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1942–43 Wyoming Cowboys basketball team

The 1942–43 Wyoming Cowboys basketball team represented the University of Wyoming in NCAA men's competition in the 1942–43 NCAA college basketball season.[1] The Cowboys won the Mountain States Conference championship and were the first basketball team from the Rocky Mountains to win an NCAA title. Kenny Sailors of Hillsdale, Wyoming averaged 15.5 points per game and Milo Komenich averaged 16.7 points per game in leading the team to the championship.[2] Despite playing just nine home games during the year, the Cowboys won 32 games.[3]

1942–43 Wyoming Cowboys basketball
1943 Wyoming Cowboys.jpg
Mountain States Conference (Big Seven) champions
ConferenceMountain States Conference
1942–43 record31–2 ( Big Seven)
Head coachEverett Shelton


Name Position Home Town
Charles Castle Forward Phoenix, AZ
James Collins Guard Laramie
Jimmy Darden Forward Cheyenne
Jack Downey Guard Phoenix, AZ
Vernon Jensen Guard Lyman
Antone Katana Center Rock Springs
Milo Komenich Center Gary, IN
Earl Ray Guard Casper
Jimmie Reese Forward Rock Springs
Lou Roney Guard Powell
Ken Sailors Forward Laramie
Kenneth Tallman Forward Cheyenne
Floyd Volker Forward Casper
Donald Waite Guard Scottsbluff, NE
Jim Weir Forward Green River

Regular seasonEdit

In the fourth game of the season, the Cowboys lost to Duquesne. It would be the last game the Cowboys lost to a college team during the season. Their only other loss was to the Denver Legion team.[3] The Cowboys outscored their opponents by an average of over twenty points per game and was the first Wyoming team to score over 100 points in a game, by beating Regis 101–45.


NCAA TournamentEdit

  • West regional (Kansas City)
    • Wyoming 53, Oklahoma 50
    • Wyoming 58, Texas 54 (National semifinal)
  • Championship (New York)

Red Cross gameEdit

St. John's won the eight-team National Invitation Tournament the night before, also at Madison Square Garden, and claimed it was better than Wyoming and that the NIT was a better event than the eight-team NCAA Tournament.[9] Ev Shelton talked Ned Irish, the promoter at Madison Square Garden, into hosting a showdown game, with proceeds going to the Red Cross. Two days after winning the NCAA Championship at Madison Square Garden, Wyoming met St. John's in a Red Cross benefit game for the war effort, and the Cowboys won in overtime, 52–47.[9][10][11][12]

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ "Cowboys" is specific to men's sports at Wyoming; women's teams and athletes are "Cowgirls".
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 14, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "2011–12 Wyoming Cowboys media guide, pg. 115" (PDF). University of Wyoming Athletics. 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Georgetown beaten by Wyoming, 46-34". Milwaukee Journal. United Press. March 31, 1943. p. 8, part 2.
  7. ^ "Wyoming defeats Georgetown, 46-34, for NCAA basketball title". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). March 31, 1943. p. 8.
  8. ^ "Wyoming takes coveted crown". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). United Press. March 31, 1943. p. 11.
  9. ^ a b Moss, Irv (April 7, 2009). "Sailors still big shot in Wyoming history". Denver Post. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  10. ^ "Wyoming five wins in overtime, 52 to 47". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. April 2, 1943. p. 14, part 2.
  11. ^ "Wyoming scores 52-47 victory over St. Johns in hoop tilt". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). United Press. April 2, 1943. p. 2.
  12. ^ "Champ of champs, new Wyoming title". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. April 2, 1943. p. 11.
  13. ^ "Final Four Most Outstanding Players". Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2009.