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1966

Texas Western defeats Kentucky in NCAA finals

On March 19, 1966, Texas Western College defeats the University of Kentucky in the NCAA men’s college basketball final at Cole Field House in College Park, Maryland. This marked the first time an all-black starting five had won the NCAA championship.

The top-ranked University of Kentucky men’s basketball team was favored in the final over the third-ranked Miners. Adolph Rupp, Kentucky’s coach from 1930 to 1972, recruited almost exclusively inside Kentucky, earning the nickname “The Baron of Bluegrass.” Like many other coaches of the time, Rupp neither recruited nor played African-American players. Using exclusively white players, Rupp eventually established the most successful coaching career in college history: He had four national championships to his credit, one NIT title and was on his way to 876 wins, a record number upon his retirement in 1972.

Western Texas’ journey to the 1966 NCAA championship was depicted in the 2006 film Glory Road.

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