basketball-men-d1 flag

Courtney Martinez | NCAA.com | February 9, 2017

The first intercollegiate basketball game was played on Feb. 9, 1895

What might have been the first-ever college basketball game was played Feb. 9, 1895, between host Hamline University and the Minnesota State School of Agriculture in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Ray Kaighn, who organized the contest as Hamline's athletic director, learned the game from James Naismith, who invented the sport in 1891. Under the rules set by Naismith, teams fielded nine men on the court and shot at peach baskets. Minnesota, which later became part of the state university system, earned the 9-3 victory.

Easy, right? Not exactly. There are other schools that lay claim to playing the first official game.

In the early days of college basketball universities commonly scheduled games against local YMCA programs. Geneva College of Pennsylvania, which has adopted the "birthplace of college basketball" title, recorded its first game against the Brighton YMCA on April 8, 1893. Vanderbilt can also make a case as the first. The school played a game two months earlier on Feb. 7, 1893, against a local Nashville YMCA team.

But the contest between Hamline and Minnesota A&M 121 years ago is the first college basketball recorded between two universities. A year after Minnesota won, the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago were the first to play an intercollegiate game using five-man lineups.

Looking back at a difficult week for five college basketball bluebloods

Mike Lopresti analyzes a particularly rough week, and season, for five of college basketball's bluebloods: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and North Carolina.
READ MORE

DII Report: Upsets, buzzer beaters and the DII women's basketball Power 10 Rankings

It was a thrilling week in DII college basketball, as last-second shots and more upsets steal the show. We'll also get you caught up on our latest DII women's basketball top-10 rankings in this week's DII Report.
READ MORE

Ohio State at Wisconsin prediction and picks for more major men's college basketball games this week

Andy Katz predicts No. 15 Ohio State at No. 10 Wisconsin and more major men's college basketball games this week.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners