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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Michigan (30-7; coached by Bill Frieder and Steve Fisher--both of whom coached the Wolverines for nine seasons; finished in third place in Big Ten with a 12-6 record).
NIT Champion--St. John's (20-13; coached by Lou Carnesecca/21st of 24 seasons with Redmen; finished in a tie for seventh place in Big East with a 6-10 record).
New Rules--Neutral courts are used in all rounds of the NCAA Tournament. . . . Bracket rotation for the NCAA tourney was established. . . . Criteria governing automatic qualification for conferences was strengthened.
NCAA Probation--Cincinnati, Cleveland State, Kansas, Marist, Virginia Tech.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Sean Elliott, F, Sr., Arizona (22.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.1 apg, 84.1 FT%, 43.7 3FG%); Pervis Ellison, C-F, Sr., Louisville (17.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.2 bpg, 61.5 FG%); Danny Ferry, F-C, Sr., Duke (22.6 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 4.7 apg, 52.2 FG%); Chris Jackson, G, Fr., Louisiana State (30.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 4.1 apg, 81.5 FT%, 38.9 3FG%); Stacey King, C, Sr., Oklahoma (26 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.3 bpg, 52.4 FG%).
National Players of the Year--Elliott (AP/NABC/Wooden) and Ferry (UPI/USBWA/Naismith).
National Coaches of the Year--Seton Hall's P.J. Carlesimo (31-7/NABC); Indiana's Bob Knight (27-8/AP, UPI, USBWA), and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (28-8/Naismith).
The proliferation of parity and the wisdom of expanding the postseason field was never more evident. All of the Final Four teams would not have qualified for the NCAA Tournament prior to 1975 when, for the first time, more than one league member could be invited--Michigan (finished in third place in Big Ten Conference), Seton Hall (lost in Big East Tournament semifinals after finishing runner-up to Georgetown in regular-season standings), Duke (lost in ACC Tournament final after finishing in three-way tie for second place behind North Carolina State in regular-season standings) and Illinois (runner-up in Big Ten to Indiana).
LSU edged second-ranked Georgetown, 82-80, on Ricky Blanton's last-second rebound basket before 54,321 fans at the Louisiana Superdome (64,144 paid). . . . LSU guard Chris Jackson became the highest-scoring freshman in major-college history when he averaged 30.2 points per game. His 55 points were in vain in a 113-112 overtime loss at Ole Miss when the Rebels' Gerald Glass offset Jackson's outburst with 53 points. . . . Jackson, who was instrumental in helping the Tigers win five consecutive contests by fewer than five points, became the only player to compile single-game scoring outbursts higher than Pete Maravich in SEC competition against Ole Miss, Florida (53) and Tennessee (50). . . . Jackson's 48 points weren't enough to prevent a 104-95 defeat against visiting Florida when the Gators clinched their only SEC regular-season title. Helping Florida along the way was an incredible 81-78 overtime victory at Vanderbilt when the Gators tied the game at the end of regulation after Commodore fans were assessed a two-shot technical for throwing tennis balls at center Dwayne Schintzius, who had previously run afoul of the law while wielding a tennis racket.
Vanderbilt guard Barry Goheen ended his career as one of the premier clutch players in college history. He made six game-winning shots in the closing seconds and sent an NCAA Tournament game into overtime with two three-point baskets in the final five seconds of regulation. . . . Auburn wound up in the SEC basement (10th place) after finishing tied for second place the previous season. Meanwhile, Alabama tied for second place after tying for last the previous year.
Wake Forest's lone victory in one nine-game stretch in ACC competition was a 75-71 decision over Duke when the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 in the nation. . . . North Carolina failed to have an All-ACC first-team selection for the first time in 27 years. . . . Quin Snyder, pacing Duke in assists and steals for the second consecutive year, eventually became Missouri's coach for seven seasons from 1999-2000 to 2005-06.
