The University Of Wyoming’s Five Best March Madness Moments
The Wyoming Cowboys have played in the NCAA Tournament 15 times, including their National Championship run 75 years ago. Here's a look back at Wyoming's best March Madness moments.
1. The 1943 National Champions - In the early days of the NCAA tournament, only the top eight teams were selected to compete. Kenny Sailors led the Cowboys to their second national championship, and first NCAA title, in 1943. Wyoming defeated Oklahoma in the Elite Eight, then toppled Texas in the Final Four and beat Georgetown to claim the title.
2. The 1952 Elite Eight - By '52, the tournament had expanded to sixteen teams. Wyoming handled Oklahoma City in the opening round before dropping a heartbreaker to Santa Clara in the round of eight.
3. The 1987 Sweet Sixteen - Entering the tournament as a 12 seed, the Pokes shocked the country with back-to-back upsets over Virginia and UCLA. Unfortunately, they were no match for UNLV in the Sweet Sixteen. 1987 marked only the second time in school history that Wyoming won consecutive tournament games.
4. '81 and '82 - Wyoming's first consecutive tournament appearances since 1948 and 1949, the fifth seeded '81 Pokes blew out Howard in the opening round before falling to Illinois. The Pokes returned to the big dance the following year, defeating Southern California in the round of 64. They gave top seeded Georgetown a run for the money in the second round, losing 51-43. Georgetown eventually advanced to the National Championship game that year, where a last-minute shot by Michael Jordan clinched Dean Smith's first national title for North Carolina.
5. 2002 - The eleventh seed Cowboys pulled off an upset over sixth seed Gonzaga in the opening round, then kept it close in the Round of 32, losing to third seed Arizona 68-60. Sadly, Wyoming hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since.
Honorable Mention: The 1986 NIT Finalists - The Pokes' NCAA tournament bubble burst in '86, but they proved they belonged in the NIT. Wyoming scoreed four straight wins, defeating Texas A+M, Loyola-Marymount, Clemson and Florida before falling to Ohio State in the Final.