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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Indiana (30-4; coached by Bob Knight/16th of 29 seasons with Hoosiers; tied for first place in Big Ten with Purdue with a 15-3 record).
NIT Champion--Southern Mississippi (23-11; coached by M.K. Turk/11th of 20 seasons with Golden Eagles; tied for third place in Metro with a 6-6 record).
New Rules--The three-point field goal is introduced nationwide and set at 19-feet 9 inches from the center of the basket. . . . A coach may leave the confines of the bench at any time without penalty to correct a mistake by a scorer or timer. A technical foul is assessed if there is no mistake (rule changed the next year to a timeout). . . . A television replay may be used to prevent or rectify a scorer's or timer's mistake or a malfunction of the clock. . . . All 64 teams selected for the NCAA Tournament are subjected to drug testing for the first time.
NCAA Probation--Bradley, East Tennessee State, Memphis State.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Steve Alford, G, Sr., Indiana (22 ppg, 3.6 apg, 88.9 FT%, 53 3FG%); Danny Manning, F-C, Jr., Kansas (23.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 61.7 FG%); David Robinson, C, Sr., Navy (28.2 ppg, 11.8 rpg, 4.5 bpg, 59.1 FG%); Kenny Smith, G, Sr., North Carolina (16.9 ppg, 6.1 apg, 1.5 spg, 40.8 3FG%); Reggie Williams, F-G, Sr., Georgetown (23.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 2.1 spg).
National Player of the Year--Robinson (AP/UPI/NABC/USBWA/Naismith/Wooden).
National Coaches of the Year--Temple's John Chaney (32-4/USBWA); Iowa's Tom Davis (30-5/AP); Indiana's Bob Knight (30-4/Naismith); Providence's Rick Pitino (25-9/NABC), and Georgetown's John Thompson (29-5/UPI).
Controversial legislation affecting academic eligibility was implemented. NCAA Bylaw 5-1-(j), introduced as Proposition 48 at the NCAA Convention in 1983, specified that potential qualifers for an athletic scholarship at A Division I school must meet two requirements:
*An accumulative minimum 2.0 GPA in a core curriculum of at least 11 specified academic courses in the areas of English, math, social science and natural or physical science.
*A score of at least 700 on the verbal and math sections of the SAT or a score of 15 on the ACT.
The most prominent recruits who lost their freshman year of eligibility after failing to meet the new scholastic guidelines were Nick Anderson (Illinois), Chris Brooks (West Virginia), Terry Mills (Michigan), Anthony Pendelton (Iowa), Keith Robinson (Notre Dame) and Rumeal Robinson (Michigan). Pendelton enrolled at Southern California after Iowa released him from his letter-of-intent.
Among the freshmen who did play but averaged fewer than four points per game before eventually enjoying long NBA careers were Dee Brown (3.4 ppg/Jacksonville), Randy Brown (3.8/Houston), Antonio Davis (1.3/Texas-El Paso), Greg Foster (3.3/UCLA) and Kendall Gill (3.7/Illinois).
Making an immediate impact was the new three-point field-goal shooting rule. Consider:
*NCAA champion Indiana set an NCAA single-season record by hitting more than half of its three-point field-goal attempts (130 of 256 for 50.8 percent).
*Eastern Kentucky hit 11 consecutive three-point field-goal attempts and was 15 of 18 overall from beyond the arc in a game against North Carolina-Asheville.
*Butler's Darrin Fitzgerald averaged almost 13 three-point field-goal attempts per game on his way to setting an NCAA single-season record with 5.6 treys per contest (see accompanying box).
*Niagara's Gary Bossert set an NCAA record for most consecutive successful three-pointers in a game with 11 at Siena (see accompanying box).
UNLV's Mark Wade set an NCAA single-season record with 406 assists. . . . Northeastern's Andre LaFleur finished his career as the tallest player (6-3) with more than 800 assists. He had 894. . . . The turnover in the Division I coaching ranks has never been higher as 66 schools had new mentors. Thirty-five of the new coaches were in their first year at the Division I level.
