In the 1940s, before March Madness, the frenzy of the NBA draft, and multi-million dollar professional contracts, college basketball players played simply because they loved the game. This is the story of a group of kids who loved to play basketball: the underdog 1943–44 University of Utah men’s basketball team and their unlikely path to the NCAA championship, who came out of nowhere to upset heavily favored Dartmouth for the title.
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Arkansas Arnie and Wat Arnie Ferrin Arnie’s athletic ball barbershop basket basketball player basketball team bench Blitz Kids Bob Lewis bounced boys brothers career championship game cheered Coach Lambert college basketball college teams Courtesy Special Collections crowd Dartmouth defense Deno Deno’s Dick Smuin didn’t dribble fans father feet felt floor Fort Warren Fred Sheffield free throw front George going hand hard head Japanese American John’s jump Junior High Keith Kentucky knew Lakers league lives locker room looked Madison Square Garden military National Invitation Tournament NCAA Tournament night offense Ogden High School Pete practice Redmen Salt Lake City scheduled score season set shot Sheff shoes shoot Special Collections Department squad started stood team’s teammates took train trip tryouts University of Utah Utah’s Utes Vadal Vadal Peterson walked wanted Wat Misaka Wat’s Weber College Willard Marriott Library York young