We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Yale is next by request of Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears.
The 1961-62 Yale Bulldogs are undoubtedly one of the greatest teams in school history, finishing 13-1 in Ivy play and 18-6 overall while securing the Ivy League championship, the program’s second in a six-year span.
Future NBA draftee Rick Kaminsky was the biggest reason for the Elis’ success in 1962. Not surprisingly, Kaminsky led the way for Yale in its NCAA Tournament appearance against Wake Forest, the No. 7 team in the nation, at the Palestra. Yale amassed a 21-12 lead early but trailed 46-42 at halftime. With the game tied 76-76 and just four seconds remaining, Kaminsky took a shot with four seconds left. He missed and Demon Deacons star Len Chappell (who would embark on a 10-year NBA career after this season) fouled Yale’s Dave Schumacher. Schumacher missed his free throw with a NCAA tourney win on the line and the game went to overtime. Kaminsky fouled out in overtime and the Demon Deacons prevailed, 92-82. Yale has not made a NCAA Tournament appearance since, coming closest this March at the Palestra again. Nevertheless, the Joseph Vancisin-coached 1962 Bulldogs were one of the Ivy League’s greatest teams during an era of comparative strength for the conference, and they deserve to be remembered for a remarkable run.