On March 27 in IU history: No Henderson, no Final Four

March 27, 1993

For five weeks, Indiana scarcely missed a beat after Alan Henderson injured his right knee. In the Midwest Regional final against Kansas, the sophomore standout’s absence finally caught up to the Hoosiers.

The Jayhawks’ depth took its toll on the interior en route to an 83-77 win over the regular-season Big Ten champions, who twice beat Michigan’s Fab Five. Henderson played just three scoreless minutes, finishing his NCAA Tournament with four points in as many games.

Indiana didn’t go down without a fight, led by 23 points from Greg Graham and 22 points to go with nine rebounds by Calbert Cheaney, who was shadowed by a plethora of defenders. Matt Nover tried to do the heavy lifting inside with nine points and seven rebounds, while Brian Evans added 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Damon Bailey chipped in a quiet seven points, seven rebounds and four assists.

That wasn’t enough to keep pace with Kansas, which saw all five starters — Adonis Jordan, Rex Walters, Richard Scott, Eric Pauley and Darrin Hancock — score in double figures as the Jayhawks shot 59.6 percent from the field and hit 17-of-20 free throws.

Kansas never led by more than eight, and IU pulled within three on a Graham layup with 1:36 left. The Jayhawks answered with a layup and two free throws after a pair of Indiana misses to clinch Roy Williams’ second trip to the Final Four.

One comment

  1. Hmmm, no one else stated the obvious sentiments of those of us who were fans back in 1993, so here goes: I firmly believe IU would have been national champs with a healthy Henderson. And….. back in 1993, I would’ve been willing to wager a healthy amount that IU would have stayed relevant in the national scene for the rest of my days as a college hoops fan. What a sad state of affairs IU basketball has relatively become ever since that run out of nowhere to the national title game in 2002. I hope when some semblance of normalcy returns after the coronavirus pandemic settles into the dust that IU hoops rises from the ashes in due course and becomes relevant again. I’ll never lose hope, but the realist in me says it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Stay safe Hoosier fans.

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