1945 College Basketball Recap
The biggest stars of the mid-40s were also the biggest players: 6?10 George Mikan of DePaul and 7?0 Bob Kurland of Oklahoma A&M.
Many officials thought All-Americas Mikan and Kurland wre too big and introduced the goaltending rule to nullify their shot-swatting prowess around the hoop. Forced to develop other skills, Mikan and Kurland actually got better and led their teams to NIT and NCAA titles.
Mikan, the country's leading scorer, threw down 120 points in three games (53 points against Rhode Island alone) as DePaul rolled to the NIT championship, while Kurland led the more deliberate A&M attack to victory in the NCAA.
For the third and final year the NCAA and NIT champs met in the Red Cross Benefit Game in NewYork. Mikan and Kurland filled the Garden to the rafters, but the ballyhooed battle of big men never materialized. Mikan fouled out in the first half with only nine points, Kurland scored 14 and the Aggies won 52?44.
Big Ten champion Iowa (17?1) and Notre Dame (15?5), two teams that could have made their presence felt in the postseason, both declined tournament invitations.