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Cal State Fullerton - what happened in 1985 and 1970

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PostPosted: 06/02/18 8:30 am    ::: Cal State Fullerton - what happened in 1985 and 1970 Reply Reply with quote

I'm working with another RebKellian [edited] to research the history of Cal State Fullerton so it can be accurately reported in Wikipedia.

I've run into some incomsistencies in their records, one related to the national championship in 1970 and another related to a tournament they were invited to in 1985. I'm planning to write to the school to see if they can help me sort it out, but I thought I'd try here, because is a lot of institutional knowledge among these readers and maybe somebody has some insights into what actually happened.


The article states "They went to the NWIT in 1985 but lost in the first round." I think they did go to the NWIT (not to be confused with the WNIT) and it may be technically correct they lost in the first round, but I believe the NWIT was a double elimination tournament, so an initial loss doesn't mean they are out of the tournament. On the other hand, they followed up that initial loss with two wins but didn't win the tournament. I'm at a loss (so to speak) to figure out exactly what happened. Any insights? (As an aside, the source of the information that the tournament was double elimination comes from a source that doesn't qualify as reliable so I can't use it.)

You can look up the results in the record book which can be found here, on page 10:

But for your convenience I'll copy the final three games results, the games played on March 21, 22nd and 23rd:

M21 % Texas Tech L 71-68
M22 % West Virginia W 75-71
M23 % West Texas A&M W 71-64

According to:

(which of course is not necessarily reliable)

The 1985 winner of the NWIT was LSU, with runner-up Florida.

As an additional complication the footnote symbol at the bottom of the list is as follows:
% Women’s NIT (Amarillo, TX)

The footnote suggests they played in the WNIT which I don't believe is possible because they did not have a WNIT, either preseason or postseason in 1985. I think it's a simple typo given that the NWIT is not well known and the WNIT is well known. Whomever compiled this list may have just mistakenly assumed it was a reference to the WNIT. In addition, the footnote makes reference to Amarillo, Texas which is the location of the NWIT.


There's not much doubt that the Titans won a national championship in 1970. However, I'd like to nail down exactly what national championship they won.

According to the Cal State Fullerton page listing national champions:

1970 - TEAM (NWIT)

According to that page they won the NWIT championship in 1970.

I think whoever wrote that, picked that up from the caption in the photo in the record book (linked above but this time page 9).

The caption says:
"Members of the 1969-70 women’s basketball team are honored at halftime of a Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball contest, celebrating the Titans’ National Women’s Invitational Championship. Fullerton posted a 17-1 overall record under Head Coach Billie Moore."

This caption, and the page with championships are consistent

However, there are some complications.

The first is that the photo shows the team members holding a banner that very clearly states that it is the 1970 AIAW championship.

So which is it — the AIAW or the NWIT championship? I think the answer is neither.

They didn't hold an NWIT championship in 1970.

The AIAW did not exist in 1970 (it was formed in 1971).

Here is my best guess as to what happened.

The AIAW was formed in 1971 and began hosting women's championships in 1972. The AIAW was a successor operation to the CIAW, which hosted women's championships from 1969 through 1971.

(As a relevant aside I'm almost finished reading the following book:

Ying., Wushanley, (2004). Playing nice and losing : the struggle for control of women's intercollegiate athletics, 1960-2000 (1st ed ed.). Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press. ISBN 081563045X. OCLC 53485299.

which covers, in excruciating detail, the history of the control of women's intercollegiate athletics, and documents the predecessor to, the in the formation of the CIA and then the transformation of that into the AIAW.)

The CIAW was the sponsoring organization for the women's national tournament in 1970. I think the proper statement is that Cal State Fullerton won the 1970 CIAW women's national basketball tournament.

Because the CIAW became the AIAW I suspect many treat them as virtually the same organization. Thus, it is plausible that the banner created to celebrate the victory made reference to AIAW. Note that the banner wasn't a contemporaneous banner (which would have been impossible given that the AIAW didn't exist at the time of the championship), but was created to honor the team at some subsequent event. While the date of that commemoration isn't identified, it is clear that it is some significant period of time after the championship.

I cannot fully explain why the caption refers to the National Women’s Invitational
Championship, but I think it was simply a mistake and a mistake that get carried over to the national championship page.

However, while I feel confident I've sussed this out, Wikipedia is very much opposed to writing things that are the basis of supposition and not backed up by reliable sources so my hope is to track down reliable sources that can confirm the actual events.

Last edited by Phil on 06/02/18 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total

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PostPosted: 06/02/18 8:38 am    ::: Re: Cal State Fullerton - what happened in 1985 and 1970 Reply Reply with quote

Phil wrote:
RebKeller (is that the right term)

I believe RebKellian is the preferred term

It's time I had some time alone

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PostPosted: 06/02/18 10:28 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote



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PostPosted: 06/02/18 11:25 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

For 1970, CS Fullerton won the CIAW tournament. Full results of the tournament are here:

Their tournament victory is also acknowledged by the NCAA. See page 5 of the Pre-NCAA women's record book:

NOTE: The first two CIAW tournaments used the 6-on-6 rules

It's time I had some time alone

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PostPosted: 06/02/18 1:26 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I'm familiar with the first site, which unfortunately doesn't qualify as a reliable site for Wikipedia but the second site is NCAA so that does qualify.

(I've already updated the Wikipedia article.)

Thanks, I'll use that to modify my communication with the school. In the case of 1970 I will state it is a fact that they won the CIA W national championship and gently suggest that they modify their online records to avoid confusion.

I'd still like to sort out 1985 as that is more puzzling.


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PostPosted: 06/02/18 5:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The 1985 NWIT was an 8 team tournament played in Amarillo. It was single elimination, but the losing teams continued playing for 3rd, 5th and 7th place. The full results were as follows:

First Round (March 21)

Texas Tech 71-68 Cal St Fullerton
LSU 69-57 West Virginia
Florida 70-49 Montana
Drake 96-90 West Texas A&M

March 22

Winner's bracket
LSU 71-67 Texas Tech
Florida 87-80 Drake

Losers bracket
Cal St Fullerton 75-71 West Virginia
West Texas A&M 71-66 Montana

First Place
LSU 74-54 Florida

Third Place
Texas Tech 96-74

Fifth Place
CSF 71-64 W Texas A&M

Seventh Place
West Virginia 62-60 Montana

I reconstructed the tournament from the Media guides of the various teams. There was a discrepancy on the final date, as LSU listed the game on March 23 (Saturday) and Montana listed their game date as March 24
(Sunday), and I think it is unlikely the seventh place game was played a day later.


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PostPosted: 06/02/18 6:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As I mentioned, I read somewhere that it was a double elimination tournament so I wasn't initially surprised that they could lose the first game and continue playing. Unfortunately, I accepted that claim and then get stuck trying to figure out how they could win out yet not when the whole thing.

Your explanation makes perfect sense.

Thanks for doing all that work.


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PostPosted: 06/03/18 1:34 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

A virtuous thread.
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