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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Louisville (32-7; coached by Denny Crum/15th of 30 seasons with Cardinals; won Metro title by one game over Memphis State with a 10-2 record).
NIT Champion--Ohio State (19-14; coached by Eldon Miller/10th of 10 seasons with Buckeyes; finished in seventh place in Big Ten with an 8-10 record).
New Conference--Big South.
New Rules--The 45-second clock is introduced with the team in control of the ball having to shoot for a goal within 45 seconds after it attains team control. . . . If a shooter is fouled intentionally and the shot is missed, the penalty will be two shots and possession of the ball out of bounds to the team that was fouled. . . . The head coach may stand throughout the game, while all other bench personnel must remain seated. . . . NCAA Tournament regional competition played at neutral sites. If an institution selected to host this level of competition is a participant in the tourney, it will be bracketed in another regional.
NCAA Probation--Baylor, Idaho State, Southern Illinois.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Steve Alford, G, Jr., Indiana (22.5 ppg, 2.8 apg, 1.8 spg, 55.6 FG%, 87.1 FT%); Walter Berry, F, Jr., St. John's (23 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 59.8 FG%); Len Bias, F, Sr., Maryland (23.2 ppg, 7 rpg, 54.4 FG%, 86.4 FT%); Johnny Dawkins, G, Sr., Duke (20.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 54.9 FG%, 81.2 FT%); Kenny Walker, F, Sr., Kentucky (20 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 58.2 FG%).
National Players of the Year--Berry (AP/UPI/NABC/USBWA/Wooden) and Dawkins (Naismith).
National Coaches of the Year--Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (37-3/UPI); Kentucky's Eddie Sutton (32-4/AP, NABC), and Bradley's Dick Versace (32-3/USBWA).
It was one of those moments when time seemed to stand still. The fallout stemming from All-American forward Len Bias' cocaine-induced death just four days after the NBA draft included the ouster of long-time Maryland coach Lefty Driesell. Bias had become the only individual named ACC player of the year although his team had a losing league record (6-8 mark to finish in sixth place). But Bias' lack of leadership probably was reflected when the Terrapins dropped their first six ACC assignments.
Another school enduring significant off-the-court transgressions was Minnesota, which was shattered by the arrests of three players on rape charges and the subsequent resignation of coach Jim Dutcher.
Basketball fans in Los Angeles were restless. UCLA fans should have realized something was wrong when Cal ended its 52-game losing streak to the Bruins with a 75-67 success. UCLA's string of 32 consecutive winning records in conference competition ended when the Bruins finished fourth in the Pacific-10 with a 9-9 mark. It was their only non-winning league record the last 47 years of the 20th Century. Then, they became the only defending NIT champion to lose an NIT first-round game at home (80-74 to UC Irvine) since the NIT started playing early-round games away from Madison Square Garden. Meanwhile, Southern California showed promise with standout freshmen Tom Lewis, Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble despite finishing in last place after tying for the Pac-10 title the previous season. All three of the wunderkinds wound up transferring and finished their careers with more than 2,000 points--Lewis (Pepperdine), Gathers (Loyola Marymount) and Kimble (Loyola Marymount).
Navy's David Robinson blocked 14 shots in a game against North Carolina-Wilmington (see accompanying box score) en route to finishing the season with an NCAA record 207 rejections. Robinson, the first Midshipmen All-American in 52 years, also grabbed a school-record 25 rebounds in a game against Fairfield. . . . Alcorn State compiled a modest 16-13 record but finished atop the SWAC standings for the seventh time in eight seasons. . . . Senior center Don Hill was named MEAC player of the year although Bethune-Cookman finished in seventh place with a 4-10 league record. . . . Junior forward Gay Elmore was named Southern Conference player of the year although VMI finished in a tie for last place with a 5-11 league mark. . . . Chicago State's Darron Brittman became the only player ever to average as many as five steals per game in a single season.
New Mexico hit 35 of 43 field-goal attempts (81.4 percent) against Oregon State. It was the second-best team shooting from the floor in a single game in NCAA history. . . . Michigan State led the country in both field-goal shooting (56.1 percent) and free-throw shooting (79.9). When Kansas star Danny Manning fouled out with 2:21 remaining in regulation, the Spartans appeared bound to defeat the Jayhawks in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Kansas City. But the game clock stuck at 2:21 for an estimated 15 seconds, allowing KU to overcome a six-point deficit in the last minute before the Jayhawks won in overtime, 96-86.
