Nov. 2, 2007
Coach Bill Foster's final year at Utah was a memorable one. The Utes wrapped up the season in Madison Square Garden for the National Invitation Tournament.
The Utes took care of Coach Foster's former team - Rutgers - by a tally of 102-89 in the first round. Utah defeated Memphis 92-78 in the second round to reach the NIT Final Four.
Utah had a formidable inside-outside game with Mike Sojourner and Luther "Ticky" Burden. Plus the Runnin' Utes had a heady point guard in Tyrone Medley. While Ticky was doing the bulk of the scoring, Sojourner dominated the boards.
Sojourner grabbed 19 rebounds in the semifinal victory over Boston College. Utah defeated the Eagles 117-93 as five players scored in double figures. Sojourner had 29 points and Burden poured in 28. Medley scored 17 and the wing men Chas Menatti and Doug Terry tacked on 12 apiece.
Utah opened 1974 with a two-point win over Purdue in Salt Lake City on New Year's Day. Now, a little more than two months later, the Utes and Boilermakers were playing in Madison Square Garden for the NIT Championship.
Utah led for much of the contest. Medley fouled out and future Naismith Award candidate Jeff Jonas came in off the bench. But in the end, Purdue was able to come back and upset Utah 87-81.
The Boilermakers may have earned the championship trophy. But Utah walked away with all the rest of the honors. The Runnin' Utes were the highest scoring team in the history of the NIT. Mike Sojourner was named the tournament MVP, averaging more than 23 points and 18 rebounds in the four games. Ticky Burden was the leading scorer in the tournament, averaging 29.5 points per game.
It was a magnificent team and a year to remember. 1974's NIT run is our No. 17 Greatest Moment in Utah Basketball History.