The Reason Oscar Robertson Is Called the Big O

On March 15, 1958, All-American Oscar Robertson of Cincinnati thrilled the capacity crowd of 17,000 with an NCAA tournament scoring record. The Bearcat ace tallied 56 points in leading his team to a 97-62 victory over Arkansas for third place.

Robertson picked up 27 of his points on nine field goals and nine free throws in the first half as Cincinnati got out to a 51-29 lead. He was slow getting going in the second half, but once he got the range he dropped them in from every angle, adding 12 field goals and five free throws bringing his total to 56.

Oscar Robertson was as Big O as it got. Even against Big D—and he was often triple-teamed—Robertson scored prolifically, almost extravagantly. At Cincinnati, he won the scoring title and was named player of the year for three straight seasons. From 1957 to 1960, he set more than a dozen national offensive records and averaging 33.8 points for his career, at the time the highest mark in NCAA history.


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