1947 Holy Cross Men's Basketball Team Selected For Induction In ECAC Hall Of Fame
WORCESTER, Mass. – The 1947 NCAA champion Holy Cross men’s basketball team has been selected for induction in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. The team is part of the ECAC Hall of Fame Class of 2018, which also includes eight individuals. This class will be officially inducted on Friday, May 4, at the ECAC Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Danbury, Conn.
The 1947 Crusaders became the first team from New England to ever win the NCAA Tournament championship. Without a court on campus, Holy Cross played all of its games on the road, with “home” games taking place some 40 miles away at the Boston Garden. After starting the season at just 4-3, the Crusaders won their next 20 games to earn their first-ever NCAA Tournament bid.
The 1947 NCAA Tournament took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and the Crusaders opened the tournament by facing Navy in the quarterfinals. Holy Cross posted a 55-47 victory over the Midshipmen, behind Joe Mullaney (18 points) and George Kaftan (15 points). Next in the semifinals, the Crusaders took on the City College of New York. Kaftan led the way with 30 points, the second-most ever in an NCAA Tournament game at the time, with Holy Cross winning 60-45.
The championship game would take place on March 25, with the Crusaders taking on Oklahoma. The Sooners held a 31-28 halftime lead, but a 9-2 run to begin the second half launched Holy Cross to the national championship. Kaftan finished with 18 points and Dermott O’Connell added 16 as the Crusaders captured the NCAA crown by a final score of 58-47 in front of a sellout crowd of 18,445.
For tickets to the ECAC Hall of Fame Gala and Induction Ceremony, click here.