Providence senior guard Billy Donovan, an All-Big East Conference first-team selection who led the league in steals with 1.9 per game, coached Florida to back-to-back NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007. . . . St. John's, coached by Lou Carnesecca, won nine games by fewer than six points for the fourth straight season. . . . Temple's only Atlantic 10 defeat, a 64-61 setback against West Virginia, snapped the Owls' 33-game McGonigle Hall winning streak. . . . St. Joseph's senior guard James "Bruiser" Flint, an All-Atlantic 10 second-team selection who led the league in assists with 6.1 per game, eventually coached in the conference for Massachusetts. . . . Cornell guard John Bajusz, Pennsylvania guard Perry Bromwell and Yale center Chris Dudley each earned All-Ivy League first-team accord for the third consecutive year. . . . Princeton guard Joe Scott, an All-Ivy League second-team selection, went on to coach Air Force to the NCAA playoffs in 2004. . . . Penn won the Ivy League championship despite a losing overall record (13-14) for the second time in three seasons. . . . Tim O'Toole, who finished his Fairfield career with averages of 8.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, coached his alma mater for eight seasons from 1999-2000 through 2005-06 (including the 2003 NIT). . . . Northeastern's Reggie Lewis led three consecutive ECAC North Atlantic Conference regular-season champions in scoring and rebounding. Maine's Jim Boylen, runner-up to Lewis in league MVP voting, wound up coaching Utah. . . . Utica (N.Y.) competed in its final campaign at the Division I level.
For the only time in ACC history the league had a team finish undefeated in conference play (North Carolina) and a team finish winless (Maryland) in the same season. Maryland's Derrick Lewis became the only player in ACC history to be named a first-team selection while playing for a team finishing winless in league competition. . . . Horace Grant (21 ppg) became the only Clemson player to average more than 20 points per game since 1969-70. He is the only player in Clemson history to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American. The Tigers sandwiched a second-place finish in the ACC between seventh-place finishes in 1985-86 and 1987-88. . . . Guard Tommy Amaker led Duke in steals for the fourth straight year and earned a spot on the All-ACC second-team. Amaker, who averaged a modest 8.5 ppg in his career, led the Blue Devils in scoring with at least 20 points in each of his last two NCAA playoff games. He became coach at Seton Hall 10 years later. . . . Sophomore Dave Dickerson, Maryland's second-leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer, went on to coach Tulane. . . . Virginia Tech incurred its first losing record (10-18) in 32 seasons. . . . Memphis State erased a seven-point deficit in the last 15 seconds to defeat Oral Roberts, 59-58, although the Tigers fell out of the Top 20 for the first time in six years. Memphis State's new head coach was Larry Finch, who was promoted after Dana Kirk encountered extensive legal problems. Kirk was on the verge of becoming the school's all-time winningest coach after compiling a 158-58 record (.731) in seven seasons. At Kirk's federal trial in September 1988, Tigers All-American Keith Lee testified he received about $40,000, a used car, a stereo and a television from him. . . . LSU forward Ben McDonald, who started six games as a freshman, became the first pick overall in the 1989 amateur baseball draft. Righthanded pitcher had a Baltimore Orioles team-record seven victories to start the 1994 campaign when he finished fourth in the American League with 14 wins.
UNC Charlotte lost 15 consecutive contests to UAB until beating the Blazers, 76-63. . . . James Madison, which compiled a 5-23 record the previous season, improved by 14 games to 20-10 under coach John Thurston. . . . Virginia Military won 29 percent of its contests overall and was 50 games below .500 in Southern Conference competition in the last six seasons despite VMI having five league freshman of the year winners in that span. . . . North Carolina A&T boasted three All-MEAC first-team selections for the second time in four years. . . . Richmond (15-14) didn't win more than 20 games for the only season in a nine-year span from 1983-84 through 1991-92 under coach Dick Tarrant, who won more than 70 percent of his games decided by fewer than three points in 12 seasons with the Spiders (35-14 mark in those close contests). . . . Navy's Doug Wojcik, an All-CAA second-team selection after leading the league in assists the previous two seasons, went on to coach Tulsa.
