1975–76 Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1975–76 Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball
Big Ten champions
NCAA Tournament, National Champions
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 1
AP No. 1
1975–76 record 32–0 (18–0 Big Ten)
Head coach Bob Knight (5th year)
Assistant coach Harold Andreas
Assistant coach Bob Donewald
Assistant coach Bob Weltlich
Captain Quinn Buckner
Captain Scott May
Home arena Assembly Hall
Seasons
1975–76 Big Ten Conference men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
No. 1 Indiana 18 0   1.000     32 0   1.000
No. 9 Michigan 14 4   .778     25 7   .781
Purdue 11 7   .611     16 11   .593
Michigan State 10 8   .556     14 13   .519
Iowa 9 9   .500     19 10   .655
Minnesota 8 10   .444     16 10   .615
Illinois 7 11   .389     14 13   .519
Northwestern 7 11   .389     12 15   .444
Wisconsin 4 14   .222     10 16   .385
Ohio State 2 16   .111     6 20   .231
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1975–76 Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team represented Indiana University Bloomington and were the winners of the NCAA Men's Division I Tournament, the school's third national championship. The Hoosiers included three All-Americans and were led by head coach Bob Knight, in his fifth year, to an undefeated 32–0 record. The team played its home games in Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, and was a member of the Big Ten Conference.[1]

Roster[edit]

No. Name Position Ht. Year Hometown
20 Bobby Wilkerson G/F 6–7 Sr. Anderson, Indiana
21 Quinn Buckner G 6–3 Sr. Phoenix, Illinois
22 Wayne Radford G/F 6–3 So. Indianapolis, Indiana
23 Jim Wisman G 6–2 So. Quincy, Illinois
25 Bob Bender G 6–3 Fr. Bloomington, Illinois
31 Scott Eells F 6–9 Fr. Hoopeston, Illinois
32 Mark Haymore F/C 6–8 So. Shaker Heights, Ohio
33 Tom Abernethy F 6–7 Sr. South Bend, Indiana
34 Rich Valavicius F 6–5 Fr. Hammond, Indiana
42 Scott May F 6–7 Sr. Sandusky, Ohio
43 Jim Roberson C 6–9 Fr. Rochester, New York
45 Jim Crews G 6–5 Sr. Normal, Illinois
54 Kent Benson C 6–11 Jr. New Castle, Indiana

Regular season[edit]

After coming just short of winning a national championship the season before (1974–75) when they lost to Kentucky in the tournament, the 1975–76 team got off to a hot start. Starters Scott May, Quinn Buckner, Bobby Wilkerson and Kent Benson returned. Head coach Bobby Knight, then in his fifth year at Indiana, moved senior Tom Abernethy into Steve Green's starting role. Guard Bobby Wilkerson was an unsung hero who could do a little bit of everything. The team entered the season ranked No. 1.[2]

In a preseason exhibition game against the reigning World Champion, the Soviet National team, the Hoosiers won by a convincing 94–78 margin. The Soviet team included two stars from their gold medal team in 1972, Aleksandr Belov and Sergei Belov. The game was played before a sellout crowd of 17,377 at the new (now-defunct) Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Star Scott May scored 34 points on 13-for-15 shooting.

The Hoosiers then opened the season with an 84–64 win over the reigning NCAA National Champion, UCLA, which was coached by John Wooden's successor Gene Bartow. The game was played in St. Louis as one of the first made-for-TV games in college history, with the starting time at 11 p.m. for maximum national airing. May scored 33 points.

The Hoosiers returned to Market Square Arena to play Florida State. The Seminoles' head coach, Hugh Durham, said before the game: "They beat Russia to prove they're the best in the world. And they beat UCLA to prove they're the best in the United States. Now I'd like to see them prove they're human and have a bad game."[3] At halftime Indiana led 47–20 and they would go on to win 83–59. May scored 24 points and Kent Benson added 22. Afterward Durham said, "I'm glad this isn't like baseball. I'd hate to play these guys in a three-game homestand." [3]

The Hoosiers ended the regular season unbeaten, a feat that would be accomplished only six times since, by Larry Bird-led 1979 Indiana State Sycamores, the 1979 Alcorn State Braves, the 1991 UNLV Runnin' Rebels, the 2004 St. Joseph's Hawks, the 2014 Wichita State Shockers, and the 2015 Kentucky Wildcats. All but Alcorn State and St. Joseph's would enter the NCAA Tournament unbeaten.

