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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Duke (35-2; coached by Mike Krzyzewski/12th season with Blue Devils; won ACC regular-season title by three games over Florida State with a 14-2 record).
NIT Champion--Virginia (20-13; coached by Jeff Jones/second of eight seasons with Cavaliers; tied for fourth place in ACC with an 8-8 record).
New Conference--Great Midwest (merged with teams from the Metro to form Conference USA four years later).
New Rules--Contact technical fouls count toward the five fouls for player disqualification and toward team fouls in reaching bonus free-throw situations. . . . The shot clock is reset when the ball strikes the basket ring, not when a shot leaves the shooter's hands as it had been since the rule was introduced in 1986.
NCAA Probation--Auburn, Maryland, Northwestern (La.) State, Texas A&M, UNLV.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Jim Jackson, G-F, Jr., Ohio State (22.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 4 apg, 81.1 FT%); Christian Laettner, F-C, Sr., Duke (21.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 57.5 FG%, 81.5 FT%, 55.7 3FG%); Harold Miner, G, Jr., Southern California (26.3 ppg, 7 rpg, 81.1 FT%); Alonzo Mourning, C, Sr., Georgetown (21.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 5 bpg, 59.5 FG%); Shaquille O'Neal, C, Jr., Louisiana State (24.1 ppg, 14 rpg, 5.2 bpg, 61.5 FG%).
National Players of the Year--Jackson (UPI) and Laettner (AP/NABC/USBWA/Naismith/Wooden).
National Coaches of the Year--Tulane's Perry Clark (21-8/UPI, USBWA); Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (34-2/Naismith); Southern California's George Raveling (24-6/NABC), and Kansas' Roy Williams (27-5/AP).
Duke's Christian Laettner hit a dramatic decisive last-second shot against Kentucky in overtime after receiving a long inbounds pass in the East Regional final. The game is acknowledged as one of the most suspenseful in NCAA history (see accompanying box).
Virginia's NIT title enabled Jeff Jones to become the only person to win NIT crowns as a player (Virginia guard in 1980) and as a coach. His father, Bob Jones, had been coach of Kentucky Wesleyan when it won the 1973 NCAA Division II crown. . . . Embattled coach Jerry Tarkanian was forced out at UNLV, but not before the Rebels captured their 10th consecutive Big West Conference championship and led the nation in field-goal percentage defense. Tarkanian's 307 victories in his last 10 seasons with them is by far the most successful 10-year stretch in major-college history. He won at least 28 games the first nine of those campaigns until going 26-2 when the Rebels were on probation and prohibited from competing in postseason play, including the Big West Tournament. Tarkanian, the first coach to pace the country in field-goal percentage defense after previously guiding the school to scoring titles (four times), departed after becoming the only coach in history to compile back-to-back undefeated conference records for two different schools in the same league. He achieved the feat earlier with Long Beach State in 1970 and 1971 when the alliance was known as the PCAA.
Georgetown's Alonzo Mourning joined Ralph Sampson (Virginia), David Robinson (Navy) and J.R. Reid (North Carolina) as the fourth center in 10 years to earn NCAA consensus first-team All-American recognition after playing high school basketball in Virginia.
LSU's Shaquille O'Neal concluded his three-year career with a total of six games blocking at least 10 shots. He is the only player to twice average at least five rejections per game in a season. O'Neal was one of six SEC players to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft, including three from conference newcomer Arkansas.
Height doesn't always determine who excels at blocked shots and field-goal shooting. Vermont's Kevin Roberson finished his career as the shortest player (6-7) to block more than three shots per game (3.65) and Massachusetts' William Herndon finished his career as the shortest player (6-3) to hit more than 63 percent of his field-goal attempts.
