Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame to Honor Tennesee State Historic Basketball Team

July 18th, 2014


The Tennessee State University Men’s Basketball 1957-1959 teams made a major impact on the color barrier through basketball.   In 1957, the unseeded Tennessee State University Tigers had four upsets on the way to their first National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Tournament Finals. Their most important victory was over the #7 seed Southeastern Oklahoma State in a 19-point blowout (92-73), giving the school and Coach John McLendon its first of three consecutive NAIA Championships.  With the win, Tennessee State became the first historically black institution to win a collegiate basketball national championship. This accomplishment was unprecedented at the time.


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