February 10, 1969: "Pistol Pete" Maravich put on one of the greatest scoring shows in NCAA history on this day, but his team still lost.
Maravich's 66 points for LSU against Tulane is tied for the fourth best scoring game of all time against a Division-I opponent. It's only six points off from Kevin Bradshaw's 72. But at the time it was only 2 points off from Calvin Murphy of Niagra's 68 that was set the previous year against Syracuse. Maravich would break that record a year later in 1970 when he scored 69 points. But what makes his 66-point game different is his team still lost despite the effort. And it wasn't close as LSU fell 110-94 to Tulane.
Just how great was "Pistol Pete"? Well, he is still the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game. All of his accomplishments happened before the three-point line was introduced and despite being unable to play varsity as a freshman under then-NCAA rules. Now, that's amazing.
Check out some of his best plays at LSU:
Maravich was such a magician with the ball. Very few have handled the ball as good as he did.
This ESPN documentary on Pistol is something special to watch:
People forget just how good Maravich was in the NBA because of how insane he was in college. He once scored 68 points in 1977 against the New York Knicks. During his 10-year NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Jazz and Boston Celtics, he averaged 24.2 points and 5.4 assists per contest. Those numbers were good enough to earn him an induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987. His #7 jersey has been retired by both the Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Here's to you, "Pistol Pete" Maravich, and to Tulane University for overcoming his 66 points.