On March 29 in IU history: Hoosiers unbeaten in ’76

March 29, 1976

For the first time in NCAA Tournament history, two teams from the same conference met in the championship, but the result was the same as the first two regular-season meetings as Indiana rolled past Michigan, 86-68, to cap an undefeated season at 32-0. It’s a feat that has not been duplicated since, earning the Hoosiers a unique place in the history of college basketball.

Beating the Wolverines, who pushed IU to overtime in the previous meeting at Assembly Hall, one last time wasn’t easy. That was especially true when Bobby Wilkerson suffered a concussion just two minutes into the game. Minus its defensive specialist, Indiana trailed at halftime, 35-29.

But in the second half, the Hoosiers’ offense roared to life, shooting 60 percent from the floor behind the 1-2 punch of national player of the year Scott May and Kent Benson. May scored a game-high 26 points to go with eight rebounds, while Benson had 25 points and nine rebounds. Quinn Buckner added 16 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists, while Tom Abernethy had 11 points.

The result was the first national championship for Indiana coach Bob Knight at the age of 35, although it might have been two but for Scott May’s injury in 1975.

25 comments

  1. That’s pretty cryptic, t.

    Can you sort of elaborate? I mean, we have time on our hands here (and, gang, I am hoping that all who read this realize that we need to keep our hands clean and do not touch our face if our hands might have touched something that someone with COVID-19 has touched (and that could be anyone, so you need to wash your hands before touching your face).

    That, and “sustained proximity” with ANYONE is, shall we say, discouraged.

    Take care, all, and t, I’m truly wondering what you were referring to (and I Hope is it not something to do with IU Football, IU Baseball, or IU Women’s Basketball).

    1. Rock. I was referring to the pinnacle achievement for IU basketball of what dreams are made of. All those people from players, coaches, fans and any association in the state of Indiana and elsewhere were kinda on top of the sports world with joy.
      As joyful as that time and event was for the individuals noted above, I was referring to the world at that time still had its issues and problems. (General Statement)

    2. That, and “sustained proximity” with ANYONE is, shall we say, discouraged.

      On the bright side, some companies are reporting zero Covid-19 infection rate/spread at the plants where some are remaining on the work floor on a daily basis. On the down side, they now sit rather idly. Why is there no spread of the disease? Conversation is limited. I’m pretty sure none of them even speak of how “trade schools” made a difference. Movement is limited to only what’s necessary. Sustained proximity? Regrettably, they are almost touching elbows….But management has always enforced a strict policy of no bumping or touching.
      They just wait and hope for things to get moving again. Healthcare? Management offered these workhorses none …but they still don’t seem to worry about sickness. Food may soon run out at the plant but none are complaining of hunger yet.
      I wonder if anyone misses them while they home at work…though work has stopped? What to do when you have nowhere to go, perfect immune systems and all the time in the world?

  2. I was a senior in High School visiting IU and Bloomington that day/night to see if I wanted to attend IU. My head and my heart were already 90% certain that I did, but WOW, being on campus and downtown that night left no doubt.

    As a first year alum in 1981, my future wife (also and IU alum) and several of our friends from IU were in Bloomington the day/night IU won it again. I’ll never forget piling out of Nicks into the mass of humanity on Kirkwood that night. It was a good crowd and well behaved (no cars overturned or fires lit that I recall seeing), just thousands upon thousands of people celebrating another Championship.

    I will always remember the mixed emotions I experienced that day. The President had been shot. Would the game be postponed? Then we learned the game would be played as scheduled. Was that the right thing to do? Then IU won and it was a surreal but wonderful experience.

  3. t,

    Thank you for your reply.

    When you write “the world at that time still had its issues and problems” are you referring to the concept “The Government is the problem” (Ronald Reagan) and “We don’t have a Society, we have Individuals” (Margaret Thatcher)? I’m in self-isolation and worried about contracting COVID-19 (and a little bored) so forgive me for prying. Your comment interested me and you don’t need to reply if you don’t want to.

  4. Simply put. As great as an event may be at a certain time in a certain place…There have always been problems in the world someplace sometime or one could say everywhere all the time from very mild or unimportant to severe and very important.

  5. If I may weigh in…? I see those days as the last days of an American Dream attainable for more than just a very select few. It was the beginning of wages never keeping pace with massive inflation. It was corporations structuring to keep the top comfortable and everyone else barely making a sustainable wage. It was small businesses in small towns finding a niche while still invisible to what was around the corner; the mega stores and collapse of vibrant mom & pop retail. Online shopping would soon destroy more.
    It was gas prices going through the roof and various oil embargoes creating skyrocketing prices at the pump.
    It was Jimmy Carter and others talking of getting off oil/fuel dependency….And we still just blow the same empty talk today as thousands drive around in planet destroying SUV’s the size of buses.

    It’s pretty much been ‘goodbye to America’ since the ’70s. Greed went into overdrive. Sherman Antitrust Act disappeared. Monopolies and price fixing …along with everything built to protect the shareholder and the precious stock market began to turn a diverse and (somewhat) fair economy into corporate socialism.

    But why did any of us pipsqueaks care…? We were enjoying the heyday of Hoosier hoops. Most of us didn’t feel the weight of change. We were young, full of hormones… and the women of college classrooms were never so divine. There was plenty of sunshine while the darkness grew in the gut of America.

    Any other questions?

  6. And I don’t need any thank you ….All falls upon deaf ears.

    It’s hard to find any positives with so many people dying …(and it’s many of the elderly who were rocks in families going out in cold and lonely fashion).

    There was massive negligence. When this thing first popped up in Seattle, action should have went into high gear.

    Oh, I’m still supposed to see a positive…Well, here it is….The planet is getting to breathe again. Unfortunately, China is getting up to speed soon and they’ll start choking the air again. Did any of you see the satellite imagery of the earth showing the massive reductions in pollution throughout the globe? Amazing …..how the planet can get some relief when this human species gets scared and confined to pajamas. Amazing how we can find trillions of dollars now….but helping maintain the planet is just too expensive and too much on our shoulders. Well, isn’t that all just so lovely and positive…? Breathe, planet, breathe again….Gosh, a few more months and maybe the waters would even feel the improvement.

    Pandemics won’t mean sh__ for our kid’s kids if we continue to destroy the largest isolation chamber- our wonderful one-of-a-kind blue oasis in the universe. Earth getting some rare social distancing….and it’s happy.

  7. Kings, Lords, Chiefs, Warriors, Queens, Bishops, Knights, Rooks, and pawns.
    Then, there were the Presidents/Political unleaders, Owners, CEOs, Executive Elites, Large Share Stockholders, Boardrooms, White Color Criminals all in the Lobby and what was left were the rest of them.

  8. What BS. Make your bed you lay it. Burn your ass you set on it. Envious bitching and crying it’s someone’s fault just wastes o2.

  9. Harv, I’m just late in noticing, but I am, as always, thankful for your informative and entertaining comments. On your post, however, H4h, I believe you might have pointed the finger in a proper direction but not completely accurate: The worst global polluter is the U.S. Military Industrial Complex. (I state this because it’s consistent with my quotes from folksy Ronald Reagan and the horrific Iron Lady).

    And, t, you are also, as always, on the mark.. Thank you.

    HC, I hope you are able to receive some counseling….your comment is way out of line and not at all consistent with the tone of the conversation. Help is available, seek it before it’s too late, my friend.

    1. Rock, et al.,
      Just a little food for thought. Would recommend you broaden your information sources considerably. Would know that the U.S. MIC is not even close the worst global polluter.

      Secondly, no particular fan of the corporations that t and H4H have been panning so frequently. However, I think it would surprise some people if they were to learn exactly who populates the boardrooms of all the corporations and what their political persuasions happen to be. Certainly not the stereotype which is out there. Finally, a lot of people like to bash the corporations but fail to realize that their very own 401k’s are dependent upon the success of those corporations.

