3 lesser known facts about the NCAA March Madness
No sporting event creates as much excitement as the NCAA March Madness. It brings a lot of thrilling games from all the best college teams in America. That's why the March Madness betting 2019 is so immensely popular with all the US punters.
1- 1951 City College of New York Scandal:
In 1951, the City College of New York was quite a formidable team. Nat Homan was their coach and they were easily overpowering one team after another. They even crushed Kentucky Wildcats that year who were the supposed best team in the country. CCNY went on to win both the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) and the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament, a feat which hadn't been achieved by any other team.
However, the fortunes of the team quickly changed when it was discovered the next season that many of its players had taken bribes from gamblers to shave points. Their famous players Ed Roman, Ed Warner and Al Roth were arrested for this crime. This scandal spread to more than 30 players from 7 colleges who admitted to taking bribes.
As a result of this scandal, the City College of New York was banned from playing at Madison Square Garden while Bill Spivey's 1951 Most Outstanding Player Award was also vacated.
2- 1966 NCAA Tournament changed the world of college basketball
The 1966 NCAA Tournament served as a big step in changing racial views in America. At that time, there were teams who were very reluctant to sign black players, and it was a common belief that teams full of black players wouldn't play with self-control. However, the victory of Texas Western Miners against Kentucky Wildcats in the final of 1966 NCAA Tournament changed a lot of things in this regard.
In that game, Texas Western was featuring an all-black starting lineup while Kentucky Wildcats had an all-white squad. The Miners won the game 72-65 and lifted the first national championship in the history of the school. This contributed a great deal towards the integration of blacks in American sports. By the year 1970, even Kentucky Wildcats had included a black player in their team.
3- NIT vs NCAA
It might interest you to know that the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) was once considered more prestigious than the NCAA Tournament. The NIT originally fielded 6 teams and was played at Madison Square Garden. Playing in the NIT meant that college teams would get more media attention.
However, its decline started when the NCAA started including more teams and getting more television coverage. And so by the mid-1980s, the NIT had become a secondary tournament for lesser teams. And later in 2005, the NCAA purchased the rights to the NIT from the MIBA. Nowadays, the National Invitation Tournament is only considered as a consolation tournament for those teams who fail to make it to the NCAA Tournament.