Jan. 10, 2008
In 1947, the National College Basketball Champion was crowned in Madison Square Garden.
The highly favored Kentucky Wildcats were the No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), which was the national championship tournament in those days. The Utes entered the tournament as the No. 8 seed and had won their first game with Duquesne by only one point and their second with West Virginia by two. Meanwhile, Kentucky had breezed to the final game.
But the "Blitz Kids" from the West were the New York crowd favorite. Coach Vadal Peterson only used six players in the contest: Vern Gardner, Arnie Ferrin, Wat Misaka, Leon Watson, Fred Weidner and Lyman Clark.
While Ferrin and Big Vern shared offensive scores, it was the defensive play of Wat Misaka that captivated the crowd. Misaka held Kentucky's leading scorer Ralph Beard to just one point as Utah won by four (49-45).
Vern Gardner was the MVP and the Big Apple belonged to the Utes.