Holy Cross point guard Bob Cousy defeated UMass forward Julius Erving in the championship game of Boston.com's "New England's Best College Baller Showdown" Monday. The final margin of victory of 219 votes was the culmination of a week-long tournament in which 64 of the best players in New England college basketball history faced off bracket-style.
For the week, more than 144,000 votes were cast as the field was whittled from 64 to one. Along the way, local legends like Jimmy Walker, Marvin Barnes, Ray Allen, Rip Hamilton, Marcus Camby, Tom Heinsohn, Dana Barros, and Terry Driscoll were eliminated. Many more exceptional players fell, and dozens of deserving players were left off the list entirely. Coming up with the top 64 players was both challenging and fun, but with Bob Ryan and Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan's help, we think we got it right.
Cousy, who played for Holy Cross from 1946 to 1950, is considered one of the best point guards in basketball history. He was named first-team All American in three of his four seasons and graduated as the school's all-time leading scorer. His four-year college career, in which he led the Crusaders to the first national championship for any New England school, was enough to edge Erving, who played two seasons at UMass. Erving averaged an absurd 32.5 points and 20.2 rebounds per game.
Thank you to everyone who voted. We hope you had as much fun with the bracket as we did.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell