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When history stepped into the picture

Chat wrap with coach Don Haskins

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Texas Western's win changed face of college hoops

ESPN Classic will present "Game of the Week," a new series of one-hour journeys, hosted by Rich Eisen, that chronicle the greatest sports events in history. Each episode will focus on the plays, the personalities and the perspectives that have made these events so momentous. The new lineup will feature 12 original "Game of the Week" documentaries for 2001, including the 30th anniversary of Ali-Frazier I and the 35th anniversary of the Kentucky-Texas Western NCAA Championship.

1966 NCAA Championship
35th Anniversary
Texas Western vs. Kentucky
Sunday at 9 p.m. ET

Hosted by Rich Eisen, the documentary will tell the story of Texas Western (now UTEP) as it makes NCAA history as the first college team to start an all African-American starting five in the NCAA Championship game, going up against Adolph Rupp's Wildcats, who started an all-white lineup. Texas Western upset Kentucky, 72-65.

Texas Western's coach and Basketball Hall of Famer Don Haskins will chat with users about the historic game on Friday at 3 p.m. ET.

Classic moment

March 19, 1966: Texas Western becomes the first NCAA champion to start five African-Americans, upsetting No.-1 ranked Kentucky's all-white team of Adolph Rupp in the final in College Park, Md.

Texas Western coach Don Haskins makes one change in his starting lineup: He uses three guards against the small but speedy Wildcats. Bobby Joe Hill, Texas Western's 5-foot-10 bolt of lightning in the backcourt, sets the tone early in the 72-65 victory when he twice steals the ball from Kentucky players and scores layups.

The Miners take the lead midway in the first half and never relinquish it, though Kentucky gets within a point early in the second half. Texas Western, which was ranked No. 3 going into the tournament, finishes with a 28-1 record.

Hill leads all scorers with 20 points, while 6-foot-7, 240-pound center Dave ("Big Daddy") Lattin gets 16 points and grabs nine rebounds and guard Orsten ("Little O") Artis has 15 points and eight rebounds. Kentucky's Pat Riley and Lou Dampier each score 19, though Riley shoots 8-of-22 from the field.

"I'm just a young punk," Haskins says. "It was a thrill playing against Mr. Rupp, let alone beating him."

For playing nobody but blacks in beating an all-white team, Haskins reportedly will receive 40,000 pieces of hate mail and a dozen death threats.

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