1987 Men’s NCAA Basketball Final — Indiana and Syracuse


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

On March 30, 1987 at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana the Indiana Hoosiers (29-4) coached by Bobby Knight met the Syracuse Orange (31-6) coached by Jim Boeheim, which like the previous year, was a battle between two future Hall of Fame coaches.

Indiana had defeated Fairfield 92-58, Auburn 107-90, Duke 88-82, LSU 77-76, and UNLV 97-93 in the final four semifinal. Syracuse got past Georgia Southern 79-73, Western Kentucky 104-86, Florida 87-81, North Carolina 79-75 and Providence 77-63 in the semifinal of the final four to face Indiana in the final.

The Orange were led by 6’ sophomore guard Sherman Douglas (17.3 ppg, 7.6 apg), 6’ 11” junior center Rony Seikaly (15.1 ppg, 8.2 RPG), 6’ 3” senior guard Greg Monroe (12.9 ppg, 4.1 apg), 6’ 10” freshman forward Derrick Coleman (11.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg) and 6’ 5” senior forward Howard Triche (11.8 ppg).

The Hoosiers were led by 6’ 2” senior guard Steve Alford (22.0 ppg, 3.6 apg), 6’ 7” senior forward Daryl Thomas (15.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg), 6’ 10” junior center Dean Garrett (11.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg), 6’ 1” junior guard Keith Smart (11.2 ppg), and 6’ 6” sophomore forward Rick Calloway (12.6 ppg).

The game was close and the Hoosiers led 34-33 at the half with the second half also being tight. With 28 seconds left in the game, Syracuse led 73-72 and had a player at the free throw line with the one and one being in effect.

He missed the free throw and it was rebounded by the Hoosiers who took the ball down the court to try and get an open look at the basket.

Sherman Douglas covered Steve Alford and with the time clock down to five seconds, Keith Smart, who already had 17 points in the half, put up a jumper off of a screen on the left side of the court and it went in with nothing but net.

One second was left on the clock, but a long pass was intercepted and the Hoosiers won 74-73 in one of the more memorable NCAA title games.

Smart finished with 21 points, Steve Alford had 23, and Daryl Thomas added 20 and Dean Garrett had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana.

For Syracuse, Sherman Douglas led with 20 points and 7 assists, Derrick Coleman had 19 rebounds and 3 blocked shots, Rony Seikaly had 18 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots and Greg Monroe had 12 points.

Steve Alford went on to be a Division I coach and has so far compiled a 598-326 record while Jim Boeheim just retired after forty-seven years coaching at Syracuse with one NCAA title and a lifetime record of 1116-441. For Bobby Knight, it was his third and last NCAA title as he finished with an 899-374 lifetime record.

Sherman Douglas, Rony Seikaly and Derrick Coleman all went on to distinguished NBA careers.

Indiana has not been back to the NCAA title game and Syracuse returned in 1996.

Statistics for this article were from sports-reference.com, si.com and YouTube.com.

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