Oregon, Ohio State rematch after deciding inaugural 1939 NCAA men's basketball title
Back in the day, before they had Donald Duck's face on their sleeves, Oregon's athletes were known as Webfoots. But in 1939, there was a special quintet of young basketball players in Eugene; who were called the "Tall Firs," and they won the inaugural NCAA Championship.
So why is that relevant nearly 76 years later? Because Oregon defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes by a score of 46-33.
Now the two universities will usher in a new era by playing the first ever College Football Playoff National Championsip on Jan. 12 (5:30 p.m. PT, ESPN) in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium.
Thanks to the glory of the internet, you can watch highlights of that historical hardwood matchup between Oregon and Ohio State in the first March Madness finale ever (skip to 7:27 of the video below).
You have to wonder how many points current Pac-12 hoops scoring leader Joseph Young would be dropping on those guys. My guess is a lot.
John Dick led Oregon with 13 points, while team captain Bob Anet and Lauren Gale had 10 apiece. The Ducks started the game on a 6-0 lead, held a 21-16 advantage at intermission and finished off the deed with "superior ball handling and shooting ability," according to the Associated Press, which also supplied a box score to the game.
The Heppner (Ore.) Gazette Times praised the basketball team in its March 30, 1939 issue. Here's an excerpt:
When final basketball history is written, Gale, Wintermute, Johanson, Anet and Dick will stand among the great of all time. ... The five boys didn't do it all, but they had the brunt of the work. And while one, Wintermute, came from across the river in Washington, the squad is mostly home-grown, and all are right from among the firs. To Coach Howard Hobson and his "Tall Firs," we say well done.
So will history repeat itself at Jerry's World on Jan. 12? It'll be up to Marcus Mariota and the "Big Firs."
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