Indiana is the last team to go unbeaten through the entire season, through preconference and conference seasons, and also finish unbeaten winning the NCAA Tournament. That mark has stood since 1976, though it should be noted that the number of games required to maintain an unbeaten season has increased in present times, thus making it more difficult to attain. The Hoosiers also had the distinction of having all five regular starting players earn their NBA pension.

Schedule/Results[edit]

Date
Time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record Site
City, State
Regular Season
11/29/1975*
 NBC
No. 1 No. 2 UCLA W 84–64  1–0
St. Louis Arena 
St. Louis, Missouri
12/8/1975*
No. 1 vs. Florida State W 83–59  2–0
Market Square Arena 
Indianapolis, Indiana
12/11/1975*
No. 1 No. 8 Notre Dame W 63–60  3–0
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
12/15/1975*
No. 1 vs. No. 14 Kentucky
Indiana–Kentucky rivalry
W 77–68 OT 4–0
Freedom Hall 
Louisville, Kentucky
12/19/1975*
No. 1 Georgia
Indiana Classic
W 93–56  5–0
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
12/20/1975*
No. 1 Virginia Tech
Indiana Classic
W 101–74  6–0
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
12/26/1975*
No. 1 vs. Columbia
Holiday Festival
W 106–63  7–0
Madison Square Garden 
New York City, New York
12/27/1975*
No. 1 vs. Manhattan
Holiday Festival
W 97–61  8–0
Madison Square Garden 
New York City, New York
12/28/1975*
No. 1 vs. No. 17 St. John's
Holiday Festival
W 76–69  9–0
Madison Square Garden 
New York City, New York
1/3/1976
No. 1 at Ohio State W 66–64  10–0 (1–0)
St. John Arena 
Columbus, Ohio
1/5/1976
No. 1 Northwestern W 78–61  11–0 (2–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
1/10/1976
No. 1 at No. 19 Michigan W 80–74  12–0 (3–0)
Crisler Arena 
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1/12/1976
No. 1 at Michigan State W 69–57  13–0 (4–0)
Jenison Fieldhouse 
East Lansing, Michigan
1/17/1976
No. 1 at Illinois
Rivalry
W 83–55  14–0 (5–0)
Assembly Hall 
Champaign, Illinois
1/19/1976
No. 1 Purdue
Rivalry
W 71–67  15–0 (6–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
1/24/1976
No. 1 at Minnesota W 85–76  16–0 (7–0)
Williams Arena 
Minneapolis
1/26/1976
No. 1 at Iowa W 88–73  17–0 (8–0)
Iowa Field House 
Iowa City, Iowa
1/31/1976
No. 1 Wisconsin W 114–61  18–0 (9–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
2/7/1976
No. 1 Michigan W 72–67 OT 19–0 (10–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
2/9/1976
No. 1 Michigan State W 85–70  20–0 (11–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
2/14/1976
No. 1 Illinois
Rivalry
W 58–48  21–0 (12–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
2/16/1976
No. 1 at Purdue
Rivalry
W 74–71  22–0 (13–0)
Mackey Arena 
West Lafayette, Indiana
2/21/1976
No. 1 Minnesota W 76–64  23–0 (14–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
2/23/1976
No. 1 Iowa W 101–81  24–0 (15–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
2/26/1976
No. 1 at Wisconsin W 96–67  25–0 (16–0)
Wisconsin Field House 
Madison, Wisconsin
3/1/1976
No. 1 at Northwestern W 76–63  26–0 (17–0)
Welsh-Ryan Arena 
Evanston, Illinois
3/6/1976
No. 1 Ohio State W 96–67  27–0 (18–0)
Assembly Hall 
Bloomington, Indiana
NCAA Tournament
3/13/1976*
No. 1 vs. No. 17 St. John's
Quarterfinals
W 90–70  28–0 (18–0)
Joyce Center 
Notre Dame, Indiana
3/18/1976*
No. 1 vs. No. 6 Alabama
Sweet Sixteen
W 74–69  29–0 (18–0)
LSU Assembly Center 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
3/20/1976*
No. 1 vs. No. 2 Marquette
Elite Eight
W 65–56  30–0 (18–0)
LSU Assembly Center 
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
3/27/1976*
No. 1 vs. No. 5 UCLA
Final Four
W 65–51  31–0 (18–0)
The Spectrum 
Philadelphia
3/29/1976*
No. 1 vs. No. 9 Michigan
Championship
W 86–68  32–0 (18–0)
The Spectrum 
Philadelphia
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.

