Fifty years ago, Jacksonville University (then only 2,200 enrolled at the time) was the smallest university to reach the NCAA men’s basketball championship game. The dolphins led by Artis Gilmore went through the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament in 1970 in an unbelievable way, defeating greats like Big Ten champion Iowa and Kentucky’s top ranking (the latter in the final four) before finally 79 : 0 fell. 70 to John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins in the championship game. Now a documentary called Jacksonville U: Can Do! It premiered on Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network. Eastern.
Here is more of the CBS release:
CBS Sports Network Celebrates Black History Month with the Premiere of “Jacksonville U: Can Do!” Sunday, February 9th at 7:00 p.m. The one-hour documentary documents Jacksonville University’s memorable NCAA tournament, held 50 years ago in March under the direction of American Artis Gilmore and head coach Joe Williams.
The documentary is narrated by the renowned stage and film actor Terrence Mann, who studied as a student at Jacksonville University when the Dolphins made their historic run for the 1970 national championship game. It shows the Dolphins’ monumental victories against Big Ten Champion Iowa and high-ranking Kentucky. Williams built the program from the ground up, turning a team that had only been with NAIA five years ago into the first to score an average of more than 100 points per game. Jacksonville University was the smallest modern school to reach the NCAA final.
The documentary highlights the integration of the program in 1968 and examines how the success of the dolphins helped unite a city that was still struggling with racial unrest and was trying to free itself from its separate past.
Here is a trailer:
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoIUgML2t18 (/ embed)
The film features interviews with Gilmore and his long-time colleagues at Famer Dan Issel’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall and Famer Sidney Wicks’ Collegiate Basketball Hall Illustrated sport Writer Curry Kirkpatrick, longtime broadcaster Mike Patrick and more. It is produced by Brian Davis and is certainly an interesting story that has not always drawn a lot of attention. For those interested in the history of NCAA basketball, this may be worth a watch.
(CBS Press Express)