Texas Western’s 1965-66 squad left an impact that stretched far beyond the basketball court. On March 19, 1966 at Cole Fieldhouse in College Park, Md., the Miners defeated top-ranked Kentucky 72-65 to win the national title – and in doing so, they became the first national champion with an all-Black starting lineup. The event is regarded as a significant advancement in the effort to desegregate athletics in the south.
Coached by Hall of Famer Don Haskins, Texas Western finished the season 28-1 and survived a pair of overtime games in the NCAA Tournament on its way to the title. The Miners outscored opponents by more than 15 points per game that season, and were led by junior Bobby Joe Hill, who averaged 15 points and three rebounds per game, and sophomore David Lattin, who averaged 14 points and 8.6 boards.