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“But you know what?” Egan continued. “I barely knew or even saw many blacks growing up. So all of us arrived with our prejudices, and because we were thrown together, we had to work things out.”

Chicago embraced them, reluctantly at first, if only because college basketball was down the city’s list of sporting priorities. The NCAA championship TV broadcast was in only its first year of national syndication in 1963 and the game was shown on tape delay _ after live telecasts of the Illinois and Indiana high school championships and a Blackhawks’ hockey game. By the time it ended, most of the town was fast asleep.

“That might be one of the funniest stories I heard,” Lenehan said. “When Loyola went down by 15 points early in the second half, some guys apparently went from tavern to tavern making bets on the Ramblers.”


Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at) and follow him at