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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Villanova (25-10; coached by Rollie Massimino/12th of 19 seasons with Wildcats; tied for third place in Big East with a 9-7 record).
NIT Champion--UCLA (21-12; coached by Walt Hazzard/first of four seasons with Bruins; finished in a three-way tie for third place in Pacific-10 with a 12-6 record).
New Rules--The coaching box is introduced, whereby a coach and all bench personnel must remain in the 28-foot-long coaching box unless seeking information from the scorer's table. . . . The NCAA Tournament bracket was expanded to include 64 teams, eliminating first-round byes.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Johnny Dawkins, G, Jr., Duke (18.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5 apg, 1.6 spg); Patrick Ewing, C, Sr., Georgetown (14.6 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 3.6 bpg, 62.5 FG%); Keith Lee, C, Sr., Memphis State (19.7 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.3 bpg); Xavier McDaniel, F, Sr., Wichita State (27.2 ppg, 14.8 rpg, 55.9 FG%); Chris Mullin, G-F, Sr., St. John's (19.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.3 apg, 2.1 spg, 52.1 FG%, 82.4 FT%); Wayman Tisdale, C-F, Jr., Oklahoma (25.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 57.8 FG%).
National Players of the Year--Ewing (AP/NABC/Naismith) and Mullin (UPI/USBWA/Wooden).
National Coaches of the Year--St. John's Lou Carnesecca (31-4/UPI, USBWA); Michigan's Bill Frieder (26-4/AP), and Georgetown's John Thompson (35-3/NABC).
Chicago product Ben Wilson, named the top player at the Nike/AFBE Camp in Princeton, N.J., entered his senior season of high school generally regarded as the premier recruit in the nation because of his Magic Johnson-like skills. Just a few days prior to the first game of his senior campaign, Wilson was slain by a gunshot within a block of Simeon High's campus after bumping into two gang members while walking down the street on his school lunch break. His son, Brandon, averaged 1.9 ppg and 1.2 rpg for Maryland-Eastern Shore as a freshman in 2003-04.
There is more to the game than scoring. Georgetown center Patrick Ewing compiled the lowest scoring average ever for a wire-service national player of the year (14.6 ppg). It was the lowest mark for an NCAA consensus first-team All-America since Cal center Darrall Imhoff averaged 13.7 ppg in 1959-60. Ewing's forte was intimidation near the basket.
Guard Mark Price became the first Georgia Tech player since 1961 to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American. . . . Georgia Tech, after finishing in the ACC's second division in its first five seasons in the league, finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the first time since 1960. The Yellow Jackets ended a 20-game losing streak in their series with North Carolina en route to earning a three-way share of the league's regular-season title with a 9-5 conference record. No ACC team had previously finished first with more than three defeats. All eight ACC members participated in the two postseason tourneys--five in the NCAA and three in the NIT--but none reached the national semifinals of either event. . . . North Carolina finished in first or second place in the ACC standings for the 19th consecutive year. . . . North Carolina State, coached by Jim Valvano, finished in a tie for first place in the ACC one year after placing seventh. . . . Maryland (25-12), coached by Lefty Driesell, had more than half of its games decided by fewer than six points (12-7 mark in those close contests). His son, Chuck, was a backup guard who went on to coach The Citadel.
Wichita State's Xavier McDaniel (27.2 ppg), Ball State's Dan Palombizio (26.3), South Alabama's Terry Catledge (25.6), Texas-San Antonio's Derrick Gervin (25.6), Nebraska's Dave Hoppen (23.5), Samford's Craig Beard (23.2) and Tennessee-Chattanooga's Gerald Wilkins (21) set school Division I records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Gervin, the younger brother of pro legend George Gervin, scored 51 points against Baylor.
Memphis State's Keith Lee averaged 19.7 points per game to finish his four-year career with an 18.8 average. His lowest average was 18.3 as a freshman. Lee is the only major-college player to score more than 2,000 points over four seasons and have his highest and lowest average separated by fewer than two points per game. Lee also led the Metro Conference in rebounding all four campaigns to become the third player to pace a league in that category four consecutive campaigns since the introduction of freshman eligibility.
