The 1987 NCAA Mens Basketball Final Four was played at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, LA on Saturday, March 28, 1987….as the tournament featured a “Cinderella team” in the Final Four….as Providence College was led by a then-unknown coach, Rick Pitino, of Louisville University fame today (2017)….as the Friars made their first Final Four appearance since 1973.
The 1987 Final Four featured four legendary college basketball coaches…..Bobby Knight of the Indiana Hoosiers….whose team would win him his 3rd NCAA title later on this weekend in March….Jim Boheim of the Syracuse Orangemen….whose team would move on from the game seen below to lose by a last second shot by Indiana’s Keith Smart…. Jerry Tarkanian of the UNLV Running Rebels….and Pitino for the Friars….as all four of these coaches would end up in the College Basketball Hall of Fame.
This semi-final contest between the Providence Friars vs Syracuse Orangemen….as the Orangemen defeated fellow Big East team and 6 seed Providence by a score of 77 – 63. The Orangemen had an easy time with the Friars….out rebounding them 53-35 with Coleman, Douglas, and Triche each having at least 10 rebounds. The Orangemen held the Friars to 36.4% shooting leading Coach Boeheim to credit the team’s defense for the win….as they held Providence’s leading scorer and future Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan to 8 points….which was 18 under his season average. The Orangemen were led by Greg Monroe with 20 points….Derrick Coleman with 12 rebounds….and Sherman Douglas with 6 assists….while the Friars were led in scoring by C. Screen with 18 points….J. Duda with 7 rebounds….and Billy Donovan with 7 assists.
The three losing coaches in the 1987 Final Four all eventually won national titles….with Jerry Tarkanian being the first to do so by winning in 1990 with UNLV….after defeating the Duke University Blue Devils 103 – 73….then Rick Pitino followed in 1996 with Kentucky by defeating Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse team in the final….and Boeheim would finally break through in 2003 with Syracuse by defeating the Roy Williams coached University of Kansas Jayhawks.
In finishing this commentary….I have to tell our viewers that this 1987 Final Four holds a special place in our collective heart….as this Final Four was another major sportsing event that Bone Daddy attended “live and in color”.…and we will be posting stories surrounding the “magic carpet ride” that Bone Daddy took to see his 2nd favorite college coach, General Bobby Knight (2nd to legendary coach Abe Lemons) bring home his 3rd National Title.