1966 Texas Western
Playing with confidence, determination, and intensity, Texas Western made history on March 19, 1966 when the Miners became the first team in history to win the NCAA championship with five African-American players in the starting lineup. By beating an all-white Kentucky squad in the title game, 72-65, the Miners contributed to a sea change in intercollegiate athletics. Regarded by many as a key turning point in the civil rights movement in general and in the integration of college athletics in particular, the team’s victory was seen as instrumental in transforming the history of college basketball. The highly publicized and inspirational 1966 championship game capped an amazing season for Texas Western. Coached by Hall of Famer Don Haskins and led by Bobby Joe Hill and David Lattin, Texas Western swept through the NCAA Tournament by defeating Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, Kansas, and Utah en route to the championship game. In 2006, forty years after the Miners captured the national title, the story was made into a major motion picture, the team visited the White House, and was honored at halftime of the 2006 NCAA national championship game.