The 1944 NCAA Basketball Tournament involved 8 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men’s NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 24, 1944, and ended with the championship game on March 28 in New York City. A total of 9 games were played, including a third-place game in each region.
Utah, coached by Vadal Peterson, won the national title with a 42–40 victory in the final game over Dartmouth, coached by Earl Brown. Arnie Ferrin of Utah was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Utah became the first team to play in both the NIT and NCAA tournament in the same season. Utah was given a second chance to play in the NCAA Tournament after a March 1944 automobile accident killed a coaching aide and seriously injured two players on the Arkansas team.
Utah’s star was Wataru Misaka, who later joined the New York Knicks to become the first person of color to play in modern professional basketball.
As a freshman at Utah in 2003–04, Bogut averaged 12.5 points and 9.9 rebounds in 33 games. He subsequently earned CollegeInsider.com All-Freshman Team honors, Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, second-team All-Mountain West Conference, and NABC second-team All-District 13.
As a sophomore in 2004–05, Bogut started all 35 games for the Utes, leading them to a 29–6 record, the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, and a Mountain West Conference championship. He led the nation with 26 double-doubles and scored in double figures in 37 consecutive games dating back to the final two games of the 2003–04 season to have the sixth-longest streak in the country. He ranked 19th in the NCAA in scoring (20.4 ppg), second in rebounding (12.2 RPG) and eighth in field goal percentage (62.0), and led the Mountain West Conference in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. He became one of 31 Utah players all-time to score 1,000 points in his career, but just the third to reach that mark in two seasons. He was named the 2004–05 national player of the year by ESPN.com and Basketball Times, and earned Associated Press first-team All-American and leading vote-getter, becoming the 11th Ute all-time to earn All-America honors. He also earned Naismith College Player of the Year honors and the John R. Wooden Award. He later had his No. 4 jersey retired by Utah.
Currently Utah competes in the Pac-12 Conference, after it was announced on June 17, 2010, that the Utes would join the conference in all sports, beginning in the 2011 – 2012 academic year. They are the third Pac-12 member to have previously spent time in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), joining old conference rivals Arizona and Arizona State. They are also the first school to leave the Mountain West Conference (MW) since it was formed in 1999.
Utah offers a total of 19 varsity sports—seven for men, 11 for women, and one coeducational. Baseball, football, golf, and lacrosse are sponsored for men only. Beach volleyball, cross country, gymnastics, indoor track & field, indoor volleyball, outdoor track & field, soccer, and softball are sponsored for women only. Basketball, swimming & diving, and tennis are sponsored for both sexes. The coeducational sport is skiing; while schools have separate men’s and women’s squads, the NCAA awards a single national team championship. Utah’s newest varsity sport is men’s lacrosse, which will play its first season in 2019 (2018 – 2019 school year).
College Sports Established
Salt Lake City, Utah
University of Utah
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1915 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
2011 – Present / PAC 12 Conference
1999 – 2011 / Mountain West Conference
1962 – 1999 / Western Athletic Conference
Utes – In the mid- to late-1920s, as seen in the archives of the Daily Utah Chronicle (student-run newspaper) and the Utonian (student-run yearbook), the terms “Indians,” “Utes,” “Redskins,” and “Redskin Braves” began appearing and were used interchangeably to refer to athletic teams and students at the University of Utah. By the 1930s the use of the nicknames was quite common among students, reporters, and alumni. The use of the “Utes” and “Redskins” nicknames persisted through the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.
Before 1972, Utah athletic programs used the name “Redskins” interchangeably with “Utes.” That year, the university decided to stick solely with “Utes,” as the “Redskins” was considered an ethnic slur.
This is the name of the tribe of Native Americans for which the state of Utah is named, and the university has permission from the Ute tribe to use this nickname.
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