"the NIT back in the early '50s was considered more prestigious than the
NCAA Tournament"Not true Mr. Harmon. Look at the final AP poll
from 1951.Here is the final AP poll from 1951:Final
RankingPost-season Tournaments1KentuckyNCAA2Oklahoma State3ColumbiaNCAA4Kansas StateNCAA5IllinoisNCAA6Bradley7Indiana8NC StateNIT and NCAA9St. John'sNIT and NCAA10Saint
LouisNIT11Brigham YoungNIT and NCAA12ArizonaNIT and NCAA13DaytonNIT14Toledo15WashingtonNCAA16Murray State17CincinnatiNIT18Siena19USC20VillanovaNCAABYU
lost to Kansas State and Washington in the NCAA tournament.Don't try to
sell that the NIT was better, it did not have a top 7 ranked team playing in it.
Joe Richey from that team contracted leukemia in 1992 but nonetheless served a
mission with his wife in England where he passed away in 1995. I played Church
ball with Joe on a senior team in Fresno, California. Though he was in his late
forties with six children, he was still a terrific player and a deft passer and
shooter. More importantly, Joe Richey was a good and humble man who
I respected tremendously. He and his wife, Sharon, were pillars in the LDS
Church in Fresno, and each of their sons earned the Eagle Scout award and served
LDS missions. I coached the boys in Volleyball many years ago.I
remember looking at the All-American plaque that was inobtrusively hung on the
wall of their dining room, indicating Joe as a member of that distinguished
group. Thanks for the memories!
Kentucky (the AP #1 ranked team and NCAA tournament champion didn't even play in
the NIT). BYU had 2 losses in the NCAA tournament that year (yes
they did play in both tournaments).0 teams in the top 7 of the final
AP top 20 played in the NIT.How is it more prestigious?
It's hilarious how the haters come out of the woodwork to nitpick BYU's
basketball history, yet they completely ignore the bogus claims about Utah's
history.In 1944, Utah LOST as many pickup gamesFort Warren 59-61 Salt Lake Air Base 39-54 Dow Chemical 36-46as Utah won real gamesIdaho State 54-43Colorado
College 48-34Idaho State 52-40Utah lost in the opening round
of the NITto Kentucky 38-46 (of course)yet, Utah fans still
claim that Utah won a national title by winning the 2nd rate tournament of the
day, the NCAAeven though the Helms Athletic Foundation, the only
national organization that selected national basketball champions from 1901 up
until 1949selected Army as the national champion for 1944.
Let's also not forget Utah won the NIT in 1947 (3 years after winning their NCAA
National Championship in 1944).Record books also show Utah won their
first National Championship in basketball in 1916 by winning the National AAU
Tournament. (Which was the premier basketball tournament back then).
@Uncle Rico. The NIT WAS as prestigious as the NCAA tournament in 1951. You are
looking at one set of rankings, and saying that this refutes that fact. What
would you say if you knew that 4 NIT teams REJECTED NCAA invites? How about the
fact that the NIT had a higher number of ranked participants than the NCAA? Or
that the NCAA tournament scheduled AFTER the NIT, because it knew that it could
not compete directly with it. By your accounting, UCONN wouldn't be legitimate
either. We should have just crowned Ohio State as National Champs. Because, you
did know that there was no post-season poll in 1951, right? No, I didn't think
so. You just have an agenda, to go along with your lack of information.
The NIT was as prestigious as the NCAA in 1951. First of all, several NIT teams
REJECTED the NCAA. Secondly, the Utes on here are obviously don't know about
this great BYU team. The NIT had a higher percentage of ranked teams than the
NCAA tournament. The NCAA scheduled itself AFTER the NIT to avoid competing
directly with it. There was no post-season poll in 1951. So the rankings don't
mean a thing. BYU played in both tournaments---they played in the NCAA AFTER
they played in the NIT. So, if Uconn lost in a SECOND post-season tournament
last year, AFTER they won the NCAA, would they not be legit? Speaking of Uconn,
going off of rankings alone, the Ute fans here would not count Uconn as the 2011
National Champions, because they didn't finish Number 1 in the regular season
polls. You have to look at the media of the day. And in 1951, BYU was called
"National Champion." So much for the Ute revisionist history.
In 1951, the media crowned BYU National Champions. There were no post-season
polls. Also, history is clear that the nit was at least considered equal to the
NCAA tournament at that time. That's not really a debate. Unless of course, you
are a Utah fan who does not want to recognize that BYU won a National
Championship in basketball in 1951, that was more legitimate than the 1944 Utah
NCAA title. You can no more say that BYU was not the 1951 National Champion
because of their regular season ranking than you can say that Uconn is not the
2011 National Champion because of their regular season ranking. The nit was a
National Tournament in 1951, therefore, its winner is a national champion. End
Bleed CrimsonEven though Ute fans insist on pretending otherwise,
the simple truth is Utah has won three national tournaments, but NO national
championships in basketball.
Can't wait to get my hands on the book. My late father, who was captain of the
BYU football that year, was a roommate of Mel Hutchins. I remember him
reminiscing often about Hutchins, Richey, and others on that team and how they
captivated and electrified the entire student body during their championship
run. It was, according to my father, a magical time and experience at BYU.
Thanks for bringing to life the year (1951); the team; the championship; and, in
a certain way for me, my father; with the publication of this book.
"The Sacramento Kings selected Jerry Romney in 1952"Pretty
amazing since the Sacramento Kings did not exist until 1985. Maybe the
Rochester Royals who became the Cincinnati Royals who became the Kansas City
Kings, who moved to Sacramento?
My younger brother, Robert Craig, played guard on that 1951 BYU team. His son,
Steven Craig, played the other guard on Danny Ainge's team later on.An interesting note was a game that the 1951 Cougars played in Brazil that
year. My brother, standing out of bounds at one end of the court, made a pass to
Mel Hutchins, standing in-bounds at the other end of the court. The ball missed
Mel and went through the basket. A plaque was later added to the spot from where
Bob threw the ball, commemorating, "The Longest Basket in Brazilian
Technology has given us all the ability to express our opinions publicly. What
really is that worth? Could it have anything to do with todays indecisivness,
inability to compromise, cause hard feelings, make people arguementive? Yes. I would suggest to all of you younguns to read this book and pay attention to
how competitive people treated one another, which was much more compassionate.
This is something that is absolutely missing today. Argue, put down, dictate, be
greedy that seems to be todays slogan for the 15-50 yr olds. Totally disgusting.
Those Trolls, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Don't you have better things
to do?We, Cougar fans, blah, blah, blah and blah are proud about
this.By the way, I did noticed this 1951 NIT Championship in the
nose bleed section wall, is it on the rafter at all? Thanks for bringing this up
Mr Harmon you blah, blah, blah, (nothing personal).
For BYU fans, I guess living in 1984 wasn't enough...now you're moving back to
living in 1951.
In this era college players were college students who happened to be good enough
to play a sport. Colleges did not recruit as much nor did they seek players
that could not do college work in the classroom. Often "athletes"
were passed up because of intelligence or character because schools had
standards. Today, it is not even necessary to read or write to play college
basketball if you are good enough. College sports have become semi-pro in
basketball and football because these two sports earn the money to support the
athletic department and bring donations from boosters. Which is better? I
like the idea of players being students first. I think we have gone too far
toward accomodating the "athlete" at the expense of the student.
Mountain DEW Cougars, (isn't that against the honor code or something?)You're funny.Why is there even an article about this? It's been
more than half a century ago. Nobody cares, just like BYU's AWARDED (not earned)
1984 NC.-You're friendly neighborhood Ute troll.
I was in the seventh grade during this golden era. I got a little plastic radio
for Christmas and would stay up late listening to the BYU games as they traveled
the country. I have been a die hard fan of this wonderful basketball team ever
unclerico and snowman;I can just hear your squeaky little voices cracking
in protest over another article about a superior BYU athletic team.desperately trolling BYU articles is no way to go through life. Move on and
learn to appreciate the truth.
