Free to download image of a basket, taken from underneath the ring. basketball, public domain, American
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The custom of cutting a basket net dates back to the 1920s when teams in the famed Indiana boy’s high school basketball tournament would celebrate winning the state title by cutting down the nets as souvenirs. In the first 25 years of the tournament, no team cut down the nets in Indianapolis as much as Everett Case’s Frankfort teams, which won four state titles between 1925 and 1939.
When World War II began, Case enlisted in the Navy, where he assumed the role of athletic director at various pre-flight schools. After the war ended in 1945, Case took over coaching duties at N.C. State. His Wolfpack won the Southern Conference title and, hearkening back to his days in the Hoosier State, Case and his team cut down the net in celebration.

“He wanted it to show as a sign of winning the championship,” Frank Weedon, N.C. State senior associate athletics director emeritus, told USA Today in 2005.
Unlike today, when ladders are brought out by tournament organizers immediately after the buzzer sounds and the scissors are specially made for the occasion and emblazoned with the NCAA logo by a paid sponsor, the process back then was a more informal and organic affair. There were no ladders; players had to hoist each other to the rims. And usually it was a pair of scissors snatched from the scorer’s table that assisted in the deed. (

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