Indiana's college basketball championships
Indiana has won five NCAA men's Division I college basketball championships:
- 1987 (defeated Syracuse, 74-73)
- 1981 (defeated North Carolina, 63-50)
- 1976 (defeated Michigan, 86-68)
- 1953 (defeated Kansas, 69-68)
- 1940 (defeated Kansas, 60-42)
The following is a season-by-season look at each of these championships, including stats, rosters, full-game replays and a game-by-game recap of each season.
We begin with the 1939-40 season, just the second year of the NCAA tournament. It was also the second year of coach Branch McCracken's tenure after succeeding Everett Dean, who coached Indiana from the 1924-25 season through 1937-38.
Here's everything you need to know about Indiana's first national championship team.
Coach: Branch McCracken
Conference: Big Ten
Record: 20-3 (9-3)
Conference Finish: 2nd
Indiana's roster turnover before the 1939-40 season
In Branch McCracken's first season as the head coach at Indiana, the Hoosiers went 17-3 (9-3 Big Ten) — a seven-win improvement from the year prior.
After the 1938-39 season, Indiana lost the following players from its roster:
- Gordon McLaughlin
- Edgar Mansfield
- Richard McGaughey
- Bill Tipmore
- Robert Hansen
- Russell Clifton
- Jim Lettellier
- Dale Gentil
- William Johnson
- Ernie Andres
The Hoosiers then added the following players for the 1939-40 season:
- Andy Zimmer
- Harold Zimmer
- Everett Hoffman
- James Clifton
- Cliff Wiethoff
- Ed Newby
- Max Hasler
- Jay McCreary
- Don Huckleberry
- Jon Torphy
- Bill Frey
- William Torphy
Indiana's roster from the 1939-40 season
The 1940 NCAA tournament bracket
Indiana won its first NCAA national championship in 1940, becoming the first team from the East Regional to win the tournament. The Hoosiers beat Kansas 60-42 in the title game, led by 12 points from Most Outstanding Player Marvin Huffman. This was the first of three consecutive years Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium would host the championship game.
Duquesne and Southern California also participated in the national semifinals in 1940.
Kansas' Howard Engleman was the tournament's leading scorer with 39 points.
1940 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Indiana's complete 1939-40 schedule breakdown
December 9, 1939 – Indiana 37, Wabash 24
"The Hoosiers were unable to find their scoring punch in the first half and clung to a slender 12 to 9 lead at the intermission," reported the U.P. "Herman Schaeffer, a forward, dropped in four quick baskets after the second half started, however, and the Hoosiers were off." Seventeen Indiana players saw the floor in the win.
December 11, 1939 – Indiana 58, Xavier 24
"The winners started peppering the hoop from the opening whistle and scored almost at will, gaining a 28-to-15 margin at the half," reported the AP. "The contest was fast and rough." Herman Schaeffer scored a game-high 14 points.
December 15, 1939 – Indiana 49, Nebraska 39
"Wilting under pressure in the waning moments of one of the most torrid cage battles ever waged on the coliseum maples, Nebraska fell before a desperate but clever Indiana U., quintet Friday night, 49 to 39," wrote the Lincoln Journal Star's Walter E. Dobbins. "But Nebraska, fighting desperately, did not dip its colors until the final gun. Nebraska surprisingly led 19-15 at halftime and held the advantage five minutes into the second half.
December 18, 1939 – Indiana 51, Pittsburgh 35
"It was Indiana's fourth win this season and its third in a row over a foreign team," reported the AP. "Bill Menke, Indiana center, scored thirteen points. The Hoosiers led, 28 to 22, at the half."
December 23, 1939 – Indiana 40, Butler 33
"Jay McCreary, a native-born Hoosier led Indiana university to a 40-to-33 victory over Butler here Saturday night in a game that had 10,000 fans screaming from start to finish," reported the AP. "Butler hopped into a 14-to-5 lead at the start, but Herman Schaeffer of Fort Wayne and Bob Dro of Berne staged a rally which gave Indiana a 17-to-16 lead at the half."
December 27, 1939 – Indiana 51, Duquesne 49
"A courageous comeback in the dying moments of play Wednesday night brought Indiana's Hoosiers a 51-to-49 triumph over the previously unbeaten Duquesne university basketball team," reported the AP. "To win their sixth straight victory the visitors had to overcome a margin that once reached 12 points in the first half, which closed with Duquesne leading, 29 to 22."
December 28, 1939 – Indiana 45, Villanova 33
"A prairie fire, which originated somewhere on the plains of Indiana, roared unchecked past the backfire that Villanova had prepared for it tonight, leaving the gutted remains of the Wildcats' six-game winning streak in its wake," reported The Indianapolis Star.
January 6, 1940 – Indiana 38, Illinois 36
"Branch McCracken's Indiana University net snipers won their opening game of the Big Ten championship race here tonight when they shaded Illinois in a thrill-packed melee that was not decided until the closing second of play," wrote Indianapolis Star sports editor W. Blaine Patton. "...This was at 37-36, with the ball rolling around the rim of the basket on several occasions and the leadership depending which way the leather dropped."
January 8, 1940 – Indiana 45, Iowa 30
"The Hoosiers were in front at the half 36-15 and used reserves most of the second period," reported the AP. "Paced by Bill Menke and Bob Dro, Indiana's high scorers with 11 and 10 points, Indiana rushed into a 23-9 advantage before the regulars were replaced after 12 minutes of play."
January 13, 1940 – Minnesota 46, Indiana 44
"Minnesota's crippled basketball team got up off the floor to belt Indiana off the Big Ten pinnacle last night," wrote the Star Tribune's Bob Beebe. "A long shot that was loosed from the deft hands of Willie Warhol, the silent man from nort'east, cut cleanly through the Indiana hoop to give the battling Gophers a 46 to 44 victory over the highly favored Hoosiers in the most sensational game played here in several seasons." Indiana's undefeated start ended in its 10th game.
January 15, 1940 – Indiana 40, Wisconsin 34
"Indiana hopped back into winning stride by outdistancing Wisconsin, 40 to 34," reported the AP. "Paul Armstrong accounted for 13 points as the Hoosiers put on a spirited second half rally to go ahead."
February 3, 1940 – Indiana 51, DePaul 30
"A red hot Indiana university basketball team, using a lightning like attack and a tight defense, rode rough shod over a surprised DePaul Blue Demon team at the Coliseum tonight, 51 to 30," reported the AP. "...DePaul scored the first point on a free throw soon after the game opened, but Indiana took over and had 13 points before the Demons counted again. The score at the half was Indiana 34, DePaul 11."
February 10, 1940 – Indiana 46, Purdue 39
"Indiana moved into a first place tie in the Big Ten basketball race tonight by defeating their traditional rival, Purdue university, 46 to 39, before an overflow crowd of 6,500," reported the U.P. "The game was packed with action. Purdue jumped into a five-point lead on baskets by Bob Igney and Don Blanken and a free throw by Dan Fisher before Captain Marvin Huffman of Indiana connected from the field."
February 12, 1940 – Indiana 57, Michigan 30
"The Big Ten title hopes of the University of Michigan were virtually buried here last night, crushed beneath a 57 to 30 avalanche set off by Indiana university," reported the AP. "On even terms through the first five minutes, the game swung rapidly in Indiana's direction when Curly Armstrong, Indiana forward, broke an 11-11 tie and sent his team into a lead which was never relinquished."
February 17, 1940 – Northwestern 40, Indiana 36
"Northwestern knocked Indiana out of a share of the Big Ten basketball lead here tonight by handing the Hoosiers a 40-to-36 setback in a rough-and-tumble game in which 44 fouls were called, 24 on Indiana and 20 on the Wildcats," reported the Indianapolis Star.
February 19, 1940 – Indiana 46, Iowa 42
"Two sharp-shooting Hoosiers, Paul Armstrong and Herman Shaeffer, netted 30 points between them to set a torrid pace for Indiana Monday night, as they nosed out a hard-fighting Iowa team, 46-42 before 7,000 fans, in a rough game," reported The Des Moines Register. "The Hoosiers were pressed to down Tommy Lind and his Hawkeye teammates."
February 24, 1940 – Indiana 38, Chicago 34
"It was the seventh Conference triumph for the Hoosiers in nine starts, and the 18th consecutive home victory, while Chicago retained its undisputed cellar berth with eight defeats," reported the Indianapolis Star. "A crowd of 3,500, one of the smallest of the season, saw the Hoosiers take the situation well in hand after overcoming a 2-to-0 Chicago advantage in the first two minutes of play. With five minutes left and leading, 37 to 32, the Hoosiers went into a deliberate stall."
February 26, 1940 – Ohio State 44, Indiana 26
"A rip-roaring Ohio State basketball team, rising to the heights, dealt Indiana's Big Ten title hopes a severe blow here tonight when it trounced the Hoosiers, 44 to 26," reported the Indianapolis Star. "The victory enabled the Buckeyes to tie Indiana and Illinois for second position in the Western Conference standing."
March 2, 1940 – Indiana 51, Purdue 45
"Purdue's hopes of adding another undisputed Big Ten title to its string was halted, at least temporarily, as a brilliant Indiana basketball team Saturday night romped over the Boilermakers, 51 to 45," reported the I.N.S. "The victory enabled the Hoosiers to sweep a home and home series for the first time in history."
March 4, 1940 – Indiana 52, Ohio State 31
"Monday night's triumph before 5,500 fans avenged a 44-to-26 licking the Buckeyes handed the Hoosiers a week ago and was Indiana's nineteenth straight on its own floor," reported the AP. "Ohio State, which missed a chance for a share of second place, wound up with eight victories and four losses in the loop."
