squirrel wrote:Oklahoma City appeared in 11 NCAA Tournaments and 2 NITs when they were in DI.
One of the funny stories involving them and Bradley is that, in the early 1950's, the NCAA was struggling to compete with the NIT for notoriety. Many top basketball programs were independent, including Oklahoma City, and at the time Bradley, which had briefly withdrawn from the Valley.
So the NCAA decided to extend bids to the top independents in districts. This allowed both schools to get into the tournament while bolstering the NCAA Tournament reputation. Until 1955. When both schools, as the top independents in the district, but with losing records, made it. They were assigned to play one-another a sort of play-in setup, with Bradley winning and going on to win a second game, and until the creation of the play-in round with expansion to 65 teams, were the only team with a losing record to win an NCAA Tournament game.
The NCAA abandoned that qualification strategy the following year.
Another interesting historical tidbit involving the Braves. In 1950 City College of New York won the NCAA and NIT Championships. They are the only team to win both tournaments in the same year. The runner up in both games? The Bradley Braves. The following year, both teams along with Toledo, Kentucky, and three other NYC colleges were found to be guilty of point shaving.