Duke's Danny Ferry established an ACC and school single-game record by pouring in 58 points at Miami (Fla.). Freshman teammate Christian Laettner, who would become national player of the year as a senior, went scoreless against Miami. . . . Also setting school Division I single-game scoring standards were McNeese State's Michael Cutright (51 points at Stephen F. Austin in double overtime), Delaware State's Tom Davis (50 vs. Brooklyn), Wisconsin-Green Bay freshman Tony Bennett (44 at Cleveland State) and Stephen F. Austin State's Scott Dimak (40 at Texas Southern). Cutright's outburst at SFA tied a Southland Conference game mark. Davis didn't enter the game against Brooklyn until five minutes elapsed in the first half. He also set the MEAC game mark since the league moved up to Division I with 47 points against Florida A&M. . . . Virginia Commonwealth's Chris Cheeks tied a school Division I single-game scoring record (42 points against Old Dominion in OT). . . . A total of 13 of Lefty Driesell's first 22 games as coach for James Madison were decided by fewer than five points. . . . Benjy Taylor, a starting guard for Richmond's second straight undisputed CAA champion, went on to coach Chicago State.
La Salle's Lionel Simmons (28.4 ppg), Virginia Tech's Bimbo Coles (26.6), Air Force's Raymond Dudley (26.6), Delaware State's Davis (25.2), VCU's Cheeks (23.8), Florida A&M's Leonard King (22.3) and Morgan State's Anthony Reid (20) set school Division I records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Southwestern Louisiana junior guard Sydney Grider set the American South Conference game record with 40 points vs. Louisiana Tech. Future NBA starter P.J. Brown scored only two points for Tech.
Memphis State raced to a 24-0 lead at highly-ranked Louisville en route to upending the Cardinals, 72-67. Louisville and Memphis State combined to capture the previous 10 Metro Conference regular-season championships until Florida State moved atop the league standings.
Loyola Marymount junior Hank Gathers became the only player to lead the nation in scoring (32.7 points per game) in a season he shot better than 60 percent from the floor (60.8). Gathers collected 41 points and a school-record 29 rebounds in 30 minutes in a 181-150 victory over U.S. International that set an NCAA record for most total points. Later, the Lions combined with Gonzaga to establish an NCAA standard for most points in a half by both teams (86 apiece in the second half for a total of 172) in a 147-136 Loyola Marymount triumph (see accompanying boxes).
Kentucky's NCAA-record streak of consecutive non-losing seasons was stopped at 60 when the Wildcats compiled a 13-19 mark in Eddie Sutton's last year as their coach. They lost their home opener, 85-82, to a rag-tag squad from Northwestern (La.) State that finished the campaign with a 13-16 mark. The following indiscretions left UK's program in turmoil:
*Chris Mills transferred to Arizona in the wake of a Los Angeles newspaper reporting that Emery Worldwide employees had discovered $1,000 in an accidentally opened package sent to Mills' father by Wildcats assistant Dwane Casey. Teammate LeRon Ellis, another product from California, transferred to Syracuse.
*Prize recruit Shawn Kemp, a Proposition 48 casualty, dropped out of school after an alleged theft.
*Starter Eric Manuel's ACT score was questioned when it doubled from the second time he took the test to the third. Manuel eventually transferred.
Syracuse's Sherman Douglas (22 assists against Providence) and Georgetown's Dikembe Mutombo (12 blocked shots against St. John's) set Big East Conference single-game records. . . . Connecticut lost 17 straight games to St. John's in their series until defeating the Redmen, 80-52. The Huskies also snapped a 14-game losing streak in their series with Villanova, 57-55. . . . Rutgers lost 13 consecutive games to Temple in their series until defeating the Owls, 77-64. The Scarlet Knights finished in third place in the Atlantic 10 after placing last the previous year. . . . Mark Macon became the fifth different Temple player in six years to earn the A-10 Player of the Year award. . . . The North Atlantic Tournament was dubbed the MIT (Measles Invitational Tourney) because all spectators were banned because of a measles outbreak. . . . St. Peter's 65-63 victory at La Salle was the Explorers' only MAAC defeat in a 53-game league stretch including conference tournament competition through 1990. . . . Monmouth sophomore Dave Calloway, who led the nation in three-point shooting (48 of 82, 58.5 percent), would later become coach of his alma mater. . . . Dartmouth's Jim Barton became the only player in Division I history to lead a conference (Ivy League) in free-throw percentage for four consecutive seasons.
