March 1939 : before the madness : the story of the first NCAA Basketball Tournament champions
In 1939, the Oregon Webfoots, coached by the visionary Howard Hobson, stormed through the first NCAA basketball tournament, which was viewed as a risky coast-to-coast undertaking and perhaps only a one-year experiment. Seventy-five years later, following the tournament's evolution into a national obsession, the first champions still are celebrated as "The Tall Firs." The Bee-coached LIU Blackbirds won the NCAA tournament's rival, the national invitation tournament in New York--then in only its second year, and still under the conflict-of-interest sponsorship of the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association. Frei assesses both tournaments and, given the myths advanced for many years, his conclusions in many cases are surprising. Both events unfolded in a turbulent month when it became more apparent that Hitler's belligerence would draw Europe and perhaps the world into another war . . . soon. Amid heated debates over to what extent America should become involved in Europe's affairs this time, the men playing in both tournaments wondered if they might be called on to serve and fight. Of course, as some of the Webfoots would demonstrate in especially notable fashion, the answer was yes.
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|Location||Call Number /
|Lyons Public Library||796.323 FRE (Text)