Monday, October 15, 2007

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

1954-55 Men's Basketball - Surely to spark no debate, Dukes Chat announces that this team is undoubtedly the greatest in Duquesne Athletics History.
  The rationale for doing so is simple. The National Invitation Tournament in 1955 was the equivalent of today's NCAA Division I Championship. Led by All-American Sihugo Green and finishing with a 22-4 record and a No. 6 Associated Press ranking, this team took the 1955 NIT title, and no Duquesne sports team has won an NCAA championship at the highest level before or since. Therefore, this team achieved more than any other sports team in Duquesne University history.
  Basketball, particularly men's basketball, is the premiere sport at Duquesne. It has been this way since World War II, and this team did more than its part to drive this notion home.
  The future of Duquesne Basketball, and Duquesne Athletics in general -- not coincidentally -- seems incredibly bright. This team, in some way, is to thank for that. The new Multipurpose Recreational Center, the soon-to-be-new permanent grandstand seating around Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field and the hiring of Ron Everhart are all steps that Duquesne University has taken to try to recapture the athletic glory of its past, highlighted, of course, by the 1955 NIT champions.

(Image: Retired Sihugo Green Jersey, Copyright Duquesne University)


Anonymous said...

bob how could you leave off 2002 football or national champion 2003 football....absurd!

BluffTalk said...

  Haha. Hey, it wasn't easy. The 2002 team was the hardest to omit.

Anonymous said...

I support your opinion that the '54-'55 basketball team was the greatest in Duquesne sports history. Frankly I'm surprised that a book hasn't been written about that team and its players and coach.

While is seems to be commonly accepted in most sports' circles that the NIT was superior to the NCAA tournament prior to the 1960s, why didn't the NIT champion, the Dukes, receive a higher AP ranking than 6th? Wouldn't the winner of the better tournament, the NIT, generally be viewed as the highest ranked team in the nation for that year (or certainly higher than 6th)? Does anyone have an explanation for this outcome? What teams received higher rankings that the Dukes in the final polls for 1955?

Anonymously Yours - not to be confused with the author of the first anonymous comment.

BluffTalk said...

  You ask some great questions here. If anybody has (an) explanation(s), please share.

Dutch said...

I have no idea what teams finished ahead of DU. However, by the mid 50s the NCAA tournament was on par with the NIT.

And it was viewed in that manor. As a post-season tournament, not the method to crown the national champion.

If other agree or disagree, I would like to hear their arguments.