NCAA Tournament[edit]

Entering the NCAA Tournament the No. 1 ranked Hoosiers ended up with a difficult route for a No. 1 ranked team.[3] The route included a regional matchup of No. 1 and No. 2 Marquette and convinced the NCAA Tournament Committee to begin seeding the tournament.

In the first game Indiana beat No. 18 St. John's 90–70. Scott May scored 33 points over a 23–6 team that had been unbeaten before Indiana beat them in December before a college-record Madison Square Garden crowd of 19,964.

In the next game Indiana beat No. 7 Alabama 74–69 behind the play of Scott May (25 points, 16 rebounds). Alabama led 69–68 when May hit a jump shot with 2:02 left. At the time, Coach Knight called this Alabama team the best any of his teams ever played.[3]

Against No. 2 Marquette, the Hoosiers won 65–56. Marquette coach, Al McGuire, attempted to contain May by using a box-and-one defense. May scored 15 points but sat out 13 minutes with foul problems. Marquette was 27–2 on the year and would go on to win the NCAA championship the following season.

In the next game the Hoosiers once again faced the UCLA Bruins, who entered the game ranked No. 5 with a 27–3 record. The Hoosiers won 65–51 behind 19 rebounds from 6′7″ guard Bobby Wilkerson and strong play from Tom Abernethy.

In the championship game, Indiana squared off against No. 9 Michigan for the third match up between the teams that season. After Indiana lost Wilkerson early to a concussion, Michigan led at half-time, 35–29. The Hoosiers ultimately prevailed 86–68. May had 26 points, Buckner 16, and Outstanding Player Award-winner Benson had 25.

Indiana finished the season with a 32–0 record, and since 1976 no men's NCAA Division I team has gone unbeaten the whole season.[4][5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Team players drafted into the NBA[edit]

Year Round Pick Player NBA Club
1976 1 2 Scott May Chicago Bulls
1976 1 7 Quinn Buckner Milwaukee Bucks
1976 1 11 Bob Wilkerson Seattle SuperSonics
1976 3 43 Tom Abernethy Los Angeles Lakers
1977 1 1 Kent Benson Milwaukee Bucks
1978 2 27 Wayne Radford Indiana Pacers
1979 6 119 Bob Bender San Diego Clippers

[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indiana Basketball Men's Database". IndyStar. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ Osterman, Zach 1976 Indiana Hoosiers' undefeated season: An oral history Indiana Star. January 4, 2016
  3. ^ a b c d Hammel, Bob; Klingelhoffer, Kit (1999). The Glory of Old IU: 100 Years of Indiana Athletics. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 164. ISBN 1-58261-068-1. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  4. ^ "A perfect season". sportingnews.com. Retrieved 28 March 2008. 
  5. ^ "Hoosier Historia". heraldtimesonline.com. Retrieved 28 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Final Four Most Outstanding Players". cbs.sportsline.com. Retrieved 31 March 2008. 
  7. ^ http://www.naismithawards.com/History/NaismithTrophy/tabid/58/Default.aspx
  8. ^ http://www.databasebasketball.com/draft/draftyear.htm?lg=N&yr=1976