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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--Louisville (33-3; coached by Denny Crum/ninth of 30 seasons with Cardinals; won Metro title by four games with a 12-0 record).
NIT Champion--Virginia (24-10; coached by Terry Holland/sixth of 16 seasons with Cavaliers; tied for fifth place in ACC with a 7-7 record).
New Conferences--Big East, Midwestern City (forerunner of Midwestern Collegiate/Horizon League), ECAC North (forerunner of North Atlantic/America East), SWAC (moved up from Division II), Trans America Athletic (forerunner of Atlantic Sun).
New Rules--The NCAA Tournament bracket expands from 40 teams to 48, including 24 automatic qualifiers and 24 at-large teams. . . . The top 16 seeds receive byes to the second round. . . . The limit of two teams from the same conference allowed in the tournament is lifted. . . . The NIT field expands from 24 teams to 32.
NCAA Probation--Auburn, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Memphis State, Oral Roberts, San Francisco.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Mark Aguirre, F, Soph., DePaul (26.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 54 FG%); Michael Brooks, F, Sr., La Salle (24.1 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 52.4 FG%); Joe Barry Carroll, C, Sr., Purdue (22.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.8 bpg, 53.9 FG%); Darrell Griffith, G, Sr., Louisville (22.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.4 spg, 55.3 FG%); Kyle Macy, G, Sr., Kentucky (15.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.7 apg, 52.5 FG%, 91.2 FT%).
National Players of the Year--Aguirre (AP/UPI/USBWA/Naismith); Brooks (NABC), and Griffith (Wooden).
National Coaches of the Year--DePaul's Ray Meyer (26-2/AP, UPI, USBWA) and Iowa's Lute Olson (23-10/NABC).
Perhaps the greatest single crop of freshman recruits in history took center stage. An alphabetical list of the standout yearlings for the Class of '83 included John Bagley (Boston College), Thurl Bailey (North Carolina State), Sam Bowie (Kentucky), Antoine Carr (Wichita State), Howard Carter (LSU), Terry Cummings (DePaul), Quintin Dailey (San Francisco), Dale Ellis (Tennessee), Sidney Green (UNLV), Clark Kellogg (Ohio State), Cliff Levingston (Wichita State), Jeff Malone (Mississippi State), Rodney McCray (Louisville), John Paxson (Notre Dame), Ralph Sampson (Virginia), Byron Scott (Arizona State), Steve Stipanovich (Missouri), Isiah Thomas (Indiana), LaSalle Thompson (Texas), Dominique Wilkins (Georgia), Rob Williams (Houston) and James Worthy (North Carolina). However, half of these 22 standouts never reached their senior season after declaring early for the NBA draft.
Dailey (WCAC), Stipanovich (Big Eight) and Thomas (Big Ten) led their conference regular-season champions in scoring. . . . Worthy was averaging 12.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game for North Carolina when he sustained a broken ankle at midseason and was lost for the remainder of the year. The Tar Heels lost their NCAA playoff opener in double overtime against Texas A&M. . . . Bailey helped N.C. State finish in a tie for second place in the ACC after the Wolfpack tied for last the previous year. . . . The NCAA Tournament showed the effect of parity and expansion of the field. This was the only year as many as three Final Four teams finished third or lower in their regular-season league standings--UCLA (fourth in Pacific-10), Purdue (third in Big Ten) and Iowa (fourth in Big Ten). UCLA's streak of 13 consecutive undisputed conference championships was snapped by Oregon State.
Parity also existed among the premier players. La Salle's Michael Brooks scored a national-high and East Coast Conference-record 51 points in a 108-106 triple-overtime loss at Brigham Young. Brooks, DePaul's Mark Aguirre and Louisville's Darrell Griffith shared the six nationally-recognized Player of the Year Awards. It was the only time as many as three individuals shared the principal national awards in the 20th Century. . . . Aguirre was the first DePaul player since 1946 to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American. DePaul won its first 25 games of the season until succumbing at Notre Dame, 76-74, in double overtime. Kelly Tripucka scored 28 points for the Irish.
