1946–47 Holy Cross Crusaders men's basketball team

The 1946–47 Holy Cross Crusaders men's basketball team represented the College of the Holy Cross (located in Worcester, Massachusetts) in NCAA competition in the 1946–47 season. The Crusaders, behind coach Alvin "Doggie" Julian, NCAA tournament MVP George Kaftan, star Joe Mullaney and a freshman point guard named Bob Cousy, beat Oklahoma at Madison Square Garden to win the NCAA championship.[1]

1946–47 Holy Cross Crusaders men's basketball
National champions
CoachesNo. N/A
Head coach
Assistant coachAlbert Riopel

The Crusaders, who played their home games at Boston Garden and the South High Community School in Worcester, Massachusetts, won their first four games of 1946-47, tripped through a three-game losing streak, then finished the year with 23 straight victories.[2]

The team entered the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament as the last seed in the 8-team tournament. In the first match, Holy Cross defeated the United States Naval Academy in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden by a score of 55 to 47. Mullaney led the team in scoring with 18 points, mostly in part to Navy coach Ben Carnevale's decision to have his players back off from Mullaney, who was reputed as being more of a playmaker than a shooter.[3] In the semi-final match, Holy Cross faced the City College of New York (CCNY), coached by Nat Holman, one of the game's earliest innovators. The Crusaders, led by Kaftan's 30-point game, easily defeated the Beavers 60–45.[4] In the championship game, Holy Cross faced the University of Oklahoma, behind coach Bruce Drake, in another sold-out game at Madison Square Garden. Kaftan followed up the semi-final match with 18 points in the title game, leading the Crusaders to a 58–47 victory against the Sooners.[4]

Holy Cross became the first school from the New England area, as well as the state of Massachusetts, to win a national college basketball title. The Crusaders finished the 1947 season with 23 straight wins. Afterward, 35,000 people watched a parade in the team's honor on Holy Cross Day in Worcester. Future NBA legend Cousy was named AP and UP player of the year, and George Kaftan was voted to the all-decade team of the 1940s by the NCAA in 1989.

NCAA tournament resultsEdit

Future NBA legend Bob Cousy was a freshman point guard on Holy Cross
Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
  Holy Cross 55
  Navy 47
  Holy Cross 60
  CCNY 45
  CCNY 70
  Wisconsin 56
  Holy Cross 58
  Oklahoma 47
  Texas 42
  Wyoming 40
  Texas 54 Third place
  Oklahoma 55
  Oklahoma 56 CCNY 50
  Oregon State 54 Texas 54


Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ "Holy Cross Was Once King of Hoops". sportslifer.wordpress.com. 14 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  2. ^ "70 years ago, 'Cinderella kids' from Holy Cross won NCAA title".
  3. ^ Reynolds, p51.
  4. ^ a b Reynolds, p52.
  5. ^ "1947 NCAA basketball tournament Bracket". All-time NCAA Tournament brackets. databaseSports.com. 2007. Retrieved September 6, 2010.

External linksEdit