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Re-raising the 8 NCAA championship banners was so cool during the Big Blue Madness! However, I would still like UK to acknowledge it's other 2 men's basketball national championships. The first one overlooked is the 1933 Helms Foundation, which I think is the only championship awarded for that year. Both KU (1922, 1923) and UNC (1924) acknowledge their Helms as national championships equal to their ones for the NCAA.
The other one is the 1946 NIT, which is acknowledged by UK but not as a true national championship. Most folks agree that the NIT (which began in 1938...before the NCAA in 1939) in those days was equal to or even greater than the NCAA. Both tournaments had a field of 8 invited teams and sometimes a team would play in both as UK did in 1949. At one time football had co-national champions that were considered equal (UPI & AP, for instance) before the BCS championship.
One more thing, if you agree with me that the early Helms and early NIT are legitimate national championships, then men's college has had three distinct championships during it history, a kind of "Triple Crown," if you will. During that time, there is only one school with all three national championships when they mattered...namely, UK. The only team that will ever be ever to claim the Triple Crown of men's college basketball!
Why not celebrate this historic accomplishment?? In doing so, we would honor the players and coaches who did it.
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm." ~ Emerson
Not to go all everybody's Mom... but if Kansas and UNC jumped off a bridge, should UK do it too?
Those early "championships" are great. They are what they are-- and what they AREN'T are NCAA Championships. Granted, it's because there was no such thing... but I'm cool with the titles we actually have. We're Kentucky, we don't have to make up a bunch of crap to look good.
First of all, it is not making up a bunch of crap. They are actual facts. Secondly, my point in identifying UNC and KU is to say that programs that have a great basketball tradition accept the early Helms. For instance, Yale has 2 early Helms and Columbia has 3 of them, not exactly traditional basketball powerhouses! My point isn't that because UNC & KU do it, UK needs to keep up with them. In my opinion, they give legitimacy to the Helms. If you and others don't think that UNC & KU have legitimate basketball traditions, then that is another issue altogether. I think across the country that opinion would be in the minority.
Finally, there was no NCAA championships in those early days. The first championship to be won on the court was the 1938 NIT. The NCAA tournament did not begin until 1939. To limit UK's basketball tradition to the NCAA only is to ignore men's college basketball history. Do you want to take away the wins prior to 1939? UK's men's basketball tradition did not begin in 1939 and to discount what happened before that time seems disregard what UK accomplished during that time.
One more thing, I advocate including the early 1946 NIT as a true national championship, which is something UNC and KU do not have. It is not about them...it is all about UK. UK is the only team to have all three different championships, which is incredible. I just want UK to get credit for that unique feat.
To say that UK ignores the Helm's championships is not accurate. The UK men's basketball media guide features and honors both the 1933 and 1954 Helms National Titles (See Page 122 of the 2011-12 Media Guide). The NIT Championships are also featured and honored in the Media guide, all in an appropriate manner.
The suggestion that UK add banners to Rupp's Rafters in honor of these accomplishments is a different question. In my opinion, the Rupp Rafters has been limited to NCAA Final Four and better finishes. I am not just good with that criteria for a banner in Rupp, I believe that this self imposed limitation intensifies the significance of Kentucky's long term basketball success.
I do not believe that the fans of UNC or KU are ignorant enough to believe that their boasting of their Helms championships distinguishes their program from UK's in any positive respect. However, I believe that those other banners do have the unintended affect of reducing the value of their NCAA titles that hang in their own arenas, much the same as hanging banners for any NCAA appearance, or any post season participation, or conference titles, .....
I don't think anyone here is trying to belittle the basketball traditions of North Carolina and Kansas ... they are arguably #2 and #3 in terms of tradition behind UK. In your second paragraph, you almost make an argument for the opposing views when you say that "there were no NCAA championships in those early days". The difference in the situations between UK, Kansas and UNC is that both Kansas and North Carolina ARE claiming Helms titles as NCAA championships whereas UK is not. I think that UK has handled them properly ... not claiming them as NCAA championships, but still recognizing the accomplishments of those teams, players and seasons ... in an effort to recognize ALL of UK's great accomplishments in men's basketball.
No one (that I've seen here) is advocating "taking away" anything from UK ... only recognizing them for what they are and in the same manner that the NCAA recognizes them. That's what's rubbed other fan bases the wrong way about Kansas and Carolina with regard to this issue ... that they're recognizing things that the NCAA doesn't recognize.
Couldn't have said it better myself, Prof. My feelings exactly.
UNC & KU do not refer to their early Helms as "NCAA championships." They simply refer to them as "national championships," which is all I'm suggesting UK to do. There were no NCAA championships in those days. As far as I know, the only champions in those days were determined by the Helms Foundation.
