Remember When... The Cougars Won the 1966 NIT Championship?


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In 1966, the Cougars finished as a 20-game winner with their final game against NYU in the championship game of the National Invitational Tournament. Playing in a packed Madison Square Garden, the No. 1-ranked Cougars outplayed NYU, leading 48-43 at halftime and never looking back.

With star Dick Nemelka on the bench with four fouls, the Cougars turned to junior center Craig Raymond and junior forward Gary Hill. Hill and Raymond, non-starters going into the tournament, led the high-scoring Cougar offense with 21 points each. Steve Kramer added 20 points to become the third Cougar with 20 or more points and the fifth Cougar to score in double figures.

The win over the Violets marked the second NIT championship for both BYU and head coach Stan Watts. The season was the highest scoring in Cougar history. BYU averaged 95.5 points per game while hitting 50.0 percent of its shots. In the NIT final the Cougars shot 59.0 percent while handling NYU. Former coach of the Boston Celtics, Red Auerbach, comented on BYU at the championship, saying, “BYU simply overpowered them. They (the Cougars) outplayed them all over the court.”

CLICK HERE for more on the 1966 team in the BYU Cougar Club Hall of Fame.

Remember When... Series

Every weekday from Oct. 15 to Nov. 11, BYUCougars.com will remember some of the great moments, players and events in BYU basketball history. A new installment to the series will be posted every weekday until the 2010-11 men’s basketball season opener against Fresno State on Nov. 12.

Tags: History