Ultimate Miners Bracket: (4) 1986 UTEP Miners vs (13) 1963 TWC Miners

1986_utep_medium Jim_barnes_medium

Dave Feitl and Juden Smith lead the '86 Miners against a senior laden '63 team featuring Jim Barnes and Nolan Richardson

1986 UTEP Miners
27-6 (12-4, Tied for 1st in WAC)

Dave Feitl (SR)
Juden Smith (SR)
Quintan Gates (JR)
Mike Richmond (JR)
Jeep Jackson (JR)
Tim Hardaway (FR)
Wayne Campbell (SO)
Terry Stallworth (FR)
Lenny Cotton (JR)
Kevin Hamilton (SR)
Quincy Turner (JR)
Marvin Washington (SO)
Don Bronson (SR)

TEAM STATS ___ FG% ___ FT% ___ RPG ___ APG ___ PPG
UTEP Miners ___ 48.0 ___ 68.8 ___ 32.0 ___ 13.9 ___ 67.8
Opponents _____ 43.1 ___ 61.4 ___ 29.2 ___ 11.2 ___ 60.1

The 1986 Miners had only two players average in double figure scoring (Feitl and Smith) but managed to hold opponents to just over 60 points per game. This team had a solid rotation of 8 players though: Feitl, Smith, Gates, Richmond, and Jackson were joined by youngsters Hardaway, Stallworth, and Campbell. Dave Feitl led the team in scoring, rebounds, and blocks. After an opening season blow-out loss to Washington, these Miners reeled off 14 consecutive victories. An impressive streak which featured an 8-day stretch where they beat Georgetown, Alabama, Ohio State, BYU, and Utah.

-Lost in Preseason NIT to Washington by 29 points
- Swept New Mexico State
- Beat #5 Georgetown Hoyas at home by 14 points
- Beat Ohio State and Alabama to win the Sun Carnival Classic
- Won the WAC Tournament by beating Colorado State, San Diego State, and Wyoming in Laramie, WY.
-The 1986 Miners played 5 regular season games against eventual NCAA Tourney teams going 3-2. They beat Utah, Georgetown, and Alabama while losing to Utah and Washington.

The Miners were given a 10-seed in the '86 Tourney and drew the Hersey Hawkins-led Bradley Braves in the opening round. Despite Dave Feitl playing his heart out for the Miners, scoring 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, the Miners fell hard to the Braves by 18. Bradley would go on to lose the the eventual National Champs in the second round, the Louisville Cardinals. Louisville was joined in the Final Four by Duke, LSU, and Kansas.

1963 Texas Western Miners

Jim Barnes (JR)
Bobby Lesley (SR)
Willie Brown (SR)
Nolan Richardson (SR)
Danny Vaughn (SR)
Andy Stoglin (SO)
Tony Toren (SO)
Ernest Campbell (SR)
Bryan Carpenter (SR)
Ted Sterrett (SR)
Ron Shockley (SO)
Steve Tredennick (SO)

TEAM STATS ___ FG% ___ FT% ___ RPG ___ PPG
TWC Miners ___ 41.7 ___ 63.6 ___ 49.5 ____ 70.3
Opponents ____ 36.8 ___ 61.6 ___ 42.1 ____ 56.0

This was only Don Haskins' second ever Miner team and first ever NCAA Tournament team. The '63 Miners had an absolute star in Jim Barnes, who averaged 18.9 points and a whopping 16.5 rebounds per game. Bobby Lesley, Willie Brown and Nolan Richardson provided solid contributions as seniors as well. Led by Barnes, these Miners led the nation in rebounding margin and were third in the nation in scoring defense.

-Lost to #6 Wisconsin on the road by 14
-Snapped Utah's 38 game home-winning streak by beating the Utes in Salt Lake City
-Beat Tennessee and Texas to win the Sun Carnival Classic
-Lost to #5 Arizona State twice in the season, both times by only 3
-Swept New Mexico State
-The 1963 Miners played 6 regular season games against eventual NCAA Tourney teams going 3-3, a pretty high number considering only 25 teams made the field that year. Their three wins were against Utah (twice) and Texas while their three losses were to Arizona State (twice) and Colorado State.

Only 25 teams made the NCAA Tournament in 1963. The Texas Western Miners drew the Texas Longhorns as a first round opponent, a team they had already beaten during the regular season in El Paso. Unfortunately, the Miners lost their rematch against the Horns by 18. The Longhorns would go onto lose in the very next round to Cincinnati, the eventual national runner-up. The rest of the Final Four included the eventual champion Loyola Ramblers, Duke, and Oregon State.

Both these teams suffered 18-point losses in the NCAA's opening round to teams that would lose in the second round. The '86 team was definitely deeper, going 8 or even 9 deep. The '63 team has the best player on the floor however in Jim Barnes and a veteran supporting cast of Richardson, Lesley, Brown, and Vaughn. Hardaway and Campbell would be future stars for the Miners, but this '86 team was very much Dave Feitl's. It would definitely be a really close game.

As always, you guys decide who gets to advance in the Ultimate Miners Bracket.

The bracket so far looks like this:

(1) 1966 Texas Western Miners
(9) 1987 UTEP Miners

(5) 1992 UTEP Miners
(4) 1986 UTEP Miners or 1963 Texas Western Miners (This week's matchup)

(3) 1984 Miners or (14) 1988 Miners
(6) 1989 Miners or (11) 1975 Miners

(7) 2010 Miners or (10) 2005 Miners
(2) 1964 Miners or (15) 1985 Miners

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