Bancroft Hall

photo by: Jessica, Flickr

November 13, 2015

Historic Hoops: A Double-Header at the U.S. Naval Academy

North Carolina takes on Temple, and Florida squares off against the Naval Academy on Opening Night

  • By: David Weible

Welcome to our Historic Hoops series, where we offer a guide to historic places related (at least tangentially) to a televised men’s or women’s NCAA basketball matchup each week throughout the 2015-2016 season. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply stuck watching with your significant other, we’re here to assist your viewing experience with some historic context beyond the hardwood.

This week’s matchup(s): #1 North Carolina vs. Temple, and Florida vs. Navy
Time: 7:00 and 9:30 p.m.
Channel: CBS Sports Network
Venue: Alumni Hall, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

Opening Tip: The 2015 Veterans Classic pays tribute to the brave men and women who have served our country with a double-header of hoops action on the campus of the United States Naval Academy. Tune in early for a 30-minute show that chronicles the visiting teams’ tour of the Academy and their immersion in campus life in Annapolis.

Fast Break: Though the U.S. Navy dates back to the Revolutionary War, the United States Naval Academy wasn’t established until 1845. It started off on the grounds of Fort Severn in Annapolis, Maryland with 10 acres, 50 students, and no congressional funding. Today, the campus covers 338 acres and includes 4,000 students, known as midshipmen. The Academy started awarding bachelor of science degrees in 1933 and admitted the first women in 1976. Women now make up more than 20% of incoming freshmen classes.

Three Points:

  • Bancroft Hall houses all of the Academy’s students. The Beaux Arts masterpiece was finished in 1906, contains 1,873 rooms, almost five miles of corridors, and 33 acres of floor space. It is one of the largest dormitories in the world.
  • John Paul Jones, “father of the U.S. Navy” and war hero, was interred in the crypt beneath the Academy’s chapel in 1906 in a ceremony presided over by Theodore Roosevelt.
  • The bell from the bridge of the USS Enterprise, an American aircraft carrier, sits near Bancroft Hall. The bell is rung for Morning Colors, and when Navy scores a majority of victories over archrival Army in any of its sports seasons.

Buzzer Beater: The Naval Academy was located in Annapolis to keep students from "the temptations and distractions that necessarily connect with a large and populous city."

And-One: Watch Pittsburgh take on #9 Gonzaga at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN from Camp Foster on the island of Okinawa in Japan.

The gates at the U.S. Naval Academy

photo by: oh_candy, Flickr

The United States Naval Academy occupies 338 acres in Annapolis, Maryland.

Bancroft Hall

photo by: Albedo20_Flickr

The interior of Bancroft Hall.

The campus of the U.S. Naval Academy

photo by: Boston Public Library, Flickr

The campus of the Naval Academy.

David Weible is the content specialist at the National Trust, previously with Preservation and Outside magazines. His interest in historic preservation was inspired by the ‘20s-era architecture, streetcar neighborhoods, and bars of his hometown of Cleveland.

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