Indiana guard Steve Alford, a three-time All-Big Ten first-team selection, eventually coached Southwest Missouri State, Iowa and New Mexico. . . . Four former IU players missed out on an NCAA championship but were key contributors for other schools after transferring--The Citadel forward Craig Bardo (14.4 ppg and 4.1 rpg), Providence guard Delray Brooks (14.4 ppg and 3.9 rpg), North Carolina State forward Mike Giomi (7.1 ppg and 5 rpg) and Evansville forward Marty Simmons (22.4 ppg and 7 rpg). . . . Forward Ken Norman became the first Illinois player since 1952 to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American.
Colgate ended its 49-game league losing streak and 32-game losing string overall. . . . Among the schools benefitting from the impact of freshmen was Maryland-Baltimore County, which had three yearlings score more than 13 points per game--forwards Gamel Spencer (13.8 ppg) and Duane Faust (13.7 ppg) and guard Larry Simmons (13.5 ppg). Simmons, who went on to become UMBC's all-time leading point producer (1,805), also scored 23 goals in only two seasons for the Retriever soccer squad. . . . Two-time All-ECAC North Atlantic Conference second-team selection Matt Brady, who led Siena in assists four straight seasons, went on to coach Marist. . . . Freshman Steve Pikiell, who eventually became coach of Stony Brook, averaged 8.2 ppg as a freshman for Connecticut in Jim Calhoun's first season as coach of the Huskies.
Maryland's Bob Wade and Oklahoma State's Leonard Hamilton became the first African-American head coaches in the ACC and Big Eight, respectively. Wade got off on the wrong foot as the Terrapins compiled a 9-17 record for their first losing season in 18 years.
Setting school single-game scoring standards were Butler's Fitzgerald (54 points vs. Detroit), Army's Kevin Houston (53 vs. Fordham in overtime of MAAC Tournament opener), Tennessee's Tony White (51 vs. Auburn), Rutgers' Eric Riggins (tied with 51 vs. Penn State in double overtime), Lehigh's Daren Queenan (49 vs. Bucknell in double overtime in ECC Tournament semifinals), Dartmouth's Jim Barton (48 at Brown in OT), Washington State's Brian Quinnett (45 vs. Loyola Marymount), Campbell's Clarence Grier (39 vs. Virginia Wesleyan) and UNC Wilmington's Brian Rowsom (39 at East Carolina). . . . Army's Houston (5-11) was the only player shorter than 6-0 the last half of the 20th Century to lead the nation in scoring. He is also the only All-American since the NCAA playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams not to participate in the NCAA Tournament or NIT despite playing four years in college. . . . Tennessee's White was named SEC player of the year although the Volunteers finished in a tie for eighth place with a 7-11 league record and 14-15 mark overall.
Watson's uprising is the highest in Western Athletic Conference annals and Riggins' outburst is the highest in Atlantic 10 Conference history. Fitzgerald established a Midwestern Collegiate Conference single-season mark by averaging 31.3 points per game. Queenan's record-setting performance came one night after teammate Mike Polaha had moved atop the school single-game scoring chart with 42 points against Drexel in double overtime in the ECC Tournament quarterfinals. . . . Army's Houston (32.9 ppg), Navy's David Robinson (28.2), Campbell's Grier (24.6), Fairfield's Troy Bradford (22.7) and Winthrop's Ted Houpt (17.6) set school Division I records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Houston accounted for 48.7 percent of Army's output (953 of 1,957 points). LSU's Pete Maravich is the only player in NCAA history to register a higher percentage of a team's offense in a season (49.6 percent as a junior in 1968-69 and 49.3 percent as a sophomore in 1967-68). . . . Navy's Robinson established a record for most points in a Colonial Athletic Association game when he poured in 45 against James Madison. It was one of five contests during the campaign that Robinson scored at least 43 points. He led three consecutive conference regular-season champions in scoring and rebounding.