Since the end of World War II, Kansas and Kansas State had never gone two years in a row without either of them gaining at least a portion of the Big Seven/Eight Conference title until Missouri earned its first of four consecutive undisputed regular-season titles. The Tigers, topping 60 percent in shooting from the floor 13 times, established an NCAA single-season record for field-goal percentage with 57.2 percent accuracy (see accompanying chart). Mizzou's top five scorers--Steve Stipanovich, Ricky Frazier, Larry Drew, Curtis Berry and Mark Dressler--each hit more than 54 percent of their field-goal attempts. . . . Murray State, which compiled a 4-22 record the previous season, improved by 16 1/2 games to 23-8 under coach Ron Greene. The Racers went from sole possession of last place in the Ohio Valley Conference to a tie for first. . . . Drake's Lewis "Magic" Lloyd finished national runner-up in scoring (30.2 ppg) and rebounding (15 rpg). The junior forward was named Missouri Valley Conference player of the year although the Bulldogs finished in seventh place with a 6-10 league record.
Maryland guard Greg Manning was sixth nationally in field-goal shooting (64.3 percent) and fourth from the free-throw line (90.8 percent). . . . Virginia sophomore Jeff Jones led the ACC in assists for the second straight season. He would go on to coach his alma mater for eight seasons from 1990-91 through 1997-98 before accepting a similar position at American University. . . . An 89'3" basket at the buzzer by Virginia Tech's Les Henson after he chased down an errant shot, spun and fired the ball the length of the floor gave the Hokies a 79-77 victory at Florida State. Amazingly, the lefthanded Henson made the shot righthanded!
San Jose State's Wally Rank (40 points vs. Sacramento State) set a school single-game scoring record. . . . Southern's Tony Murphy (32.1 ppg), Drake's Lloyd, New Mexico's Kenny Page (28), Eastern Kentucky's James Tillman (27.2), American's Russell Bowers (26.9), Aguirre (26.8), Maine's Rufus Harris (25.6), Cleveland State's Frank Edwards (25.5), Oklahoma State's Ed Odom (24.2) and Washington State's Don Collins (23.1) set school Division I records for highest scoring average in a single season. . . . Bowers' daughter, Tamecka Dixon, became an All-America guard for Kansas in 1997 before joining the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. . . . Collins, a forward, became WSU's only All-American since 1950.
Kentucky All-American guard Kyle Macy, a three-time All-SEC first-team selection, eventually coached Morehead State. . . . Jacksonville's James Ray scored a Sun Belt Conference-record 45 points in a game against South Florida. . . . Four of Gene Keady's last five games as coach for Western Kentucky went into overtime. . . . The Citadel guard Randy Nesbit, who led the Southern Conference in free-throw shooting (92.5 percent), went on to coach his alma mater for seven seasons from 1985-86 through 1991-92. . . . Fred Whitfield, Campbell's leading scorer with 16.2 ppg, became a lawyer and served as president and chief operations officer of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.
Dave Gavitt, who coached Providence to 209 victories, including eight straight 20-win seasons in the previous 10 years, became commissioner of the new Big East Conference. . . . Syracuse's school-record 57-game homecourt winning streak was snapped in its final game at Manley Field House (52-50 against Georgetown). The Orangemen finished with a 26-4 mark for the third time in Jim Boeheim's first four seasons as their coach. The team's leading rebounder was Louis Orr, who went on to become coach at Siena. Orr teamed with center Roosevelt Bouie to form "Louie and Bouie," one of the nation's premier frontcourt duos. . . . St. Peter's, coached by ex-Princeton assistant Bob Dukiet, dethroned Princeton as the national leader in scoring defense, yielding only 50.4 points per game--the lowest figure in 19 years. . . . Princeton and Penn tied for the Ivy League title with 11-3 conference records. It was the first time in 17 years that an Ivy champion lost more than two league games. Yale dropped all four of its games against Princeton and Penn, but ended a streak of 11 consecutive losing seasons by compiling a 16-10 mark.
