Indiana won the Indiana Classic title, including a 73-72 victory over unheralded North Carolina Wilmington. The team won similarly close games in the Big Ten, edging out Michigan 85-84, at Northwestern 77-75, and Wisconsin in triple-overtime 86-85, and at home over Minnesota 72-70. All but the win over Northwestern occurred on virtual last-second shots.
Indiana finished with a 24-4 in the regular season and was co-champions of the Big Ten, earning them a number one seed in the 1987 NCAA Tournament. They won solidly over Fairfield, Auburn and Duke in NCAA play but needed Ricky Calloway's rebound lay-in to beat LSU, 77-76, and get to the Final Four. There, Indiana beat number one ranked Nevada-Las Vegas 97-93 despite ten 3-pointers by UNLV guard Freddie Banks, still the Final Four record.
In the championship game versus Syracuse, which featured three future long-time professional players, Indiana trailed 73-70 in the last minute. However two late shots by Keith Smart, including the last at 0:05, won the game for Indiana.
"The greatness in this team," coach Bob Knight said, "may be the greatness no other team here has had, to the degree that this one did - almost a total resolve not to recognize or be a part of defeat. This team played the last five minutes of critical games as well as I've ever seen a team play."