Monday, July 23, 2007

*OPINION PIECE* No. 1 Greatest Moment in Duquesne Athletics History

March 20, 1955 - Men’s basketball defeats the University of Dayton, 70-58, at Madison Square Garden (III) in New York City to win the 1955 National Invitation Tournament -- the most exclusive collegiate basketball tournament in the country at the time.
  According to the Duquesne University Web site, "Five thousand people greeted the returning Dukes at the Pittsburgh airport, and the entire student body was invited to a testimonial dinner honoring the team."
  The NCAA began sponsoring a national championship tournament for men's basketball in 1939, but it wasn't until the 1960s that this NCAA tournament became the most exclusive and important college basketball tournament in the country. Colleges and universities routinely declined offers to participate in the NCAA Championship Tournament during this time period while still accepting bids to the NIT.
  An NIT championship before the mid-1960s or so, like the Dukes' 1955 title, was an unofficial (by the NCAA's standards) national championship, but it still meant that Duquesne was the home of the best college basketball team in the country.

(Image: 1954-55 Duquesne University Men's Basketball Team, Copyright Duquesne University)

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