St. John's Mark Jackson set a Big East Conference single-season record by averaging 9.4 assists per game. The Redmen won 19 consecutive games on their way to 31 victories for the second straight year. They won on the road against the previous season's NCAA finalists (Georgetown and Villanova) in an eight-day span in mid-February en route to finishing among the top three in a final UPI poll for the third year in a row. . . . New Providence coach Rick Pitino had five of his first 11 Big East Conference contests decided by one point. . . . Princeton became the only school to lead the nation in scoring defense (55 points per game) despite compiling a non-winning record (13-13). Meanwhile, U.S. International became the only school to lead the country in scoring offense (90.8 ppg) while posting a losing record (8-20).
Penn and Princeton combined to win the previous 17 Ivy League championships before Brown won its only Ivy title after finishing in seventh place the previous year. . . . St. Louis, coached by Rich Grawer, compiled an 18-12 record to end a streak of 12 consecutive losing seasons. . . . Bradley, which posted a 17-13 mark the previous campaign, improved by 12 1/2 games to 32-3 under coach Dick Versace. The Braves, making their first Top 20 appearance in a final wire-service poll since 1968, were the first Missouri Valley Conference team in 38 years to go undefeated in league competition. Jim Les, finishing among the top 11 nationally in assists for the third straight season with Bradley, went on to become coach of his alma mater. . . . Drake, 10-6 in the MVC, posted its last winning league record in the 20th Century. . . . Toledo's streak of 26 consecutive winning seasons ended when the Rockets registered a 12-17 mark.
Miami (Fla.) and San Francisco resurrected their basketball programs after prolonged absences. . . . Loyola Marymount's streak of non-winning seasons ended at 10 in a row when the Lions compiled a 19-11 record in Paul Westhead's first year as their coach. LMU guard Keith Smith became the only player to lead a major conference (WCAC) in scoring average and assists in back-to-back seasons since assists became an official NCAA statistic in 1983-84. . . . Wyoming, coached by Jim Brandenburg, tied for the WAC regular-season title just one year after finishing in seventh place. . . . Oregon lost 15 consecutive games to archrival Oregon State until defeating the Beavers, 60-47. OSU, 8-10 in the Pacific-10 Conference, posted its first losing league mark in 12 years. . . . California, 11-7 in the Pac-10 in Lou Campanelli's initial season as the Bears' coach, compiled its first winning league record in 15 years. Campanelli won almost three-fourths of his games decided by fewer than five points in his first five years with Cal through 1989-90 (26-9 in those close contests). . . . Coach Tom Davis lost his first 11 games with Stanford decided by fewer than three points until winning at USC, 61-59. . . . Boyd Grant's final season at Fresno State was the only time he didn't appear in a national postseason tournament in a nine-year coaching stretch through 1990 (including first three campaigns with Colorado State).
San Diego State's Anthony Watson (54 points vs. U.S. International), Wagner's Terrance Bailey (49 vs. Brooklyn in triple overtime), Northeastern's Reggie Lewis (41 vs. Siena) and UC Santa Barbara's Scott Fisher (39 at Montana State) set school single-game scoring standards. Bailey (29.4 ppg) established a school record for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Youngstown State's Tilman Bevely tied an Ohio Valley Conference single-game mark by pouring in 55 points against Tennessee Tech.
North Carolina finished first or second 19 consecutive years in the ACC standings until losing three of its last four regular-season games and placing third with a 10-4 mark behind Duke (12-2) and Georgia Tech (11-3). . . . Georgia Tech had its fourth consecutive ACC Rookie of the Year en route to finishing one game behind Duke. The Yellow Jackets, winless in the ACC in 1981, improved their league record for the fifth consecutive season under coach Bobby Cremins. . . . Dale Brown-coached LSU, after incurring 10 consecutive postseason defeats (SEC Tournament, NCAA playoffs and NIT), upended Florida, 72-66, in the league tourney at Kentucky. . . . Texas A&M's Don Marbury led the Southwest Conference in scoring 10 years before one of his brothers, Stephon, took the country by storm as a freshman sensation for Georgia Tech. . . . Dean Keener, a member of Davidson's NCAA playoff team, went on to coach James Madison. . . . Senior forward Greg Grant was named Big West Conference player of the year although Utah State finished with a losing league record (8-10).
Duke (37-3/coached by Mike Krzyzewski), Kansas (35-4/Larry Brown), Navy (30-5/Paul Evans), Cleveland State (29-4/Kevin Mackey), Pepperdine (25-5/Jim Harrick), Fairfield (24-7/Mitch Buonaguro), Chicago State (22-6/Bob Hallberg), Charleston Southern (21-9/Tommy Gaither), McNeese State (21-11/Glenn Duhon) and Eastern Washington (20-8/Joe Folda) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. Bradley (32-3/Dick Versace), St. John's (31-5/Lou Carnesecca) and Middle Tennessee State (23-11/Bruce Stewart) tied their school records for most victories in a single season. . . . Kansas posted its only Big Eight Conference regular-season championship in a 12-year stretch from 1979 through 1990.