UNLV (37-2/coached by Jerry Tarkanian), Temple (32-4/John Chaney), Syracuse (31-7/Jim Boeheim), Iowa (30-5/Tom Davis), DePaul (28-3/Joey Meyer), Alabama (28-5/Wimp Sanderson), Southwest Missouri State (28-6/Charlie Spoonhour), New Orleans (26-4/Benny Dees), Arkansas-Little Rock (26-11/Mike Newell), Howard (25-5/A.B. Williamson), Clemson (25-6/Cliff Ellis), San Diego (24-6/Hank Egan) and Southern Mississippi (23-11/M.K. Turk) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. Northeastern (27-7/Karl Fogel), Marshall (25-6/Rick Huckabay) and Charleston Southern (21-9/Tommy Gaither) tied their school Division I records for most victories in a single season. Davis was in his first year as coach of the Hawkeyes. Williamson guided Howard to a first- or second-place finish in each of the MEAC's first seven seasons as a Division I league. . . . Alabama's leader in three-point field goals made with 81 was Mark Gottfried, who would eventually coach his alma mater in the NCAA playoffs. Teammate Derrick McKey became the last All-American in the 20th Century to finish among the top 30 in the nation in field-goal percentage (.581) and free-throw percentage (.862) in the same season.
Notre Dame's victory over North Carolina represented Digger Phelps' seventh victory over a top-ranked opponent in his coaching career with the Irish. . . . Anthony Grant, Dayton's leader in scoring and rebounding, eventually coached Virginia Commonwealth and Alabama. . . . Miami (Ohio) guard Ed Schilling, who led the Mid-American Conference in assists for the second time, went on to coach Wright State. . . . Central Michigan captured the Mid-American regular-season championship after finishing in a tie for sixth place the previous year. Evansville grabbed a share of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference regular-season crown after finishing in sixth place the previous year. . . . Northern Iowa junior forward Greg McDermott, an All-Mid-Continent Conference second-team selection while leading the Panthers in field-goal percentage for the second of three straight seasons, eventually coached his alma mater. . . . A total of 18 of coach Ron Greene's first 25 defeats in his first 1 1/2 seasons with Indiana State were by fewer than six points. He had won more than 63% of contests in that category in his first 12 campaigns at the Division I level.
Colorado's 26-game losing streak against Big Eight competition ended when the Buffaloes beat Iowa State, 77-74. . . . Northeast Louisiana lost four of its last five games to suffer its only losing record (13-15) since 1960-61. . . . Baylor, participating in the NIT, made its first national postseason tournament appearance in 37 years. . . . Texas Christian made its first Top 20 appearance in a final wire-service poll since 1959. TCU senior guard Jamie Dixon, the SWC's leader in assists with 5.4 per game, went on to coach Pittsburgh. . . . Texas-San Antonio's Lennell Moore grabbed a school-record 25 rebounds against Centenary. . . . Bob Hopkins became the only major-college coach ever to win back-to-back regular-season league championships in the same conference (SWAC) with different schools (11-3 with Southern in 1985-86 before going 11-3 with Grambling). . . . SWAC Player of the Year George Ivory, a guard for Mississippi Valley State, eventually coached Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the NCAA playoffs. . . . Arkansas erased a 21-point deficit midway through the second half and edged Arkansas State, 67-64, in overtime in the first round of the NIT. . . . Kitrick Taylor, after scoring nine touchdowns for Washington State's football squad, averaged 4.5 ppg in 12 basketball contests for the Cougars.