Louisville (33-3/coached by Denny Crum), Iona (29-5/Jim Valvano), Furman (23-7/Eddie Holbrook) and Grambling (22-8/Fred Hobdy) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. West Texas State (19-11/Ken Edwards) tied its school Division I record for most victories in a single season. . . . Texas A&M's success stemmed from a formidable frontcourt dubbed "The Wall" (Vernon Smith, Rudy Woods and Rynn Wright). Smith, who concluded his career the next season as the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, was murdered in the summer of '92 at the age of 33 when he was fatally shot in Dallas by an angry dice player who apparently mistook him for someone he'd fought with earlier. Smith played piano and organ at the church where his father was minister. . . . SMU posted its lone victory over Arkansas (62-58) in an 18-game stretch of their series from 1976 through 1984.
Iona, coached by Jim Valvano, made its lone appearance in a final wire-service poll. The Gaels leveled NCAA champion-to-be Louisville, 77-60, late in the regular season at Madison Square Garden. Their leading scorer and rebounder for the third consecutive season was center Jeff Ruland, who would later coach his alma mater. . . . Duquesne, coached by Mike Rice, tied for first place in the Eastern 8 after finishing in seventh the previous year. . . . Massachusetts ended a 29-game losing streak with a 67-44 triumph over Harvard on a neutral court before the Minutemen snapped a 19-game homecourt losing streak with a 69-63 verdict over New Hampshire. . . . Bucknell's Al Leslie set the East Coast Conference game record with 45 points vs. American. It's also a school modern era mark.
Indiana State promptly learned life without Larry Bird wouldn't be quite the same when the Sycamores lost their season opener against small school Armstrong State (Ga.), 66-63. . . . Bradley, coached by Dick Versace, captured the Missouri Valley Conference crown after finishing in a tie for last place the previous year. . . . Junior Randy Smithson, who led Wichita State in assists, steals and free-throw percentage, eventually coached his alma mater. . . . Oral Roberts (18-10), coached by Ken Hayes, lost three consecutive one-point games.
Alcorn State, coached by Davey Whitney, led the nation in rebounding margin for the third consecutive season. Larry "Mr. Mean" Smith, who averaged 13.1 rebounds per game for the Braves in that span, went on to coach his alma mater for three years from 2008-09 through 2010-11. . . . Clemson, boasting three 6-10 starters along its frontline, defeated six teams that were ranked in the AP Top 20 (prior to the game). The Tigers earned an invitation to the NCAA Tournament for the first time.
Ohio State, coached by Eldon Miller, finished in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll for the only time in an 18-year span from 1972-73 through 1989-90. . . . Wisconsin lost 17 consecutive games to Minnesota in their series until defeating the Gophers, 70-55. . . . Iowa State's Dean Uthoff led the Big Eight Conference in rebounding for the fourth straight season. He became the second player to pace a league in rebounding four consecutive years since the introduction of freshman eligibility. . . . Guard Ed Odom became Oklahoma State's first All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection in 15 years.
Washington State lost 27 consecutive games to UCLA in their series until defeating the Bruins, 80-64. . . . Lorenzo Romar, who led Washington in assists for the second straight season, eventually coached Pepperdine and Saint Louis before accepting a similar position at his alma mater. . . . New Mexico averaged 14,344 fans per home date despite incurring its first losing record (6-22) in 18 years. The Lobos lost most of their roster in the aftermath of investigations by the NCAA and FBI revealing serious indiscretions, specifically altering transcripts of transferring students to make them appear eligible. . . . Texas-El Paso, after losing its previous eight assignments with New Mexico, began a stretch of winning 14 of 15 outings against the Lobos through 1986. . . . Idaho, coached by Don Monson, ended a streak of eight consecutive losing seasons by compiling a 17-10 mark. . . . Montana State's Mick Durham, who led the Big Sky Conference in free-throw accuracy with a school-record 87.5 percent, went on to become head coach of his alma mater.
Weber State (26-3/coached by Neil McCarthy) set a school record with 18 straight victories. . . . Bill Berry's first season as coach for San Jose State featured more than half of his games decided by fewer than five points, including his first seven. Two years later, Berry had more than half of his contests with the Spartans decided by fewer than six points. . . . South Carolina's Frank McGuire, the only coach to take three different schools to a final AP poll Top 20 ranking at least three times apiece, retired after a 30-year college coaching career with a 550-235 record. He guided the Gamecocks to six consecutive final Top 20 rankings from 1968-69 through 1973-74 after directing St. John's to three consecutive Top 20 finishes (1949-50 through 1951-52) and North Carolina to six straight (1955-56 through 1960-61).
