The first time the Holy Cross men’s basketball team advanced to the Div. I NCAA tournament, there were eight teams invited to two regional sites and the whole thing lasted a week. The Crusaders won three games at Madison Square Garden, toppling Oklahoma for the 1947 national championship. They were the alphas back then, with Hall of Fame coach Doggie Julian, All-America forward George Kaftan and some freshman named Cousy.
This season Bill Carmody and crew were 10-19 and hadn’t won outside Worcester since early December, before an incredible run in the Patriot League tournament vaulted HC into the Big Dance for the 13th time. Hitch sizes up the Crusaders’ chances in the 68-team, 13-site, three-week extravaganza.