1950 College Basketball Recap
The NIT-NCAA double that Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp had envisioned for his team in 1949 became a reality a year later, but for a very unlikely squad from City College of New York.
CCNY, made up of mostly sophomores and coached by Original Celtic Nat Holman, posted a 17–5 record during the regular season, but failed to attract any support in the final AP Top 20. The Beavers didn't land a single player on anybody's All-America team, either.
Yet, once the tournaments got underway, CCNY—led by Irwin Dambrot and Ed Warner—went on a 7–0 tear and beat all comers: defending NIT champion San Francisco (by 19 points), defending NCAA champ Kentucky (by 39, the worst defeat ever for a Rupp-coached team), No.6 Duquesne (by 10), No.5 North Carolina State (by 5), No.2 Ohio State (by 1), and top-ranked Bradley twice (by 8 and by 3).
Kentucky, the SEC champ for the seventh year in a row, lost to CCNY in the NIT. The Wildcats were also denied a shot at defending their NCAA title when N.C. State was awarded the district berth.
Meanwhile, CCNY's two wins over Bradley came in the two championship games—69–61 in the NIT and 71–68 in the NCAA. Both titles were won in the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden, but the “Allagaroo-garoo-gara” cheers that saluted the hometown team's unique double were short-lived. There were dark clouds on the horizon.