My dad, who was on that team but chose instead to serve a full-time mission that
year, will probably not be included in this book, a book about the
"forgotten"My dad - father of 5 boys, father of 5 returned
missionaries - former mission president (twice) - is my "national
champ"My dad...not forgotten.:)
Oh trolls..... Will you ever learn?
Mr. Harmon, I'm not a fan of too many of your articles, but I have to admit- I
really enjoyed reading this one! Thanks for pulling back the curtains to a very
awe-inspiring team and players!
Wow! That 60-yr old NIT title must have been pretty important to that
geographically challenged Spokane, WA resident "cougarinboston", for
him to post about its "prestige" 3 consecutive times within a 40-min.
window. How desperate of him. I only wonder if he knows about ANOTHER one of
the cougars' notable achievements: Most NCAA tournament appearances without a
Final Four presence.
Uncle Rico, your post contains some facts and is missing others.True
that the 1951 final AP poll ranked BYU no. 11 (and the final coaches poll ranked
BYU no. 10). Did you bother to look at the date of those polls? March 6, 1951.
Did you bother to note the date of the 1951 NIT championship game? March 18,
1951. In those days, final polls were released before the tournaments were
played to determine the champion.Other facts: The Cougars defeated,
among others, AP #10 St. Louis and AP #13 Dayton to win the 1951 NIT and
national title. Notable players on that team include: Mel Hutchins, taken #2 in
the 1951 NBA draft and named the 1951-52 NBA co-rookie of the year, became a
5-time NBA All-Star with the Pistons and the Knicks.New York Times
reported March 18, 1951, "The BYU Cougars have won the 1951 National
Championship."See (Google) BYU News Net for documentation.The New York Times certainly was not (and never has been) biased in favor of
BYU.A more complete view of history than Uncle Rico's reveals BYU
was the 1951 national champion in basketball.
Congratulations to this team for winning the NIT and to the Utah team for their
victory approximately 50 years ago.Some of the people commenting on
these boards really need to get a life and a perspective of what is important
and what isn't. I am sure the relationships between the players that has lasted
for decades and their personal experiences on the court together is the most
critical aspect of their basketball experience. The level of competition, who
won the most prestigeous tournament and whose school has more banners than the
other is left to those fans who have lost the perspective that the players who
played those games still have.
vN wonders many things. vN doesn't seem interested in PAC12 basketball, or in
the quality of basketball played in the Huntsman. vN seems interested in what
BYU fans are saying about BYU basketball. vN seems concerned that BYU fans are
talking about a 60-yr old NIT title.Okay vN, let's talk current
basketball.61-42, last Saturday.At the Huntsman Center,
BYU "[took] a 61-42 win in front of 10,327 evenly split fans wearing blue
and red, but even the Cougars werent crowing about their sixth straight win over
the Utes."--Salt Lake Tribune, December 10, 2011."Utah basketball: The nations worst team? Utes looking like a good
fit"--Salt Lake Tribune, December 9, 2011.Interesting how
the vN-infected among us can criticize anything basketball related when vN's own
team might lose to Lone Peak High if such a game were played. vN's team has
absolutely no chance against BYU, or Cal State Fullerton for that matter. You'd
have to go back a few years to find a Utah team capable of beating BYU. But that
would be living in the past, and that isn't valid. Right, vN?
I will have to point out that the NIT is only the oldest post season tournament
by one year...... NCAA.com will verify that if you are present enough to know
how to find it!
@ royalblue and cougarinbostonI'm getting different responses from
you two on who was crowned National Champions back in the 40's and 50's between
Utah and BYU.cougarinboston said: "Even though Ute fans
insist on pretending otherwise, the simple truth is Utah has won three national
tournaments, but NO national championships in basketball".royalblue said:"The nit was a National Tournament in 1951,
therefore, its winner is a national champion. End of story".Utah has won the 1947 NIT Tournament, but cougarinboston is claiming Utah has
no National Championships in basketball. So here royalblue is proclaiming BYU is
National Chmapions in 1951 for winning the NIT 4 years after Utah won the NIT.