Georgetown (35-3/coached by John Thompson), St. John's (31-4/Lou Carnesecca) and Louisiana Tech (29-3/Andy Russo) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. VCU made its lone appearance in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll.
This was the first season in 27 years that a New York high school didn't supply an out-of-state All-American. . . . Navy center David Robinson began to generate national acclaim by averaging 23.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per game. Robinson averaged a modest 7.6 points and four rebounds per game the previous season as a freshman when he was scoreless in his debut.
Georgetown had five different players lead the team in scoring in its last five games entering the NCAA playoffs. . . . Syracuse snapped Kentucky's streak of eight consecutive seasons leading the nation in attendance. . . . Fordham fell in the opening round of the NIT for the fifth consecutive year under coach Tom Penders. . . . Loyola of Chicago returned to the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the first time since 1966. . . . Cleveland State, coached by Kevin Mackey, captured the Mid-Continent Conference championship one year after finishing in seventh place. . . . Guard Jimmy Brown, the leading scorer with 18.2 points per game for Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion North Carolina A&T, is the son of NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown. . . . Princeton lost its first six games against major-college competition to incur its first losing record (11-15) in 32 seasons and St. Bonaventure lost nine of 11 games in a mid-season swoon to sustain its first losing mark (14-15) in 29 years. It was Princeton's only losing record in a 49-year span through 2004-05. . . . Army, coached by Les Wothke, posted its only winning record (16-13) since the 1978-79 campaign. . . . Rutgers guard Brian Ellerbe, who led the Atlantic 10 Conference in assists with 6.2 per game, went on to coach Loyola (Md.) and Michigan. . . . Mark Schmidt, who played 11 minutes for Boston College in its Midwest Regional second-round victory over Mike Krzyzewski-coached Duke, eventually coached Robert Morris and St. Bonaventure.
Players setting school single-game scoring records included Loyola of Chicago's Alfredrick Hughes (47 points vs. Detroit), Miami of Ohio's Ron Harper (45 vs. Ball State in Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals) and George Mason's Carlos Yates (42 vs. Navy). A Loyola player had won the first six Midwestern City Conference scoring titles after Hughes captured his third in a row. . . . Holy Cross' Jim McCaffrey established a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season single-game standard with 46 points against Iona. He also contributed 15 assists for the Crusaders, a winner in just four of its previous 18 contests. McCaffrey collected 25 points and 10 assists in the first half against the Gaels, who entered the game with a 17-1 record.
Michigan, which was a total of 16 games under .500 in Big Ten competition over the previous six seasons, captured the conference championship with a 16-2 league mark. The Wolverines won a school record 17 consecutive games before being eliminated in the NCAA Tournament by Villanova. . . . Indiana coach Bob Knight tossed a chair across the court during a home game against Purdue while a Boilermaker player was attempting a technical foul shot. Knight was ejected and suspended for one contest by Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke. The Hoosiers posted their only losing conference record (7-11) in Knight's first 18 seasons at their helm through 1988-89. . . . Michigan State guard Sam Vincent (23.7 ppg) followed in his brother Jay's footsteps by leading the Big Ten in scoring. Jay, a forward, paced the league in 1979-80 (22.1) and 1980-81 (24.1). . . . Big Ten basement dweller Northwestern whipped Iowa by 20 points, posting its lone victory over the Hawkeyes in a 24-game stretch of their series from 1978 to 1990. Iowa had dropped its previous three league assignments by a total of seven points as the Hawkeyes won only six of 23 games decided by fewer than five points during coach George Raveling's three-year tenure. . . . Cincinnati, which compiled a 3-25 record the previous season, improved by 12 1/2 games to 17-14 under coach Tony Yates. . . . Victories over independent powers Notre Dame and Marquette helped Creighton win 20 of its first 26 contests. But the Bluejays' bid to earn an at-large berth in the NCAA's expanded 64-team field unraveled when they lost their last six outings, including an embarrassing 49-point setback against Missouri Valley Conference cellar dweller Drake.