March 22, 1940 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 48, Springfield 24
"In the last tilt it was a case of the team from the state which made basketball famous showing the team from the school where the sport originated how to play the game," reported the AP. "Springfield was ahead only once at 5 to 4."
March 23, 1940 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 39, Duquesne 30
"Indiana University's team tonight put on a whirlwind display of some of the finest basketball ever seen here and dashed to a 39-30 victory over Duquesne University to win Eastern Regional honors in the second annual National Collegiate Athletic Association championship tourney," wrote The Pittsburgh Press' Eddie Beachler. "...(The Dukes) simply lacked the manpower to cope with Indiana's wealth of playing talent which gave the Hoosiers a team capable of traveling at top speed the full route."
March 30, 1940 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 60, Kansas 42
"Kansas ran out of whirlwind finishes, Indiana finished in a howling gale and today the streamlined Hoosiers of the Big Ten conference are national collegiate champions," reported The Kansas City Star. "...To call the Hoosiers fast is a gross understatement. The Big Ten conference team left a suction in its wake on the offensive and shattered the K.U. defense with a spectacular show of ball handling and cleverness or ripped the netting with long-range heaves from beyond the 3-mile limit."
Individual player awards, honors
- 1940 consensus Second Team All-American
- 1940 NCAA tournament Most Outstanding Player
- 1940 Converse Third Team All-American
1952-53 Indiana Hoosiers Quick Facts
Thirteen years after Branch McCracken led Indiana to its first national championship, the Hoosiers nearly went undefeated in conference play, going 17-1 in conference play, before winning four games in the NCAA tournament to take home their second title.
Here's everything you need to know about Indiana's 1953 national championship team.
Coach: Branch McCracken
Conference: Big Ten
Record: 23-3 (17-1)
Conference Finish: 1st
Indiana's roster turnover before the 1952-53 season
In the 1951-52 season, Indiana went 16-6 (9-5 Big Ten), finishing fourth in the conference. The Hoosiers peaked at No. 4 in the AP Poll and they finished the season unranked. After the season, Indiana lost the following players:
- Bob Masters, 6-3, guard
- Sam Esposito, 5-9, guard
- Sam Miranda, 5-10, guard
- John Wood, 5-7, guard
- Dale Vieau, 5-10, forward
- Tony Hill, 6-1, forward
The Hoosiers then added the following players to its 1952-53 roster:
- Burke Scott, 6-1, guard
- Dick White, 6-1, forward
- Phil Byers, 5-11, guard
- Paul Poff, 6-0, guard
- Jack Wright, 5-10, forward
- Goethe Chambers, 6-2, forward
- Ron Taylor, 6-3, forward
- Don Henry, 6-2, forward
Indiana's roster from the 1952-53 season
Indiana's player stats from the 1952-53 season
Indiana's AP Top 25 poll rankings from 1952-53
The 1953 NCAA tournament bracket
Indiana won its second national championship at the 1953 NCAA tournament. The Hoosiers beat Kansas in the final, 69-68.
LSU and Washington also reached the Final Four in Kansas City, Missouri. Washington's Bob Houbregs scored 139 total points to lead all players, including 45 against Seattle. Kansas' B.H. Born was named Most Outstanding Player.
1953 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Indiana's complete 1952-53 schedule breakdown
Dec. 1, 1952 – Indiana 95, Valparaiso 56
"Coach Branch McCracken's veteran Indiana outfit used a speedy, balanced attack in crushing Valpo," reported the United Press. "All 10 Hoosiers who saw action broke into the scoring column and six of them connected for 10 or more points. Guards Burke Scott and Bob Leonard were the Hoosier hot shots with 16 points each, but Valpo's Jim Howard took scoring honors with 17 points."
Dec. 6, 1952 – Notre Dame 71, Indiana 70
"Jack Stephens, Notre Dame's sofomore [sic] forward from Chicago, dribbled the length of floor and his layup shot with two seconds to go beat Indiana 71 to 70 tonight in the Irish fieldhouse," reported the Chicago Tribune. "With 1 minute 45 seconds remaining, Indiana led, 69 to 65. A hook shot by Dick Wise, Notre Dame reserve center, made it 69 to 67. Then Indiana's Bob Leonard made a free throw and Indiana had a three point advantage with 38 seconds left."
Dec. 13, 1952 – Kansas State 82, Indiana 80
"A long desperation shot from about thirty-five feet out by Jack Carby, who had been demoted from the first string before tonight's game, gave Kansas State a thrilling 82 to 80 basketball victory over Indiana," reported The Kansas City Star. "For the Manhattan Wildcats it was their twenty-third straight victory on the home court since they bowed 52-58 to this same Indiana team two years ago."
Dec. 20, 1952 – Indiana 88, Michigan 60
"Paced by six-foot-nine sophomore Center Don Schlundt, they peppered the net for 41 points in the first period, while Michigan collected just 18," reported the United Press. "Schlundt sat out the second and fourth stanzas. But Coach Branch McCracken sent him in again in the third and he chalked up 11 more to give him 24 for the night and scoring honors for the entire ball game."
Dec. 22, 1952 – Indiana 91, Iowa 72
"Led by big Bob Leonard, who riddled Iowa with long shots, the Hoosiers never were headed as they raced to their second conference victory," reported the AP. "Don Schlundt, Indiana's 6 foot, 9 inch center, put his team ahead with a tip-in after 30 seconds of play, and Iowa never could take the lead, though they tried the count a few seconds later on Deacon Davis' 15-footer."
Jan. 3, 1953 – Indiana 91, Michigan 88
"Indiana, paced by Center Don Schlundt's 39 points, remained undefeated in Big Ten play with a 91 to 88 victory over an aroused Michigan team tonight," reported the Chicago Tribune. "Schlundt, 6 feet 10 inches, hit 11 baskets in 22 shots and made 17 free throws in 20 attempts before fouling out with 1 minute 50 seconds to go."
Jan. 5, 1953 – Indiana 69, Michigan State 62
"That Michigan State's 1953 basketball team is to be a pushover for nobody in the Big Ten was a known fact today," wrote the Lansing State Journal's George Alderton. "The Spartans proved it last night, giving Indiana a hard time of it before yielding, 69 to 62. Fighting the rangy, capable and well-manned Indiana university squad every step of the route, State's squad succumbed to a third period drive by the Hoosiers but out-scored them the rest of the route."
Jan. 10, 1953 – Indiana 66, Minnesota 63
"Minnesota came within 28 seconds of winning its first basketball game over Indiana here in eight years Saturday night before 10,000 rabid Hoosier fans," wrote the Star Tribune's Sid Hartman. "...Before guard Burke Scott hit two field goals in the last 28 seconds, however, it looked like Minnesota was going to hand Indiana its first conference loss in five games."
Jan. 12, 1953 – Indiana 88, Ohio State 68
"Ohio State's Paul Ebert scored 22 points to emerge victorious in his scoring duel with Indiana's son Don Schlundt, but the Buckeye's [sic] were dumped by league-leading Indiana, 88-68, in a Big Ten basketball game here last night," reported the AP. "Schlundt was removed late in the third period after his fourth personal foul and ended up with a 15-point total."
Jan. 17, 1953 – Indiana 74, Illinois 70 (2OT)
"In a basketball classic here tonight that twice afforded a gripping study in still life, Indiana's field house turned from a copy of Madame Toussand's Waxworks into a bedlam of jumping jacks as the Hoosiers finally won in two overtime periods from Illinois 74-70," wrote The Courier-Journal's Tommy Fitzgerald. "Six free throws brought Indiana's victory in the second overtime to keep its Big Ten leadership against the challenge of second-place Illinois. The Hoosiers now lead by two games."
Jan. 19, 1953 – Indiana 88, Purdue 75
"Don Schlundt hit five field goals and 16 of 20 free throws Monday night for almost one-third of Indiana's points in an 88-75 victory over Purdue," reported the AP. "It was the eighth straight league victory for Indiana's Big Ten leaders, rated No. 2 nationally in The Associated Press poll. Indiana hit 42 of 54 free throws, breaking the Big Ten record of 40 made by Wisconsin at Minnesota two weeks ago."
Feb. 2, 1953 – Indiana 105, Butler 70
"A two-week recess apparently did not rust the effectiveness of Indiana, the Big 10 basketball leader, or its top contender, Illinois," reported the AP. "Returning to the floor Monday night for the first time since January 19, the Hoosiers — atop the Big 10 with eight victories in eight games — stomped Butler 105-70."
Feb. 7, 1953 – Indiana 88, Northwestern 84
"Indiana's Hoosiers continued atop the Big Ten Conference basketball race last night, fighting off a desperate fourth-quarter Northwestern comeback for an 88-84 victory," reported the AP. "The Hoosiers, rated No. 2 in the nation in the AP poll, narrowly escaped humiliation by the seventh-place Wildcats. Leading 44-30 at the half and 69-54 at the end of the third period, Indiana cooled suddenly at the offset of the final quarter."
Feb. 9, 1953 – Indiana 66, Wisconsin 48
"Indiana, hindered by Wisconsin's tight zone defense and its own mediocre shooting, still had enough Monday night to fashion an easy 66-48 victory to remain undefeated in ten Big Ten basketball games," reported the AP. "The Hoosiers ... now have the longest winning streak they ever have compiled in league competition."
Feb. 14, 1953 – Indiana 65, Michigan State 50
"Indiana University's basketball team, sparked by the 30-point firing of Don Schlundt, raced to a 65-50 conquest of Michigan State here last night for the Hoosiers' 11th straight Big Ten triumph," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Bob Stranahan. "Only during the first half were the Spartans really in the ball game against Branch McCracken's smooth-working outfit. That was largely due to Indiana's streak of coldness more than Spartan proficiency."
