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"The Last Dance"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When the Dartmouth men's basketball team won at Penn and Princeton this past Friday and Saturday night, it completed a very historic weekend. In fact, the Big Green had not beaten the Quakers and Tigers in the same weekend in 50 years.

The same Dartmouth squad that accomplished that very feat exactly half-a-century ago, happens to be the last Big Green team to win an Ivy League men's basketball title, and the last to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Coached by Hall of Fame coach "Doggie" Julian, and featuring fellow Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt and future Los Angeles Laker Rudy LaRusso, the 1958-59 Dartmouth team powered its way to a top-15 ranking en route to a share of the Ivy crown and an NCAA tournament bout with Jerry West's West Virginia squad in Madison Square Garden.

In all, the 1958-59 team capped off an era of Dartmouth basketball that accounted for three of the first four Ivy League championships, symbolizing the golden age of Big Green hoops.

To read Ralph Wimbish's piece on the 1958-89 team, "The Last Dance," as featured in the current issue of Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, please click here [PDF].