LSU was in sixth place in the SEC with a 7-5 mark before winning its last six league games to capture the conference crown. The Tigers, coached by Dale Brown, were believed to be the first team ever to win the SEC title with no seniors on its roster. . . . Four Tulane starters, including eventual pro standout John "Hot Rod" Williams, and a reserve were accused of shaving points in two games. Two of the five players, Clyde Eads and Jon Johnson, were granted immunity and testified that the others had also shaved points in exchange for cash and cocaine. Williams was acquitted and nobody served jail time, but university president Eamon Kelly shut down the basketball program for four years. . . . A chartered plane carrying East Tennessee State's team crash landed in Jasper, Ala., after one of its twin engines caught fire. Nine members of the team were treated and released from a nearby medical center, but none of the 33 passengers was injured seriously. The team had been in Birmingham for a game against UAB and was on its way to Oxford, Miss., to meet Mississippi. . . . UAB, coached by Gene Bartow, had half of its 34 games decided by fewer than six points. . . . Jackie Walker, the second-leading scorer and rebounder for Jackson State for the second straight season, became the first selection in second round of 1986 NFL draft as a linebacker (28th pick overall). . . . Bill Self, who led Oklahoma State in assists for the second straight year, went on to coach Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas.
Marshall's Bruce Morris hit a basket from 89 feet, 10 inches away as the first-half buzzer sounded against visiting Appalachian State on February 7, 1985. The shot made its way into the Guiness Book of World Records as the longest shot ever recorded in a college game. . . . Oklahoma City competed in its final season at the major-college level. . . . Center Jon Koncak became SMU's only All-American since 1960. . . . TCU's Dennis Nutt, an All-SWC first-team selection who finished fourth in the nation in free-throw shooting (91.7%), eventually coached Southwest Texas State. . . . Reggie Minton, coaching his first of 16 seasons for Air Force after one campaign with Dartmouth, had his final six games decided by fewer than five points. Minton finished his career in 1999-2000 with perhaps the worst mark of any DI coach with at least 100 decisions in games decided by fewer than six points (42-72, .368).
Washington forward Detlef Schrempf became Washington's only All-American since 1962. . . . Southern California, coached by Stan Morrison, tied for first place in the Pacific-10 Conference after finishing in eighth the previous year. . . . Nevada-Reno capped off a four-year span under coach Sonny Allen where the Wolfpack won 72.7% of its games decided by fewer than six points (32-12 mark in those close contests). . . . Portland, coached by Jack Avina, had half of its games decided by fewer than six points for the second straight season.
There were 26 new head coaches at the Division I level, the only year there has been fewer than 34 changes in a season since the number of major universities increased to at least 210 in 1971-72. The turnover included Butch van Breda Kolff, who returned to Lafayette 30 years after first coaching at the school from 1951-52 through 1954-55. One of the newcomers was Walt Hazzard, the fifth UCLA coach in 10 years since John Wooden retired. . . . Louisville coach Denny Crum's NCAA record for consecutive 20-win seasons from the start of a coaching career ended at 13. The Cardinals' 17-game winning streak in their series with Cincinnati came to an end. . . . Kentucky's Joe B. Hall retired after a 19-year coaching career with a 373-156 record. . . . Washington's Marv Harshman, who previously coached at Pacific Lutheran and Washington State, retired after a 40-year coaching career with a 642-448 record.
1985 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Villanova became the worst seed (#8 in the Southeast Regional) to win a national championship. The Wildcats shot a championship game-record 78.6 percent from the floor in posting a 66-64 victory against Georgetown, the nation's top-ranked team. The Hoyas' two regular-season defeats were by a total of just three points (against St. John's and Syracuse). Villanova also defeated three other teams with No. 1 or No. 2 seeds (Michigan, North Carolina and Memphis State). The narrow victory over the Hoyas typified Rollie Massimino's NCAA playoff coaching at Villanova as he won 11 of 12 NCAA Tournament games decided by fewer than five points. "It was frustrating," Georgetown guard Horace Broadnax said. "We were right in their faces (on defense) and they kept hitting and hitting." Two years later, it was frustrating and embarrassing for Villanova and Massimino when guard Gary McLain told Sports Illustrated he played the semifinal game against Memphis State while high on cocaine and was also high when the team met President Reagan at the White House. "Play to win," Massimino said. "You can't play tentatively; you can't play scared."
Outcome for Defending Champion: Georgetown sustained its two Big East defeats by a total of three points in back-to-back games against St. John's and Syracuse. The Hoyas started the season with two contests in Hawaii against non-Division I schools, which they did nine times in a 10-year span from 1982-83 through 1991-92.
Star Gazing: Chris Mullin, after averaging 25.5 points in St. John's first four playoff games, became the only national player of the year (UPI, USBWA and Wooden Award) to score less than 10 points when his school was eliminated in a Final Four contest. The Redmen were routed by Georgetown (77-59) in the national semifinals when Mullin was limited to eight points in 39 minutes. . . . Southeast Regional #1 seed Michigan had a 12-point lead with less than two minutes remaining trimmed to two before defeating Fairleigh Dickinson, 59-55, in the opening round. FDU, coached by Tom Green, posted a 10-3 mark in games decided by fewer than five points until bowing to the Wolverines. . . . Louisiana Tech All-American Karl Malone managed only nine points in the opening round against Pittsburgh but Tech still pounded the Panthers, 78-54. . . . UAB backup guard Murry Bartow, playing in his third NCAA Tournament under his father (Gene), went on to his coach his alma mater in the playoffs for the first time in 1999.
Biggest Upset: LSU was one of the biggest disappointments in NCAA history. The Tigers, seeded fourth in the Southeast Regional, boasted a roster including eventual NBA first-round draft picks John Williams and Jerry Reynolds and six other players who became NBA draft choices. But they became the only top four seed to lose a opening-round game by more than 20 points when they were trounced by No. 13 seed Navy, 78-55, when David Robinson collected 18 points and a tourney-high 18 rebounds for the Midshipmen. It was the fourth straight year for a SEC school to be eliminated by a double-digit seeded opponent.
One and Only: Massimino became the only individual to be more than 10 games below .500 in his initial campaign as a major-college head coach and subsequently guide a team to a national championship. . . . This is the only year that two No. 1 seeds from the same conference (Georgetown and St. John's in the Big East) went on to reach the Final Four. . . . St. John's Walter Berry is the only player to participate in the NCAA national semifinals after being named NJCAA Tournament MVP.
Celebrity Status: Pitt's Darryl Shepherd, who posted game highs of 18 points and five steals in the Panthers' opening-round loss against Louisiana Tech, was an accomplished keyboard player who produced two No. 1 hits on the R&B charts.
Numbers Game: Villanova would have lost the final if the Wildcats shot 71.4 percent from the floor (20 of 28). . . . St. John's became the only school to defeat a team three times in a season that the opponent captured the NCAA title. The Redmen won their three games against Villanova by a total of 22 points. . . . Georgetown was the first defending NCAA Tournament champion in 15 years to return to the Final Four the next season. . . . Oklahoma's Wayman Tisdale, who averaged 25.6 points per game in his three-year career, was limited to 11 in a 63-61 setback against Memphis State in the Midwest Regional final. . . . Michigan State's Sam Vincent (32 points vs. Alabama-Birmingham) and Old Dominion's Mark Davis (32 vs. SMU) tied for the highest output in a playoff game. . . . Lehigh, coached by Tom Schneider, made its first NCAA Tournament appearance. . . . Texas-El Paso tallied its first NCAA playoff victory in 18 years. . . . The Big East Conference might have had all of the Final Four representatives if Boston College's Roger McCready didn't dribble the ball off his foot late in a 59-57 loss to Memphis State in the Midwest Regional semifinals. . . . Villanova was the first title team to have a coach with a son on his roster, although guard R.C. Massimino played sparingly. . . . Three different players named Henderson led their teams in scoring in the opening round--Marshall's Skip Henderson (19 points in 81-65 loss to VCU), Georgia's Cedric Henderson (20 in 67-59 win over Wichita State) and Duke's David Henderson (22 in 75-62 win over Pepperdine). . . . Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who went on to become the winningest coach in NCAA playoff history, was in his 10th season as a Division I bench boss when he posted his first tourney victory. . . . Georgia Tech's Bobby Cremins also notched his first NCAA playoff victory in his 10th campaign.