Navy, coached by Paul Evans, finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the first time since 1959. Fairfield, under first-year coach Mitch Buonaguro, won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season and postseason conference titles after finishing in last place the previous year. . . . Nebraska posted its lone victory over Oklahoma in a 16-game stretch of their series from 1983 through 1990. . . . Texas, coached by Bob Weltlich, tied for first place in the Southwest Conference after compiling losing records in league competition the previous five seasons. . . . West Texas State competed in its final campaign at the Division I level. . . . Arkansas' Nolan Richardson became the first African-American head coach in the SWC. . . . Houston's Guy Lewis ended his 30-year coaching career with a 592-279 record. He didn't have a losing record in any of his last 27 seasons. . . . Eddie Sutton, guiding Kentucky to more than 30 victories for the first time in 20 seasons, became the first individual to be named national coach of the year for two different schools since wire services began issuing such awards in the mid-1950s. He captured the honor in back-to-back seasons with Arkansas in the late 1970s.
1986 NCAA Tournament
Summary: This was the only time in the 20th Century a group of teams arrived at the Final Four with a total of at least 125 victories with Louisville (30-7), Duke (36-2), Kansas (35-3) and LSU (26-11) combining for a 127-23 record (.847). LSU had lost 10 of its last 17 regular-season games. The two hottest teams of the group--Louisville (16 consecutive victories) and Duke (21)--reached the final, where freshman Pervis Ellison collected 25 points and 11 rebounds to carry the Cardinals to a 72-69 triumph. Louisville's Billy Thompson, who finished the season with the lowest scoring average to lead an NCAA titlist since 1959 (14.9 points per game), set a Final Four two-game record for field-goal accuracy (16 of 19, 84.2%). Thompson was the Cardinals' top point producer in the tourney (total of 110 points) after averaging a modest 4.9 ppg in his first seven playoff contests. In a sense, it was a passing of the Final Four torch from Louisville coach Denny Crum to Duke counterpart Mike Krzyzewski. Crum was making his fourth Final Four appearance in seven years. Krzyzewski reached the national semifinals six times in seven years from 1988 through 1994.
Outcome for Defending Champion: Villanova (23-14) finished in fourth place in the Big East before getting eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Georgia Tech, 66-61. The Wildcats lost non-league games by double-digit margins to Lamar, UNLV and Missouri.
Star Gazing: Guard Johnny Dawkins scored 13 of Duke's first 25 points in the final and finished the tourney with 153. No other player scored more than 110. Dawkins went on to coach Stanford. . . . Kansas standout Danny Manning was limited to four points in a 71-67 setback against Duke in the national semifinals. . . . Richmond's Johnny Newman, who had a game-high 25 points in a 60-59 first-round defeat against St. Joseph's, went on to marry Dawnn Lewis, who played Jalessa Vinson on the sitcom A Different World and Robin on another sitcom, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper. Two years earlier, Newman tallied a game-high 26 points in a 72-71 upset win over Charles Barkley-led Auburn.
Biggest Upset: Arkansas-Little Rock, a 17 1/2-point underdog, shocked No. 3 seed Notre Dame in the first round of the Midwest Regional (90-83) by shooting 62.3 percent from the floor. Pete Meyers scored 29 points in 29 minutes for UALR, which dropped eight of nine decisions during one stretch in the first half of the season.
One and Only: Louisville became the only team to win an NCAA crown after setting or tying an existing school record for most defeats the previous season (19-18 mark in 1984-85). . . . Cleveland State became the only school seeded in the bottom of a bracket (13 through 16) to reach a Sweet 16. The Vikings, leading the nation in scoring margin, were seeded No. 14 when they won two East Regional games in their only tourney appearance.
Celebrity Status: Utah guard Manny Hendrix's last college game was in the tourney against North Carolina coach Dean Smith and eventual first-team All-American Kenny Smith. Hendrix started a six-year career as a defensive back with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys later in the year. . . . Patrick Lynch, Brown's leading scorer the next season with 17.3 ppg after supplying seven points in a first-round loss to Syracuse, was Rhode Island's attorney general in 2003 when he headed a criminal investigation for the state aftger a nightclub fire killed 99 people and injured 186. Lynch competed for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2010 before bowing out.