Feb. 16, 1953 – Indiana 72, Wisconsin 70
"Wisconsin gave Indiana a scare in the closing minutes," reported the AP. "Without the services of starting Forwards Tony Stracka and Dick Cable, who had fouled out, the Badgers broke through Hoosier stalling tactics to cut six points from the visitors' comfortable advantage."
Feb. 21, 1953 – Indiana 81, Ohio State 67
"There was no stopping the red-hot Hoosiers as they claked up their 13th straight league victory and 17th in a row over two seasons to stay in front of defending champion Illinois by at least two games," reported the AP. "The Buckeyes, losing their eighth league test against six wins, led only once — shortly before the first period ended when Merrill Hatfield sank a one-hander and hit a free throw. But Dick Farley hit a basket for the Hoosiers for a 21-all first-period tie."
Feb. 23, 1953 – Indiana 113, Purdue 78
"Records fell like rain in this highest-scoring of all the traditional battles between the Hoosiers and Boilermakers," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Bob Stranahan. "Don Schlundt accounted for three of them. His 31 points brought his total to 367 for 14 games and that broke the record of Chuck Darling of Iowa for a similar number of contests. Darling had 364."
Feb. 28, 1953 – Indiana 91, Illinois 79
"Indiana's Hoosiers wrapped up the Big Ten basketball championship with ease Saturday night, beating the only remaining hopeful, Illinois, 91-79 as the brilliant Don Schlundt paced the victory with 33 points," reported the AP. "The win was Indiana's 15th straight in Big Ten play and assured it of sole claim to the title even though the Hoosiers have three games remaining."
March 2, 1953 – Indiana 90, Northwestern 88 (OT)
"Just as a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, there comes a time when a basketball team is no stronger than its reserve strength," wrote The Indianapolis News' Ray Marquette. "This theory was proved here last night, as the Indiana University bench strength rose up to claw over a seemingly insurmountable closing flurry by Northwestern that had the Hoosiers clawing for purchase on the brink of losing their first of 16 Western Conference contests."
March 7, 1953 – Minnesota 65, Indiana 63
"A jump shot with three seconds to go gave Minnesota 65-63 upset victory over Indiana Saturday night, the first loss for the Hoosiers in Big Ten competition this year," reported the AP. "It was the first defeat in 18 games for the conference champions. A record crowd of 18,114 watched as forward Dick Farley gave Indiana a 63-63 tie with three minutes of play left."
March 9, 1953 – Indiana 68, Iowa 61
"Don Schlundt, Indiana's big sophomore scoring ace, dropped in 22 points in the less than three quarters he played to increase his Big Ten scoring record for one season to 459 points," reported the AP.
March 13, 1953 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 82, DePaul 80
"The nation's top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers, saved by the bell in a preliminary battle with DePaul Friday night, take on confident Notre Dame tonight in the finals of the NCAA eastern regional basketball playoffs," reported the AP. "Branch McCracken, Indiana coach, was a worried man despite the victory. 'We made a lot of mistakes — too many mistakes,' he said, shaking his head sadly. 'It's fortunate you can make that many mistakes and still win in this kind of tournament.'"
March 14, 1953 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 79, Notre Dame 66
"(Don) Schlundt's 41 points broke the former Chicago Stadium mark of 37 points by George Mikan of DePaul in 1945, 90 to 70," reported the AP. "Schlundt was a first-half terror to the Irish, counting 18 points in the opening quarter and 12 in the second period. His first half bag included 10 field goals and 10 free throws."
March 17, 1953 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 80, LSU 67
"Burning up the nets with a .555 shooting percentage, Indiana's Hoosiers moved to within a game of the NCAA basketball title here Tuesday night with a 80 to 67 victory over Louisiana State," reported The Republic. "In downing the Tigers, IU took only 45 shots, the lowest number they have tried all season. They hit 25 of them."
March 18, 1953 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 69, Kansas 68
"The Indiana Hoosiers, who matched Kansas in drive and hustle, sneaked by the Jayhawks last night, 69 to 68, to win the National Collegiate Athletic association's basketball championship," reported The Kansas City Times. "Bob Leonard's free throw with twenty-seven seconds to go was the clincher. This was one of the most hectic struggles in the 15-year history of the event and it took place before a capacity crowd of 10,500 in the Municipal Auditorium."
1952-53 individual player awards, honors
- 1953 consensus Second Team All-American
- 1953 First Team All-Big Ten
- 1953 AP Third Team All-American
Indiana players drafted into the NBA
1954 NBA Draft
- No. 10 – Bobby "Slick" Leonard, Baltimore Bullets
- No. 15 – Dick Farley, Syracuse Nationals
- No. 37 – Lou Scott, Baltimore Bullets
- No. 49 – Charles Kraak, Fort Wayne Pistons
1955 NBA Draft
- No. 16 – Don Schlundt, Syracuse Nationals
1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers Quick Facts
In the fifth year of coach Bob Knight's tenure, Indiana started the 1975-76 season ranked No. 1 in the AP poll and the Hoosiers held that ranking for the entire season as they went 18-0 in Big Ten play and 32-0 during the season, becoming the most recent undefeated national champion.
Here's everything you need to know about Indiana's 1976 national championship team.
Coach: Bob Knight
Conference: Big Ten
Record: 32-0 (18-0)
Conference Finish: 1st
Indiana's roster turnover before the 1975-76 season
During the 1974-75 season, Indiana went 31-1, losing for the first and only time in the Mideast Regional final to Kentucky, 92-90, after the team's second-leading scorer Scott May, went down with an injury.
After the 1975 season, Indiana lost the following players:
- Steve Green, 6-7, forward: 16.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg
- John Laskowski, 6-6, guard: 9.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg
- Don Noort, 6-8, center: 2.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
- Steve Ahlfeld, 6-1, guard: 1.1 ppg, 0.1 rpg
- John Kamstra, 6-1, guard: 0.9 ppg, 0.5 rpg
- Douglas Allen, 6-6, forward: 0.5 ppg, 0.5 rpg
Indiana enrolled the following players in the fall of 1975:
- Rich Valavicius, 6-5, forward
- Bob Bender, 6-2, guard
- Mark Haymore, 6-8, center
- Jim Roberson, 6-9, forward
- Scott Eells, 6-9, guard
Indiana's roster from the 1975-76 season
Indiana's player stats from the 1975-76 season
Scroll to the right to view the complete stats.
Indiana's AP Top 25 poll rankings from 1975-76
The 1976 NCAA tournament bracket
Indiana became the seventh undefeated national champion in NCAA tournament history at the conclusion of the 1976 tournament. The Hoosiers finished the season 32-0, capped by an 86-68 win over Michigan in the title game. Naismith Award winner Scott May was the tournament's leading scorer with 113 points, but Kent Benson was named Most Outstanding Player after scoring 25 points against the Wolverines.
The Hoosiers were not the only unbeaten team entering the 1976 NCAA tournament. Rutgers maintained an unblemished record, reaching their first Final Four. However, the Scarlet Knights fell to the Wolverines in the national semifinal and again to UCLA in the third-place game.
This was the first tournament to not include regional third-place games.
1976 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Indiana's complete 1975-76 schedule breakdown
Nov. 29, 1975 – Indiana 84, No. 2 UCLA 64
"A 20-point victory over mighty UCLA didn't satisfy Bobby Knight," reported the AP. "As usual, he found something wrong with his Indiana basketball team — even though the Hoosiers seemed to do everything right. 'We were rushing the offense. We tried to settled down,' said Indiana's perfectionist after his top-ranked Hoosiers humiliated the defending national champions 84-64."
Dec. 8, 1975 – Indiana 83, Florida State 59
"With four starters to replace next year, Indiana's Bobby Knight will take every opportunity to give the Hoosier underclassmen as much experience as possible this season," reported the AP. "He began substituting with 12 minutes remaining in the first half Monday night and the nation's top-ranked college basketball team still roared past Florida State 83-59. At the end, with three Indiana freshmen and two sophomores in the lineup, the Seminoles battled back from a 38-point deficit."
Dec. 11, 1975 – Indiana 63, No. 8 Notre Dame 60
"Indiana University's claim as the nation's No. 1 basketball team wobbled and teetered a little Thursday night, but Notre Dame was never quite able to push the Hoosiers off the pedestal," wrote The South Bend Tribune's Forrest Miller. "Leading by 14 points, 51-37, with a bit over 11 minutes to play and threatening to make a rout of it, the Hoosiers survived a furious rally by the Irish for a 63-60 victory before a jammed Assembly Hall audience of 17,639."
Dec. 15, 1975 – Indiana 77, No. 14 Kentucky 68 (OT)
"Whatever Kentucky lacked in finesse against top-ranked Indiana Monday night, the Wildcats all but made up for with an intensity reminiscent of coach Adolph Rupp's famous 'Fiddlin' Five,'" reported the UPI. "The fact is they came within eight seconds of upsetting the Hoosiers 64-62 in regulation time, only to lose 77-68 in overtime."
Dec. 19, 1975 – Indiana 93, Georgia 56
"The undefeated Hoosiers, playing most of the game with reserves, dominated the Bulldogs from the outset, building a 20-point margin at the half and coasting to victory with leads up to 44 points," reported the AP.
Dec. 20, 1975 – Indiana 101, Virginia Tech 74
"Indiana's Scott May rifled in 27 points Saturday night and the top-ranked Hoosiers hitting 74 per cent [sic] of their shots in the first half, blasted Virginia Tech 101-74 to win the Indiana Classic basketball tournament," reported the AP.
