March Madness Moments: A Big Ten Flavor

The 1979 Spartans: A magical season and a magical player.

The 1979 Spartans: A magical season and a magical player.

The NCAA – in a bid for its highest traffic day in history – today released its 75 all-time March Madness players, 25 all-time March Madness teams and 35 all-time March Madness moments.

There are a handful of Big Ten players, teams and moments on the list (along with the NCAA’s commentary):

Top 75 Players

  • Scott May, Indiana
  • Kent Benson, Indiana
  • Magic Johnson, Michigan State
  • Isiah Thomas, Indiana
  • Steve Alford, Indiana
  • Keith Smart, Indiana
  • Glen Rice, Michigan
  • Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State

Top 25 Teams

  • 1959-60 Ohio State Buckeyes: “The Buckeyes steamrolled through the NCAA tournament by an average of 19.5 points a game.”
  • 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers: “Most recent unbeaten team.”
  • 1978-79 Michigan State Spartans: “Defeated Indiana State in title game (this was Bird vs. Magic).”

Top 35 Moments

  • 1939: Oregon defeats Ohio State at Northwestern for the first NCAA championship.
  • 1976: Indiana’s perfect title: “Since Bob Knight’s Hoosiers won the title 36 years ago, only two teams have even entered the NCAA tournament unbeaten, let alone won the whole thing.”
  • 1979: Magic vs Bird: “Michigan State’s win against unbeaten Indiana State remains the highest-rated game in college basketball history — and it ushered in a new era in basketball.”
  • 1987: Keith Smart: “In the same year the movie Hoosiers came out, Indiana Hoosier Keith Smart scored 12 of his team’s final 15 points, including a 16-footer in the final seconds, as Indiana shocked Syracuse in the national final.”
  • 1989: Rumeal Robinson: “Robinson sure wasn’t automatic from the foul line during the regular season, but he hit a pair of free throws with no time left on the clock to give Michigan the national title.”

Seems pretty complete. So what’s missing?


About Tony

Founder of Ball Eight.

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