History of the Early S.I.A.A. Atlanta Basketball Tournament
- 1922 -


First Round: (Friday, February 24, 1922)

Second Round: (Saturday, February 25, 1922)

Quarterfinals: (Monday, February 27, 1922)

Semifinals: (Tuesday, February 28, 1922)

Consolation: (Wednesday, March 1, 1922)

Finals: (Wednesday, March 1, 1922)


For the 1922 tournament, the committee decided to hold an "honest draw" whereby names of all participants were placed into the silver championship trophy. Mercer Coach Josh Cody did the honors of pulling names and the field was formed. According to Georgian columnist Ed Danforth, who witnessed the drawing:

Mercer's Josh Cody

This method was different than the previous year where the four strongest teams were placed away from each other in opposite brackets, as the committee noted there were too many special requests than could be accommodated.

Noted Danforth: "The colleges who visit our fair city simply will have to be satisfied with the draw and see how they like the experiment. Then if the tournament loses money, some other method of pairings can be instituted next year." - ("An Honest Draw,", Atlanta Georgian, February 21, 1922)

Atlanta Constitution (February 28, 1922)

In the days leading up to the event, the draw had to be altered anyway as Washington & Lee wired Doonan that they would not be attending. The Generals had entered the tournament and were assigned a bye for Friday night, but had to withdraw as they had a game scheduled against the University of Virginia in Lynchburg on Saturday February 25th, after not having played the Cavaliers for six years. This game effectively kept both schools out of the Southern Conference tournament.

Louisiana State also did not attend the tournament, citing that too much time was required to take off from studies. The Tigers had originally been scheduled to face Mississippi College on Friday.

Due to the changes, tournament favorite Alabama, who originally had been scheduled to face the University of Mississippi on Saturday would not see action until the quarterfinals on Monday.

In the end, twenty-four teams entered the tournament, the most to ever participate in the history of the event.

Lon Jourdet
Lon Jourdet, former basketball star and coach of the University of Pennsylvania worked the tournament as an official, along with Stanley Sutton and Dave Yates.

"The Ansley Hotel is headquarters of the visiting teams and its lobby is crowded with some of the finest specimens of young American manhood anyone would ever care to see. Whatever scandals may have attached themselves to the college teams of certain Northern schools, no one can deny that college sports in the South develop the best that is in the men and turn them into stalwart, clean, alert physical specimens that are an inspiration to see. They all wear clothes of the 'klassy kollege kut," of course, but there is as much difference between the appearance of this assembly of young athletes and the usual 'college crowd,' around Five Points, for example, as between the more or less distant North and South Poles.

"Each of the squads is composed of from eight to ten players, so that more than 200 of them are in Atlanta. Coaches and college students not on the squad who have come to attend the tournament will bring the total of visitors to more than 300. It is a great thing for Atlanta and for college sports that this annual tournament has been arranged. " - ("Hotel Lobby 'Hangout' of 200 Visiting Basketeers," Atlanta Georgian, February 25, 1922.)

Ansley Hotel Lobby

Anna Pavlova - Russian Ballerina
"Work on the huge floor will be started tonight just as soon as Mme. Anna Pavlowa's company finishes their dancing program at the Auditorium. The contract has been awarded to the A.J. Gude Construction company and the floor must be completed within twelve hours.

"The floor will be approximately the same dimensions as the one that was used in the national championship and last year's collegiate title affairs." - ("Louisiana State University's Quintet Withdraws from Meet," Atlanta Constitution, February 22, 1922.)

"The Auditorium today and for the entire tournament will be gayly bedecked in handsome colors strung out along the top of the stage and hanging from the rafters high up over the heads of the battling warriors.

"Al Doonan and his assistant committeemen in charge, have busied themselves in the last few days winding up preliminary arrangements, and Friday morning, the said Mr. Doonan pronounced the stage all set for the greatest collegiate basketball event in the history of the Southland." - ("Southern Basketball Tournament to Crack Open Today in Auditorium," Atlanta Georgian, February 24, 1922.)

"'There is King, one of the best forwards in the South,' supporter of Kentucky told Coach Stegeman, of the Georgia Bulldogs. 'You need not point him out to me, for I remember him quite well from the S.I.A.A. tournament held last year. He is the one that shot a free throw which kept my team from winning the championship. No sir, I need no introduction to that gentleman,' Coach Stegeman dropped the subject." - "Some Tournament Pick-Ups," by R.R. Houser Atlanta Constitution, February 24, 1922.)

Individual Games

Friday, February 24, 1922 - First Round

Saturday, February 25, 1922 - Second Round

Monday, February 27, 1922 - Quarterfinals

Tuesday, February 28, 1922 - Semifinals

Wednesday, March 1, 1922 - Consolation

Wednesday, March 1, 1922 - Finals


Atlanta Georgian, March 3, 1922
1922 All-Tournament Team

(Note: This team is the consensus team chosen by the three major Atlanta newspapers, The Atlanta Constitution, The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Georgian. The Southern Conference currently does not list this team in their media guide, for unknown reasons. According to the Spalding's Official Basketball Guide of 1922,"An attempt was made to get the coaches and officials to pick an All-Tournament team and choose a composite team from their selections, but so many of them had objections to publishing their opinions" that the Guide chose to publish one of the newspaper picks instead.)

According to Spalding's Official Basketball Guide of 1922-23 "The primary purpose of the tournament was to create greater interest in the game of basketball as it should be played, and in this respect the affair was very successful. Every one of the teams declared their satisfaction as to every detail of the tournament. The event was the largest college tournament in the country in 1922, and in 1923 it promises to be the largest one of any sort in the United States."

After the tournament North Carolina faced Washington & Lee (a team which had beaten UNC earlier in the season, 38 to 25) in Raleigh, N.C. and the Tar Heels went down to defeat again, this time by the score of 39 to 36.

Tournament runner-up Mercer traveled to Indianapolis to face Wabash (Indiana state champions) and the boys from Georgia were run over by a score of 62 to 23.

1922 Composite All-Tournament Team


Please send all additions/corrections to