1980 NCAA Tournament
Summary: All-American guard Darrell Griffith hit less than 40 percent of his field-goal attempts when Louisville won its first two tourney games in overtime and played only 18 minutes as the Cardinals overcame an eight-point deficit against LSU in the Midwest Regional final. But the high-leaping Griffith, nicknamed "Dr. Dunkenstein," performed at the top of his game at the Final Four. The Cardinals' only returning starter from the previous season hit 23 of 37 shots from the floor against Iowa (80-72) and UCLA (59-54). "I've guarded other guys who could leap high before," Iowa's Bob Hansen said. "But all of them came down." Louisville forward Wiley Brown left his artificial right thumb on the breakfast table before the championship game and managers had to search through hotel garbage to retrieve it. The Cardinals excelled with 6-7 freshman Rodney McCray, who replaced his brother, Scooter, at the center position after Scooter suffered a season-ending knee injury. Louisville is the last NCAA champion to go undefeated in conference competition (regular season and league tournament).
Outcome for Defending Champion: Michigan State (12-15 overall; ninth place in Big Ten with 6-12 league mark) became one of only two schools to compile a losing record as defending NCAA champion. The Spartans, 2-6 in games decided by fewer than four points, and Indiana State are the last set of title game participants to fail to qualify for the tournament the next season.
Star Gazing: In a 10-year stretch from 1977 through 1986, Griffith (22.9 points per game) was the only player to average more than 20 the season his school captured a national title. . . . Guard Ronnie Lester, Iowa's leader in scoring average who missed half of the season because of a knee injury, tallied the Hawkeyes' first 10 points in the national semifinals against Louisville before leaving midway through the first half after reinjuring his knee. . . . UCLA star Kiki Vandeweghe missed a critical layup as Louisville scored the last nine points of the championship game. . . . Louisville natives Jeff Lamp (Virginia) and Rudy Macklin (Louisiana State) were All-Americans when their hometown university won the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals clobbered LSU, 86-66, in the Midwest Regional final despite Macklin's team-high eight rebounds.
Biggest Upset: DePaul was the nation's top-ranked team entering the postseason when the Blue Demons lost their opener (77-71 against UCLA in second round of West Regional) as national player of the year Mark Aguirre committed six turnovers.
One and Only: Louisville became the only school to win a Division I championship after capturing a small college national tournament. The Cardinals won the 1948 NAIA Tournament by defeating John Wooden-coached Indiana State in the final. . . . This is the only year no No. 1 seed reached the Final Four.
Celebrity Status: Kevin Nash, known as "Diesel" when he won a championship on the World Wrestling Federation circuit in a record-setting eight-second match, collected a total of 19 points and 14 rebounds as a backup center for Tennessee in just 36 minutes in four playoff games in 1979 and 1980. . . . Roosevelt Barnes, a backup guard for Purdue's national third-place basketball team, also played college baseball and football. He was a linebacker who played four seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions after being their 10th-round draft choice in 1982.
