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“Exactly” 50 Years Since Western Kentucky Made The National Semis aka “Final Four”

March 20, 2021

There are or will be other notes, other “calendar notes.” However, let’s focus on the positive aspect of Western Kentucky’s regional final win vs Ohio State exactly 50 years ago today and one day after Oral Roberts, with its first (NCAA) “tournie” win in 47 years, eliminated a second seed, Ohio State team.

I made the huge emotional mistake of taking games and their results far too seriously. Another mistake was rooting for Ohio State, more on that another time.

Actually praise is in order for that ’71 Ohio State team which upset an undefeated Marquette team, probably the team with the best if not only chance to topple UCLA, even though it was the second of the two “in between” years at Westwood–after Lew Alcindor, soon to be Kareem Abdul Jabbar and before Bill Walton.

On that Saturday, exactly 50 years ago, I watched I believe Curt Gowdy and maybe Tom Hawkins, call the thrilling Western Kentucky win vs Ohio State.

The very good article below adds great perspective to the accomplishments of that Western Kentucky team.

John Oldham the Western Kentucky coach started his 5 best players. Their skin color did not sway Coach Oldham’s decision. Maybe not a big deal now, but then and in Kentucky!!


Jim McDaniels, pictured above, led that Western Kentucky team.

Click below to read Elliott Pratt’s fine article.

Standing Alone: WKU’s 1971 Final Four team remains in a


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