Dec. 26, 1975 – Indiana 106, Columbia 63
"With (Kent) Benson scoring 13 of his game-high 15 points and (Bobby) Wilkerson grabbing five rebounds, making two steals and handing off for five assists, the Hoosiers cruised to a 39-14 lead before the regulars sat down midway through the first half," reported the AP. "The substitutes then built Indiana's lead to 56-27 at the half."
Dec. 27, 1975 – Indiana 97, Manhattan 61
"Through two rounds of the ECAC Holiday Festival it has become abundantly clear that there are two classes of teams in the tournament — Indiana and the others," wrote The Record's Ron Drogo. "The Hoosiers coasted into the final last night with a 97-61 rout of Manhattan. They have outscored two opponents 203-124 thus far and have at times appeared to be putting no a clinic for their opponents and the Madison Square Garden fans."
Dec. 28, 1975 – Indiana 76, No. 17 St. John's 69
"Senior All-America forward Scott May sank five crucial free throws in the final 84 seconds Monday night as Indiana captured the Holiday Festival basketball crown in Madison Square Garden at New York for the first time," reported the UPI. "The top-ranked Hoosiers, winners in nine straight games this campaign, belted previously unbeaten St. John's of Brooklyn, 76-69, behind May's game-high 29 points."
Jan. 3, 1976 – Indiana 66, Ohio State 64
"Though playing catchup practically all night as the Hoosiers resisted every ounce of pressure, the Buckeyes didn't throw in the towel until a floor-length pass bounced off the fingertips of a leaping Larry Bolden with just :02 remaining," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Max Stultz.
Jan. 5, 1976 – Indiana 78, Northwestern 61
"Monday night, though, the Hoosiers had only 12 minutes of trouble from (Tex) Winter's Wildcats," reported the AP. "Then they broke away from a 20-17 squeaker, built their lead to 40-27 at the intermission, outscored Northwestern 14-2 in the first six minutes of the second half and coasted to their 11th consecutive triumph 78-61."
Jan. 10, 1976 – Indiana 80, No. 19 Michigan 74
"Completely ignoring the Wolverines' quickness and agility that were supposed to be their undoing, the Indiana Hoosiers rousted Michigan from the ranks of the Big Ten's unbeaten with an 80-74 victory here Saturday," wrote the Detroit Free Press' Curt Sylvester. "And there was really nothing very complicated about the way the No. 1-ranked Hoosiers did it — with basket after basket, hitting 60 percent of the shots they took."
Jan. 12, 1976 – Indiana 69, Michigan State 57
"Just when it appeared Michigan State may have put one foot in the door of a major upset, the undefeated Indiana Hoosiers slammed the door in its face," wrote the Lansing State Journal's Fred Stabley Jr. "And, instead of becoming THE team to put an end to Indiana's 12-game winning streak Monday night at Jenison Fieldhouse, the Spartans became the Hoosiers' 13th victim of the season, 69-57."
Jan. 17, 1976 – Indiana 83, Illinois 55
"Every team has weaknesses," said (Illinois Coach Lou) Henson, according to the AP, "but it would take a long time by some real experts to find Indiana's weaknesses. I definitely think they deserve their No. 1 ranking. Indiana is every bit the club I thought it was."
Jan. 19, 1976 – Indiana 71, Purdue 67
"Pulling up at halftime with a 44-35 cushion as All-American Scott May poured in 19 of his game-high 32 points," wrote the Anderson (Ind.) Daily Bulletin's Mike Chappell. "I.U. lost its offense and intensity somewhere between the locker room and the court before answering the second half tip-off. Twice Purdue, playing AT Assembly Hall remember, rallied to take the upper hand in the final 20 minutes. The last time came on a close-in jumper by Eugene Parker at the 9:19 mark which nudged the scoreboard to 60-59. From that point on it was a case of I.U. resorting to deliberate basketball and Purdue relying on a chasing defense."
Jan. 24, 1976 – Indiana 85, Minnesota 76
"Eight straight Indiana baskets without a miss at the start of the second half gave Coach Bob Knight of the No. 1 ranked Hoosiers 'as enjoyable a segment of basketball as we've played all year,'" reported the AP.
Jan. 26, 1976 – Indiana 88, Iowa 73
"(Scott) May's play in the second half overshadowed an exceptional effort by Iowa's Scott Thompson, 6-3 senior guard from Moline, who popped in 28 points to lead the Hawkeyes and who won a furious first-half shooting duel with 6-7 Hoosier guard Bob Wilkerson to keep Iowa in position for a spectacular upset," wrote The Dispatch's Paul Carlson. "Thompson made 10 of 12 shots the first half to outgun the surprising Wilkerson, who pumped in 8 of 10 over an Iowa zone."
Jan. 31, 1976 – Indiana 114, Wisconsin 61
"The undefeated Hoosiers controlled the game from the outset, building a 15-point lead in the first nine minutes, widening the margin to 32 at the half, 62-30, and blowing the Badgers out in the final period," reported the AP.
Feb. 7, 1976 – Indiana 72, Michigan 67 (OT)
"The bench rescued Indiana's top-ranked Hoosier basketball team from the brink of defeat Saturday," reported the UPI. "Wayne Radford, an unheralded sophomore, was sent into the nationally televised game with Michigan with the Hoosiers in deep trouble. His clutch scoring turned the tide for a rousing 72-67 overtime victory, extending the Hoosiers' record Big Ten winning streak to 29 games."
Feb. 9, 1976 – Indiana 85, Michigan State 70
"Towering Kent Benson hit a career high 38 points Monday night and Scott May added 22 to lead top-ranked Indiana to its 50th consecutive regular season victory, 85-70 over Michigan State," reported the UPI. "The one-two punch of Benson and May, an All-American choice last year, more than offset Big Ten scoring leader Terry Furlow's 40 points in a losing cause."
Feb. 14, 1976 – Indiana 68, Illinois 48
"The Red Tide kept on rolling in Assembly Hall yesterday afternoon, but not until after a surprisingly-antagonistic Illinois club created enough whitecaps to rock the boat dangerously," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Max Stultz. "...Held to 20 field goals by a quick-moving zone, the Hoosiers plunked 18 of 22 chances — 14 in a row before late misses by Quinn Buckner and Kent Benson gave the underdog visitors a glimmer of hope."
Feb. 16, 1976 – Indiana 74, Purdue 71
"Eugene Parker, Purdue's brilliant sophomore guard, had pulled Purdue to within a point, 72-71, with four seconds left, but the Boilermakers couldn't get possession again," wrote the Journal and Courier's Bruce Ramey. "Scott May, Indiana's All-American forward, was fouled with two seconds left and dropped in both free throws for the Hoosiers' three-point winning margin."
Feb. 21, 1976 – Indiana 76, Minnesota 64
"(Tom) Abernathy, however, matched his career high with 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in leading the Hoosiers past the Gophers for the second time this season," reported the AP. "'From the beginning to end, we got outstanding play from Tom Abernathy...and I'm talking about everything he did — rebounding and shooting,' (Bob) Knight said."
Feb. 23, 1976 – Indiana 101, Iowa 81
"(Quinn) Buckner relaxed, concentrated — and came up with his best game of the season, scoring 24 points as the Hoosiers posted their 54th consecutive regular-season victory and clinched a share of the Big ten title," reported the AP.
Feb. 26, 1976 – Indiana 96, Wisconsin 67
"Once the nation's No. 1-ranked college team erased an early 8-2 deficit and took a 9-8 lead after 4 minutes, it was all downhill for the hapless Badgers as they finally tumbled to their 14th consecutive loss, 96-67," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Ray Marquette.
March 1, 1976 – Indiana 76, Northwestern 63
"The game was tight until midway through the first half, when Indiana, ahead 24-20, rattled off 13 points to Northwestern's four in the next six minutes to take a comfortable 37-24 lead," reported the AP. "(Scott) May, who collected 25 points in the game, scored five during the streak and guard Quinn Buckner added four. Buckner finished the game with 10 points."
March 6, 1976 – Indiana 96, Ohio State 67
"In finishing their regular season 27-0, and 18-0 in the conference, the Hoosiers became the first team ever to win consecutive Big Ten titles without a defeat," wrote The Cincinnati Enquirer's Dick Forbes. "Indeed, the powerful Hoosiers, matchless with their speed, quickness, defense and shooting ability in the first half Saturday, have lost only once in the last 59 games."
March 13, 1976 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 90, No. 17 St. John's 70
"Scott May, Indiana's All-American senior and college basketball's Player of the Year, was as excited as a cheerleader Saturday after the Hoosiers' convincing 90-70 victory over St. John's in the NCAA Mideast Regional Tournament," reported the AP. "The smooth 6-foot-7 forward pumped in 33 points as the top-rated [sic] Hoosiers sidelined the No. 17 Redmen. 'This is really my first NCAA tourney and it was quite a thrill,' said May, whose broken arm contributed to Indiana's two-point loss to Kentucky in the regional finals last year."
March 18, 1976 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 74, No. 6 Alabama 69
"For the fourth time in their 29-0 season, the nation's No. 1 group of college ball players found themselves backed solidly against the wall, staring at that first defeat with the clock relentlessly tolling against them," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Ray Marquette. "And for the fourth time, Bobby Knight's veteran ball club managed to keep it all together just long enough to beat the clock and the opponent as they advanced into tomorrow afternoon's National Collegiate regional finale."
