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cgeldmacher

1948 Championship Team

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I know this is off topic for the current excitement surrounding the 2012-2013 Billikens, but I want to post something that I saw today from an article written today by Jeff Eisenberg. My uncle and godfather, John Cordia, played with Easy Ed McCauley on the 1948 NIT championship team. I have always been told that that team won the national championship when they won the NIT. Several years ago, a cousin of mine who went to the University of Kentucky told me that UK has a banner up in Rupp Arean claiming that UK won the national championship in 1948 by winning the NCAA tournament. A debate started about which team had actually won the national championship.

I can't say that I researched the issue all that much. What I have always heard from my family or other Billiken supporters is that the NCAA tournament started in the 1930's but that the NIT was the premier tournament for many years, including 1948. I was told that the top teams always went to the NIT and that the second level of teams went to the NCAA tournament. Essentially, it was the opposite of what it is today. However, I also heard from my cousin and others that by 1948, the top teams were going to the NCAA tournament, and, as such, it had become the true national championship.

That brings me to the article. In this article written by Jeff Eisenberg, which is a good read on its own, it is said that the NIT was the premier tournament until a 1951 points shaving scandal that damaged the credibility of the NIT. Eisenberg's says in his next sentence "(t)he NCAA tournament eclipsed the NIT in prestige by the 1950's."

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaab-the-dagger/ncaa-bought-rights-men-basketball-tournament-shocking-bargain-130045967--ncaab.html

I'm not sure if any of you were aware of this debate about the 1948 team, but if you ever run across a Kentucky fan that claims that they won the national championship in 1948, please correct them. Assuming that what this article says is accurate, it appears as if the Billikens claim to the 1948 national championship is safe.

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I actually did run across some reasearch on this.

I was searching for a poster or something to buy of the original AP ranking - because SLU was the inagural #1 team in the AP rankings. We actually finished 3rd in 1948 in the AP, Kentucky was #1, I forget who #2 was - I assume the NCAA runner-up.

Not to dampen the spirit of this, but yeh thats what i found. Take from it what you will. I still claim it cause honestly who else is looking up 1948 AP rankings and is going to call me on it.

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It looks like the first poll on January 18, 1949 had SLU at #1 and Kentucky #2. I'm not sure that tells us anything other than how both teams were thought of in the 1949 season on January 18. I'm going to go with Eiseberg when he said that NCAA tournament didn't eclipse the NIT until after this 1951 scandal.

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My understanding is that in 1948 the NIT was THE tournament and whoever won that was considered the national champion. Perhaps some historian can verify this?

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I remember the preview video of Chaifetz featured a "1948 national champs" tag in the intro.

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From USA Today:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/college/basketball/men/02tourney/nit-tidbits.htm

"Many observers think the 1948 NIT, starting the tourney's second decade, was the best from a strength standpoint. If there had been a national poll at the time, it is believed that five of the nation's top seven teams were in the NIT, which was won that year by Ed Macauley-led St. Louis University."

See also:

http://www.ksdk.com/video/2204995450001/48340606001/Katie-Felts-revisits-SLUs-1948-championship

http://www.stlouissportshalloffame.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=135&Itemid=423

Also, Rick Majerus was born in February 1948.

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that blows worst than stupid bowl situation in football. the number 1 and 2 teams playing in different tournaments. jeeze

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I just looked up some additional info about the NCAA vs. NIT issue. It seems that Kentucky also won the NCAA tournament in 1949. HOWEVER, this was after they lost out early in the NIT in the same year. Apparently, their early exit from the NIT allowed them time to still get into the NCAA. I assume that Kentucky probably has a banner hanging claiming they won the national championship in 1949.

I just looked up Kentucky's website. They claim in the "archive" section that they won the national championship in 1946, because they won the NIT that year. The site goes on to claim in a timeline that when they defeated Baylor in the finals of the NCAA tournament in 1948, they won their first NCAA championship. So according to the website the NIT was the "national championship" in 1946, and when they won in 1948 it was just their first "NCAA Championship" So, I think we can read into Kentucky's position on the topic by the wording of its own archives, even though they attempt to disguise it.

By the way, the archives also mention that UK won the NCAA Championship in 1949, while failing to mention that it lost in the NIT that year. In UK's defense, they did finish #1 in the AP poll, which was brand new that year. SLU was #1 in the AP poll when it first came on in January 1949.

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I just recently looked up some info about the '52 team. I think they went to both the NCAA and NIT that year, won a game in the NCAA, which got them to the Elite 8, losing to Kansas, which won the title. That '52 team finished 5th in one poll and 7th in the other.

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I just recently looked up some info about the '52 team. I think they went to both the NCAA and NIT that year, won a game in the NCAA, which got them to the Elite 8, losing to Kansas, which won the title. That '52 team finished 5th in one poll and 7th in the other.

SLU or Kentucky?

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SLU

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Reading this thread reminded me of a very good and related thread some years ago. I searched and found it, started by Billikenfan05:

http://www.billikens.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=13736

As the Bills gear up for potential run deep into the tourney, thought it might be nice to honor this team again. Heck, they've been carrying torch way too long! From their careers to alumni events and halftime honors, they've represented the University so well over the years. Thanks, guys.

