Indiana’s rematch with North Carolina on Wednesday will have a championship flavor.
Members of IU’s 1981 national title team will hold a reunion prior to Wednesday’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge showdown at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The team will also be honored at halftime of that night’s game.
And that’s not all.
Former Indiana baseball star and current Chicago Cub Kyle Schwarber will be IU’s honorary game captain.
It’s going to be a big night.
“Wednesday night, when you bring in that team, with Kyle Schwarber coming back to be the honorary captain, the other people that will be around, but certainly that ’81 team, so many of those people being around, that’s a huge, huge thing,” IU coach Tom Crean said. “For many of them it will be the first time they have seen the building the way it is now. For many of them it will be the first game in some time.”
The 1981 team earned the second of coach Bob Knight’s three NCAA titles with a 63-50 victory over the Tar Heels on March 30, 1981. The team finished 26-9 and won the Big Ten title with a 14-4 record.
“I would think that that ’81 team will get the same reverence and respect from these fans that every other championship team that I’ve seen come back through here has,” Crean said. “Including ’76, including ’87, those type of teams. And rightfully so. I think the most important thing that every fan and person can focus on is that those guys were a team, they remain bonded, there’s so many friendships out of that group that have stayed intact all these years and the fact that is that they are some of the tradition bearers and ownership stakeholders that have made this program what it is. What little time we get with them will be well worth it. What little time the public gets with them will be well worth it. But when they’re all out there together, that should be the loudest the building is all night.”