Tag: University of Kentucky

Noontime’s Black History Month: The 1966 Texas Western Miners

By Matt Noonan

The Texas Western Miners celebrate a 1966 NCAA Championship victory. (PHOTO COURTESY: University of Texas at El Paso Flowsheet student yearbook/blackpast.org)

Our Black History Month celebration on the men and women that have and continue to shape the world of sports returns – we’ll be posting a few times each week, including this evening where we are honoring the Texas Western Miners men’s basketball team, which captured 1966 NCAA D-I Championship.

The Miners were a team many of us learned about in the 2006 movie Glory Road – coach Don Haskins started five African American players, who led the squad to an exciting (and very impressive!) 72-65 victory over the University of Kentucky.

The Wildcats entered the final contest of the 1965-66 school year as the favorite.

Let’s learn a bit more about the Miners, who represented Texas Western College, which is now the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Getting to know the Texas Western Miners:

  • Coached by Don Haskins, who was inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame, led the Miners to their first and only championship with an upset win over Kentucky.

    Texas Western started five African American players against a Kentucky program that did not integrate until the 1970-71 season. Tom Payne became the first African American to compete for coach Adolph Rupp. Payne would play just one season for the Blue and White before turning pro one year later where he spent one season with the Atlanta Hawks.
  • Prior to their 1966 NCAA Championship, the Miners made back-to-back appearances in the national postseason in 1963 and 1964. In 1964, they advanced to the the Sweet Sixteen, but lost to Kansas State. They did win, however, the Regional third place game against Creighton.
  • The Miners posted a 28-1 record during the 1965-66 season. Their only loss occurred at the end of the regular season against Seattle.

    Following their end of season setback to the Red Hawks, Texas Western rattled off five-straight wins, including a pair of overtime victories against Cincinnati and Kansas. Their win over the Jayhawks – an 81-80 victory in double-overtime – secured Texas Western a spot in the national semifinals against Utah.
  • The 1965-66 Texas Western Miners squad featured seven African American student-athletes: Bobby Joe Hill, Orsten Artis, Willie Worsley, Willie Cager, Nevil Shed, Harry Flournoy, and David Lattin.
  • As many historians and sports writers noted, the Texas Western victory over Kentucky opened the door for even more African American student-athletes to play sports at the collegiate level, not just basketball, but also football, track, baseball, and others, according to Dan Wetzel.

Articles and Links on the 1966 Texas Western Miners:

Daily Noontime – June 22, 2011

Well, there's hope that the NFL will get itself back on target, especially after Tuesday!

It’s Wednesday, which means, yes, it’s “hump day!” Here’s today’s headlines and news, so enjoy! 

Headlines: 

* Tuesday was an important day for the NFL, but according to reports, players and owners are optimistic that new CBA is around the corner.

* While the NFL continues to negotiate a new CBA, one reporter has an idea that maybe the league should repay the fans for this particular lockout by having an 18-game schedule. Hmm… that wouldn’t work, right?

* The NBA Draft is upon us, but really, who are some players to watch? Well, one that everyone should pay attention to is Brandon Knight.

* There’s some more drama these days, as Los Angles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has decided to challenge the MLB again.

* It’s officially the second day of summer, which means “Wiffle Ball season has begun!”

* Well, it seems that according to some sources, Miami Heat’s Pat Riley said, he’ll never coach again in the NBA.

Games to Watch: 

* New York Yankees at Cincinnati (MLB) – 12:35pm eastern

* San Diego at Boston (MLB) – 1:35pm eastern 

* Seattle at Washington (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Yep, this is something different, but again, so enjoyable! 

Daily Noontime – March 31, 2011

It’s certainly hard to believe, but here we are, the last day of March in 2011, wow! Well, while we relish the fact that one-third of the year is over, here is the Daily Noontime for March 31, 2011, have a fantastic day!

Headlines:

* With the MLB season beginning on Thursday, a bold prediction has been released that this year, stadiums will sell roughly 22.5 million hot dogs.

* The NFL continues to remain in a lockout and while the NBA is right behind them, MLB commissioner Bud Selig sure hopes his league won’t follow that same path.

* Buffalo Sabres rookie goaltender Jhonas Enroth may have filled the big shoes of Ryan Miller on Wednesday, but he did everything he could against the New York Rangers to help his team earn an important, 1-0 victory.

* Raper and part owner of the New Jersey Nets, Jay-Z is now under investigation with the NBA, which doesn’t sound good.

* With the lockout occurring and things still not going according to plan, it just seems that there is little sympathy for the NFL.

* College Football’s BCS committee is considering dropping the Fiesta Bowl due to scandal surrounding the event.

Games to Watch:

* Toronto at Boston (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern

* Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (NHL) – 7:30pm eastern

* Boston at San Antonio (NBA) – 8:00pm eastern

* Dallas at San Jose (NHL) – 10:30pm eastern

* Dallas at Los Angles Lakers (NBA) – 10:30pm eastern

Video of the Day:

Nothing wrong when a young child scores on a professional soccer player, right?