Either both Utah and BYU have won National Championships in basketball for
winning the NIT back in the old days, or neither of the two schools do and the
NCAA Tournament crowns National Champions which Utah won in 1944. Take your
pick! As I said before Utah won a National Championship back in 1916
for winning the National AAU Tournament. National AAU Tournament was the most
prestigious basketball tournament in those days long before the NIT and NCAA
tournaments came about.
Typical Naval Vet, criticizing the poster without one shred of ability to
criticize the post(s).
I think I'll have to get a copy of the book. My uncle was student body
President at BYU in 1951, the year he was married (in Sept) and the year before
me and my twin cousins were born. Hopefully it will be good reading.
When an article like this spawns a comments like these, you know it is time for
the rivalry to go away.Enough already! Obviously both sides of the
rivalry are a bit insecure.
I find this article full of nonsense, particularly that the NIT champion was
more prestigious even in those days as the NCAA. Not true to say the least!If BYU continues college athletics it should only be to the scope and
offering of the WCC, which at the very least means droping a football program
that has become contradictory to the mission of the LDS Church rather than
exposing it...it merely exposes future potential LDS Church converts to LDS
athletes playing on Sunday if they make the NFL. Basketball doesn't need the
big huge carnivorous Marriott Center any more. Baylor might bring in 22,000+
fans but typically 10,000-15,000 is all even a winning BYU team can attract. If
BYU has a pile of money they can rebuild the Smith Field-house and demolish the
Marriott Center and instead build a 20,000 seaauditoriumum for devotionals.All BYU does is cheapen the mission of state schools like Utah State
University, whom they pushed aside back in 1961 when the original WAC was
formed. With this more recent alignmentment BYU is now a surplus school that
should further be reduced in relevance.
Bleed Crimson Two words: READING COMPREHENSIONWhat you
posted:royalblue said: "The nit was a National Tournament in 1951,
therefore, its winner is a national champion. End of story".What royalblue really posted: "Even though Ute fans insist on
pretending otherwise, the simple truth is Utah has won three national
tournaments, but NO national championships in basketball."The
NIT and NCAA were competing national tournaments in 1944, 1947, and 1951, with
the NIT generally accepted as the more prestigious tournament, but neither
tournament winner was automatically recognized as the national champion.From 1939, when the NCAA Tournament started, the Helms Athletic
Foundation and NCAA Division I champions were the same, except for 1939-40-44-54
when Oregon, Indiana, Utah, and La Salle respectively won the tournament.Utah won three national tournaments in 1916, 1944 and 1947, but NO
national championships.Basketball National Champions - Helms
Athletic Foundation1916 Wisconsin (20-1) (Utah 11-0)1944 Army (15-0)
(Utah 22-4)1947 Holy Cross (27-3) (Utah 19-5)As you can see,
Utah had a significantly worse record in all three seasons than the team that
was actually named the national champion.
"I find this article full of nonsense, particularly that the NIT champion
was more prestigious even in those days as the NCAA. Not true to say the
least"Sorry #1 - your "opinion" is with a very small
SLC Sports FanSorry jealous Utah troll, but your pipe dream of BYU
dropping sports will never happen. It is laughable that you whine about BYU
"typically" only getting 10,000 to 15,000 fans to games, when even
your low-end prediction (grossly underestimated) is well above the average of
every team in the PAC 12.Get over your self-righteous whining and
Naval Vet "Wow! That 60-yr old NIT title must have been pretty
important..."Certainly more important than that even older 1944
NCAA title won playing an entire season of pickup games while most of the
country was off fighting a world war.
Why are the trolls so bothered to learn that BYU has a long history of success
in both football and basketball?
TJ said:"unclerico and snowman;I can just hear your
squeaky little voices cracking in protest over another article about a superior
BYU athletic team.desperately trolling BYU articles is no way to go
through life. Move on and learn to appreciate the truth."Would
you like a little green jello with your rhodes roll?The same goes for BYU
fans trolling articles about Utah belonging to the Pac 12. They are in, BYU is
not.Move on and learn to appreciate the truth.