What Might Have Been: Center Patrick Ewing, after averaging a modest 13.2 points per game in six Final Four contests with Georgetown, never averaged fewer than 20 points per game in his first 13 years with the New York Knicks. If only Ewing averaged 14 points per Final Four game by scoring two more points in the 1982 championship game (63-62 defeat against North Carolina) and three more in the 1985 final (66-64 defeat against Villanova), the Hoyas could have captured three national titles in his college career rather than one. They also missed power forward Michael Graham, who dropped out of school. . . . ACC champion Georgia Tech lost to top-ranked Georgetown, 60-54, in the East Regional final. Sophomore Craig Neal, who later became Georgia Tech's all-time assists leader, missed most of the season because of torn wrist ligaments and could have given the Yellow Jackets some depth. . . . Alabama (23-10/without Ennis Whatley), Auburn (22-12/Charles Barkley), Michigan (26-4/Tim McCormick and Eric Turner) and North Carolina (27-9/Michael Jordan) might have advanced farther in the playoffs if standout players had exercised their remaining eligibility instead of defecting to the NBA. . . . UCLA (21-12) probably would have participated in the NCAA Tournament instead of the NIT if center Stuart Gray didn't leave school early for the NBA. Ditto Louisville (19-18) if guard Milt Wagner didn't miss the majority of the season because of an injury.
Putting Things in Perspective: St. John's (31-4) defeated Villanova three times by a total of 22 points before the Redmen lost against Georgetown in the national semifinals. Georgetown (35-3) defeated the Wildcats twice by a total of nine points before losing to Villanova in the national final. Villanova lost four of five Big East Conference games in one span, including three in a row, before dropping its regular-season finale by a whopping 23 points at Pittsburgh. Excluding three setbacks to Georgetown, St. John's only other defeat was by three points to Niagara in Buffalo.
NCAA Champion Defeats: At Georgia (7-point margin), at St. John's (5), Georgetown (2), at Maryland (3), at Syracuse (13), St. John's (2), at Georgetown (7), at Boston College (1), at Pittsburgh (23), and Big East Tournament vs. St. John's (15). . . . The highest-scoring game by an individual opponent against Villanova was 30 points by Maryland's Len Bias.
Scoring Leader: Chris Mullin, St. John's (110 points, 22 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Rolando Lamb, Virginia Commonwealth (55 points, 27.5 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Ed Pinckney, Villanova (48 rebounds, 8 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Karl Malone, Louisiana Tech (40 rebounds, 13.3 rpg).
Patrick Ewing, C, Sr., Georgetown (30 points, 10 rebounds in final two games)
Harold Jensen, G, Soph., Villanova (20 points)
Dwayne McClain, F-G, Sr., Villanova (36 points)
Gary McLain, G, Sr., Villanova (17 points)
*Ed Pinckney, C, Sr., Villanova (28 points, 15 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: Villanova 51 (Pinckney team-high 20 points), Dayton 49 (Goodwin 16)
Second Round: Villanova 59 (McClain 20), Michigan 55 (Tarpley 14)
Regional Semifinal: Villanova 46 (Pinckney 16), Maryland 43 (Branch 21)
Regional Final: Villanova 56 (Pressley 15), North Carolina 44 (Daugherty 17)
National Semifinal: Villanova 52 (McClain 19), Memphis State 45 (Turner 11)
Championship Game: Villanova 66 (McClain 17), Georgetown 64 (Wingate 16)