Numbers Game: Virginia Tech, sparked by Dale Solomon's 10-of-13 field-goal shooting, became the only school to erase a halftime deficit of at least 18 points to win a playoff game. The Hokies, Metro Conference runner-up to eventual NCAA champion Louisville, trailed at intermission (48-30) before rallying to edge Western Kentucky (89-85 in overtime) in the first round of the Mideast Regional. . . . Backup swingman Mark Dressler, entering the NCAA playoffs with an eight-point scoring average, erupted for 32 points on 13 of 16 field-goal shooting to spark Missouri to an 87-84 overtime victory against ninth-ranked Notre Dame in the second round of the Midwest Regional. The shorthanded Tigers, playing without starting forward Curtis Berry (knee surgery), lost their next game in the Midwest Regional semifinals to LSU, 68-63, despite Dressler's game-high 20 points. Suspensions had knocked guard Barry Laurie and center Lex Drum off the Tigers' roster, Kirk Shawver quit and Steve Wallace was declared ineligible in mid-season. . . . LSU's Macklin (19 rebounds vs. Alcorn State) and Notre Dame's Tracy Jackson (19 vs. Missouri) tied for the best single-game rebounding performances in the playoffs. . . . Lamar needed every one of guard Mike Olliver's tourney-high 37 points to nip Weber State, 87-86, in the opening round of the West Regional. . . . Washington State, coached by George Raveling, made its first playoff appearance since finishing national runner-up in 1941 and San Jose State, coached by Bill Berry, participated in the tourney for the lone time in a 44-year stretch from 1952 through 1995. . . . UCLA reached the NCAA title game despite not finishing among the top 10 in the final AP poll for the first time in 14 seasons. The Bruins sustained their only defeat in 12 NCAA title games during the 20th Century. . . . Texas A&M became the only school to participate in back-to-back overtime playoff contests decided by double digits in the same tourney. The Aggies took champion-to-be Louisville to an extra session in a 66-55 loss in the the Midwest Regional semifinals after they posted the largest winning margin in an overtime playoff game (78-61 over North Carolina in double overtime). . . . Iona was eliminated when Georgetown ended the Gaels' school-record 17-game winning streak, 74-71, in the East Regional semifinals. . . . Only one No. 1 seed (LSU in Midwest) reached a regional final, where the Tigers bowed to Louisville. It was the only time in the first 21 years of seeding that just one top seed advanced to a regional championship game. . . . Clemson, making its playoff debut, advanced to a regional final for the only time in the 20th Century. . . . John Thompson, coaching Georgetown in his eighth of 27 seasons, posted his first NCAA playoff victory.
What Might Have Been: Forwards Kiki Vandeweghe, Mike Sanders and James Wilkes, guards Rod Foster, Michael Holton and Darren Daye, and center Darrell Allums were proficient enough to eventually play in the NBA after they each shot at least 50 percent from the floor for UCLA in the 1979-80 season. If only they combined to hit 45.5 percent of their field-goal attempts instead of 38.6 percent (17 of 44) in the championship game, the Bruins could have defeated Louisville rather than losing by five points. . . . Big Ten champion Indiana (21-8) might have fared better in the playoffs if guard Randy Wittman didn't miss the majority of the season because of a stress fracture in his right ankle. . . . Sun Belt champion South Alabama 23-6) probably wouldn't have stumbled so quickly out of the gate if forward Rory White didn't redshirt because of a knee injury. White was the conference's player of the year the previous season as a sophomore.
Putting Things in Perspective: Louisville lost two of three games in late December, including a 13-point neutral-court defeat to Illinois, which finished with a losing record in Big Ten competition. The Cardinals' other two setbacks were at Utah (2-point margin) and Iona at Madison Square Garden (17). Iona center Jeff Ruland accounted for the highest-scoring game by an individual opponent against Louisville with 30 points.
Scoring Leader: Joe Barry Carroll, Purdue (158 points, 26.3 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Kelvin Ransey, Ohio State (54 points, 27 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Mike Sanders, UCLA (60 rebounds, 10 rpg).
Highest Rebounding Average: Syracuse's Louis Orr and Maryland's Buck Williams (24 rebounds, 12 rpg).
Joe Barry Carroll, C, Sr., Purdue (52 points, 20 rebounds, six blocked shots in final two games)
Rod Foster, G, Fr., UCLA (25 points)
*Darrell Griffith, G, Sr., Louisville (57 points, seven rebounds, nine assists)
Rodney McCray, F-C, Fr., Louisville (21 points, 20 rebounds, five blocked shots)
Kiki Vandeweghe, F, Sr., UCLA (38 points, 12 rebounds)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
Second Round: Louisville 71 (Smith team-high 20 points), Kansas State 69 (Blackman 19)*
Regional Semifinal: Louisville 66 (Griffith 24), Texas A&M 55 (Britton 16)*
Regional Final: Louisville 86 (Griffith 17), LSU 66 (Hultberg 17)
National Semifinal: Louisville 80 (Griffith 34), Iowa 72 (Arnold 20)
Championship Game: Louisville 59 (Griffith 23), UCLA 54 (Foster 16)