1987 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Indiana became the first school to win the NCAA championship in four different decades (previous titles were in 1940, 1953 and 1976). Junior college recruit Keith Smart, a guard who was Indiana's fifth-leading scorer, tallied 12 of the Hoosiers' last 15 points, including a 15-foot jumper from the left baseline with five seconds remaining to give them a 74-73 victory over Syracuse in the championship game. Indiana's well-balanced attack featured Smart and the four other starters--Steve Alford, Ricky Calloway, Dean Garrett and Daryl Thomas--each having at least one 20-point game and two contests with a minimum of 18 points in the playoffs. IU was fined $10,000 by the NCAA and coach Bob Knight reprimanded after he banged his fist on the scorer's table during the Midwest Regional final against LSU. IU compiled a 12-2 record in games decided by fewer than six points after posting a modest 41-39 mark in that category the previous 10 seasons under Knight since the '76 crown.
Outcome for Defending Champion: Louisville (18-14) won the Metro Conference regular-season championship but didn't participate in a national postseason tournament. The Cardinals started the season by losing all three of their assignments in the Great Alaska Shootout.
Star Gazing: Smart, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, is the only former junior college player to win the award. Indiana looked to Alford for the final shot, but the All-America guard was covered.
"I wasn't surprised I got the ball," Smart said. "I was surprised it went in." The biggest surprise might have been that he ever enrolled at a major college. As a junior in high school in Baton Rouge, La., he was only 5-3. He grew to 5-7 as a senior, but that season ended early when Smart broke his arm riding a motorcycle during the season. Before attending Garden City (Kan.) Community College, he spent a year flipping hamburgers at a fast-food restaurant. "I made that same shot on the playground hundreds of times," Smart said. "It was actually nothing special."
Biggest Upsets: Xavier (13th seed) over Missouri (4), 70-69; Southwest Missouri State (13) over Clemson (4), 65-60, and Austin Peay State (14) over Illinois (3), 68-67. APSU's Lake Kelly became the only coach other than St. John's Lou Carnesecca in the 20th Century to win a playoff game in each of two different stints with the same school.
One and Only: Walt Hazzard is the only Final Four Most Outstanding Player (UCLA '64) to later coach his alma mater in the tournament (1-1 playoff record with the Bruins). . . . UNLV became the only school to win a regional final game despite trailing by more than 12 points at halftime. The Rebels were behind Iowa at intermission in the West Regional final by 16 points (58-42) before rallying to win (84-81). . . . Iowa became the only school ever to have as many as 14 different players score in a playoff game when the Hawkeyes hammered Santa Clara, 99-76, in the first round of the West Regional. . . . The Big Ten became the only conference to have a minimum of six bids in three consecutive tourneys. Despite Indiana's success, the Big Ten compiled a modest 20-17 playoff record over the three-year span. . . . Florida's 82-70 first-round victory over North Carolina State enabled Norman Sloan to become the only coach ever to post an NCAA playoff victory against a school he previously guided to the national title. Sloan took the Wolfpack to the 1974 crown.
Numbers Game: Georgetown is the only school to defeat two eventual Final Four teams by double-digit margins in the same conference tournament. The Hoyas whipped Providence by 18 points and Syracuse by 10 to win the Big East Tournament before they were eliminated by Providence in the Southeast Regional final of the NCAA playoffs. . . . Danny Manning supplied 62.7 percent of Kansas' offense by scoring 42 points in the Jayhawks' 67-63 victory against Southwest Missouri State in the second round of the Southeast Regional. . . . UNLV guard Freddie Banks scored more points than any player in a Final Four game without being selected to the All-Tournament team (38 in a 97-93 defeat in the national semifinals against eventual champion Indiana). His output was the highest against IU all season. . . . The record for most assists in an NCAA playoff game was set by UNLV playmaker Mark Wade with 18 in a 97-93 loss against Indiana (national semifinals). Wade also established the record for most assists in a single playoff series with 61 in five games. He had at least nine assists in each of the five contests while scoring a total of just 13 points. Wade finished his career with an average of 11.6 assists in eight playoff games. . . . David Robinson furnished 61 percent of Navy's offense by scoring a school-record and tourney-high 50 points in the Middies' 97-82 loss against Michigan in the opening round of the East Regional. . . . Florida, coached by Norman Sloan, appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. . . . Wyoming's Fennis Dembo hit all 16 of his free throws to finish with 41 points in a 78-68 triumph over UCLA in the second round of the West Regional. . . . TCU, coached by Jim Killingsworth, participated in the NCAA playoffs for the only time in a 26-year span from 1972 through 1997. . . . LSU guard Darryl Joe, who averaged only 8.6 points per game, erupted for a game-high 28 in an 85-79 Midwest Regional first-round victory over Georgia Tech. . . . Purdue forward Doug Lee, who finished with a modest scoring average of 10.4 ppg, exploded for 29 in a 104-95 East Regional opening-round triumph over Northeastern. . . . Ohio State defeated Kentucky for the fifth time in as many playoff matchups.
