March Madness…I know, it’s only January, but last night, in addition to seeing a tough fought game between Indiana University (IU) and Wisconsin, I had the honor of watching the celebration of the 1976 UNDEFEATED, NCAA Men’s Championship Team and the unveiling of a new banner at Assemby Hall!
I know everyone in the audience was hoping to see the legendary Bob Knight walk onto the court, but if you know anything of his reputation…you know he wasn’t going to show…but you could feel his presence.
Knight was there when all those players from that magical team sat in a row and talked about the team, the season, each other — and couldn’t stop talking about the man who brought them together and unleashed them on the unsuspecting world of college basketball.
Assembled were all manner of members of Knight’s 1976 program. Trainers, assistant coaches, student managers. A woman who sang the national anthem. More than 40 people were invited from 1976, and all but a handful came. Nine of the 12 players still alive returned — Buckner, May, Benson, Wilkerson, Tom Abernethy, Jim Crews, Wayne Radford, Jim Roberson and Scott Eells — and the three no-shows expressed their regrets. Jim Wisman is in Europe, IU athletic director Fred Glass said, and Rich Valavicius and Bob Bender had previous commitments. (Mark Haymore died in 2004.)
What a fun night and so blessed to have this memory (thanks Elizabeth for getting Mary the tickets for Christmas and thanks Mary for taking me along!)…I mean, I was young when this happened, but still remember watching the season and being amazed by this feat…others have tried, but none have yet to accomplish…Go Hoosiers!