      1. With regard to pollution, I would suggest you check the per capita numbers….(as is the suggested method when assessing basketball talent which normally puts Indiana near the top).

        401K ….? Biggest illusion in the American economy. It was a method to disguise wage disparity. Designed for the Bernie Madoff of the world.
        It makes people believe they are making more “real” dollars and it breeds contentment with underpaid wages which have not kept pace with inflation for four decades. Lastly, the vast majority of Americans put very little into such accounts…They live from paycheck to paycheck. And with our weak healthcare system, one health crisis in a family would wipe out more than 20 years of putting minuscule contributions into such accounts.

        Outside of the vast majority of Americans surviving paycheck to paycheck, do you honestly think the millions upon millions drowning in student debt will ever have the luxury to build mountains of roller coaster piggy bank funds into 401K accounts? Those who believe this pandemic has put a financial strain on the country ain’t seen nothin’ yet. The student debt crisis keeps being put to the back of the classroom. Pennies in 401K accounts won’t put a dent in the monstrous blobs in healthcare costs and student loan costs which outpace earnings increases tenfold.
        Simply because many need the corporation for their survival hourly rate to live paycheck to paycheck, doesn’t excuse the greed and abuses which come with protecting the top shareholders at the expense of lifting up the masses.
        ]It was easy to see this day coming….Sadly, it’s taking thousands up thousands dying in a pandemic to prove just how much most of our society lives on a thread of financial stability. Blame the house owner as they did in the housing crisis. Blame the wage earner with no healthcare and making $15.00/hr and holding 75,000 in student loan debt for not having a safety net …or a 401K account. Should have built more piggy banks, losers. Why weren’t you putting $1.00 from every Walmart paycheck to amass your fortune?

        We can do better…..Corporations aren’t the enemy. It’s merely the scoundrels with with devil in the veins who run many of them. Those scoundrels can live in small businesses as well. Valuing your work force and provide real standards of living doesn’t discriminate based on size of company. But conglomerates do hold a lot of the cards in America…And the more our economy is based on fewer choices for all(work and purchasing), the more abuses of power at the top seem inevitable.

        1. H4H,
          You bemoan the plight of those with staggering amounts of student debt, yet never ask, “Why does it cost so much to get an education? Why does so much have to be financed?” The hue and cry is always about the symptom. which is the debt load, but never about the root cause. Why did the 4 yr degree and/or grad degrees cost so much in the first place? Worse yet, why is there no employment market willing to pay enough to offset the educational costs?

          Why does society never do this? It is because we don’t want to face the reality of what those root causes are. If you start digging into the root causes of student debt you will find for a great number that it is one of the worst ROI’s out there. You have trade school grads in many fields knocking down 6 figures a year with employers willing to foot the education bill while 4 yr and above degrees may only bring 50k if lucky. Why is that??? I can give you the answer but I doubt most want to hear it because it certainly conflicts with the popular narrative.

          I guess it is because we are sporting event starved that we are deviating into such territory as this but it is indicative of the overall problems with our society.

    2. Rock you must live in a fog. US has worked hard and for many years has moved far away from being the worst polluter. Only gullible people always on the hunt for someone to blame believe BS like that. But I don’t expect you to believe it or to research it to be disappointed when you find how wrong you’ve been led to believe. I don’t whine, bitch or cry like the 1’s you didn’t like my response to. I figure out a way to overcome obstacles, change and challenges to attain a successful outcome. It’s a full time task. I wake up every morning viewing my glass as overflowing. Not wasting time cyphering whether my eyes see it half empty or half full. My life, I determine the results.

  10. The minute you climb into a giant SUV you classify as a ‘worst polluter.’
    Our highways are ruled by egomaniacs driving pickup trucks and SUV’s the size of military vehicles. Needless expressions of ‘bigger is better’…..as with ‘bigger is better’ homes and 4-car garages. Our mindset is to pollute and to waste….whether its food or symbols of status. Maybe we build better filters on cigarettes, too….? Well, the globe is one small family room for all the chain smokers and chain polluters. It ain’t a competition. And until we (as in all) change the mindset and respect the living organisms beyond the “me first” human race, it’s a race already lost.

