- Saturday, March 19 1966 -
NCAA Championship (at College Park, MD)
Kentucky - 65 (Head Coach: Adolph Rupp) - [Final Rank 1st by AP]
Texas Western - 72 (Head Coach: Don Haskins) - [Final Rank 3rd by AP and 3rd by UPI]
|Bobby Joe Hill||40||7||17||6||9||3||3||3||6||20|
Halftime Score: Texas Western 34, Kentucky 31
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|Duke 83 - 79|||||Virginia 104 - 84|
Game Writeup - by Gordon S. White, Jr., New York Times
Texas Western Upsets Kentucky for N.C.A.A. Title
MINERS WIN, 72-65
COLLEGE PARK, Md., March 19 -- Texas Western, overlooked in preseason ratings last December, became the collegiate basketball champion for the first time by whipping long-time powerful Kentucky, 72-65, tonight in the final of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
The Miners never lost their poise in the face of a strong comeback attempt by the team rated No. 1 in the nation. Their rebounding strength and fine shooting kept them ahead from after 9 minutes 40 seconds of the first half until the end of the game.
It was a glorious moment for the flashy players of Coach Don Haskins. The El Paso college got its first taste of the glory that Kentucky had fed upon four times in the past. The Wildcats have won more National Collegiate basketball championships than any other team.
Kentucky never before went as far as the final of this tournament without winning. But, before 14,253 fans at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House, Coach Adolph Rupp's little men, who had done so well against taller teams all season, failed in their biggest game.
Duke defeated Utah, 70-77, in the game for the third place.
Shed Makes Free Throw
Nevil Shed, a New York boy, sank the free throw that put Texas Western into the lead it never relinquished. Few in the capacity crowd believed that this was the beginning of the end for the Wildcats.
But the Texans, rated No. 3, believed in themselves and kept a tight grip on the situation. Kentucky, usually a fine shooting team, was off its usual marksmanship.
Dave Lattin, a strong 240-pounder from Houston, had too much power under the boards for Kentucky to cope with. Though in foul trouble in the late stages of the game, Lattin managed to keep off the Wildcats' big man, Thad Jaracz.
Yet is was a little man who filled the hero's assignment for Texas Western. He was Bobby Joe Hill, who used his cut-and-go skills to run around and through Kentucky. The 5-foot-10-inch junior from Detroit dropped in some of the fanciest shots of the tourney and scored 20 points. He also was a demon on defense, often taking the ball away from Kentucky players.
The championship quality of the Texans appeared in full in the second half. When Lattin sank a pair of fouls with four minutes to go in the first half, the Miners had an 8-point lead. Then the Kentuckians came charging back.
Point by point, the Wildcat moved closer to the Texans. All season long Kentucky had managed to overtake team after team that dared to gain a lead against the squad backed by the aura of a great basketball tradition.
But the Texans didn't panic. After their lead was cut to a single point with 3 1/2 minutes gone in the second half, the Miner rallied themselves. Orsten Artis and Hill combined for 6 straight points.
The lead was increased to 9 points and remained safe enough for the fancy ballhandlers to slow the game during the last three minutes.
Dampier Paces Kentucky
Louie Dampier and Pat Riley, two of Kentucky's short but excellent players, scored 19 points each. Dampier, only 6 feet tall, led the Wildcats in rebounds with nine.
But all of Kentucky's efforts, so good for a small squad all season, were to no avail against a squad that measured 6-7 and 6-8 in a couple of spots. However, Hill and 5-6 Willie Worsley, another of the three New Yorkers on the Texas team, were the shortest men to reach the semi-finals of this tournament.
Both Kentucky and Texas Western reached the final after much of the same type of season. Each squad ran up undefeated strings of 23 games before suffering their first loss. Each lost two weeks ago tonight, just before the start of the N.C.A.A. tournament.
Texas Western then got into action in the first round of the tournament and progressed to the semi-finals, where the Miners beat Utah. Kentucky, with a bye in the first round, went through the second and third rounds to the semi-finals, where the Wildcats defeated Duke in a game between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation.
As the Texans seemed sure of victory in the last minute, their fans began chanting, "We're No. 1." And as they left the arena, many were yelling, "We won this one for L.B.J."
Rupp gave Hill credit for the inevitable "turning point of the game." The Baron referred to Hill's stealing the ball twice within 10 seconds for layups just after Shed sank the foul shot to give the Miners the lead they never lost.
Duke Finishes 3d
The consolation game, usually a listless affair, turned into an exciting match between the Atlantic Coast Conference champion Blue Devils and the Western Athletic conference champion Redskins. It was the second time in four years that Duke has finished third in the tourney. Coach Vic Bubas's Duke team finished second two years ago.
Jerry Chambers of Utah set a record of 143 points for four games in the N.C.A.A. tournament with 32 against Duke. This broke the mark of 141 set by Clyde Lovelette of Kansas in 1952.
Duke led by 9 points midway through the second half when Mike Lewis, the Blue Devils' center, fell and sprained his left ankle. After he left the game, Utah moved within striking range.
But, with 7 seconds remaining and Utah behind by a point, Leonard Black of the Redskins went to the free-throw line with a one-and-one situation. Bubas then called time twice in a row, obviously to make Black aware of the situation. Finally given the chance to shoot, Black missed and Duke got another point to win the third-place slot.
Utah won the 1944 championship and finished fourth on 1961.
Sports Illustrated Cover
Pat Riley (#42) and Nevil Shed (#33) fight for a rebound
Cliff Berger (#45) blocks a shot inside