NCAA March Madness Day One Wrap Up

By Matt Noonan

Butler barely got by Old-Dominion, but can they sneak by Pittsburgh on Saturday?

Thursday was obviously a true “March Madness day.” A few brackets have been busted, some fans have dropped tears like the Miami Heat and others, such as those down in New Jersey who attend Princeton University are still shocked by the Wildcats beating their Tigers men’s basketball team, but hey, life goes on.

Any who, let us take a look back on the day’s action, as well as get everyone set for Friday’s 16-game slate, which should feature some enticing matchups that could clearly bust a few more brackets.

Game of the Day: It has to go to Butler-Old Dominion and while this may have not been the most well executed contest of them all, it clearly had that dramatic ending with the cherry on top. The Bulldogs seemed to pick up where they had left off last year during the tournament, as Butler somehow maneuvered themselves toward a NCAA title game against Duke in Indianapolis, but the end result to their fairy tale run was a loss

However, with the game on the line and Old Dominion trying to force overtime after hitting two critical free-throws, Butler senior forward Matt Howard recorded his second offensive rebound of the day and immediately scored at the buzzer to solidify the win for the Bulldogs.

Again, this may not have been the most well put together victory by the Bulldogs, but Butler will certainly need to regroup fast before their “date with destiny” against Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Upset of the Day: It seemed obvious that the true upset of the day belongs to Morehead State, as the Eagles flew past Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals, 62-61. Yet, what made this upset so special was certainly the final play by Morehead State’s senior guard, Demonte Harper, who knocked down the game winning shot with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second half.

Louisville entered the tournament on a down note, as they lost to University of Connecticut during the Big East conference tournament, which seemed to carry over to Thursday’s contest against the Eagles. At times the Cardinals displayed their flaws and showed that they weren’t quite a strong enough team, especially since Louisville was unable to extend their leads during the first and second half.

The Cardinals defense appeared lackluster at times and even seemed out of sync on offense. Louisville took on the role that a majority top-seeded teams does against a weaker opponent, shoot from outside the paint. The constant misses added up and eventually coast them a chance to advance to the next round against Richmond. Instead, the Eagles live another day and certainly will have to play at their best against a talented Richmond team that was able to sneak by Vanderbilt for their first win of the tournament.

Statistic of the Day: Clearly, the “stat of the day” belongs to Kentucky’s freshman guard, Brandon Knight who may missed his first seven shots of the game, but was the hero when the Wildcats needed a score. Sure, other players throughout the day may have recorded 15, 20 or 25 points, but how many of them began the tournament [0-7]? Knight’s special moment will clearly be remembered, but the only way it will be glorified is if the Wildcats can maneuver a way to win the East bracket, as well as eventually win the National Championship too.

Don’t consider Kentucky a favorite to knock out Ohio State, Xavier, University of North Carolina or Syracuse, but again, Knight will want to built off of his heroic moment, as well as knock down shots to begin their next game against an up and down West Virginia team.

Looking Ahead to Friday: Indeed, the opening day of the tournament was exciting, but Friday promises to be even more enjoyable.

Games to watch: Michigan vs. Tennessee, Akron vs. Notre Dame, Villanova vs. George Mason, Georgetown vs. VCU and believe it or not, Kansas vs. Boston University.

While it is certainly is a long shot, one other game to certainly watch out for will be University North Carolina vs. Long Island, which could be a possible #15 vs. #2 upset, but most likely, the Tar Heels will win, so don’t get too excited Blackbird fans.

Daily Noontime – February 2, 2011

Looks like spring is on the way!

Happy Groundhog Day and according to our new best friend, Punxsutawney Phil, the United States of America should expect an early spring! That is awesome, especially since the entire country has dealt with global warming and … well enough of my political rant, here is your Daily Noontime for February 2, 2011!

Headlines:

* Boston Celtics center Shaquille O’Neal is clearly enjoying his time with the Green and White, but realizes that his time to end his NBA career will happen sooner rather than later.

* New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has won yet another AP Offensive Player award for his epic 2010 performance.

* Mother Nature put a damper on various travel plans for multiple professional teams on Tuesday and it can only get worse on Wednesday!

* Mississippi stunned #10 University of Kentucky on Tuesday during the final few seconds to secure the 71-69 victory.

* Former Los Angles Lakers great, Magic Johnson believes that his old team needs to make a deal to remain in contention for yet another NBA banner in June.

* Did you ever wonder what exactly the “G” stands for on the Green Bay Packers helmet?

Games to Watch:

* Dallas at New York Knicks (NBA) – 7:30pm eastern

* New Orleans at Oklahoma City (NBA) – 8:00pm eastern

* Portland at Denver (NBA) – 9:00pm eastern

* Los Angles Kings at Edmonton (NHL) – 9:30pm eastern

Video of the Day:

Are you excited for the Super Bowl ads this year? Do you think they’ll be good? Here is a sneak peak at some great ones to come!