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Archive for Monday, March 17, 2003

Kansas familiar with NCAA foe

March 17, 2003

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If Utah State is familiar to Kansas University men's basketball fans, it should be.

Utah State -- the team KU will meet in an NCAA Tournament first-round game Thursday in Oklahoma City -- was the team that denied KU the chance to play in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and snapped a school record 23 straight victories.

KU won two games to conclude the 1935 season and then ran off a string of 20 more straight victories to get to meet Utah State in the Olympic playoff finals -- a three-game series in Kansas City, Mo.

KU won the opener 39-37 to run its victory streak to 23.

But Utah State won the next two games, 42-37 and 50-31, to get the Olympic nod. Phog Allen was scheduled to be the coach for the United States that year, but he entered into some disputes with Olympic officials and didn't make it.

KU's stars that year were Ray Ebling, Fred Pralle, Francis Kappelman and Ray Noble.

Ebling and Pralle, then a sophomore, were known as the Death Rays.

Ebling led the league in scoring with a 14.1 average. Naturally KU was Big Six champion. But the losses to Utah State ended the 23-game win streak that still hasn't been broken.

KU is 4-2 all-time versus Utah State.




-- Bill Mayer provided information for this story

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