Numbers Game: LSU, the No. 11 seed in the Southeast Regional, is the only double-digit seeded team to reach the Final Four. The Tigers reached the national semifinals after finishing in a tie for fifth place in the SEC with a .500 record (9-9). They are the only school in the 20th Century to go winless at the Final Four with at least five games (0-2 in 1953 and 1981). . . . Maryland earned the best seed (#5) in tourney history for an at-large squad with a losing conference record (6-8 in the ACC). . . . Nebraska, coached by Moe Iba, appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. . . . Temple's Tim Perry grabbed a playoff-high 18 rebounds in a 61-50 first-round triumph over Jacksonville in the Midwest Regional. . . . Navy's David Robinson (35 points vs. Syracuse) and Northeastern's Reggie Lewis (35 vs. Oklahoma) tied for the highest-scoring game in the tourney. . . . Kentucky's Kenny Walker hit all 11 of his field-goal attempts in a 71-64 victory over Western Kentucky in the second round of the Southeast Regional. Walker was the game-high scorer in all four of the Wildcats' playoff contests this year and supplied the team-high total in each of their seven tourney assignments over the last two seasons. He is the only player to be the game-high scorer in back-to-back NCAA contests between schools from the same conference (vs. Alabama and LSU). . . . Auburn advanced to a regional final for the only time in the 20th Century. . . . A record four Sun Belt Conference members - UAB, Jacksonville, Old Dominion and Western Kentucky - qualified for the NCAA playoffs.
What Might Have Been: Forwards Mark Alarie and David Henderson and guard Tommy Amaker combined to make more than 50 percent of their field-goal attempts for Duke in the entire season. If only they combined to hit 39 percent instead of 33.3 percent (12 of 36) in the championship game, the Blue Devils could have defeated Louisville rather than losing 72-69. . . . Oklahoma (26-9) might have advanced farther in the playoffs if Wayman Tisdale had exercised his remaining eligibility instead of defecting to the NBA and if center Stacey King hadn't missed the second semester because of scholastic shortcomings. . . . Louisiana Tech (20-14 without Karl Malone) and SMU (18-11 without Carl Wright) probably would have participated in the NCAA Tournament instead of the NIT if key players didn't leave school early. . . . LSU (26-12) could have fared better at the Final Four if Jerry Reynolds didn't forsake his final year of eligibility to enter the NBA. . . . Brigham Young probably would have appeared in the NCAA playoffs rather than the NIT if Michael Smith (eventual All-American) and Andy Toolson (eventual All-WAC selection) weren't on Mormon missions. . . . Southland Conference champion Northeast Louisiana (20-10) might have given UNLV more of a contest in the West Regional if center Michael Saulsberry wasn't a medical redshirt because of an Achilles tendon injury.
Putting Things in Perspective: Kansas (35-4) defeated Louisville twice by a total of seven points before losing to Duke in the national semifinals. The Cardinals lost six of 15 games in one stretch the first half of the season.
NCAA Champion Defeats: Neutral court vs. Kansas (5-point margin), at St. John's (7), at Kentucky (5), at Memphis State (2), Cincinnati (2), at Kansas (2), and at North Carolina State (12). St. John's defeated the NCAA champion-to-be for the third straight season. . . . The highest-scoring game by an individual opponent against Louisville was 36 points by Ron Harper of Miami (Ohio) in the Big Apple NIT at Cincinnati in their season opener.
Scoring Leader: Johnny Dawkins, Duke (153 points, 25.5 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Len Bias, Maryland (57 points, 28.5 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Pervis Ellison, Louisville (57 rebounds, 9.5 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Tim Perry, Temple (26 rebounds, 13 rpg).
Mark Alarie, F, Sr., Duke (24 points, 14 rebounds in final two games)
Tommy Amaker, G, Jr., Duke (18 points, 13 assists)
Johnny Dawkins, G, Sr., Duke (48 points, seven rebounds)
*Pervis Ellison, F-C, Fr., Louisville (36 points, 24 rebounds)
Billy Thompson, F, Sr., Louisville (35 points, 14 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: Louisville 93 (Thompson team-high 24 points), Drexel 73 (Rankin 19)
Second Round: Louisville 82 (Ellison/Wagner 16), Bradley 68 (Hawkins 22)
Regional Semifinal: Louisville 94 (Thompson 24), North Carolina 79 (Wolf 20)
Regional Final: Louisville 84 (Crook 20), Auburn 76 (Person 23)
National Semifinal: Louisville 88 (Thompson/Wagner 22), LSU 77 (Redden 22)
Championship Game: Louisville 72 (Ellison 25), Duke 69 (Dawkins 24)