NOA"They are in, BYU is not."And yet the
insecurity of our little brothers makes it impossible for them to stop obsessing
about BYU. Every major conference has its bottom dwellers; the Utes are settling
in nicely to their new role.
@ Cougars - Foolish Little Brothers"And yet the insecurity of
our little brothers makes it impossible for them to stop obsessing about BYU.
Every major conference has its bottom dwellers; the Utes are settling in nicely
to their new role".Aww....Isn't it cute seeing our little
brother beating his chest acting all superior?.........Thump! 54-10; Big brother
from the hill goes down to Provo and puts little brother in his place of the
pecking order.We are enjoying our new "elite" role now,
thank you very much! Who are you referencing as "bottom dwellers"?
Obviously that can't be Utah considering they finished in the middle the Pac-12
this year. Who are you talking about little brother?
PAC 12 loves UYou call being winless against D1 teams, a 19-point
thumping on your home court, and losing 10 of the last 11 to your big brother
enjoying your "elite" role?
Cougars - Foolish Little Brothers"You call being winless
against D1 teams, a 19-point thumping on your home court, and losing 10 of the
last 11 to your big brother enjoying your "elite" role?"Our basketball program is down and probably will be down for a few years. But
it won't last. I remember back in the day when little brother BYU's basketball
program was down back in the 90's. 1996 the Cougars were 1-25 and Utah was
nearly peaking during the Majerus era. Utah has played for the National
Championship and BYU has never made a Final Four appearance (even with Jimmer).
The point I'm making is most schools have their rock bottom years and the glory
years. BYU hit rock bottom in the 90's while Utah had their glory years during
the same time period. Today, Utah has hit rock bottom and BYU is having success.
Enjoy your success in basketball little brother.
Cougars - Wise Older Brothers | 8:42 p.m. Dec. 15, 2011 Anaheim, CANOA"They are in, BYU is not."And yet the
insecurity of our little brothers makes it impossible for them to stop obsessing
about BYU. Every major conference has its bottom dwellers; the Utes are settling
in nicely to their new role.--Insecurity = fellow BYU
fans knocking Utah for belonging to a BCS conference.No conference will
TJ - if you want to see troll behavior, go over and look at the article on Utah
basketball looking to snap the 8 game losing streak.
@UU32No troll behavior is epitomized by the post directly above
yours. When a utah "fan" creates multiple screen names, several of
them pretending to be BYU fans, and then posts calling out BYU fans that is the
very definition of "troll". utah "fans" win that contest
hands down, no questions asked, without a doubt, all the way, totally and
completely, no competition, in its entirety, etc.
PAC 12 loves UYou have no proof that Utah basketball will ever be
anything more than a cellar dweller.During the Dave Rose era:BYU 167-47 (78%)Utah 96-102 (48%)___________________SeattleBYU fans aren't knocking
Utah for being in a BCS conference (although that term is meaningless in the
context of basketball), BYU fans are knocking Utah fans for pretending that
conference affiliation is relevant when Utah is one of the worst basketball
programs in the entire country.Sagarin ranks 345 Division 1 Teamsat #330, Utah is in the bottom 5%
What a yawner of a post Swoop.Conference affiliation is indeed relevant.
Otherwise BYU would belong to a real one by now.Sad part is, BCS
conferences don't view a WAC legacy as being relevant.
Boyd Jarman, a reserve player on that team, told his seminary students of the
remarkable (miraculous?) play that sent the semi-final game into overtime. This
play occurred decades before there was a three-point line, or there would have
been no overtime. The Cougars were down by two and in-bounding the ball from
the far end of the court with only a couple of seconds left. The strongest
passer was to pass to the strongest shooter, stationed at half-court. But the
in-bounding pass was so strong that the shooter, jumping up, barely grazed the
ball with his fingertips, and the ball arched into the basket. The opponents
were in such a state of shock and awe that they never recovered during the