March 19 - 1966 - Texas Western Wins the NCAA Basketball Championship
The actual championship game of the 1966 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Tournament was not an all-time classic. It was, however, a revolutionary game. At tip-off, Coach Don Haskins rolled out an all African-American starting lineup for the Texas Western College Miners, a feat that was even more significant because they were facing an all-white University of Kentucky Wildcats team. Both teams had lost one game all year, although Kentucky faced a tougher schedule in the regular season and was more impressive than Texas Western in the Tournament to that point. From the beginning, Texas Western was more impressive in the game, with center David Lattin dunking twice early in the game as a point of emphasis. With their win, Texas Western not only became champions, but shattered many of the stereotypes of black players still prevalent in college basketball. After 1966, college coaches throughout the south saw that in order to win they needed black players, and African-Americans began to play in large numbers for the national powers.