March 20, 1976 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 65, No. 2 Marquette 56
"Coach Bobby Knight of undefeated, top-ranked Indiana credited senior Tom Abernathy with producing 'the single most important play' in the game when he sank two free throws with 25 seconds left to insure the Hoosiers' 65-56 victory over Marquette Saturday," the AP reported. "Abernathy added two more free throws eight seconds later and Bob Wilkerson had two in between to kill Marquette's hopes of a comeback victory."
March 27, 1976 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 65, No. 5 UCLA 51
"(Tom) Abernathy, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, scored 14 points before being sidelined with 7:18 remaining when he injured a knee. Indiana was comfortably ahead 52-42 at the time," reported the AP. "He also did an excellent defensive job on UCLA star Richard Washington, who scored 13 points, seven below his average. (Bobby) Wilkerson, a two-year starters for the Hoosiers, collected 19 rebounds as he helped the Indiana defense control the tempo of the game."
March 29, 1976 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 86, No. 9 Michigan 68
"The Indiana Hoosiers were handed the No. 1 ranking at the start of the season, but that doesn't mean anything unless you can earn it on the court. They did — 32 times," reported the AP. "The 'perfect' Hoosiers capped a glorious 32-0 season Monday night with a business-like 86-68 victory over Michigan in the NCAA finals, ending a long quest for college basketball's Holy Grail. 'If we don't deserve to be national champions, then I don't know who does,' said Indiana's superlative guard, Quinn Buckner. 'We won all our games. What else can you do?'"
Individual player awards, honors
- 1976 Naismith College Player of the Year
- 1976 Adolph Rupp Trophy
- 1976 Helms Foundation Player of the Year
- 1976 AP College Player of the Year
- 1976 NABC Player of the Year
- 1976 UPI College Player of the Year
- 1976 Sporting News Player of the Year
- 1976 consensus First Team All-American
- 1976 Final Four Most Outstanding Player
- 1976 Helms Foundation Player of the Year
- 1976 consensus First Team All-American
Indiana players drafted into the NBA
1976 NBA Draft
- No. 2 – Scott May, Chicago Bulls
- No. 7 – Quinn Buckner, Milwaukee Bucks
- No. 11 – Bobby Wilkerson, Seattle SuperSonics
- No. 43 – Tom Abernathy, Los Angeles Lakers
1977 NBA Draft
- No. 1 – Kent Benson, Milwaukee Bucks
1978 NBA Draft
- No. 27 – Wayne Radford, Indiana Pacers
Indiana's 1980-81 Quick Facts
Five years after Indiana won its third national championship and its first under Bob Knight, the Hoosiers won again with a new cast of characters, led by point guard Isiah Thomas.
Here's everything you need to know about Indiana's 1981 national championship team.
Coach: Bob Knight
Conference: Big Ten
Record: 26-9 (14-4 Big Ten)
Conference Finish: 1st
NCAA Tournament Seed: No. 3 seed
NCAA Tournament Region: Mideast Region
Indiana's roster turnover before the 1980-81 season
In the 1979-80 season, Indiana went 21-8 (13-5 Big Ten), winning the conference and earning a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, where the Hoosiers lost to the rival Purdue Boilermakers in the regional semifinal.
Indiana lost two players after the 1980 season:
- Mike Woodson, 6-5, guard: 19.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.6 apg
- Butch Carter, 6-5, guard: 11.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.1 apg
The Hoosiers enrolled one player in the fall of 1980:
- Mike LaFave, 6-9, forward
Indiana's 1980-81 roster
Here are Indiana's player stats from the 1980-81 season
Scroll to the right to view the complete Duke stats.
Here's where Indiana was ranked in the AP Top 25 poll
The 1981 NCAA tournament bracket
Indiana won the 1981 NCAA tournament. Get the bracket, scores, records and more below. The Hoosiers defeated North Carolina in the title game for their fourth national championship.
Isiah Thomas was named Most Outstanding Player. This year was also the last instance of the national Third Place Game. Virginia beat LSU.
1981 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Indiana's complete 1980-81 schedule breakdown
Nov. 29, 1980 – Indiana 75, Ball State 69
"A groin injury forced Indiana to open its 1980-81 season without sophomore Isiah Thomas, an All-Big Ten guard last season, so the Hoosiers went to another Thomas in the backcourt," reported the AP. "'Jimmy Thomas did a good job for us today,' said Indiana Coach Bobby Knight after the fifth-ranked Hoosiers defeated Ball State 75-69 with the help of 12 points and six rebounds from Thomas."
Dec. 1, 1980 – Indiana 59, Murray State 41
"Indiana's 6-foot-1 sophomore guard, Isiah Thomas, led the scoring with 21 points," reported the AP. "He had seven during a second half spurt when the Hoosiers outscored the Racers 23-2." "We gave us nine layups in the first half," Bob Knight said, according to the AP. "But we did a better job of getting under their offense with our defense in the second half. We did a better job of cutting off the driving lanes."
Dec. 6, 1980 – No. 2 Kentucky 68, Indiana 66
"The No. 2 Wildcats were ahead of No. 5 Indiana, 66-64, with less than a half-minute remaining, the Hoosiers had the ball and were working for one good shot while 17,254 fans in Assembly Hall were going nuts," wrote the Messenger-Inquirer's Danny McKenzie. "Indiana forward Ted Kitchel tried to go inside to Landon Turner but the muscular Hurt flashed in and picked off the pass and 18 seconds later, Kentucky was 3-0 for the season."
Dec. 9, 1980 – No. 9 Notre Dame 68, Indiana 64
"Notre Dame forward Kelly Tripucka had just played what he described as a very poor first half against Indiana and said he decided to try to do other things besides scoring to help his team in the second half," reported the AP. "Tripucka, who made only one of seven shots in the first half, explained he concentrated on rebounding and passing off to teammates in the second half until he found his shot. When the senior finally did find the range, he was able to rally the 13th-ranked Irish to a 68-64 victory over sixth-ranked Indiana."
Dec. 12, 1980 – Indiana 94, California 58
"The Hoosiers, now 3-2, blasted the Bears, 94-58, behind the 22-point career high total from junior forward Ted Kitchel and earned the right to play Baylor in tonight's championship game," reported the UPI. "It took IU nine minutes to break away from stubborn California 1-1. A big spurt was fueled by nine points from sophomore guard Isiah Thomas and the Hoosiers had a 44-27 halftime advantage."
Dec. 13, 1980 – Indiana 83, Baylor 47
"The Indiana Classic is appropriately named, all right. That's because the only thing classic about it is Indiana," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Bob Benner. "The Hoosiers won their own tournament for the seventh time in seven years Saturday night, before a crowd of 13,612."
Dec. 15, 1980 – Indiana 65, Oral Roberts 56
"The 5-2 Hoosiers rank seventh in this week's listing of the nation's top teams, but they played more like No. 77 in getting past the Titans," wrote The Daily Reporter's Jim Russell. "Not that 2-5 Oral Roberts is underrated. No, the visitors from Tulsa who play in the Midwestern City Conference with Butler and Evansville are not a great basketball tea, but probably not even a good one. But they stayed with Indiana nearly all the way as the Hoosiers shot poorly, kicked the ball away 22 times and exhibited shoddy defense most of the night."
Dec. 20, 1980 – No. 8 North Carolina 65, Indiana 56
"The Hoosiers took a 30-24 lead into the dressing room at halftime and increased that to 34-26 90 seconds into the second chapter," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Bill Benner. "But the Tar Heels quickly erased that advantage with a string of 11 unanswered points and from that point until the five-minute mark, it was anybody's ball game. And from five minutes on down, it was all Carolina."
Dec. 23, 1980 – Indiana 51, Kansas State 44
"'That's the best we've been able to sustain things over 40 minutes,' said (Bobby) Knight after a 51-44 victory over Kansas State. 'It's the hardest we've played defensively, and offensively we were able to sustain things over the course of the game.'"
Dec. 27, 1980 – Indiana 55, Rutgers 50
"The Hoosiers, behind (Isiah) Thomas and Ted Kitchel, who had 13 points, built a 17-point advantage, 49-32, with 9.5 minutes to play," reported the AP. "The Scarlet Knights then held the 15th-ranked Hoosiers scoreless for the next seven minutes and closed the gap to five points."
Dec. 28, 1980 – Clemson 58, Indiana 57
"Junior guard Chris Dodds hit a nine-foot jumper with :10 left to give Clemson a 58-57 upset win over 15th-ranked Indiana in a semifinal game in the 17th annual Rainbow classic Monday night," reported the AP. "Dodds, with 11 points, and junior forward Bill Ross with 13, paced the Tigers to their ninths victory in ten games."
Dec. 30, 1980 – UTRGV 66, Indiana 60
"Kenneth Green and Curtis Glasper combined for 41 points as Pan American stunned 15th-ranked Indiana, 66-60, Tuesday night to capture third place in the 17th annual Rainbow Classic," reported the AP. "Green, a 6-foot-9 senior center, had 21 points and Glasper, a 6-6 senior forward, had 20, as the Broncs worked to perfection Coach Bill White's game plan to take the ball inside."
Jan. 8, 1981 – Indiana 55, Michigan State 43
"Thursday night's 55-32 opening-night Big Ten victory was anything but exciting as the Hoosiers methodically wore down outmanned Michigan State," wrote The Daily Reporter's Jim Russell. " But Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote had some postgame comments which should make the ho-hum triumph a bit more exciting to IU fans. 'It's a typical Bobby Knight team,' said the coach of Michigan State's 1979 national champs now in his fifth year at East Lansing."
