ESPN to Air Texas Western’s Historic Victory over Kentucky in 1966 NCAA Title Game

ESPN Photo

ESPN Photo

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, ESPN will present Texas Western’s historic victory in the 1966 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament Championship Game on Wednesday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Miners’ 72-65 win against the Kentucky Wildcats became a watershed moment in sports history because it was the first time a college basketball team started five African-American players in the sport’s title game.

Making History: The 1966 NCAA Championship – Texas Western vs. Kentucky is a 90-minute presentation featuring the audio call of Walt Sullivan and will contain every basket that took place inside Cole Field House in College Park, Md. on March 19, 1966.

ESPN’s Presentation Highlights:

  • Saunders and Bilas: John Saunders and Jay Bilas will host a pregame, halftime and post-game studio element and be joined by Michael Wilbon who will provide his views and additional historical context.
  • First Hand Account: Texas Western’s David Lattin – the starting center on the 1966 championship team – will be interviewed.
  • Iconic Photographs: Original photos, courtesy of former Sports Illustrated photographer Rich Clarkson, will be incorporated. 
  • President Obama: The President of the United States paid tribute to the team earlier this year and his message will be a part of the telecast.
  • Additional Programming: On Wednesday, Outside the Lines (1:30 p.m.) and SportsCenter (6 p.m.) are expected to touch on the historic victory.

Encore Presentation
ESPN’s presentation of the game will be re-aired on Sunday, April 3, at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 during the 2016 Final Four where the 1966 Texas Western team will be honored. In 2007, the entire team was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Previous Coverage
ESPN has documented the influential Texas Western victory over the years, including a 2001 ESPN Classic’s “Game of the Week” which chronicled the greatest sports events in history. Recently, ESPN The Magazine wrote a feature on Oklahoma’s Khadeem Lattin, the grandson of Dave Lattin, and ESPN produced Khadeem Lattin Carries a Beautiful Burden.  In 2006, Walt Disney Pictures produced Glory Road, a movie based on the team.

3 comments

  1. They never reveal the whole story.
    It was my understanding most of the UK players were ill.
    But that’s how the cookie crumbles.
    But it should be in the story if it’s true.

    1. At least Larry Conley was ill for sure Claude. But doubt any mention will be made of that

  2. Not having Larry Conley playing at top form for the Rupp’s Runts would be like not having Tyler Ulis available for this year’s team. Larry Conley was a great TEAM player, his Ashland HS team with Harold Sargent, Gene Smith and the other players I can’t quite remember were among the best teams I can remember.

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