I reviewed my previous posts and found a couple of typographical errors (please do not count off, Professor), but I did not find anything about UK "ignoring" the early Helms & NIT. In fact, I did not see the word ignore anywhere in my comments. What I said was the UK does not acknowledge them as legitimate championships, with the operative word being "legitimate."
I do not understand how the UNC & KU banners representing the Helms championships reduce the value of the NCAA banners, since there were no NCAA tournaments/champions in those days. As I've said previously, I compare the early Helms to the early AP & UPI football polls, which were determined by sportswriters and coaches (not unlike the Helms Foundation). Perhaps in 50 years or so sports fans with discount the "early" AP & UPI championships, since they were not determined by the BCS.
And so I raise the question that I raised in an earlier post, who was the 1933 men's college basketball champion? Also, how was it determined and why is it superior to the Helms? It is my understanding that there was no AP poll in those days...I don't know the answer. Please help me, Professor! (And I'm not trying to be cute here.)
As for the 1946 NIT, it is my understanding that the NIT & NCAA were essentially equal in the early years, with the edge going to the NIT from time to time. For instance, it preceded the NCAA and it was always played in the famous MSG. Also, the field in the NIT was sometimes stronger. I don't have any stats for 1946, but in 1948, as far as I know, the NCAA had an 8-team field that included #1UK and teams ranked # 3, 9, 11, & 20. That same year the NIT had an 8-team field with teams ranked # 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, & 17. My basic point is that both tournaments were well represented and provided the equivalent of co-national champions. Of course, that is just my opinion, but I did get an interesting response from the NCAA regarding this idea (see post above).
Here is my problem with this opinion on the matter, Prof- by denying the Helms Championship (I'm only counting one that is pre-NCAA title- in 1933) a place in the rafters you are unnecessarily denigrating their accomplishment for something that was not the fault of the players or coaches of the time. I don't think you should give them necessarily equal footing, however a spot of honor is necessary.
Call it semantics or an oversight or a typo or whatever ... but page 49 of the 2010 North Carolina basketball media guide lists the 1924 season under the heading "Tar Heel Titles" on a page headlined "Carolina Basketball NCAA Championships".
I guess we can agree to disagree about how the schools in our discussion promote their programs and accomplishments. No hard feelings here. We're still #1 ...
This post was edited by wildcatknh 18 months ago
check out the second paragraph.
Thanks, professor, I did use the word "ignore", and so I was wrong, but it was in relation to "men's college basketball history." What that paragraph means is that the UK basketball tradition is a part of the larger college basketball history. To say that NCAA championships are the only one's to be considered legitimate seems to pale in the light of history. It did not mean nor say that UK ignores the early Helms & NIT, but that they do not consider them legit, despite men's college basketball history. That was the context of the statement. Still, I reread the posts on my smartphone and missed "ignore." Thanks again! (Did you notice the typo in the first sentence of that paragraph?)
By the way, what about my question concerning the 1933 men's college basketball champion? Who was champion that year, if not UK? I'd really like to know if another team received that honor and how they got it. That info would go a long way in determining if UK was the national champion in 1933. If they were the only one with that particular designation, then they must be it, if by default or whatever.
Thanks, I did not check that particular source. My comments were based on the 2012-13 Yearbook (page 1), which specifically identifies 6 national championships (5 NCAA and 1 Helms). Also, the banners that hang in the Dean Dome simply have the year and designation "national champions," with no reference to the NCAA or Helms. Looks like UNC has some inconsistency in this area as you suggested. The Helms champion should never be designated as an NCAA champion.
I appreciate the input!
The way my mind words is I develop a sense of the discussion as I read along, and in this case, the sense was a suggestion that UK chooses to ignore the Helms Championship and the NIT championships. However, I probably should not have quoted your post in my post, and did so only because it was the most recent in a string of posts by more than one person contributing to the impression I had developed.
I have no problem with your points that the 1933 team (and the 1954 team) were designated by the Helms foundation as the national champions in those years. I also have no problem with anyone who wants to promote the significance of those early NIT championships. I believe that all UK fans know these details, and the University puts them up front in their media guide and other places.
Those are as legitimate national championships to me as the "mythical" national champions crowned each year by the polls for college football, or the national championship that UK Football likes to claim for 1950. In college basketball, since the late 1930s to the present, the sport has elected to designate its annual champion by on the court victories at the end of the year in a post season tournament. Many years, the #1 ranked team at the end does not win that tournament. Yet, nearly everyone concedes that team X was still the best team that season, but that it simply fell short in a tournament that is so difficult to remain standing.
Should we also hang banners in Rupp for those years, e.g. 1966, 1970, 1975, and so forth?
I think not. I believe the Banners in Rupp are fine as they are, even though all UK fans understand that those banners are not the full definition of this program's achievements.
Pretty awesome discussion by some people a lot smarter than me.....this is why I love Cats Pause! Thank you.
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