The UTEP Miners basketball team has a long winning tradition. Their exploits were depicted in the movie “Glory Road” which was about their 1966 NCAA Tournament winning season under head coach Don Haskins. At the time, the name of the school was Texas Western and they beat one of college basketball’s dynasties in Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats while overcoming racism as well as a great team. The Miners were the first team with five black starters in the NCAA Tournament and went on to win it all, thus changing the game forever.
Some of the greats to play for the Miners include Tim Hardaway, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Nolan Richardson, Bobby Joe Hill, Antonio Davis, Willie Cager, Greg Foster, and many more. Are the next NBA greats to come from UTEP on this season’s roster? Could be.
The Miners are coached by former NBA Coach Tim Floyd, entering his third season. Coach Floyd is sure to have his team competing for the conference championship in 2015-16. Floyd has also been the coach of other big college programs such as USC and Iowa State where he took both to NCAA Tournament berths. It is only a matter of time before he gets the Miners to the Big Dance.
UTEP has been to 17 NCAA Tournaments. They have been to the Sweet Sixteen four times (1964, 1966, 1967 and 1992) and the Final Four once (1966). The Miners have also been to the NIT 10 times in school history. They have advanced to the second round in the NIT five times. The Miners have made three trips to the CBI (2008, 2009 and 2014), advancing to the tournament finals in 2009.
The Don Haskins Center opened in 1976 and seats over 12,000 fans. There are no bad seats at the Haskins Center and you will enjoy your favorite concession items such as hot dogs, popcorn , Mexican favorites such as burritos, and everyones favorite, beer.
What more can you want from a college basketball game? You get a historic venue with a great crowd who is into the game. You get a great student section with a pep band and dance team and also great food and beer. You don’t want to miss out on any of this.
The Miners are part of Conference USA which includes teams such as UAB, FAU, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State, UNC Charlotte, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, UTSA and Western Kentucky. These teams will be trying to get to the NCAA Tournament by winning the C-USA Tournament but will also be trying to win the regular season championship, which will come with an automatic bid to one of the postseason tournaments as well. So the action will be fierce all season long.
Don’t miss out on the excitement of Miners basketball this season.
image courtesy of utep.edu