Wow! A good article to remind us of a great Ute season degenerates into an
argument about the value of a tournament that took place over 70 years ago. And
as always, ALWAYS, BYU is brought in to the discussion by the usual suspects who
cannot get the Cougars out of their heads. And now Arizona? The Utes
accomplishments in basketball stand on their own merit and are not enhanced or
diminished by making comparisons to any other teams.
Jackie Treehorn"The Helms Foundation was already irrelevant;
their entire purpose of existence was to retroactively name champions before
there was a national tournament."There wasn't "A"
national tournament in 1944, there were two national tournaments, with one, the
NCAA, being the upstart baby brother of the premier tournament, the NIT.U lost in the premier tournament, then tried to back-door your way into
a national championship by winning the 2nd tier tournament.The
meaningless charity event that followed doesn't prove anything, since St.
John's had already won the premier tournament. In fact, NOBODY
- not Utah, not St. John's, not even the NCAA - counts the Utah-St.
John's encounter as an official game.
Treehorn"Dartmouth was widely considered the best team in the
country, being stacked with All-Americans from different schools that were
simply at Dartmouth for military training."Two of
Dartmouth's top four scorers, Lionel Baxter and Thomas Killick, didn't
even play in the Utah-Dartmouth game because they'd already shipped off to
fight a war."The Helms Foundation was already irrelevant; their
entire purpose of existence was to retroactively name champions before there was
a national tournament."The final Converse-Dunkel Ratings for the
1944 season had Army in first, followed by Utah, Kentucky, DePaul and Western
Jackie Treehorn"[Utah] declined the NCAA because the NCAA was
unwilling to pay for their travel fees, which the NIT did."Exactly what you'd expect from the Premier tournament of the day versus
the 2nd rate tournament of the day.
"The Utes were invited to play in both tournaments, but accepted their NIT
invitation because the NIT was by far the most prestigious tournament of the
day."This is documented fiction. They declined the NCAA because
the NCAA was unwilling to pay for their travel fees, which the NIT did. After
the Arkansas accident, the NCAA then offered to pay for their travel and
lodging. Nothing to do with "prestige" because Dartmouth was widely
considered the best team in the country, being stacked with All-Americans from
different schools that were simply at Dartmouth for military training.The Helms Foundation was already irrelevant; their entire purpose of existence
was to retroactively name champions before there was a national tournament. Army
doesn't even recognize their Helms top ranking as a "championship".
Utah's 1944 Basketball Schedule1. 18th Replacement Wing W 48-24
SLC2. A.S.T.P. Company D W 51-21 SLC3. A.S.T.P. Company B W 76-24
SLC4. A.S.T.P. ERC W 71-17 SLC5. Hill Field Fliers W 61-26 Ogden6. Weber W 63-25 Ogden7. Weber Navy W 60-25 Ogden8. Kearns 2nd Air
Force W 45-35 Kearns9. Fort Douglas W 41-26 SLC10. Wendover Bomber
Quintet W 64-28 Wendover11. Idaho State W 54-43 SLC12. Ecker Studio
W 46-44 SLC13. Colorado College W 48-34 Colorado Springs14. Fort
Logan W 55-38 Denver15. Fort Warren L 59-61 Cheyenne16. Kearns W
57-37 SLC17. Salt Lake Air Base L 39-54 SLC18. Bushnell Hospital W
78-31 SLC19. Idaho State W 52-40 Pocatello20. Dow Chemical L 36-46
SLC21. Salt Lake Air Base W 62-38 SLC10. Wendover Bomber
Quintet - only had 5 players?16. Kearns - 2nd ward young men's
team?Bottom line: There's not a roster or history available for
any of these teams. For all we know, their drill sergeant simply asked"are there any volunteers who would to play a basketball game against the
Utes this weekend,"if you're not doing anything more
important, like sleeping or washing socks.
Cactus"[The Utes] did lose to Kentucky in the first round of the
NIT, but then accepted a late invite to the NCAA tournament..."The Utes were invited to play in both tournaments, but accepted their NIT
invitation because the NIT was by far the most prestigious tournament of the
day.Available teams were so scarce, that the NCAA had to scramble to
find a replacement for Arkansas, and fortunately for Utah, they had been bounced
out of the NIT so quickly that they were available to accept a second invitation
from the NCAA.Typical of Utah's entire 1943-44 season.Just a bunch of hastily arranged games against whoever was available.The reason Utah only beat Idaho State and Colorado College during the regular
season is those were literally the ONLY two active college teams remaining in
the entire inter-mountain area.
Cactus"Actually, in the 1943-44 season, Utah was 22-4 overall.
They did not play a Skyline Conference schedule that year because of the war,
but they were 10-2 at home, 9-1 on the road, and 3-1 at neutral sites. During
the regular season they did play mostly military teams (Army, Navy, Air Force)
and industrial teams..."Actually, Utah was 6-1 against college
teams.The Utes did play a bunch of pickup games, but there's
absolutely no proof that any of those teams had even one former college player,
let alone a former college coach. Basically, Utah's competition was the
equivalent of going down to the YMCA and calling winners. They played whoever
was available.And, let's not forget that because of the war,
all of the college teams still competing were composed entirely of Freshmen and
Sophomores, because all of the players old enough to be drafted were off
fighting a world war.Incidentally, beating the winner of the NIT in
a meaningless exhibition game after they'd already won the biggest
tournament of the day, doesn't prove anything.The Utes had
already lost in the first round of the NIT.The Helms Athletic
Foundation chose Army (15-0) as the 1944 National Champion.
Actually, in the 1943-44 season, Utah was 22-4 overall. They did not play a
Skyline Conference schedule that year because of the war, but they were 10-2 at
home, 9-1 on the road, and 3-1 at neutral sites. During the regular season they
did play mostly military teams (Army, Navy, Air Force) and industrial teams (Dow
Chemical, Ecker Studio) and only played two college teams -- Colorado College
and Idaho State (twice) -- but there were not a lot of college teams still
functioning in the area because of the war effort and most of the college talent
was playing on the military and industrial teams anyway. They did
lose to Kentucky in the first round of the NIT, but then accepted a late invite
to the NCAA tournament (the Arkansas team bowed out after an auto accident on
the way there). They beat Missouri and Iowa State in the West Regional in Kansas
City, and then beat Dartmouth in MSG in the title game, 42-40 in OT. After
winning the NCAA, two days later Utah played a charity game in New York against
the NIT champion, St. Johns, and won 43-36. So really, everything considered,
certainly a good year and nothing to be embarrassed about.
81Ute, Elmer FuddIt's amazing how distorted the crimson-colored
view of the world is.In 1944, during the middle of a world war when
most college basketball programs had been suspended, the Utes beat Idaho State
and Colorado College to get an invitation to the NIT, where they lost their
first game to Kentucky, before accepting an invitation to the NCAA, where they
beat THREE teams to win the 8-team NCAA tournament, which was then the baby
brother of the NIT.Utah's final record: 6-1In 1997,
Arizona beat SIX teams, including #1 seed Kansas, #1 seed North Carolina, and #1
seed Kentucky, to win the 64-team NCAA tournament and National Championship.Arizona's final record: 25-9As painful as it may be for
U to admit,Arizona beat as many college teams in the 1997 NCAA
tournamentas Utah beat during the ENTIRE 1943-44 season.You're only deluding yourself if you think that the two accomplishments
are even remotely equivalent.
I agree that Arizona’s finishes are only somewhat better than Utah’s
over the years, but the statement by 81Ute was that Utah’s “numbers
are greater than EVERYBODY else combined in the intermountain area (including
AZ).” That is the part which I think needs some explanation before I would
agree. If you add the following to Arizona’s history, I am not sure where
81Ute is coming from:2015 - Gonzaga - Elite 81999 - Gonzaga - Elite
81991 - UNLV - Final Four1990 - UNLV - National Champions1989
- UNLV - Elite 81987 - UNLV - Final Four1977 - UNLV - Final Four1977 - Idaho State - Elite 81975 - Arizona State - Elite 81970 -
New Mexico State - Final Four1963 - Arizona State - Elite 81961 -
Arizona State - Elite 81952 - Wyoming - Elite 81949 - Wyoming -
Elite 81947 - Wyoming - Elite 81943 - Wyoming - National Champion1941 - Wyoming - Elite 8The Intermountain West is defined as the
geographic region between the front range of the Rockies on the east and the
Cascades and Sierra Nevada on the west, so I think all the teams listed would be
included. Add Arizona to those listed, and it is hard for me to understand how
Utah’s numbers are greater than all of them combined.
@ CactusIt's really not far fetched to say Utah and Arizona
both have comparable NCAA Tournament success. Comparing Utah and
Arizona NCAA Tournament success:ArizonaNational Championships:
1National Runner-ups: 1 Final Four: 4Elite Eight: 11Sweet Sixteens: 19Round of 32: 20Tournament Appearances: 34UtahNational Championships: 1National Runner-ups: 1Final Four: 4Elite Eight: 6Sweet Sixteens: 16Round of 32:
16Tournament Appearances: 29The only big difference is Arizona
has more Elite Eight appearances (11-6). Which is why I give them the edge. So
you are right about that.
Re: UTE81, not sure why you think "Those numbers are greater than EVERYBODY
else combined in the intermountain area (including AZ)." Considering Elite 8
or higher finishes, it looks like Arizona alone has a better record than Utah,
let alone combining AZ with all the other teams in the Intermountain area. Here
are Arizona and Utah histories for Elite 8 appearances:Arizona:2015
– "Elite 8"2014 – "Elite 8"2011
– "Elite 8"2005 – "Elite 8"2003
– "Elite 8"2001 – "National Runner-Up"1998 – "Elite 8"1997 – "NATIONAL
CHAMPIONS"1994 – "Final Four"1988 –
"Final Four"1976 – "Elite 8"Utah:1998 – "National Runner-Up"1997 – "Elite
8"1966 – "Final Four"1961 – "Final
Four"1956 – "Elite 8"1944 – "NATIONAL
re talkinsports Be careful with your statistics and historical
perspective. The same thing will be stated about your team and remove any and
all credibility about their 'historical' achievements.But
the facts are, the Utes have been in the Elite 8 many times, the Final Four a
few times and the Championship Game a couple of times. Those numbers are
greater than EVERYBODY else combined in the intermountain area (including AZ).
@ talkinsportsSo by that same logic. BYU would have zero legitimate
Elite Eight appearances since BYU only needed to win one game to get there in
1950 & 1951 and two games in 1981 (BYU's last Elite Eight appearance).
You can make fun of our 1944 season all you want. But at least we
have an NCAA National Championship in basketball. Not to mention four Final Four
appearances.The only thing BYU has going for them is being the only
team to make the most NCAA tournament appearances without reaching the Final
navelvet"20 years ago: Runnin' Utes reach NCAA Elite Eight
for 5th time ('44, '56, '61, '66, '97)..."yawn, it's hilarious how clueless U kids are with your hype.Number of wins required for Utah to reach the "Elite Eight" 1944 to
19971944 - ZERO - there were only EIGHT teams in the entire
tournament1956 - ONE - the Utes were SEEDED in the Sweet 161961 -
ONE - the Utes were SEEDED into the Sweet 161966 - ONE - the Utes were
SEEDED into the Sweet 161997 - three - the ONLY Elite Eight appearance
that required the Utes to do something more than what a Round of 32 team is
required to do today.Interestingly, the Utes only beat Idaho St
(twice) and Colorado Colorado (once) during the entire regular season to qualify
for the 1944 NCAA tournament - the EASIEST road to the "Elite Eight" in
I just googled "elite eight" and found a website that said Utah has
actually been to 6 NCAA Elite Eight's. It didn't give any dates,
though. It also confirmed the 4 Final Fours the Utes have appeared in.Funny, but I can't find BYU anywhere on either list.
Correct you are GoRed. I noticed that too. The headline should have either
stated:(a) 20 years ago: Runnin' Utes reach NCAA Elite Eight
for 5th time ('44, '56, '61, '66, '97)......or...(b) 20 years ago: Majerus' Runnin' Utes reach
NCAA Elite Eight for 1st time.
Hey Go Red, you are going to ruin the narrative that all sports started and will
end with byu.
I'm guessing the author meant since the expansion to 64 teams. By which
criteria, of course, no one else in the state has been there except Utah.
The headline "Utes reach Elite Eight for 1st time (in 1997)" is
absolutely incorrect. If you recall, Utah had made it to the Final Four three
times previously: 1944 (they won the championship), 1961, and 1966. They would
then make it to the Final Four and championship game the following year
(1998).So tell me, how is it that Utah's Elite Eight appearance
in 1997 was their 1st, when three previous times they had actually made it
beyond the Elite Eight to the Final Four?