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1943–44 Utah Utes men's basketball team

The Utes captured the Mountain States Conference championship and its only national championship. The Arkansas Razorbacks team was victimized by an auto accident. Prior to the NCAA tournament, two of Arkansas’ starters were injured when their station wagon broke down after returning from a scrimmage in Fort Smith, Arkansas. While attempting to fix a flat tire, Deno Nichols and Ben Jones were injured when another car rammed into the back of the station wagon. Both players were injured. The severity of the accident caused Arkansas to withdraw from the upcoming NCAA tournament and the Utes were tapped as a replacement.[1]

1943–44 Utah Utes men's basketball
1944 Utah Utes.jpg
Mountain States Conference (Big Seven) Champions
ConferenceMountain States Conference
1943–44 record22–4 ( Big Seven)
Head coachVadal Peterson
Seasons

Schedule and resultsEdit

[2]

Date
time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site
city, state
Regular Season
November 12, 1943
18th Replacement Wing W 48–24  1–0
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
November 19, 1943
A.S.T.P. Company D W 51–21  2–0
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
November 22, 1943
A.S.T.P. Company B W 76–24  3–0
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
November 24, 1943
A.S.T.P. ERC W 71–17  4–0
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
November 26, 1943
at Hill Field Fliers W 61–26  5–0
 
Ogden, UT
December 4, 1943
at Weber W 63–25  6–0
 
Ogden, UT
December 4, 1943
at Weber Navy W 60–25  7–0
 
Ogden, UT
December 16, 1943
at Kearns 2nd Air Force W 45–35  8–0
 
Kearns, UT
January 4, 1944
Fort Douglas W 41–26  9–0
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
January 6, 1944
at Wendover Bomber Quin. W 64–28  10–0
 
Wendover, UT
January 15, 1944
Idaho State W 54–43  11–0
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
January 22, 1944
Ecker Studio W 46–44  12–0
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
January 28, 1944
at Colorado College W 48–34  13–0
 
Colorado Springs, CO
January 29, 1944
at Fort Logan W 55–38  14–0
 
Denver, CO
January 31, 1944
at Fort Warren L 59–61  14–1
 
Cheyenne, WY
February 5, 1944
Kearns W 57–37  15–1
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
February 12, 1944
Salt Lake Air Base L 39–54  15–2
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
February 16, 1944
Bushnel Hospital W 78–31  16–2
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
February 19, 1944
at Idaho State W 52–40  17–2
 
Pocatello, ID
February 26, 1944
Dow Chemical L 36–46  17–3
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
March 4, 1944
Salt Lake Air Base W 62–38  18–3
Nielsen Fieldhouse 
Salt Lake City, UT
NIT
March 20, 1944
vs. Kentucky L 38–46  18–4
Madison Square Garden 
New York, NY
NCAA Tournament
March 24, 1944
vs. Missouri
Quarterfinals
W 45–35[3]  19–4
Municipal Auditorium 
Kansas City, MO
March 25, 1944
vs. Iowa State
Semifinals
W 40–31[4]  20–4
Municipal Auditorium 
Kansas City, MO
March 28, 1944
vs. Dartmouth
Championship
W 42–40[5] OT 21–4
Madison Square Garden 
New York, NY
Red Cross Benefit Game
March 30, 1944
vs. St. John's
Red Cross Benefit Game
W 43–36  22–4
Madison Square Garden (18,125[6])
New York, NY
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.

PostseasonEdit

National Invitation TournamentEdit

Utah competed in the 1944 National Invitation Tournament and lost its quarterfinal match.

  • Quarterfinal
    • Kentucky 46, Utah 38

[7]

NCAA TournamentEdit

In need of a replacement, the NCAA committee turned to Utah, despite the fact that the Utes had 4 losses and had just lost their first-round game in the NIT tournament. Utah had one player, Lyman Condie, a medical student, who midway through the season quit the team to pursue medical school. Additionally, all of Utah's players were raised within 30 miles of the Utah campus. These players included Arnie Ferrin, Fred Sheffield, and Wat Misaka, who was of Japanese descent.[1]

  • West
    • Utah 45, Missouri 35
  • Final Four
    • Utah 40, Iowa State 31
  • Championship
    • Utah 42, Dartmouth 40 (OT)

[8]

Awards and honorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-10-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "record book (PDF)" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  3. ^ "Utah vs. Missouri Box Score, March 24, 1944". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  4. ^ "Utah vs. Iowa State Box Score, March 25, 1944". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  5. ^ "Utah vs. Dartmouth Box Score, March 28, 1944". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  6. ^ https://www.deseretnews.com/article/1033/UTAHS-BLITZ-KIDS-SURPRISED-THE-BASKETBALL-WORLD-IN-1944.html
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-05-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ http://www.databasesports.com/ncaab/tourney.htm?yr=1944
  9. ^ "Final Four Most Outstanding Players". cbs.sportsline.com. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2009.