Jan. 10, 1981 – Indiana 78, No. 12 Illinois 61
"Forward Ted Kitchel scored a career-high 40 points Saturday and hit an Indiana single-game record 18 straight free throws, but he said he was more excited with the 78-61 upset of 12th-ranked Illinois than he was with his own performance," reported the AP.
Jan. 15, 1981 – No. 9 Michigan 55, Indiana 52
"One Bodnar was plenty and two was one too many for Indiana in sold-out Crisler Arena Thursday night," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Max Stultz. "Caging five clutch free throws in the overtime period, the Michigan twins guided Coach Bill Frieder's Wolverines past the Hoosiers 55-52, and helped throw the Big Ten basketball race into a wild seven-team scramble on the front end, all with 2-1 records."
Jan. 18, 1981 – Indiana 67, Ohio State 60
"Sunday definitely was (Ray) Tolbert's and Indiana's day, as the Hoosiers came back from a 34-31 halftime deficit to win easily and claim a share of the Big Ten lead with Iowa, Illinois and Purdue, all with 3-1 records," according to The Dispatch. "The Hoosiers started the second half with a 16-5 burst which gave them a 47-39 margin. After Ohio State cut it to 49-45, Tolbert scored seven straight points to give Indiana an 11-point margin which the Buckeyes never cut to less than the final seven-point spread."
Jan. 22, 1981 – No. 9 Iowa 56, Indiana 53
"For Iowa, that road fiend of the Big Ten, it was the ultimate in success in a strange place. For Indiana, that defensive giant and homecourt horror, it was a tough way to lose a share of the conference lead," wrote the Palladium-Item's Mike Lopresti. "For the first time since Assembly Hall was built here nine years ago, Iowa left town a winner Thursday, outfighting Indiana 56-53 in a bitter Big Ten game."
Jan. 24, 1981 – Indiana 93, Northwestern 56
"Coach Bobby Knight didn't hesitate a moment when asked if it was Isiah Thomas' best game," reported the AP. "'Yes,' Knight said emphatically. Isiah scored a season-high 23 points to lead Indiana to a 93-56 victory over Northwestern Saturday night, boosting the Hoosiers back into a first-place tie in the Big Ten basketball race."
Jan. 29, 1981 – Indiana 56, No. 19 Minnesota 53 (OT)
"In retrospect, it is a good thing that Indiana's Hoosiers were trailing Minnesota by eight points at halftime of Thursday night's Big Ten basketball encounter at Williams Arena," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Bill Benner. "Because, according to Hoosier Coach Bob Knight, had Indiana been closer than 26-18 down, he 'probably would have not' sent swingman Randy Wittman to answer the opening call of the second half. And if that had happened, Wittman wouldn't have been able to blast Minnesota's zone defense to smithereens with deadly outside shooting."
Jan. 31, 1981 – Indiana 69, Purdue 61
"After pulling within 62-57 with 4:13 to go, the Boilermakers didn't make another field goal until eight seconds remained," reported The Courier-Journal. "The final score was as close as it was only because IU four times missed the front end of bonus free-throw situations in the last 1:27."
Feb. 5, 1981 – Indiana 89, Wisconsin 64
"Each of Indiana's 13 suited players scored, led by Tony Brown's 18 points in what Knight called 'his best all-around game,'" reported the UPI. "Ray Tolbert had 14 points, Randy Wittman scored 12 and Isiah Thomas had 10 as Indiana upped its conference leading record to 7-2."
Feb. 7, 1981 – Purdue 68, Indiana 66
"Bobby Knight's Hoosiers charged out of the starting gate, hitting 11 of their first 12 shots, to take command of the game, but Gene Keady's Boilermakers kept plugging away, and guard Kevin Stallings calmly sank two free throws with five seconds left to give Purdue the win," wrote the Journal and Courier's Jeff Washburn.
Feb. 12, 1981 – Indiana 86, Northwestern 52
"The Hoosiers stormed over Northwestern for the 20th straight time, 86-52, last night at the Assembly Hall, wrote The Indianapolis News' Dick Mittman. "It moved the Hoosier record to 8-3, but it could be a costly one. (Ted) Kitchel, the 6-foot-8 junior from Galveston, Ind., went crashing to the floor under the I.U. basket when he lost control of the basketball and his body on a fast break. He landed smartly on his left side and jarred his back."
Feb. 14, 1981 – Indiana 59, Wisconsin 52
"Indiana won what may eventually prove to be one of its most important victories of the college basketball season Saturday, slipping Big Ten triumph No. 9 into the win column with a 59-52 decision over lowly Wisconsin," wrote The Indianapolis Star's John Bansch. "The manner in which the Hoosiers captured the oft-times slow-moving contest is not as noteworthy as the fact the Crimson came away on top in a game it just as easily could have lost."
Feb. 19, 1981 – No. 12 Iowa 78, Indiana 65
"When the last of Iowa's 40 free throws had finally been shot, Isiah Thomas was sorry, Bobby Knight was angry and the host Hawkeyes were alone at the top of the Big Ten basketball race," wrote the Palladium-Item's Mike Lopresti. "Just because his Iowa team whipped Indiana 78-65 in a collision of league co-leaders here Thursday, Hawkeye coach Lute Olson doesn't want anybody misled about his team's grasp of the lead."
Feb. 21, 1981 – Indiana 74, Minnesota 63
"Indiana's basketball team successfully practiced the art of brinkmanship Saturday," wrote The Indianapolis Star's John Bansch. "Struggling to remain in the thick of the hectic Big Ten race, the Hoosiers nearly died by their own hands before finally disposing of Minnesota 74-63, in another crucial game."
Feb. 26, 1981 – Indiana 74, Ohio State 58
"Indiana University basketball Coach Bobby Knight called the Hoosiers' 74-58 win over Ohio State Thursday night a 'good team win,' but said players "walked away" too many baskets," reported the UPI. "'In the second half, it was a good team win for us,' Knight said. 'If we get out and go, the fast break is about as effective as anything we do. We probably have run better than the teams we've played.'"
Feb. 28, 1981 – Indiana 98, Michigan 83
"Isiah Thomas was the bearer of glad tidings and great joy for Indiana University basketball fans Saturday afternoon. The 6-1 sophomore all-American guard offered up his first gift in full view of the 17,072 Assembly Hall spectators plus a regional television audience," wrote The Indianapolis Star's John Bansch. "It was a brilliant 39-point performance which lifted the Hoosiers to a 98-83 Big Ten victory over Michigan."
March 5, 1981 – Indiana 69, No. 16 Illinois 66
"Playing a near-perfect final eight minutes of basketball, Indiana climbed back into a first-place tie in the Big Ten with a 69-66 victory over Illinois before an Assembly Hall record 16,663 fans here last night," wrote The Rock Island Argus' Nolan Hurt. "The Hoosiers, who scored the first eight points of the second half to reverse a four-point halftime differential, were devastating down the stretch with their spread out, passing game."
March 7, 1981 – Indiana 69, Michigan State 48
"Indiana Coach Bobby Knight called it 'a helluva thrill' when his 14th-ranked Hoosiers blew out Michigan State, 69-48, Saturday night to win the Big Ten Conference basketball championship," reported the AP. "The victory gave the Hoosiers an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, but Knight was not about to let the moment's ecstasy dim the difficult road ahead."
March 14, 1981 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 99, No. 18 Maryland 64
"This is the one that should have been close . DePaul and St. Joseph's College were supposed to play the laugher. Indiana and Maryland should have left the fans screaming for overtime," wrote The Cincinnati Enquirer's Peter King. "They didn't count on Indiana shooting 65%, or Isiah Thomas playing like a combination of Bob Cousy and Bob Hayes, or the Hoosiers scoring 15 straight points in three minutes. 'If they were playing the 76ers,' said Maryland coach Lefty Driesell, 'they'd have won today, I believe.'"
March 20, 1981 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 87, UAB 72
"The Hoosiers, seeking their fourth national title, expanded a 42-37 halftime lead to a nine-point advantage, 48-39, in the opening three minutes of the second half," reported the UPI. "Indiana, the Big 10 Conference champion, maintained leads of about 10 points until the final three minutes, when Alabama-Birmingham repeatedly fouled Thomas, who made 13 free throws in the game."
March 22, 1981 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 78, Saint Joseph's 46
"St. Joseph's stayed right with Indiana's Hoosiers Sunday — through the warmups, the National Anthem and the announcement of the starting lineups for the Mideast Regional championship game," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Bill Benner. "Then came the turning point. It was the opening tip. Ray Tolbert controlled it for Indiana, and everything thereafter turned pretty ugly for the outmanned Easterners."
March 28, 1981 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 67, No. 4 LSU 49
"'I'd be very surprised if Indiana is not the 1981 national champions,' said LSU Coach Dale Brown, whose Tigers lost for only the fourth time in 35 games. 'This was the first time this year we started to question whether we really could win the game.' Indiana could be launching a record-breaking siege on the national title," wrote Gannett News Service's Mike Lopresti.
March 30, 1981 (NCAA tournament) – Indiana 63, No. 6 North Carolina 50
"Indiana took its first lead of the game at the buzzer ending the first half when Randy Wittman hit a jump shot from the right corner," reported the AP. "That made it 27-26. And after (Bob) Knight talked to his players in the locker room (Isiah) Thomas, the 6-foot-1 Indiana guard, went to work. He scored 8 points, three on layups and two after his own steals, as the Hoosiers outscored North Carolina 12-4 in the opening 4:28 of the second half. Indiana led 39-30 with 15:35 to play and the Hoosiers were on their way to a fourth national title, the second in Knight's 10 years at Indiana."