Ball State (29-3/coached by Rick Majerus), Evansville (25-6/Jim Crews) and South Carolina State (25-8/Cy Alexander) had their winningest season in school Division I history. Seton Hall (31-7/P.J. Carlesimo) and Middle Tennessee State (23-8/Bruce Stewart) tied their school single-season records for most victories. MTSU won 23 games for the third time in four years. . . . Seton Hall and Stanford finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the first time since 1953 and 1963, respectively. Swingman Todd Lichti, the first Stanford player since 1942 to become an NCAA first- or second-team All-American, was the only four-time All-Pacific-10 first-team selection in the 20th Century. Teammate Eric Reveno, a starting center, went on to coach Portland.
Evansville's Scott Haffner scored a national-high, school-record and Midwestern Collegiate Conference-record 65 points against Dayton. Haffner had averaged only 1.7 points per game as a freshman for Illinois before transferring. . . . Ball State sustained at least 10 defeats in 24 consecutive seasons until compiling a 29-3 record under coach Rick Majerus. The Cardinals, who posted a 14-14 record in 1987-88 and averaged 15.4 defeats annually over the previous five seasons, improved by 13 games en route to their lone appearance in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll. . . . Toledo finished in third place in the Mid-American Conference after finishing in last the previous year. . . . Illinois State notched winning records in its first 18 seasons at the Division I level until the Redbirds compiled a 13-17 mark in Bob Donewald's last year as their coach. . . . Valparaiso lost 29 consecutive games to Notre Dame until defeating the Irish, 71-68.
Indiana swept Ohio State to give the Hoosiers 26 victories in the last 32 contests of their series. . . . Wisconsin lost 16 consecutive games to Illinois in their series until overwhelming the Final Four-bound Illini, 72-52. Wisconsin also edged NCAA champion-to-be Michigan, 71-68, for the Badgers' lone triumph over the Wolverines in a 16-game stretch of their series from 1984 to 1992.
Roy Williams' debut as a head coach had its pitfalls as Kansas dropped eight straight games midway through the Jayhawks' Big Eight Conference campaign. . . . Houston, coached by Pat Foster, had seven of eight SWC games in a mid-season stretch decided by fewer than three points. . . . A bench-clearing brawl forced referees to eject most of Indiana State's team when the Sycamores lost, 84-69, to visiting Wichita State. ISU was forced to play the second half with only four players, ending the contest with just two on the floor after a couple of them fouled out. . . . Arkansas-Little Rock's Carl Brown had the most points ever in a Trans America Athletic Conference game with 46 against Centenary. . . . Houston Baptist competed in its final season at the Division I level. HBU transfers Reggie Gibbs (Louisiana Tech) and Fred Young (Texas-Pan American) became All-American South Conference second-team selections the next season. . . . The Citadel lost 37 consecutive games in its series with intrastate opponent South Carolina until edging the Gamecocks, 88-87. Ed Conroy, who led The Citadel in free-throw percentage for the third straight season, went on to coach his alma mater and Tulane.
Cal State Fullerton posted its lone triumph over UNLV (93-92) in a 25-game stretch of their series from 1984 to 1993. . . . Hawaii was 10-4 in games decided by fewer than five points after going 1-7 in that category the previous year in coach Riley Wallace's inaugural campaign. . . . Lynn Nance is the only man since 1952 to have major-college head coaching experience before he came to St. Mary's. The Gaels ranked among the nation's top five in scoring margin (1st), scoring defense (2nd), field-goal percentage defense (3rd) and field-goal percentage (5th). . . . David Carter, finishing his career as St. Mary's all-time leader in assists (record subsequently broken), wound up coaching Nevada. . . . Two-time All-Big Sky Conference second-team selection Wayne Tinkle of Montana eventually coached his alma mater. . . . Marty Wilson, who paced Pepperdine in assists, went on to coach his alma mater. . . . San Jose State's Johnny Johnson, the first football player in NCAA history to rush for more than 1,200 yards (1,219) and catch at least 60 passes (61) in a single season, averaged 11.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 3.2 apg after a majority of basketball team members walked off and refused to play under coach Bill Berry. Johnson led the Spartans in scoring (23 points) and rebounding (12) in a 95-66 loss to eventual West Regional runner-up UNLV.
