Westminster's Win A Real Dewey/Truman Episode
Athletic News - Basketball(M)
St. Louis, Mo. - On Saturday, February 25, sophomore Joe James drained a 3-pointer as time expired to lift the Westminster College men's basketball team past MacMurray College 58-56 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament championship game at Webster University. It was Westminster's second conference tournament title in three years and vaulted the Blue Jays into the NCAA Division III tournament for the third time overall and the second time in three years. What no one realized at the time is that this would be Westminster's own version of "Dewey Defeats Truman".
As a result of a computer malfunction, James' basket did not register and the live stats showed MacMurray winning the game 56-55. A local sports writer, who was monitoring the game on a computer, printed the stats and typed his story in time for the early Saturday evening deadline. The story in the Sunday paper read "Blue Jays fall short in SLIAC finals".
Following numerous apologies, a retraction and a lengthy feature on the men's tournament win and the tournament title won by the Blue Jay women, all seemed well. But, it was not. Subscribers to the local paper were not the only fans who were misled. A web site which covers NCAA Division III basketball was also monitoring games around the country and posted a note on twitter declaring the MacMurray victory. The tweet reportedly went to 44,000 people.
Westminster did in fact win the game, and Westminster became just one of 15 schools nationally to qualify both its men's and women's basketball teams for NCAA Division III tournament play. This made Saturday, February 25, 2012, a Great Day to Be a Blue Jay.
Historical Note: "Dewey Defeats Truman" was a famously inaccurate banner headline on the front page of the Chicago Tribune on November 3, 1948, the day after incumbent United States President Harry S. Truman beat Republican challenger and Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential election.
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