Morehead State's Brett Roberts (53 points vs. Middle Tennessee State), Colgate's Jonathan Stone (52 vs. Brooklyn), Bethune-Cookman's Reggie Cunningham (46 at Stetson), Hartford's Vin Baker (44 vs. Lamar in overtime) and Maryland-Baltimore County's Derell Thompson (43 at Towson State) established school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Maryland's Walt Williams (26.8 ppg), Southern California's Harold Miner (26.3), Bethune-Cookman's Cunningham (25.7), Stanford's Adam Keefe (25.3), Southern Utah's Davor Marcelic (23.5), Georgia State's Phillip Luckydo (21) and Southwest Texas State's George Conner (20.6) set school Division I standards for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Alabama State's Steve Rogers (5th with 27.3 ppg) and Butler's Darrin Archbold (13th with 24.8) finished among the nation's top scorers in their senior seasons. It was a far cry from their freshman campaigns--Rogers (3.1 ppg for Middle Tennessee State before transferring) and Archbold (0.9 for Butler).
The Ohio Valley Conference supplied the national leaders in scoring (Morehead's Roberts/28.1 ppg), rebounding (Murray State's Popeye Jones/14.4 rpg) and assists (Tennessee Tech's Van Usher/8.8 apg). . . . Jones was named OVC Tournament MVP for the third consecutive season. He is the only player in OVC history to lead three straight regular-season champions in scoring and rebounding. The Racers had two first-team All-OVC selections for the fifth year in a row. . . . Usher led the nation in assists one year after pacing the country in steals.
Missouri's Jeff Warren established a Big Eight Conference record by hitting 24 consecutive field-goal attempts. . . . Colorado lost 24 consecutive games to Oklahoma in their series until the Buffaloes won in overtime, 70-68. . . . Forward Byron Houston became Oklahoma State's first All-American in 38 years. The Cowboys won their first 20 games until losing at Nebraska, 85-69. . . . Illinois State tied for first place in the Missouri Valley Conference after tying for last the previous campaign. . . . Southern Illinois guard Chris Lowery, an All-Missouri Valley Conference second-team selection as a sophomore, went on to become coach of his alma mater. . . . Two-time Mid-Continent Conference MVP Tony Bennett, who finished his Wisconsin-Green Bay career as the NCAA's all-time leader in three-point field-goal percentage (minimum of 200 made), eventually coached Washington State and Virginia. He was consensus national coach of the year in his debut with WSU in 2006-07.
Delaware (27-4/coached by Steve Steinwedel), Montana (27-4/Blaine Taylor), Georgia Southern (25-6/Frank Kerns) and Missouri-Kansas City (20-8/Lee Hunt) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. Southern California (24-6/George Raveling) tied its school single-season mark for most victories. . . . Delaware went unbeaten in North Atlantic Conference competition (17-0 including postseason tourney) in the Blue Hens' debut campaign in the league. . . . Liberty, after compiling a 5-23 record the previous season, improved by 16 1/2 games.
Massachusetts, coached by John Calipari, made its initial Top 20 appearance in a final wire-service poll. The Minutemen defeated Temple, 67-52, for the initial time after losing their first 21 meetings with the Owls. . . . Seton Hall lost 23 consecutive games to Syracuse in their series until defeating the Orangemen, 86-76. . . . Princeton posted the best defensive effort by a team in a single season since the inception of the shot clock and three-point arc (48.2 ppg). . . . Marist, coached by Dave Magarity, won only one of 12 games decided by fewer than five points. . . . Dave Faucher, a marathon runner, won all six of his games decided by fewer than six points in his debut season as Dartmouth's coach. He finished with a winning record in that category during his 13-year career with the Big Green despite winning less than 40% of his overall contests. . . . Bucknell guard Bill Courtney, a two-time All-Patriot League first-team selection, went on to coach Cornell. . . . Providence backup swingman Ken McDonald, who converted all but one of his 20 free-throw attempts, eventually coached Western Kentucky in the NCAA playoffs.
Cincinnati (29-5/coached by Bob Huggins) did not appear in a final wire-service national poll or the NCAA Tournament for 14 consecutive years until highlighting the Great Midwest Conference's inaugural season by reaching the Final Four. It was the first time for a first-year league member to advance to the national semifinals since UNC Charlotte represented the Sun Belt Conference in 1977, which coincidentally was the last year Cincinnati had participated in the event.
Michigan State co-captain Mark Montgomery, an All-Big Ten Conference third-team selection after leading the Spartans in assists for the second straight season, went on to coach Northern Illinois. . . . Leading the nation in free-throw percentage couldn't keep Northwestern from finishing in the Big Ten Conference basement for the eighth straight season. The Wildcats' Bill Foster became the only coach the last half of the 20th Century to be at the helm of two different schools when they paced the country in free-throw accuracy. Foster was coach of Duke's 1978 Final Four team that also excelled from the foul line. . . . Western Michigan, coached by Bob Donewald, compiled a 21-9 record to end a streak of nine consecutive losing seasons. . . . Prairie View (0-28) became the first team to go winless in an entire season since The Citadel went 0-17 in 1955. . . . Miami (Fla.) compiled a 1-17 league record in its inaugural season in the Big East, but the Hurricanes won their Big East Tournament debut with an 83-71 decision over Pittsburgh. . . . Syracuse finished out of the top 10 of a final AP poll for the first time in seven years.
North Carolina, trailing by 20 points with less than 15 minutes remaining, rallied to edge Wake Forest, 80-78, on a last-second shot by Brian Reese. The comeback rates as the largest deficit the Tar Heels have ever had to overcome for a victory. . . . North Carolina State senior forward Tom Gugliotta led the ACC in three-point field goals with 93 after hitting only one three-pointer as a freshman in 1988-89. . . . Kentucky swingman John Pelphrey, averaging more than 12 points per game for the third straight season, went on to become coach at South Alabama. . . . Tulane, coached by Perry Clark, appeared in a final wire-service poll for the first time since the AP's initial rankings in 1949. . . . Five of Oliver Purnell's first 11 victories as coach for Old Dominion were by one point. He won his initial 10 games with ODU decided by fewer than three points. . . . Western Kentucky (21-11), coached by Ralph Willard, won all 10 of its games decided by fewer than four points. . . . Radford won 12 games coming from behind in the second half en route to a 20-9 record under coach Ron Bradley. . . . Tennessee-Chattanooga wasn't invited to the NCAA Tournament or NIT for the third time in four years despite at least sharing the Southern Conference regular-season title.
Wyoming's Reginald Slater (27 against Troy State) and UNC-Wilmington's Matt Fish (20 in triple overtime at American) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Arizona's 71-game homecourt winning streak, which started in 1987, was snapped by UCLA, 89-87. . . . Air Force lost 23 consecutive contests to Texas-El Paso in their series until defeating the Miners, 75-72. . . . Lucius Davis Jr. finished his career at UC Santa Barbara with 1,420 points. He and his father are believed to be the only father-son combination to score more than 1,400 points apiece for schools that are currently at the Division I level. Lucius Davis Sr. scored 1,511 points in three seasons for Fresno State (1968-70) shortly before the Bulldogs moved up to Division I.
Lou Carnesecca ended his 24-year college coaching career with a 526-200 record when St. John's became the only Big East regular-season champion failing to win at least 20 games overall. He is the only major-college coach to survive more than 20 seasons with nothing but winning records at least five games above .500. Carnesecca won 65.4% of his games decided by fewer than four points (102-54 mark). . . . Wimp Sanderson, who coached Alabama to at least 23 victories seven of the last eight seasons, left the Crimson Tide amid allegations of an altercation with his secretary. Just before her sexual discrimination lawsuit went to trial, Sanderson and the former secretary settled out of court. He won nine games by fewer than four points in his final year with 'Bama.
1992 NCAA Tournament
Summary: Christian Laettner became the NCAA Tournament's all-time leading scorer and teammate Bobby Hurley became the tourney's all-time leader in assists as the Blue Devils became the first school since UCLA (1967-73) to repeat as national champion. Hurley took up the slack with 26 points when Laettner was limited to eight points against Indiana in the national semifinals. Laettner closed out his college career with a game-high 19 points in the championship game against Michigan, which became the only school ever to lead an NCAA final at halftime and end up losing the game by at least 20 points. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski did the unthinkable and temporarily passed UCLA legend John Wooden (47-10, .8246) for the top spot in all-time NCAA playoff winning percentage (minimum of 20 games). Hurley was selected Final Four Most Outstanding Player although dissenters believed that Duke teammate Grant Hill deserved the honor instead. In the two Final Four games, Hill had more field goals than Hurley (14 to 10), outshot him from the floor (61 percent to 41.7), blocked more shots (5 to 0), outrebounded him (16 to 3) and accumulated just as many assists (11 each). Moreover, Hurley's 3 of 12 field-goal shooting in the final against Michigan was the worst marksmanship from the floor for a Final Four Most Outstanding Player in a championship game since Elgin Baylor of runner-up Seattle went 9 of 32 against Kentucky in 1958. It was the second consecutive year for the Final Four Most Outstanding Player to come from Duke and manage just three baskets and shoot less than 50 percent from the floor in the title game. In 1991, Laettner hit 3 of 8 field-goal attempts against Kansas. Duke became the 18th NCAA Tournament champion to win at least two playoff games by fewer than six points when the Blue Devils edged Kentucky (104-103 in overtime in East Regional final) and Indiana (81-78 in national semifinals). Massachusetts might have been facing Duke instead of Kentucky if not for a critical, and controversial, technical foul assessed to Minutemen coach John Calipari by referee Lenny Wirtz.
Star Gazing: Hurley, 6-0, was the shortest player to be selected Final Four Most Outstanding Player since 5-11 Hal Lear led Temple to a national third-place finish in 1956. The only Final Four Most Outstanding Player shorter than Hurley from a championship team was 5-11 Kenny Sailors of Wyoming '43. Hurley shot a mediocre 41 percent from the floor in his career with the Blue Devils, but his playmaking and intangibles helped them win 18 of 20 NCAA playoff games. He holds the career record for most playoff assists (145) although his bid to become the first player to start four consecutive NCAA finals was thwarted when California upset Duke in the second round of the 1993 Midwest Regional despite Hurley's career-high 32 points. . . . Iowa center Acie Earl rejected eight Duke field-goal attempts in the second round. . . . In a Midwest Regional second-round game dubbed the "Miracle in Milwaukee," there was only eight-tenths of a second remaining when Georgia Tech inbounded the ball near midcourt to freshman forward James Forrest, who hit his only three-pointer of the season to give the Yellow Jackets a 79-78 victory over No. 2 seed Southern California. . . . LSU's Shaquille O'Neal set an NCAA playoff record with 11 blocked shots against BYU in the first round. In his next and last college game, Shaq hit all 12 of his free throws when the Tigers were eliminated by Indiana.
Biggest Upsets: East Tennessee State (14th seed) over Arizona (3), 87-80, and Southwestern Louisiana (13) over Oklahoma (4), 87-83.
One and Only: Duke is the only team to finish with five players averaging double digits in scoring while being ranked No. 1 the entire season. . . . Guard Jalen Rose was the only freshman in the 20th Century to finish with the highest season scoring average for a team reaching the NCAA Tournament championship game. He averaged 17.6 points per game for national runner-up Michigan. Rose and Chris Webber became the only set of freshman teammates to be named to an NCAA All-Tournament team. Ten years later, Michigan booster Ed Martin pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge. Martin admitted he took gambling money, co-mingled it with earned income and money given to him from another person and then loaned it to at least four players. He was indicted for giving Webber $280,000 in illicit loans as part of an illegal gambling operation and money laundering, with another $336,000 allegedly going to three subsequent Wolverine standouts while they were in high school. In the summer of 2003, Webber pleaded guilty to criminal contempt. . . . Iowa State is the only school to gain an at-large invitation despite losing all of its conference road games. The Cyclones, coached by Johnny Orr, compiled the worst league record of any team ever to receive an at-large bid (5-9 in the Big Eight). They were invited despite losing their seven conference road contests by an average margin of 14.4 points.
Celebrity Status: Rickey Dudley, a tight end who was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the first round (9th pick overall) of the 1996 NFL draft, collected three points and five rebounds in a 78-55 victory over Connecticut in the second round for Ohio State's Southeast Regional runner-up.
Numbers Game: All three Final Four game winners trailed at halftime. . . . Duke defied a recent trend by becoming the first top-ranked team in 10 years entering the NCAA Tournament to win the national title. The previous five top-ranked teams failed to reach the championship game. . . . The final between Duke and Michigan was the most-watched basketball game in television history. An estimated 53 million viewers took in all or part of the title game in the United States' TV homes covered by the Nielsen ratings. CBS estimated that an additional 10 percent of the total audience watched the final away from home--in taverns, dormitories and other venues that Nielsen doesn't survey. That's more than 100 times the initial viewing audience estimated at 500,000 in 1946, when the championship game (Oklahoma State defeated North Carolina, 43-40) was televised locally for the first time in New York by WCBS-TV. . . . Four of Michigan's Fab Five Freshmen--Rose (107 points), Webber (98), Jimmy King (83) and Juwan Howard (82)--ranked among the top six freshman scorers in a single tournament in the last 13 years. . . . UNLV's streak of tournament appearances ended at nine when the Rebels were on NCAA probation. . . . Tulane, coached by Perry Clark, appeared in the NCAA playoffs for the first time in school history. . . . Duke won all nine of its NCAA playoff games against Big East and Big Ten teams in a three-year span from 1990 through 1992. . . . Indiana defeated LSU for the fifth time in as many playoff matchups.
What Might Have Been: Forwards Calbert Cheaney and Eric Anderson shot better than 50 percent from the floor in their careers for Indiana. If only they had combined to hit 36.8% of their field-goal attempts instead of 26.3% (5 of 19) in the national semifinals, the Hoosiers could have defeated eventual champion Duke rather than having a five-point halftime lead evaporate and losing 81-78. IU was also without former McDonald's All-American Pat Graham (foot injury). . . . Kentucky coach Rick Pitino was criticized in some quarters for leaving Grant Hill unguarded for his approximate 80-foot pass to Laettner with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime in the East Regional. . . . Arizona (24-7/without Brian Williams), Georgia Tech (23-12/Kenny Anderson), Louisiana State (21-10/Chris Jackson), Temple (17-13/Donald Hodge) and Syracuse (22-10/Billy Owens) might have fared better in the playoffs if standout players had exercised their remaining eligibility instead of defecting to the NBA. Ditto Wake Forest (17-12) if guard Randolph Childress didn't miss the season because of a knee injury. . . . Utah (24-11) probably would have participated in the NCAA playoffs instead of the NIT if two-time WAC Player of the Year Josh Grant didn't miss most of the season because of a bum knee. Notre Dame (18-15) is in the same category because of forward Monty Williams' heart problem. . . . Brigham Young (25-7) likely would have fared better in the tourney if Kenneth Roberts, an eventual two-time All-WAC forward, wasn't on a Mormon mission. . . . New Mexico State (25-8) might have advanced even farther in the West Regional if forward-center Tracey Ware didn't redshirt because of a knee injury. Ware led the Big West Conference in field-goal percentage the next season.
Putting Things in Perspective: Duke came close to becoming the eighth NCAA champion to go undefeated. The Blue Devils' two losses were by a total of just six points (ACC road games against North Carolina and Wake Forest to start and end a stretch of five of six contests away from home from February 5-23). . . . St. John's forward Malik Sealy managed the highest-scoring game against Duke with 37 points in the ACC/Big East Challenge.
Scoring Leader: Christian Laettner, Duke (115 points, 19.2 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Jamal Mashburn, Kentucky (96 points, 24 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Chris Webber, Michigan (58 rebounds, 9.7 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Doug Edwards, Florida State (32 rebounds, 10.7 rpg).
Grant Hill, F, Soph., Duke (32 points, 11 assists)
*Bobby Hurley, G, Jr., Duke (35 points, 11 assists)
Christian Laettner, C, Sr., Duke (27 points, 17 rebounds)
Jalen Rose, G, Fr., Michigan (24 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists)
Chris Webber, F, Fr., Michigan (30 points, 22 rebounds, five steals)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
First Round: Duke 82 (Laettner team-high 22 points), Campbell (N.C.) 56 (Mocnik 29)
Second Round: Duke 75 (Davis 21), Iowa 62 (Earl 19)
Regional Semifinal: Duke 81 (Laettner/Lang 16), Seton Hall 69 (Dehere 21)
Regional Final: Duke 104 (Laettner 31), Kentucky 103 (Mashburn 28)*
National Semifinal: Duke 81 (Hurley 26), Indiana 78 (Graham 18)
Championship Game: Duke 71 (Laettner 19), Michigan 51 (Webber 14)