March Madness

March 9th, 2015 by

It’s hard to miss the frenzy that surrounds the NCAA tournament every spring, even if you don’t pay attention to collegiate basketball any other time of the year. Whether you’re rooting for the Hawkeyes, Cyclones, Panthers, or someone else, take a break from watching conference tournaments and stressing about the bracket filling-out to come to reflect on some of the history connected to the madness.

The University of Iowa has retired nine jerseys in its century-long men’s basketball program. Five of those belong to a group of young men known as the Fabulous Five. In 1955 and 1956, Carl Cain, Bill Logan, Sharm Scheuerman, Bill Schoof, and Bill Seaberg led the Hawkeyes to back-to-back Big Ten titles and consecutive appearances in the Final Four. In 1956, they just missed the championship, finishing second to the University of San Francisco.

Since the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament was established in 1939, Iowa’s public universities have made only two other appearances in the Final Four – Iowa State in 1944 and the University of Iowa in 1980. No other Iowa team has finished back-to-back in the top four.

Carl Cain, the only black member of the Fabulous Five, wore number 21 for the Hawkeyes. A native of Freeport, IL, Cain was selected as Iowa’s MVP in 1954 and 1956, second team all-conference in 1954 and 1955, first team all-conference in 1956, and first team all-American in 1956. In 2002, UI selected twenty former Hawkeyes to its all-century team. Among those selected were three members of the Fabulous Five – Carl Cain, Bill Logan, and Bill Seaberg. After finishing his Hawkeye career with 1,054 points, Cain was selected as a member of the US men’s national basketball team for the 1956 Summer Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. Unfortunately, a back injury limited Cain to only two games with the team. Although he had been drafted by the Rochester Royals, Cain’s injury ended his basketball career.

From the collection of the AAMI - Gift of Oather Taylor, Jr.

From the collection of the AAMI – Gift of Oather Taylor, Jr.

For more information about Carl Cain and the Fabulous Five, check out the following articles: