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Eagle71

They got us hooked!

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2 hours ago, Eagle71 said:

50 years ago in "The Snake Pit" these are the guys that got us hooked forever on North Texas basketball.  Good times!

1968 1969 basketball0003.jpg

My vote for best team ever for NT basketball. 

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Not sure who that is between Joe Hamilton and Wendel Hart, but Tom Wolf (6'0" guard, Wendel was also 6'0") transferred in from Northeastern Oklahoma as a sophomore and was #30 on the 1969-70 team.

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We didn't beat DePaul, but it was a hell of a game.  I think it is the second highests attended game next to a game vs. Texas.

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I watched every home game that team played in the Old Snake Pit.  It was packed to the rafters and would actually shake due to the noise.

I second GrandGreen...my vote for best team in the history of UNT basketball.

So very much fun to watch these guys play.

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If a few don't know, the Missouri Valley at that time was the premier basketball league in the country, bar none.   UCLA dominated, but the MVC was in a much better conference than PAC 10. SEC, ACC and Big 10 at the time.  

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I always hear that, but NCAA tournament success doesn't seem to show it.  Even accounting for UCLA's dominance in the 60's and 70's, the MVC's tourney success mostly seems like it was Cincy's, at least on the high end.  Obviously they had some great teams all through this period, and I'd love to be in a league as strong as the MVC was at the time, but I think it is tough to say it was the best overall league.  Obviously it's impossible to know because until 1975 conferences only got one team each in, but some leagues seem to have equal success (even removing the Bruins from the Pac 8 conference).  The number of teams from 1960 to 1975 was between 22-32 depending on the year).  It seems the Valley Champ usually got byes, so they obviously were regarded well.  

 

1960 Cincinnati 3rd place (this is when the NCAA's would have 3rd place games in Regionals and in the Final Four)

1961 Cincinnati National Champion

1962 Cincinnati National Champion

1963 Cincinnati National Runner-Up  (Lost in Title game)

1964 Wichita State Midwest Regional Runner Up (aka today's Elite 8 )

1965 Wichita State 4th place (Lost both games once got to the Final Four)

1966 Cincinnati 4th Place in Midwest Regional (Lost both their Sweet 16 game and the Consolation Game at the Regional)

1967 Louisville 4th Place at Midwest Regional (Lost both Sweet 16 and Consolation Game)

1968 Louisville 3rd Place at Midwest Regional (Lost Sweet 16 Game, win Consolation Game at Regional)

1969 Drake 3rd Place (Lost at Final Four, win Consolation)

1970 Drake Regional Runner-Up (Win in Sweet 16, lose in Regional Final)

1971 Drake Regional Runner-Up (See above)

1972 Louisville 4th place (Gets to Final Four and lose both games there)

1973 Memphis National Runner-Up

1974 Louisville loses in 1st Round

1975 Louisville 3rd place (Loses in Final Four, wins Consolation game)

Edited by CMJ

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11 hours ago, CMJ said:

I always hear that, but NCAA tournament success doesn't seem to show it.  Even accounting for UCLA's dominance in the 60's and 70's, the MVC's tourney success mostly seems like it was Cincy's, at least on the high end.  Obviously they had some great teams all through this period, and I'd love to be in a league as strong as the MVC was at the time, but I think it is tough to say it was the best overall league.  Obviously it's impossible to know because until 1975 conferences only got one team each in, but some leagues seem to have equal success (even removing the Bruins from the Pac 8 conference).  The number of teams from 1960 to 1975 was between 22-32 depending on the year).  It seems the Valley Champ usually got byes, so they obviously were regarded well.  

 

1960 Cincinnati 3rd place (this is when the NCAA's would have 3rd place games in Regionals and in the Final Four)

1961 Cincinnati National Champion

1962 Cincinnati National Champion

1963 Cincinnati National Runner-Up  (Lost in Title game)

1964 Wichita State Midwest Regional Runner Up (aka today's Elite 8 )

1965 Wichita State 4th place (Lost both games once got to the Final Four)

1966 Cincinnati 4th Place in Midwest Regional (Lost both their Sweet 16 game and the Consolation Game at the Regional)

1967 Louisville 4th Place at Midwest Regional (Lost both Sweet 16 and Consolation Game)

1968 Louisville 3rd Place at Midwest Regional (Lost Sweet 16 Game, win Consolation Game at Regional)

1969 Drake 3rd Place (Lost at Final Four, win Consolation)

1970 Drake Regional Runner-Up (Win in Sweet 16, lose in Regional Final)

1971 Drake Regional Runner-Up (See above)

1972 Louisville 4th place (Gets to Final Four and lose both games there)

1973 Memphis National Runner-Up

1974 Louisville loses in 1st Round

1975 Louisville 3rd place (Loses in Final Four, wins Consolation game)

OK, do a little more research and line up league by league and find one stronger. 

It was regarded as the best league at the time, and it was based on the total league membership; not what the winner did in tournament play.  Louisville, Wichita St., Drake, Memphis (later on), Bradley, Cinncinnati (out before this NT team played), St. Louis, Tulsa

Frankly, this was the best team NT had in their membership in the league, and they seldom won away; the old Snake Pit gave them a great home advantage.   Hence, the name snake pit; and to see a game there as a student you had to get an advance ticket because most games were sellouts.    Only a little over 4000 capacity; but also about a third of the current number of students. 

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There's not much info available as far as computer rankings of teams back then, but the closest I found was a site that used this ranking system explained https://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/index4837.html?p=37 to try and judge league strength.  Using those numbers they ranked the MVC for the years I mentioned earlier as such.

 

1960 2

1961 3

1962 3

1963 2

1964 1

1965 3

1966 3

1967 1

1968 2

1969 6

1970 5

1971 5

1972 3

1973 5

1974 8

1975 6

 

I'll try and look at other conferences to compare, but it does seem probably from 60-67 the MVC was the overall best league.  After that it does not.

Edited by CMJ
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6 hours ago, CMJ said:

There's not much info available as far as computer rankings of teams back then, but the closes I found was a site that used this ranking system explained https://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/index4837.html?p=37 to try and judge league strength.  Using those numbers they ranked the MVC for the years I mentioned earlier as such.

 

1960 2

1961 3

1962 3

1963 2

1964 1

1965 3

1966 3

1967 1

1968 2

1969 6

1970 5

1971 5

1972 3

1973 5

1974 8

1975 6

 

I'll try and look at other conferences to compare, but it does seem probably from 60-67 the MVC was the overall best league.  After that it does not.

Good data, I think what we are seeing is the effect of Black athletes being recruited by more schools and more emphasis put on basketball by the traditionally strong football schools. 

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