Miners still only men's team in Texas to win NCAA basketball championship
The Mining Minds pick at The University of Texas at El Paso roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange on Tuesday evening, March 19, to commemorate the anniversary of the 1966 NCAA basketball championship.
The special lighting honors the 1966 Texas Western College (now UTEP) men’s basketball team, which won the national championship after starting an all-black team for the first time in NCAA championship history. The team’s story was told in the 2006 movie "Glory Road."
With no teams from Texas being invited to the NCAA tournament this year the Miners remain the only men's basketball team in the state to win an NCAA basketball championship. The 1966 Miners were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
Mining Minds was installed in 2010 to enhance The University of Texas at El Paso campus. At night, orange lights illuminate the steel structure while LEDs emanate from the perforated ones and zeroes at each end of the pick.
On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange.
Learn more about the statue and its artist at miningminds.utep.edu.