Earvin Morris and UTEP paid tribute to the 1966 NCAA men's basketball champions by wearing Texas Western throwbacks during the 2016 Conference USA Tournamen. (Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics)
Earvin Morris and UTEP paid tribute to the 1966 NCAA men's basketball champions by wearing Texas Western throwbacks during the 2016 Conference USA Tournamen. (Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics)

ROUTE ’66 | The day Texas Western changed college basketball history



On March 19, 1966, Texas Western changed the college basketball landscape forever. The Miners made history as the first all-black starting lineup to win the NCAA championship, beating all-white Kentucky, 72-65.

The impact wasn’t immediately clear, however.

“There was nothing in the way of any racial implications or animosity toward their players from us or them to us,” former Wildcats player Larry Conley told guest host Jorge Andrés in a special edition of The Web Show. “It was simply a national championship game.”

Willie Worsley, a sophomore guard for the Miners, agreed. “It was more about young guys trying to prove who was the better team,” he said years after the game, “not to prove who was the better color.”

But the Miners changed history. This is their story.

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