This 1984 NCAA men’s basketball game between the Louisville Cardinals verses the Indiana Hoosiers featured two of the best college basketball coaches of all time….with Louisvile’s Denny Crum….and Indiana’s Bobby Knight.
Denny Crum (born March 2, 1937) is a former American men’s college basketball coach at the University of Louisville from 1971 to 2001…..where he compiled an outstanding record of 675 wins to 295 losses….as he guided the Cardinals to two NCAA national championships in 1980 and 1986…..while reaching six Final Fours. Honored in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame since 1994….Crum is one of the major figures in the history of sports in Kentucky and in college basketball in general.
Denny Crum is widely credited with pioneering the now-common strategy of scheduling tough non-conference match-ups early in the season….in order to prepare his teams for March’s NCAA tournament….where one defeat ends the season…..as Crum’s prolific post-season play….and his calm demeanor earned him the monikers such as “Mr. March” …..and his most well-known nickname, “Cool Hand Luke”.
Bobby Knight (born October 25, 1940) is a retired American basketball coach…..who was nicknamed The General……as he won 902 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games…..which was the most all-time at the time of his retirement and currently third all-time…..where he is behind his former player and assistant coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, who are both still active. Knight is best known as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000. He also coached at Texas Tech University from 2001 – 2008 and at Army Military Academy from 1965 –1971.
While at Indiana, Knight led his teams to three NCAA championships….one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship….and 11 Big Ten Conference championships. His 1975–76 team went undefeated during the regular season and won the 1976 NCAA tournament. The 1976 Indiana squad is the last men’s college basketball team to go undefeated for the entire season. Knight received National Coach of the Year honors four times….and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors eight times. In 1984, he coached the USA men’s Olympic team to a gold medal….thus becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title and an Olympic gold medal.
Knight was one of college basketball’s most successful and innovative coaches….while having popularized the motion offense. He has also been praised for running good programs….as none of his teams was ever sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations….wherein most of his players graduated.