    Most religions are built on “humans first” philosophies/doctrines. Who is going to save “you?” Who is going to save “me?” It’s all egocentric in nature with zero regard for the decency we give the planet and other creatures with value and minds.
    Meanwhile, at the beginning of this pandemic, the president’s son was attaining a license to head to Alaska to kill a grizzly bear. I pray for the bear to have him for lunch in the afterlife.

  11. I guess we could just attribute everything to ‘survival of the fittest.’ We can use it to excuse abuses causing wage disparity and healthcare disparity. We can use it to defend all the riches in a capitalist economy leaving so many out of the bank vaults. And I guess we can simply thank Darwin for pandemics as well….It just a game for the ‘fittest.’ We’ve been a heartless nation for many, many decades…..If you were meant to survive, you will survive.
    We’ve always attributed gains and losses in life, liberty and happiness on what you fight, claw or out-think to attain. But there is an irony in it all…Those who always believed they had won the fight to stay atop and be the “fittest” capitalist have found a virus doesn’t care about your winnings. Darwin never considered compassion muddying up the playing field….or how disease can level the food chain in the flash of one sunrise on a planet billions of years old. Maybe a lack of compassion is a disease? And maybe those with an ounce of it are more fit?
    Only time will tell. Maybe heaven is just another place for the fittest and earth is the testing ground? Maybe just take an easy aim at that grizzly through your high-powered scope and just don’t give a sh__. You are the fittest.

  12. I bet it’s the Niagara Falls of LaPorte, Indiana…but who’s complaining? Nobody is complaining. Four more years! To complain to any ‘king’ is weak….Hell, it might soon come with a beheading courtesy of the grizzly hunter? And thank god we have the king doing such a great job during the pandemic. He counts the deaths like a dinner tip at the Ritz.

    1. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan, overflowing sloth jibberish. The goal of losing, owns resumes homed in the circular file.

  13. That’s a wonderful photo of Knight, May and Buckner ….with the huge smiles on their faces. But I still like the one I’m about to show you more. This photo, in my humble opinion, epitomizes the Bobby Knight Hoosier team of 1976. It’s a far more uncommon shot taken far from a place of cornfields, gym floors ..or bright lights. It was a rare window into the soul of a team taken by very astute and talented photographer who encapsulated the stride of men undaunted and on a mission.
    It’s how I prefer to remember Bob Knight….Walking the streets of New York with his boys. All great things to come unknown and untasted.
    Just Hoosiers on a mission. Been forever (maybe never again) since such swagger has been present in those who don the candy stripes.

  14. And since this is a so-called entertaining sports blog I will specifically correlate the “Rook” that benefit from all the Crooks with sports…players, coaches, ADs and the entertainment industry. After all the Crooks rape the working class middle America with lies and brainwashing…resulting in poor use of tax dollars, high crime, more poverty and corporate welfare that built plus continue to build their version of taj mahals throughout the land. Then, present brainwashing statistics that make daily hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions $ lottery hits for Professional coaches, players, and entertainers…. they all probably own a castle or two and sometimes maybe more than a couple of castles. Then, outside of the sport or entertainment they represent are often perceived as experts in things they know hardly anything about. Not what the market will bear or bare but how wealth is distributed leads to an imbalance of undeserving and unearned opportunities. If one watches the Oscars ever notice how every single entertainer is the greatest as each one pats the other on the back in self worshipping not only themselves but one another in self promotion. Books and other opportunities are made for elite class individuals of fame not because of their expertise or are even that good at writing a book or whatever versus the non famous part of the middle class… another gross imbalance. What was wrong with the old football field to play a football game? What was wrong with the old fieldhouse to play a game of basketball? What was wrong with all the old football stadiums and basketball gyms? What was wrong with the “”Rooks” (sports and entertainment) who benefit from the Crooks doing what they do for a living wage? Maybe, in times of a pandemic there would be money to buy a face mask.

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