Top 4 Reasons You Should Root Against Texas Teams In The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
Today is the legendary Coach Don Haskins' birthday. He would have been 86 years old. El Paso loves Coach Haskins not only for his barrier-breaking 1966 win over Kentucky to bring home the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship trophy, but also for the fact that he is the only coach in college basketball in the great state of Texas to do so. There are some who are saying that math, and time, is on the side of other Texas universities, and that this may be the year that one of them wins the NCAA tourney. I hope they don't. I hope they lose, and they lose big and soon.
For that reason, on Coach's birthday, I give you the top 4 reasons I hope no other Texas university manages to get an NCAA title in men's basketball.
Have you ever traveled out of El Paso to Dallas, Houston, or heaven forbid, Austin, and told someone you're from El Paso? Their smile tells you they think 'you're not a REAL Texan', and 'oh, El Paso, that place with Chico's Tacos?', and 'why would you admit that?' You tell them we ARE real Texans in El Paso - the only REAL Texans with a basketball championship.
Ask any Longhorn where they went to school, and they'll tell you, THE University of Texas at Austin. Good for you, Longhorns. You have alums with a ton of money, an amazing academic footprint, a gorgeous campus, and you're in the capitol city of the state. Yet, even with all that going for you, you still haven't managed to do what little old Texas Western did - bring an NCAA Men's Basketball title back home.
Coach Haskins could have taken his ball and gone on to greener, literally, pastures with his NCAA win. He chose to stay in El Paso, raise his kids, and finish his career here. He was approachable, he was proud to be a Miner, he was ours. We couldn't have asked for a better ambassador for our city or our university.
Say what you will about it being 50 years later and here we are with only one NCAA championship trophy. You could say that, but that is one more than any other university in the entire state has. And they haven't managed to catch us in 5 decades. They have the money, the backing of their alums, the prestige - but we have the trophy.
I'm a diehard UTEP basketball fan, and I will be lighting candles to the basketball gods to ask that no other Texas team ever gets to say 'We finally knocked UTEP off the pedestal.'