The NIT semifinalists all won their third-round games on the road for the only time in the event's history--Alabama-Birmingham (at Connecticut), Michigan State (at Villanova), St. Louis (at New Mexico) and St. John's (at Ohio State). New Mexico sustained its fourth homecourt defeat in the last four years in the NIT, fifth in six seasons and sixth since 1979.
Oregon State's Ralph Miller retired after a 38-year coaching career with a 657-382 record. Dunking was not allowed in Miller's practices--he called the move "the idiot's delight"--and he said his offense amounted to only two plays. "If you can't learn two things, then you are too damn dumb to play for me," he said. "I did all right (at Oregon State). But I never did know why I was so popular to have a court and a street named after me and all that foolishness." Miller is the only coach to twice leave Top 10 programs for another college position--Wichita State (5th in 1963-64) and Iowa (7th in 1969-70). . . . C.M. Newton, who coached Transylvania, Alabama and Vanderbilt, ended his coaching career with a 509-375 record when he became athletic director for his alma mater (Kentucky). Newton won more than three-fourths of his games decided by fewer than five points (37-12 mark) during the last five of his 12 seasons with the Crimson Tide from 1968-69 through 1979-80. . . . Norman Sloan, who previously coached Presbyterian, The Citadel and North Carolina State, was forced out at Florida, ending his 37-year coaching career with a 624-393 record. . . . Don Donoher finished his 26-year head coaching career with Dayton as the school's all-time winningest coach. He won 19 of his last 22 one-point verdicts. . . . Coach Gerry Friel concluded his tenure at New Hampshire. He lasted 20 seasons despite winning only 37.4% of his games (200-335 mark). Friel's son, Keith, became a key contributor as a guard for Notre Dame in the late 1990s before transferring to Virginia.
1989 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Michigan, guided by interim coach Steve Fisher, became the NCAA titlist to win its two Final Four games by the fewest total of points (three). Sean Higgins' last-second rebound basket gave the Wolverines an 83-81 victory against Illinois in the national semifinals before Rumeal Robinson sank two free throws with three seconds remaining in overtime in an 80-79 triumph against Seton Hall in the final. In the first overtime final since 1963, Seton Hall guard John Morton had the highest scoring output (35 points with 17 in the last eight minutes of regulation to help the Pirates erase a 12-point deficit) of any player for the losing team in a championship game. They had trailed by 18 points midway through the first half (26-8). Since the introduction of seeding in 1979, this was the only year the championship game did not include at least one No. 1 or No. 2 seed (Michigan and Seton Hall were both No. 3 seeds). The roster Fisher inherited at the start of the playoffs included four future NBA first-round draft choices--Terry Mills, Glen Rice, Robinson and Loy Vaught. What was the pressure of a one-and-one opportunity for a 65.6 percent free-throw shooter after he had gone one-on-one with the street? Previously, the Jamaican-born Robinson had no place to live at all. He was a 12-year-old street urchin deserted by his mother after they moved to Cambridge, Mass., a Boston suburb.
"Somewhere along the line," Robinson said. "I think I was blessed. I feel no bitterness. I have not been cheated. I do not know why my mother did not want me. I do not know why my biological father died the day before I was to meet him. But I also do not know why I was so lucky to find my adoptive parents. It is not so much bad luck or good luck. It is ... only how it is ... how God wants it." Robinson also dished out a championship game record 11 assists.
Outcome for Defending Champion: Kansas (19-12) finished in sixth place in the Big Eight. The Jayhawks suffered their most lopsided defeat ever at home in Allen Fieldhouse (91-66 to Missouri).