What Might Have Been: Forward Derrick Coleman and guards Stephen Thompson and Howard Triche combined to shoot 51.6 percent from the floor for Syracuse over the entire season. If only they combined to hit 38.9 percent instead of 33.3 percent (six of 18) in the championship game, the Orangemen could have defeated Indiana rather than losing by one point. Coleman's tourney-high 19 rebounds were in vain in the final. . . . Georgia (18-12/without Cedric Henderson), Louisiana State (24-15/John Williams), North Carolina State (20-15/Chris Washburn), St. John's (21-9/Walter Berry) and Syracuse (31-7/Pearl Washington) might have fared better in the playoffs if standout players had exercised their remaining eligibility instead of defecting to the NBA. . . . LSU was also without forward Ricky Blanton because of a bum knee. Blanton went on to average 18.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game the next two seasons. . . . Wichita State, coached by Eddie Fogler, might have had a better chance of upending St. John's in the opening round of the Midwest Regional if swingman Lew Hill didn't sit out the season as a medical redshirt because of a back ailment. Hill became an All-Missouri Valley Conference second-team selection the next year. . . . Brigham Young likely would have fared better if forward Andy Toolson, an eventual All-WAC selection, wasn't on a Mormon mission.
Putting Things in Perspective: Pacific-10 runner-up Arizona, minus standout guard Steve Kerr (knee injury), was eliminated in the first round of the West Regional by Texas-El Paso, 98-91, in overtime.
NCAA Champion Defeats: At Vanderbilt (4-point margin), at Iowa (13), at Purdue (11), and at Illinois (2).
Scoring Leaders: Indiana's Steve Alford and Syracuse's Rony Seikaly (138 points).
Highest Scoring Averages: Wyoming's Fennis Dembo and UCLA's Reggie Miller (28 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Derrick Coleman, Syracuse (73 rebounds, 12.2 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Tim Perry, Temple (28 rebounds, 14 rpg).
Steve Alford, G, Sr., Indiana (56 points, nine three-pointers in final two games)
Derrick Coleman, F, Fr., Syracuse (20 points, 31 rebounds, five blocked shots)
Sherman Douglas, G, Soph., Syracuse (32 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists)
Armon Gilliam, F-C, Sr., UNLV (32 points, 10 rebounds/one game)
*Keith Smart, G, Jr., Indiana (35 points, seven rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: Indiana 92 (Garrett team-high 20 points), Fairfield 58 (Gromos 21)
Second Round: Indiana 107 (Alford 31), Auburn 90 (Jones 30)
Regional Semifinal: Indiana 88 (Calloway/Smart 21), Duke 82 (Amaker 23)
Regional Final: Indiana 77 (Alford 20), Louisiana State 76 (N. Wilson 20)
National Semifinal: Indiana 97 (Alford 33), UNLV 93 (Banks 38)
Championship Game: Indiana 74 (Alford 23), Syracuse 73 (Douglas 20)