But I thought this post might also honor the long-suffering Bills fans who have had little to brag about since '48. One such was my dad, a season ticket holder since 1952 who passed away about 4 years ago, was a classmate of these guys and friend of some. He lived for a season like 2013, a chance for redemption, and undoubtedly, a chance to talk about the 48 guys again!

The starters were Ed Macauley, Joe Ossola, D.C. Wilcutt, Danny Miller and Bob Schmidt. Top guys off the bench were Marv Schatzman and Lou Lehman. Roster rounded out with Hank Raymonds, John Cordia, Clay Cary, Carl Weisner, Jack Wrapp, Tony Rubich, Bill Wiley, John Ernst and Joe Schmidt.

Anyone know what these guys did post-graduation? How many are still among us? A nice or funny story? Anecdote or missing info? Here's a start:

Of course, everyone knows Easy Ed's legacy. NBA Hall of Fame. Billiken Hall of Fame. Unfortunately passed away just recently.
DC Wilcutt was the longtime basketball coach (35 years!) at CBC High in St. Louis. Billiken Hall of Fame.
Hank Raymonds coached at SLUH, SLU and became award-winning coach at Marquette.Rick Majerus coached under him there. Died a few years ago. Billiken Hall of Fame.
Danny Miller raised family in St. Louis and still lives here. Billiken Hall of Fame.

Tony Rubich was longtime teacher and coach at SLUH. Passed away years ago.

Bob Schmidt, Lehman and Schatzman were Billiken Hall of Famers, too.

Besides Macauley, Rubich, and Raymonds, I understand Bill Wiley, John Ernst, and brothers Bob and Joe Schmidt are also deceased.

Can anyone add?

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At the time Macauley died there was only one living team member left I believe. He may have passed since then.

We've covered this topic before and I wrote a long piece on it which I can't find now. Basically an argument can be made that the NIT was better than the NCAA in 48 but it is a weak one.

The NCAA tourney that year was made up of mostly big conference champs, UK, Michigan, Baylor, K State, Columbia, Washington & Wyoming all won their conference titles. Holy Cross was the only independent in the tourney. The NCAAs had large schools from all over the nation. The NIT featured mostly small, private city schools.

The NIT in contrast consisted of several independents, DePaul, LaSalle, NYU, & Bowling Green. SLU & Texas both finished 2nd in their respective conferences. NC State & Western Kentucky both were conference champions but of the Southern & Kentucky Intercollegiate, hardly the Ivy or Big Ten. The NIT looks paltry compared to the NCAA, 2 tiny teams from the same tiny town in Kentucky vs UK? Columbia beat NYU in the regular season that year. Baylor beat Texas. SLU lost to OK A&M twice that year, who decided not to go to either tournament.

SLU can at most boast a share of the national title that year. But UK has a strong argument that the NCAA was the stronger tournament that year and that they are the only national champs. Frankly if SLU had won the Valley that year I'd give them a more legitimate claim on the title. The fact that they didn't really doesn't make them deserving of a national championship.

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that blows worst than stupid bowl situation in football. the number 1 and 2 teams playing in different tournaments. jeeze

CCNY was both NCAA and NIT champions in 1950. Both championships were held in Madison Square Garden.

I recall going to the NIT back when I was in high school in the 60s. Our whole basketball team would go since our season would have been over by a couple of weeks. All the games were held in the Garden. My first one was in 67 when SIU won with Clyde Frazier picking up the MVP. That was the last one in the old Garden. Neat place. It was wild week of college basketball, I recall going into the Garden around 1030 in the morning and getting out around 1100 that night watching game after game. Fanny could not handle that now.

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At the time Macauley died there was only one living team member left I believe. He may have passed since then.

We've covered this topic before and I wrote a long piece on it which I can't find now. Basically an argument can be made that the NIT was better than the NCAA in 48 but it is a weak one.

The NCAA tourney that year was made up of mostly big conference champs, UK, Michigan, Baylor, K State, Columbia, Washington & Wyoming all won their conference titles. Holy Cross was the only independent in the tourney. The NCAAs had large schools from all over the nation. The NIT featured mostly small, private city schools.

The NIT in contrast consisted of several independents, DePaul, LaSalle, NYU, & Bowling Green. SLU & Texas both finished 2nd in their respective conferences. NC State & Western Kentucky both were conference champions but of the Southern & Kentucky Intercollegiate, hardly the Ivy or Big Ten. The NIT looks paltry compared to the NCAA, 2 tiny teams from the same tiny town in Kentucky vs UK? Columbia beat NYU in the regular season that year. Baylor beat Texas. SLU lost to OK A&M twice that year, who decided not to go to either tournament.

SLU can at most boast a share of the national title that year. But UK has a strong argument that the NCAA was the stronger tournament that year and that they are the only national champs. Frankly if SLU had won the Valley that year I'd give them a more legitimate claim on the title. The fact that they didn't really doesn't make them deserving of a national championship.

Joe Ossola was on that team and he is still alive. He was at the Lasalle gave and caught a ball thrown by the cheer leaders.

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