Star Gazing: Rice, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, became the only player to score more than 25 points in two games at a single Final Four from 1975-94. Rice holds the records for most three-point baskets and points in a playoff series (27 treys and 184 points in six games). The senior forward hit 12 of 17 from three-point range on his way to a total of 66 points in Southeast Regional semifinal and final victories over North Carolina (92-87) and Virginia (102-65). Rice's liberal use of the three-pointer enabled him to become the only player from a national champion to average more than 25 points per game in a title season (25.6) since David Thompson finished with a 26-point average for North Carolina State in 1974. . . . Seton Hall standout forward Andrew Gaze went on to play in five Olympiads for his native Australia after his father, Lindsay, was a three-time Olympian. . . . Ted Aceto, who scored 11 points for Bucknell in a 104-81 first-round loss to Syracuse, was a first-team All-ECC shortstop later in the year when he led the league and ranked 12th in the nation with a .444 batting average.
Biggest Upsets: Middle Tennessee State (13th seed) over Florida State (4), 97-83, and Siena (14) over Stanford (3), 80-78. MTSU, sparked by freshman guard Mike Buck's six-for-six shooting from three-point range, overcame a 17-point deficit with 16 minutes remaining. Siena guard Marc Brown poured in 32 points, including a pair of decisive free throws with three seconds remaining, to spoil Stanford's first playoff appearance since 1942. Buck finished the season with a scoring average of only 6.1 points per game. . . . No. 16 seed Princeton pushed No. 1 seed Georgetown to the limit in the East Regional before the patient and precise Tigers bowed, 50-49, when a last-second shot was blocked. Another one-point decision--Oklahoma over East Tennessee State (72-71)--helped account for the lowest margin of victory (10.5) in tourney history for the four opening-round games between the No. 1 and No. 16 seeds.
One and Only: Illinois became the only school to defeat the NCAA champion-to-be twice in one season by at least 12 points when the Illini swept Michigan in Big Ten competition.
Celebrity Status: Lyle Mouton, an outfielder who hit .287 for the Chicago White Sox from 1995 through 1997 before his contract was sold to a team in Japan, started in the same LSU backcourt with Chris Jackson.
Numbers Game: Of the more than 60 different players to score at least 2,500 points and/or rank among the top 25 in career scoring average, Arizona's Sean Elliott finished his career as the only one to have a winning NCAA playoff record in his career plus post higher scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting career playoff averages than he compiled in the regular season. . . . Xavier, coached by Pete Gillen, became the only school to have the misfortune of opposing eventual national champions in the first round in back-to-back years (Kansas '88 and Michigan '89). . . . Michigan and North Carolina met before a regional final for the third consecutive year. . . . The worst composite conference record in one year of the NCAA playoffs was posted by the SEC, which had all five of its entrants lose their first-round games, with four of them bowing by more than 10 points. Independent South Carolina, a subsequent addition to the SEC, was also drubbed in its opening-round game, giving the six current SEC members a 13.7-point average margin of defeat. . . . North Carolina State's Rodney Monroe scored a tourney-high 40 points in a 102-96 victory over Iowa in the second round of the East Regional. . . . Notre Dame's LaPhonso Ellis grabbed a tourney-high 18 rebounds in an 81-65 triumph over Vanderbilt in the opening round of the East Regional. . . . Texas, with coach Tom Penders in his first season at the helm, posted its first NCAA playoff victory in 17 years. The Longhorns' 76-70 triumph over Georgia Tech gave them a 12-1 mark in games decided by fewer than seven points. . . . In an exciting intrastate battle, South Alabama erased a 16-point halftime deficit in an 86-84 victory over Alabama in the first round of the Southeast Regional. . . . Iowa State gained an at-large bid despite losing four Big Eight Conference road games by at least 25 points. . . . Arkansas center Mario Credit, who averaged a modest 11.4 points per game, erupted for 34 in a Midwest Regional first-round 120-101 victory over Loyola Marymount. . . . Cliff Ellis, Clemson's all-time winningest coach, posted his first NCAA playoff victory in his 14th major-college season. Ditto Arkansas' Nolan Richardson, who was in his ninth campaign.
