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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Indiana (20-3; coached by Branch McCracken/second of 24 seasons with Hoosiers; finished in second place in Big Ten with a 9-3 record, which was one game behind Purdue).
NIT Champion--Colorado (17-4; coached by Frosty Cox/fifth of 13 seasons with Buffaloes; won Mountain States Conference by three games with an 11-1 record).
New Rules--Teams have the choice of whether to shoot a free throw or take the ball out-of-bounds at midcourt. If two or more free throws are awarded, the option applies to the final free throw. . . . The backboards move from two to four feet from the end line to permit more movement under the goal.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Gus Broberg, G-F, Jr., Dartmouth (14.5 ppg, 95 FT%); John Dick, F, Sr., Oregon (10.7 ppg); George Glamack, C, Jr., North Carolina (statistics unavailable); Bill Hapac, F, Sr., Illinois (12.2 ppg); Ralph Vaughn, F, Sr., Southern California (11.5 ppg).
Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball who was born in Canada (Ontario), died at his home in Lawrence, Kan. He was 78. The previous season, Naismith criticized the zone defense in a talk before New York writers, saying: "I have no sympathy with it. The defensive team is stalling which lays back and waits for the offense to come to it. If a soccer team hung back and grouped itself in front of the goal, what could the other team do? The zone is much like that."
Clair Bee, the director of LIU's Department of Physical Education, coached the school's football, basketball and baseball teams. A New York Times article announcing the resumption of football at LIU pointed out that "Bee prefers football to basketball." On Thanksgiving Day, LIU's Dolly King started at center for the basketball team in a 59-41 victory over the alumni after starting at left end for the football squad and catching a touchdown pass that afternoon at Ebbets Field in a 35-14 defeat to Catholic University. King went on to become a consultant to President Johnson's Council on Physical Fitness.
LIU's 34-game winning streak was ended at Madison Square Garden, 57-49, when Ralph Vaughn sank nine field goals for USC.
North Carolina All-American George Glamack was an inspiration to those fond of individuals overcoming adversity. The Spalding Guide noted that "Glamack, who is ambidextrous when on the court, is also so nearsighted that the ball is merely a dim object, but apparently he never looked where he was shooting, depending upon his sense of distance and direction." The secret of "The Blind Bomber" was looking at the black lines on the court. By doing that he knew where he was in reference to the basket and could measure his shot. . . . Duke, coached by Eddie Cameron, became the 12th different school to win the Southern Conference championship in the first 19 years of the league. . . . Jule Rivlin, Marshall's leading scorer as the Thundering Herd won at least 22 games for the fourth consecutive year, went on to coach his alma mater in the 1956 NCAA Tournament.
Seton Hall's "Wonder Five" finished the season undefeated (19-0), but the Pirates, coached by Honey Russell, didn't participate in either the NCAA Tournament or NIT. . . . The first basketball game telecast was on February 28, 1940, when W2XBS carried a doubleheader from Madison Square Garden (Pittsburgh vs. Fordham and NYU vs. Georgetown). . . . NYU defeated St. John's for the 15th time in their first 18 meetings although St. John's was one of the nation's 10 winningest programs in the 1930s and 1940s. . . . Duquesne (20-3), coached by Chick Davies, compiled a 9-1 mark in games decided by fewer than six points. He was in the midst of winning 20 of 22 contests in that category. Davies defeated several coaching legends in national postseason competition this year--St. John's Joe Lapchick (NIT), Oklahoma A&M's Hank Iba (NIT) and Western Kentucky's Ed Diddle (NCAA). . . . St. John's backup Dusty DeStefano went on to coach his alma mater for four seasons from 1952-53 through 1955-56. . . . Future NBA coaching legend Arnold "Red" Auerbach was George Washington's leading scorer, averaging 8.5 points per game. . . . Dartmouth's school-record 38-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Army, 44-36. . . . Navy's streak of consecutive non-losing seasons since the school's initial campaign in 1907-08 ended at 33 when the Midshipmen compiled a 3-11 record. They entered the season having won more than 80 percent of their games.
Hoot Evers, a starter for Illinois, went on to become a two-time All-Star outfielder with the Detroit Tigers. . . . Ohio Wesleyan defeated Dayton twice in a single season for the third consecutive year. . . . Cincinnati captain Ed Jucker, who shared the Bearcats' scoring lead, went on to coach his alma mater to back-to-back NCAA championships in 1961 and 1962.
Tennessee sophomore Bernie Mehen, described by Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp as "one of the greatest first-year men of all-time," earned a berth as a forward on the SEC All-Tournament team. . . . Kentucky began a streak of 19 consecutive victories over Vanderbilt that ended in 1951. . . . Sewanee (Tenn.) dropped out of the SEC after its sixth winless league record in eight years as a member of the conference.
Rice (25-4/coached by Buster Brannon) and Toledo (24-6/Harold Anderson) had their winningest seasons in school history. . . . Texas-El Paso ended a 20-game losing streak to archrival New Mexico A&M in their series. . . . Oklahoma A&M set a school record for longest winning streak by capturing its last 25 regular-season games. . . . Washington, coached by Hec Edmundson, registered its only losing record (10-15) in a 28-year stretch from 1920-21 through 1947-48. . . . Oregon State lost 13 consecutive games at Washington until defeating the Huskies in Seattle, 46-31, to clinch the PCC championship. Earlier, Oregon State ended a 13-game losing streak in its series with Washington State. . . . The senior class for Loyola (Calif.) included eventual NCAA championship coaches Pete Newell (California) and Phil Woolpert (San Francisco).
