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On This Day in Sports - March 21

By Jake Beardslee · March 21, 2024

From the breathtaking feats that redefined the limits of human endurance to the memorable clashes that captured the hearts of millions, each day carves its own niche in the rich tapestry of sports history.

Join us as we dive into the exhilarating world of sports, celebrating the moments of triumph, the instances of heartbreak, and the unwavering spirit of competition that have defined the careers of athletes across generations.

So, lace up your sneakers, and prepare to relive the legendary performances and moments in sports that took place on this day, March 21.  Wikimedia

Pioneering Women's Basketball

On March 21, 1893, the first women’s collegiate basketball game marked a historic moment at Smith College, Massachusetts. With each basket valued at a single point, the freshmen triumphed over the sophomores with a close 5-4 victory. This groundbreaking game was held privately, with no men allowed to witness the event.  PD-US/Wikimedia

Joe Louis' Legendary Knockout

On March 21, 1941, the world watched as Joe Louis defended his heavyweight title by knocking out Abe Simon in the 13th round. This iconic fight took place in Detroit's Olympia Stadium, cementing Louis' status as a boxing legend.  PD-US/Wikimedia

Cousy's Record-Breaking Night

On March 21, 1953, rookie Bob Cousy set an NBA record by scoring 50 points, guiding the Boston Celtics to victory over the Syracuse Nationals in a historic quadruple-overtime playoff game, with 30 points coming from free throws.  New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer/Wikimedia

Cal's Narrow NCAA Victory

On March 21, 1959, the NCAA basketball championship saw Cal narrowly defeat West Virginia, 71-70, thanks in part to Jerry West's impressive 28-point performance for West Virginia.  PD-US/Wikimedia

Robertson's Triple-Double Feat

Oscar Robertson made history on March 21, 1959 by recording the first-ever triple-double in NCAA Final Four history, amassing 39 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists, leading Cincinnati to a win over Louisville.  University of Cincinnati/Wikimedia

UCLA's Undefeated Triumph

UCLA's basketball team completed a perfect 30-0 season by defeating Duke in the NCAA championship on March 21, 1964, giving coach John Wooden his first of ten titles and marking the team's historic undefeated run.  Duke University/Wikimedia

UCLA's Four-Peat

On March 21, 1970, UCLA secured its fourth consecutive NCAA basketball championship with a victory over Jacksonville, highlighted by Curtis Rowe and Sidney Wicks' standout performances.  Associated Students of the University of California at Los Angeles/Wikimedia

Mahovlich's Milestone Goal

Frank Mahovlich scored his 500th career goal on March 21, 1973, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a victory over the Vancouver Canucks, a significant milestone in his illustrious hockey career.  Ralston-Purina Company/Wikimedia

Edmonton's Scoring Trio

On March 21, 1984, Glenn Anderson's 50th goal of the season contributed to the Edmonton Oilers' win over the Hartford Whalers, making them the first NHL team with three 50-goal scorers in a single season.  Horge/Wikimedia

Hull's 70-Goal Season

Brett Hull became the sixth NHL player to score 70 goals in a season on March 21, 1990, achieving this feat during a game against the Edmonton Oilers.  Johnmaxmena2/Wikimedia

Sheehan's Hall of Fame Victory

On March 21, 1993, Patty Sheehan's win in the Standard Register Ping golf tournament marked her 30th career victory, securing her place in the LPGA Hall of Fame.  Ted Van Pelt from Mechanicsburg, PA, USA/Wikimedia

Eldredge's World Championship

Todd Eldredge's gold medal win at the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships on March 21 ended an eight-year drought for American men in the competition.  David W. Carmichael -

Ovechkin's Goal-Scoring Feat

On March 21, 2008, Alex Ovechkin became the first NHL player in 12 years to score 60 goals in a season, achieving this milestone in a win over Atlanta.  All-Pro Reels/Wikimedia

Cornell's Ivy League Breakthrough

On March 21, 2010, No. 12 seed Cornell upset fourth-seeded Badgers, advancing to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 and becoming the first Ivy League school in over 30 years to achieve this feat.  Tim Weight/Wikimedia

Selanne's 600 Goals

Teemu Selanne's entry into the 600-goal club on March 21, 2010 solidified his place among hockey's elite, becoming the 18th NHL player and one of the few Europeans to reach this milestone.  RicLaf/Wikimedia

Vandersloot's Record-Breaking Performance

On March 21, 2011, Courtney Vandersloot led Gonzaga to victory over UCLA in the NCAA tournament, becoming the first Division I player to amass 2,000 points and 1,000 assists.  Keith Allison/Wikimedia