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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Basketball's best

   Mar. 1, 1970 -- You might call it the last big-time moment for the Little Three.

   This date marked the last time that Bob Lanier and Calvin Murphy faced each other in their college basketball careers. Lanier and St. Bonaventure defeated Murphy and Niagara, 104-68, in Memorial Auditorium. Lanier had 36 points, while Murphy had 23.

   Lanier and Murphy were two of the greatest players in Little Three (St. Bonaventure, Niagara and Canisius) history, if not the two greatest. They moved on to the pros that summer, and suddenly everything changed for good about then.

   The Buffalo Braves arrived on the scene in 1970, pushing college basketball down the ladder of interest. Then when the Braves left for San Diego in 1978, a shake-up in college conferences was around the corner. The Big East was formed around the end of the decade, and Canisius and Niagara were in no position to gain entry despite representing a good-sized television market.

   The Little Three has had some good teams and good moments since 1970, but the glory days were about over.

--- Budd Bailey

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