Individual player awards, honors
- 1981 Final Four Most Outstanding Player
- 1981 consensus First Team All-American
Indiana players drafted into the NBA
1981 NBA Draft
- No. 2 – Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons
- No. 18 – Ray Tolbert, New Jersey Nets
- No. 115 – Glen Grunwald, Boston Celtics
- No. 180 – Steve Risley, Phoenix Suns
1982 NBA Draft
- No. 225 – Landon Turner, Boston Celtics
1983 NBA Draft
- No. 22 – Randy Wittman, Washington Bullets
- No. 40 – Jim Thomas, Indaina Pacers
- No. 41 – Ted Kitchel, Milwaukee Bucks
- No. 78 – Steve Bouchie, Detroit Pistons
- No. 141 – Tony Brown, Indiana Pacers
1986-87 Indiana Hoosiers Quick Facts
Former Indiana coach Bob Knight won his third and final national championship in 1987, six years after his second championship. The Hoosiers' 1987 team started and finished the season ranked No. 3 in the AP poll with a roster with four future NBA players, led by leading scorer Steve Alford.
Here's everything you need to know about the 1986-87 Indiana Hoosiers.
Coach: Bob Knight
Conference: Big Ten
Record: 30-4 (15-3)
Conference Finish: 1st
NCAA Tournament Seed: No. 1 seed
NCAA Tournament Region: Midwest Region
Indiana's roster turnover before the 1986-87 season
In the 1985-86 season, Indiana finished 21-8 (13-5 Big Ten), finishing second in the conference and earning a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, where the Hoosiers were upset by No. 14 seed Cleveland State.
After the season, Indiana lost six players from its roster:
- Andre Harris, 6-7, forward: 8.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg
- Winston Morgan, 6-5, forward: 6.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg
- Stew Robinson, 6-1, guard: 5.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg
- Todd Jadlow, 6-9, forward: 2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg
- Delray Brooks, 6-4, guard: 2.4 ppg, 1.0 rpg
- Courtney White, 6-8, forward: 1.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Indiana added the following players in the fall of 1986:
- Dean Garrett, 6-10, center
- Keith Smart, 6-1, guard
- Tony Freeman, 5-7, guard
- Brian Sloan, 6-8, forwrard
- Dave Minor, 6-6, forward
- Jeff Oliphant, 6-5, guard
Here is Indiana's roster from the 1986-87 season
Indiana's player stats from the 1986-87 season
Scroll to the right to view the complete stats.
Indiana's AP Top 25 poll rankings from 1986-87
The 1987 NCAA tournament bracket
Indiana won its fifth national championship at the 1987 NCAA tournament, beating Syracuse 74-73 in the title game. Keith Smart was named Most Outstanding Player after scoring 21 points against Syracuse, including the game-winning shot. Find the bracket, scores and more below.
The Hoosiers were one of two top-seeded teams to reach the Final Four in addition to UNLV. Syracuse won the East Regional as a No. 2 seed while Providence became the first No. 6 seed in NCAA tournament history to play in a national semifinal.
The Friars weren't the only lower-seeded team with a strong showing. Double-digit seeds won nine games in this tournament. Among them, No. 12 Wyoming reached the Sweet 16 while No. 10 LSU made it to the Elite Eight. It was the Tigers' second straight appearance in the regional final as a double-digit seed (1986).
The 1987 tournament was also the first postseason in college basketball history to feature the 3-point line and the last to allow a home-court advantage.
1987 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Indiana's complete 1986-87 schedule breakdown
Nov. 29, 1986 – Indiana 90, Montana State 55
"Indiana University chalked up a big basketball victory against Montana State, 90-55, Saturday before more than 17,000 Hoosier faithful at Assembly Hall," wrote The South Bend Tribune's Curt Rallo. "But the Hoosiers may have suffered an ever greater loss. Indiana star Rick Calloway, a 6-6 sophomore frontliner, suffered a knee injury in a collision under the basket early in the second half."
Dec. 2, 1986 – Indiana 67, Notre Dame 62
"Steve Alford hit two of his game-high 26 points from the free throw line with 11 seconds left to play to preserve a 67-62 victory for No. 3 Indiana over Notre Dame Tuesday," reported the UPI. "Junior forward Kreigh Smith added two more free throws with just three seconds left to pad the Hoosier victory margin."
Dec. 6, 1986 – Indiana 71, No. 13 Kentucky 66 (OT)
"Steve Alford, Daryl Thomas and Joe Hillman made two free throws apiece in the final 42 seconds Saturday, preserving third-ranked Indiana's 71-66 college basketball victory over No. 13 Kentucky," reported the AP. "The Hoosiers (3-0) never trailed in the second half but saw an eight-point lead cut to one on the shooting of Kentucky freshman Rex Chapman, who finished with a career-high 26 points. The Wildcats closed to one point behind three times in the final minutes, the last time at 65-64 on a basket by Chapman with one minute 33 seconds to go."
Dec. 9, 1986 – Vanderbilt 79, Indiana 75
"Vanderbilt guard Barry Goheen scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half as the Commodores fought back from a nine-point deficit in the second half to upset second-ranked Indiana 79-75 last night," reported the AP. "Vanderbilt (4-1) took the lead for good at 65-64 on a free throw by Frank Kornet with 8:22 remaining and held a 74-68 edge with 3:04 to play before Indiana staged a final comeback attempt."
Dec. 12, 1986 – Indiana 73, UNC-Wilmington 72
"Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. It never meant much in the annual Indiana Classic for the host Hoosiers," wrote The South Bend Tribune's John Fineran. "Until Friday night, that is, when a determined North Carolina-Wilmington squad provided quite a scare for Indiana, which has won the previous 12 Classic titles with an average margin of victory of 26.2 points a game. The Hoosiers can thank their lucky horseshoes that their 73-72 victory that kept Coach Bob Knight from exploding in public."
Dec. 13, 1986 – Indiana 96, East Carolina 68
"Daryl Thomas scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half, sparking No. 2 Indiana past East Carolina 96-68 as the Hoosiers won the Indiana Classic for the 13th consecutive year Saturday," reported the AP. "The Hoosiers, 5-1, broke the game open with two 12-point spurts in the first half. Thomas had 12 points in those streaks."
Dec. 20, 1986 – Indiana 84, Morehead State 62
"The return of Rick Calloway to the Indiana lineup Saturday gave the eighth-ranked Hoosiers the quickness they'd been missing since the season opener," reported the AP. "The Hoosiers defeated Morehead State, 84-62, behind 18 points from Steve Alford and Dean Garrett and the all-around play of Calloway."
Dec. 23, 1986 – Indiana 67, Louisville 58
"Indiana's backcourt of Steve Alford and Keith Smart Tuesday night proved experience can lift a small team over a larger opponent," reported the UPI. "Alford and Smart combined for 30 points, seven assists and four steals to overmatch Louisville's guards and guide the No. 6 Hoosiers to a 67-58 victory."
Dec. 26, 1986 – Indiana 83, Princeton 54
"If anyone was high on Santa's list for being good this year, it was Indiana guard Steve Alford, which leaves the Scrooge as the only possible culprits responsible for the disappearance of his jumpshot just before Christmas," wrote The Republic's Eric Hansen. "The last time Alford had spotted it was Saturday in Bloomington against Morehead State. It definitely was missing in a 67-58 victory Tuesday against Louisville when Alford, a career 56 percent shooter, was four of 17 from the field. But Friday at Indianapolis' Market Square Arena, after his first shot was tipped for an airball, Alford's jumpshot returned and wouldn't go away as the senior sharpshooter canned eight three-pointers and scored 26 points to help lead IU to an 83-54 win over Princeton."
Dec. 27, 1986 – Indiana 82, Illinois State 58
"Steve Alford proved he could hurt opposing teams by doing things other than scoring," wrote The Star Press' Dan Rooney. "He did some scoring, too. Before a sellout crowd of 16,585 Saturday night in Market Square Arena, Alford used various weapons to help Indiana to a 82-58 victory over Illinois State and the Hoosier Classic championship. Alford was named the tournament's most valuable player for the second time after scoring 21 points, getting a career-high seven assists and grabbing five rebounds."
Jan. 4, 1987 – Indiana 92, Ohio State 80
"Keith Smart scored 31 points, including 20 in the first half, but it was All-American Steve Alford who provided the Hoosiers with the spark they needed down the stretch," reported the AP. "He scored 10 of his team's final 14 points, scoring 18 points in the second half to finish with 22. Alford's heroics helped Indiana overcome a 75-74 Ohio State advantage with four minutes left."
Jan. 8, 1987 – Indiana 79, Michigan State 60
"Misery had some company in Michigan State's Jenison Field House Thursday night. At least for a half," wrote The South Ben Tribune's Bill Bilinski. "Then the Spartans were on their own. While Indiana's Hoosiers were digging themselves into a first-half hole, the Spartans were shoveling right along next to them. Indiana had the tools to recover and disposed of struggling MSU, 79-60."
Jan. 12, 1987 – Indiana 85, Michigan 84
"Ho-hum, just another day at the office for Steve Alford and fourth-ranked Indiana. For pure excitement, college basketball games don't come any better than Monday night's Big Ten thriller in frenzies Crisler Arena where Alford's 10-foot jumper in the lane with one second remaining gave the Hoosiers an 85-84 victory," wrote The South Bend Tribune's John Fineran.
Jan. 15, 1987 – Indiana 103, Wisconsin 65
"Steve Alford missed his only shoot inside the 3-point stripe, but he made seven of eight beyond that mark," reported the UPI. "The Indiana senior guard got all of his 21 points from long range Thursday night to guide the No. 4 Hoosiers by Wisconsin 103-65 in Big Ten action. It was Indiana's 14th straight victory over the Badgers."