What Might Have Been: Forward Nick Anderson (55.3 percent) and center Lowell Hamilton (53.4 percent) rank among the top five Illinois players in career field-goal shooting. If only they combined for 46.4 percent field-goal shooting instead of 39.3 percent (11 of 28) in the national semifinals, the Illini could have defeated eventual champion Michigan rather than losing 83-81. The Wolverines also dodged a bullet against Seton Hall in their narrow title game victory as Gaze was restricted to one field goal after contributing at least six baskets in each of the previous four playoff games. . . . DePaul (21-12/without Rod Strickland), Kansas State (19-11/Norris Coleman), Memphis State (21-11/Sylvester Gray), North Carolina State (22-9/Charles Shackleford) and Pittsburgh (17-13/Jerome Lane) might have fared better in the playoffs if standout players had exercised their remaining eligibility instead of defecting to the NBA. DePaul was also without Kevin Holland (stress fracture in lower back), who was the Blue Demons' second-leading rebounder the previous season. . . . There is a good chance that Miami, Fla. (19-12) could have appeared in the tourney for the first time since 1960 if center Tito Horford didn't leave school early for the pros. . . . SEC regular-season champion Florida (21-13) might not have made an early exit if prize prospect Stacey Poole didn't miss the season because of a foot injury. . . . Metro Conference regular-season champion Florida State (22-8) might have avoided its upset loss to Middle Tennessee State if forward Michael Polite didn't miss the season because of a neurological disorder. . . . Louisville (24-9) possibly could have advanced farther in the playoffs if regal recruit Jerome Harmon didn't miss the season because of a back problem. Ditto Arkansas (25-7) if swingman Ron Huery wasn't suspended for disciplinary reasons and UCLA (21-10) if guard Gerald Madkins wasn't a medical redshirt stemming from an auto accident. . . . Minnesota (19-12) might have given Duke more of a tussle in the East Regional semifinals if rebounder deluxe Richard Coffey had been fully recovered from a knee injury. . . . St. John's probably would have participated in the NCAA playoffs instead of the NIT if standout guard Boo Harvey hadn't been grounded by poor grades.
Putting Things in Perspective: Illinois (31-5), beating the NCAA champion-to-be for the third straight season, defeated Michigan twice by a total of 28 points before losing to the Wolverines by two points in the national semifinals. Indiana (27-8) twice defeated the Wolverines by one point before losing against eventual national runner-up Seton Hall in the West Regional semifinals. Michigan suffered defeats in five of 10 Big Ten games in one span after losing on a neutral court to obscure Alaska-Anchorage, 70-66. Alaska-Anchorage lost six of its last 12 games to Chaminade, Metropolitan State (twice), Eastern Montana, Puget Sound and Alaska-Fairbanks to finish with a 21-9 record (see accompanying box).
NCAA Champion Defeats: Neutral court at Utah vs. Alaska-Anchorage (4-point margin), at Illinois (12), at Wisconsin (3), Indiana (1), at Minnesota (8), at Indiana (1), and Illinois (16). . . . Iowa's Roy Marble posted the highest single-game scoring output against Michigan with 32 points.
Scoring Leader: Glen Rice, Michigan (184 points, 30.7 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Daryll Walker, Seton Hall (58 rebounds, 9.7 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Stanley Brundy, DePaul (30 rebounds, 15 rpg).
Danny Ferry, F, Sr., Duke (34 points, 10 rebounds/one Final Four game)
Gerald Greene, G, Sr., Seton Hall (30 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists in final two games)
John Morton, G, Sr., Seton Hall (48 points)
*Glen Rice, F, Sr., Michigan (59 points, 16 rebounds)
Rumeal Robinson, G, Jr., Michigan (35 points, 23 assists)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: Michigan 92 (Rice/Robinson team-high 23 points), Xavier 87 (Hill 21)
Second Round: Michigan 91 (Rice 36), South Alabama 82 (Lewis 25)
Regional Semifinal: Michigan 92 (Rice 34), North Carolina 87 (Reid 26)
Regional Final: Michigan 102 (Rice 32), Virginia 65 (Morgan 15)
National Semifinal: Michigan 83 (Rice 28), Illinois 81 (Battle 29)
Championship Game: Michigan 80 (Rice 31), Seton Hall 79 (Morton 35)*