1940 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Indiana's "Hurryin' Hoosiers" were noted for their fastbreak emphasizing quick ball movement because coach Branch McCracken detested dribbling. If that didn't keep him awake, something else certainly did because McCracken had a habit of drinking about 30 cups of coffee a day. The Hoosiers' 60-42 victory over Kansas in the NCAA final marked the highest output for the winner in the championship game until 1950. The Hoosiers held a comfortable halftime lead (32-19) despite going scoreless the first eight minutes of the contest. Kansas newspapers called the blitzing IU team a "tornado" in the wake of the one-sided final. "That tornado was us," boasted Hoosiers guard Marv Huffman, "and we just blew them out of the stadium!" McCracken is the youngest coach to capture an NCAA basketball crown. He was 31 years, nine months and 21 days old when the Hoosiers kayoed KU.
Outcome for Defending Champion: Oregon (19-12) finished second in the North Division of the Pacific Coast Conference. The Ducks' defeats were by an average margin of just 4.25 points with only two of them by more than six.
Biggest Upset: Heavily favored Southern California blew a six-point lead in the closing minutes of a 43-42 setback against Kansas in a national semifinal.
Star Gazing: Huffman, the only senior among Indiana's regulars and the younger brother of former Hoosiers standout Vern Huffman (NCAA consensus All-American in 1936 in basketball and football), was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player despite his lowly 4.3-point scoring average for the season. The only game all year when Marv Huffman managed double-digits in scoring was the NCAA final when he tied Jay McCreary with a team-high 12 points. McCreary, who did not start the final, went on to become LSU's head coach for eight seasons from 1957-58 through 1964-65 before serving as an assistant under Press Maravich when his son, Pete, set national scoring records that might never be matched. McCreary's Muncie, Ind., High School team won the 1952 state championship and was runner-up in 1954 to Milan, the later game depicted in the hit movie "Hoosiers." . . . Captain Dick Harp, who scored a team-high 15 points for Kansas in its 43-42 national semifinal victory over Southern California, eventually coached the Jayhawks when they finished 1957 NCAA Tournament runner-up to North Carolina.
One and Only: McCracken is the only NCAA consensus first-team All-American (1930) to later coach his alma mater to an NCAA championship. He is one of a handful of NCAA consensus first-team All-Americans to later coach in the NCAA Tournament.
Celebrity Status: Tom McGarvin, who scored six points for Southern California in a 43-42 defeat against Kansas, played left end for the Trojans' football squad. He is the only USC athlete to play against Notre Dame in football and basketball. . . . All-SWC first-team selection Frank Carswell, who scored 25 points in two playoff games for Rice, went on to play briefly as an outfielder for the Detroit Tigers in 1953.
Numbers Game: Bob Allen is the only player to lead an NCAA championship game in scoring while playing for his father. Phog Allen was coach of the Kansas squad that lost the championship game to Indiana despite his son's game-high total of 13 points. . . . Kansas' Howard Engleman had a tourney-high 21 points in a 50-44 victory over Rice in a Western Regional semifinal. . . . Winning teams usually shot about 30 percent from the floor at this time in the sport's history, but Springfield's 12.7 percent shooting (8 for 63) in an 48-24 opening-round loss to Indiana was particularly anemic. . . . Colorado, coached by Frosty Cox, won the NIT by extending its school-record winning streak to 12 games in a row before the Buffaloes lost both of their outings in the NCAA Tournament. . . . The EIBL (regular-season champion Dartmouth), SEC (Alabama before Kentucky won postseason tournament) and Southern Conference (Duke before North Carolina won postseason tournament) did not have representatives in the NCAA tourney. Oklahoma A&M from the Missouri Valley lost a district play-in game against Kansas.
What Might Have Been: Indiana would not have appeared in the tourney if Big Ten Conference champion Purdue participated in the event instead of staying home because Boilermakers coach Piggy Lambert wasn't fond of postseason play. The Hoosiers, 9-3 in Big Ten competition, became the only NCAA kingpin with more than two conference defeats until Michigan State in 1979.
NCAA Champion Defeats: At Minnesota (2-point margin), at Northwestern (4), and at Ohio State (18). . . . Wisconsin's Gene Englund had the highest single-game output against Indiana with 19 points.
Scoring Leader: Howard Engleman, Kansas (39 points, 13 ppg).
Bob Allen, C, Jr., Kansas (21 points in final two games)
Howard Engleman, F, Jr., Kansas (18 points)
*Marv Huffman, G-F, Sr., Indiana (18 points)
Jay McCreary, G-F, Jr., Indiana (12 points)
Bill Menke, C, Jr., Indiana (15 points)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: Indiana 48 (Schaefer team-high 14 points), Springfield (Mass.) 24 (Redding 7)
Regional Final: Indiana 39 (Menke 10), Duquesne 30 (Milkovich 10)
Championship Game: Indiana 60 (Huffman/McCreary 12), Kansas 42 (Allen 13)