The treasured history of basketball at Oklahoma State University
is one of the richest amongst all major programs in college
basketball today. Oklahoma State was the first school to
claim back-to-back NCAA championships in the sport, and Mr.
Henry P. Iba - the architect of those championships - is
arguably the most influential coach in the history of
the game. With two national championships, six Final Four
appearances and one of the game's grandest old cathedrals,
Cowboy Basketball is steeped in tradition.
1945 NCAA National
Oklahoma A&M's first appearance in the
NCAA Tournament proved to be a successful one as the Aggies claimed
the national title, defeating Utah and Arkansas en route to the
championship victory against New York. It was the first year in the
fledgling seven-year history of the event that Oklahoma A&M made the
A&M owned a 7-3 record through mid-January, but
after back-to-back losses to NATTA Skyjackets and Arkansas, Henry
Iba's team finished the year on a 20-1 run, losing only to DePaul in
early February. The Aggies entered the NCAA Tournament with a 24-4
record on the season.
A&M crushed Utah, 62-37, and Arkansas, 68-41, in the NCAA
Regional at Kansas City to advance to the title game against New
York. There the Aggies claimed a 49-45 victory for its first of two
consecutive national titles.
Bob Kurland threw in 22 points while Cecil Hankins added 15 in
the championship game. New York's lineup included hall of famer
Dolph Schayes, but A&M proved to be too much in gaining the victory.
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY - March 27, 1945
Oklahoma A&M 49, New York 45
(Kansas City, MO)
Defeated Utah, 62-37
Defeated Arkansas, 68-41
(New York, NY)
Defeated New York, 49-45
Many of Henry Iba's pioneering basketball
philosophies are still practiced by coaches in the modern game.
"Of all the shadows that cast over the game of basketball, his
was the biggest," said Bob Knight of Mr. Iba.
Bob Kurland was the first celebrated seven-footer
in college basketball history. He held the OSU career scoring
record for 46 years.
1946 NCAA National Champions
The 1946 Oklahoma A&M basketball team was one for the record
books. The Aggies produced the best record in school history, going
31-2. A&M became the first school to win back-to-back NCAA
What might have been even more amazing was the
fact that all five A&M startes composed the first team of the
All-Missouri Valley Conference.
The Aggies lost their second game of the year when DePaul upended
A&M, 46-42, in Stillwater. The Aggies ran off 15-straight victories,
including a 46-38 win at DePaul, before falling to Bowling Green.
A&M then closed out the season with 15 straight wins and the
national title for the second-straight year.
Center Bob Kurland was tabbed the NCAA Tournament Most
Outstanding Player for the second straight year.
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY - March 26, 1946
Oklahoma A&M 43, North Carolina 40