Jan. 17, 1987 – Indiana 95, Northwestern 43
"(Tony) Freeman's one-man passing clinic salvaged a ho-hum affair as the fourth-ranked Hoosiers demolished an outmanned Northwestern squad, 95-43, for their 11 consecutive victory," reported The Republic's Mark Land. "With the win, IU (5-0, 14-1 overall) remains among the Big Ten unbeaten ranks, along with Purdue and Iowa, who are headed for a showdown Monday in West Lafayette."
Jan. 22, 1987 – No. 1 Iowa 101, Indiana 88
"Iowa's off-guard duo of Kevin Gamble and Jeff Moe scored 17 points each and B.J. Armstrong and Roy Marble added 16 each to improve the Hawkeyes to 6-0 in the Big Ten and send their nation-leading winning streak to 18 straight," reported the UPI.
Jan. 24, 1987 – Indiana 77, Minnesota 53
"A crowd of 14,453 fans at Williams Arena watched the Hoosiers establish early dominance over the youthful Gophers and coast to the win, with Rick Calloway and Dean Garrett adding 17 and 14 points for Indiana, respectively," reported the UPI. "Calloway finished the game perfect on eight shots from the floor."
Jan. 28, 1987 – Indiana 69, No. 12 Illinois 66
"It was one of those games that cold have gone either way, where one big play here or there could mean the difference between victory and defeat," wrote The Republic's Mark Land. "It was also one of those contests that both teams almost had to win. Luckily for Indiana, junior Dean Garrett was both here and there when it counted most. The 6-10 junior college transfer left a lasting impression on Illinois and their Big Ten title hopes."
Jan. 31, 1987 – Indiana 88, No. 4 Purdue 77
"(Steve) Alford was somewhere between his career and series numbers Saturday, hitting eight of 18 shots, but there was no mistaking his affect on the outcome," wrote The Republic's Brian Meyer. "It was Alford who drilled a three-pointer with the game just seven seconds old, and Alford who canned another with 17:14 left to play to give the Hoosiers the lead for good at 45-43."
Feb. 4, 1987 – Indiana 84, Michigan State 80
"We won this because Steve Alford plays for us," Bob Knight said, according to the AP. "Without Alford, Michigan State wins the ball game going away."
Feb. 8, 1987 – Indiana 83, Michigan 67
"Sunday, the reasons for the Hoosiers' success were as obvious as they were numerous. Indiana broke open a close contest in the final 10 minutes of the first half and was never seriously challenged after that in picking up its fifth consecutive victory," wrote The Republic's Mark Land. "The second-ranked Hoosiers are now 19-2 overall and own a 19-game home winning streak, while Michigan fell to 6-5 in the Big Ten."
Feb. 11, 1987 – Indiana 77, Northwestern 75
"Daryl Thomas scored a career-high 32 points, including 14 of 16 from the free throw line, to lead Indiana to its sixth straight win," reported the UPI. "But it wasn't pretty. 'People laughed at me when I said this wasn't a good basketball team. I know more about basketball than you all will know and I said we aren't a good team," (Bob) Knight said in a terse post-game news conference."
Feb. 16, 1987 – Indiana 86, Wisconsin 85 (3OT)
"The Indiana Hoosiers are ranked second in the country, but in the last week they've barely beaten teams with the worst records in the Big Ten," reported the AP. "On Thursday, the Hoosiers escaped with a two-point victory against cellar-dwelling Northwestern. Monday night, Indiana kept Wisconsin tied for last by winning 86-85. And it took the Hoosiers three overtime periods to win. Dean Garrett, who led all scorers with 21 points, hit the winning shot for Indiana with four seconds left."
Feb. 19, 1987 – Indiana 72, Minnesota 70
"After tiptoeing away with narrow, Big Ten road victories at cellar-sharing Northwestern and Wisconsin, the first-place Hoosiers returned home and forgot they were there against an inspired eighth-place Minnesota team," wrote The South Bend Tribune's John Fineran. "But thanks to Steve Eyl's block of a Kim Zurcher shot with 13 seconds left and Dean Garrett's key offensive rebound and two free throws with three seconds remaining, the Houdini Hoosiers performed another great escape, 72-70."
Feb. 21, 1987 – Indiana 84, No. 7 Iowa 75
"A minute into the game, (Steve) Alford got the ball, wheeled and was cut off by intimidating 6-6, 215-pound Kevin Gamble," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Phil Richards. "Alford dropped his shoulder and went right at him. The tone had been set. Indiana never quite charging. Iowa couldn't get off its heels."
Feb. 26, 1987 – No. 6 Purdue 75, Indiana 64
"Indiana's hopes of clinching at least a share of the Big Ten Conference basketball championship ended at the Purdue foul line," reported the AP. "'We were fortunate to win,' said Purdue guard Troy Lewis after the sixth-ranked Boilermakers' 75-64 victory Thursday night," reported the AP.
March 1, 1987 – No. 14 Illinois 69, Indiana 67
"Ken Norman hadn't shed any new light on the situation. Which isn't to say the Illinois senior had nothing to say. His on-court performance Sunday afternoon against Indiana generated enough words to keep a record Assembly Hall crowd talking afterword," wrote The Times' John Humenik. "He scored a game-high 24 points and joined teammate Doug Altenberger in turning away the Hoosiers 69-67 before 16,793 onlookers and a national television audience."
March 7, 1987 – Indiana 90, Ohio State 81
"After losses to Purdue and Illinois knocked Indiana out of first place in the Big Ten Conference, Saturday's season-ending victory over Ohio State was one 'we desperately needed' going into the NCAA tournament, guard Steve Alford said," reported the AP. "Alford, Indiana's career scoring leader, finished with 22 points, rallying the No. 4 Hoosiers to a 90-81 victory over the Buckeyes."
March 12, 1987 (NCAA tournament) – No. 1 seed Indiana 92, No. 16 seed Fairfield 58
"Indiana led 46-21 at the half and extended its cushion to as many as 37 points in the second half, despite wholesale substitutions by Indiana coach Bob Knight," wrote The Daily Journal's Mark Land. "The Hoosiers' 34-point victory was their second largest in NCAA tournament play, behind only a 99-64 first-round pasting handed to Maryland by Indiana's 1981 national championship team."
March 14, 1987 (NCAA tournament) – No. 1 seed Indiana 107, No. 8 seed Auburn 90
"(Steve) Alford wound up with 31 points, and backcourt partner Keith Smart added 20 points and 15 assists as third-ranked Indiana rallied to beat Auburn 107-90 Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional," reported the AP. "The Hoosier comeback began after (Bob) Knight's sermon during a timeout. 'After that,' Alford said, 'it wasn't anything the players did but the communication from the coaches that got us back in the game.'"
March 20, 1987 (NCAA tournament) – No. 1 seed Indiana 88, No. 5 seed Duke 82
"With the exception of an 8-point lead midway through the first half, Duke never really gave the Hoosiers any serious problems," wrote The Reporter-Times' Scott Cunningham. "With 10:07 left in the first half, Duke's John Smith canned a six-foot hook shot that put the Blue Devils up 29-21. After a time out, the Hoosiers, behind 12 points from Rick Calloway, outscored Duke 28 to 10 to take a 10-point lead, 49-39, at the half."
March 22, 1987 (NCAA tournament) – No. 1 seed Indiana 77, No. 10 seed LSU 76
"One more time Sunday afternoon Indiana had to reach down deep for something extra. The Hoosiers reached all the way to New Orleans," wrote The Indianapolis Star's Phil Richards. "Trailing, 75-66, with less than five minutes to play, I.U. took a deep breath and blew Louisiana State away. The Hoosiers finished with an 11-1 run. It carried them past LSU, 77-76, to the NCAA Midwest Regional championship and into the Final Four."
March 28, 1987 (NCAA tournament) – No. 1 seed Indiana 97, No. 1 seed UNLV 93
"In the end it was (Steve) Alford, slipping into the lane to collect a missed (Freddie) Banks free throw, drawing a foul and calmly stroking a pair of free throws with 23 seconds to play. That made it 94-88," reported The Courier-Journal. "And that put the Hoosiers out of danger and into position to chase history. A victory against Syracuse would give Knight his third championship, a total exceeded only by the four Adolph Rupp won at Kentucky and the 10 John Wooden collected at UCLA."
March 30, 1987 (NCAA tournament) – No. 1 seed Indiana 74, No. 2 seed Syracuse 73
"Steve Alford, the coach's son from Indiana, got what he had wanted all his life," reported the AP. "Alford was a star for his father-coach at New Castle, Ind., for four years, winning the state's coveted 'Mr. Basketball' award his senior year. But he didn't win the state championship. Monday night, wearing a white jersey with 'Indiana' stitched across his chest, Alford made up for that helping the Hoosiers win the NCAA championship. Alford hit 7-of-10 three-point shots in the championship game while scoring 23 points, and Indiana needed every one to defeat Syracuse, 74-73. Keith Smart hit the game-winning basket for Indiana on a play that had been designed for Alford. Had Alford taken the shot, and made it, he would have finished his college career as the highest scorer in Big Ten history."
Individual player awards, honors
- 1987 consensus First Team All-American
- 1987 First Team All-Big Ten
- 1987 Big Ten MVP
- 1987 Final Four Most Outstanding Player
Indiana players drafted into the NBA
1987 NBA Draft
- No. 26 – Steve Alford, Dallas Mavericks
- No. 120 Daryl Thomas, Sacramento Kings
1988 NBA Draft
- No. 38 – Dean Garrett, Phoenix Suns
- No. 41 – Keith Smart, Golden State Warriors