Sunday, May 10, 2020

Dartmouth's day in the sun

Except for sometimes Penn and Harvard and Princeton, the Ivy League is not very good these days. And it has not been for a long time. After all, the academic standards are pretty high. And Dartmouth had not made it to any sort of post season since 1959, until they lost to Canisius in the CIT in 2015. A half century is a LONG dry spell.

But believe it or not, there was a time when the Big Green were a powerhouse in basketball. They lost NCAA championship finals games in 1942 and 1944 to Stanford and Utah, respectively. And two other times they went to the Elite Eight in the 1940s. Plus, WAY back before any of the tournaments, the Helms Foundation named a national champion, and in 1906 they picked - you guessed it, the Dartmouth Big Green. Perhaps there were extenuating circumstances: after all, in those days there was a slight international conflict sucking the basketball talent into foreign lands.

But they did it. The sports writers were talking about them, and no doubt they had a swagger about them. Dartmouth old-timers can say, "I remember when" (if there are any of them still alive).

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