1966 College Basketball Recap
UCLA lost the AAWU (now Pac-10) title to Oregon State in 1965–66 and couldn't defend its NCAA crown. That opened the door for Texas Western (now UTEP) to emerge from the western half of the tournament draw and meet top-ranked Kentucky for the championship.
Kentucky, NCAA champions four times under Adolph Rupp, came to College Park, Md., looking to give its legendary coach an unprecedented fifth national title.
It wasn't to be. Kentucky, with five white starters, was upset by Texas Western, which started five blacks, 72–65. The Miners, led by Bobby Joe Hill and center Dave “Big Daddy” Lattin, won the game at the foul line with 28 points.
It was a watershed game for black players. Afterward, all colleges started recruiting blacks. Three years later, even Rupp had broken the color line.
Meanwhile, Player of the Year Cazzie Russell led No.9 Michigan to its third stright Big Ten title, but the Wolverines lost to Kentucky in the Mideast final.