal against third-ranked Notre Dame. The Wolverines defeated the Fighting Irish, 77-68, for the program's 1,200th all-time victory, setting up a date with No. 7 Marquette for a ticket to the Final Four.

The Warriors edged the Maize and Blue, 72-70, to end Michigan's season, but the 1973-74 Wolverines had laid the foundation for the first of four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, at the time the longest streak in school history.

Despite falling in the regional final, Russell was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Mideast Regional after averaging 28.5 points and 16 rebounds per game. Wayman Britt joined Russell on the all-regional team; Britt averaged 15 points and eight rebounds in the two NCAA Tournament contests.

1973-74 Michigan Team

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