Today, we should be making plans to watch the Final Four. Alas, the Coronavirus continues to halt life as we know it.
Instead of worrying about what we’re missing, let’s look back. Way back, to 1941.
Your Washington State Cougars were battling Wisconsin in the national championship for men’s basketball. Unfortunately, they dropped a close one in the title game, 39-34. They played the game in Kansas City. The closest WSU has come since then is the Sweet 16 in 2008. Someday, we’ll be back!
The tournament back then wasn’t what it is nowadays, of course. For starters, only eight teams made the tournament. I have no idea what qualified each team, and who really cares. The Cougs were in it!
Jack Friel was the Cougar coach and WSU finished 26-6. Pretty good! The Cougs won the Pacific Coast Conference North Division by four games over Oregon State. WSU was also three games better than the Stanford, which won the South. WSU and Stanford met in the Pacific Coast Conference playoff series which saw WSU win the best-of-three series 2-0. Both games were in Pullman. That gave WSU its ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
WSU beat Creighton 48-39 in the first round to head to what is now the Final Four. They beat Arkansa 64-53 to reach the championship game. Those 64 points were the most any team scored during that year’s tournament.
Enjoy highlights of the title game. Definitely a different style of play back then:
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