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NCAAM Basketball – 1987 – NCAA Finals – Syracuse Orangemen VS Indiana Hoosiers


Bone Daddy, the original Sportsphile, sat almost at mid-court on Row 26 just behind the Indiana Hoosiers bench for this 1987 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, LA….which he ranks in his Top 5 list of best live sporting events that he has attended in his 65 years of going to live sporting events….along with Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs Thomas “Hitman” Hearns in Las Vegas, where the shortest lasting event (90 seconds) was the most exhilarating and exciting event he ever saw….the three games of the 1986 NLCS series at Shea Stadium in NYC between the Houston Astros vs New York Mets….the entire 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics where he saw a live event in all 26 sports that were competed at these Games by setting an Olympic fan record that can never be broken, just tied….and Muhammad Ali vs Leon Spinks in their 2nd fight in New Orleans, LA, where Bone Daddy got to meet The Greatest and shake his hand….for each one of these five events that he attended live had their own unique experiences that pushed them to the top of his list.    

What made this 1987 NCAAM National Championship Finals so awesome for Bone Daddy….outside of the fact that the game was “nip and tuck” throughout the entire game….which ended in a last second shot made by G Keith Smart to win the game and the National Championship for Bobby Knight and his Indiana Hoosiers….was the fact that Bone Daddy sat close enough to the Indiana bench to observe the “chess match” that was going on between two legendary coaches (Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Bobby Knight of Indiana)….who led two legendary men’s college basketball programs’ teams down to the final minute of the game….as Knight’s last move proved to be “checkmate” for the Orangeman.

The 1986–87 Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team is noted for having achieved a great deal of  success without much NBA talent….but two mighty fine college guards in Steve Alford and Keith Smart…. as the Hoosiers finished the regular season with an overall record of 24–4 and a conference record of 15–3 by finishing 1st in the Big Ten Conference as co-champions with Purdue,…when the Hoosiers were named a one-seed in the 1987 NCAA Tournament….subsequently winning solidly over Fairfield, Auburn, and Duke in NCAA play….then they needed F Ricky Calloway’s rebound lay-in to beat LSU by a score of 77 – 76 in the regional finals to get to the Final Four. Once there, Indiana beat # 1 seed UNLV by 97 – 93 in the Semifinals….despite ten 3-pointers by UNLV guard Freddie Banks….which is still the Final Four record.    

The 1986–87 Syracuse Orangemen basketball team was coached by Jim Boeheim….who was serving for his 11th year in 1987 and in his 41st year in 2017 as Syracuse University. The team played home games at the 30,000 seat Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York….where they finished the season with a 31 – 7 (12 – 4) in the Big East Conference) record while making it to the NCAA Championship game after being led by junior C Rony Seikaly, sophomore G Sherman Douglas, seniors F Greg Monroe and F Howard Triche and freshman F Derrick Coleman….as this team had significantly more NBA talent than their adversary Indiana had..    

This championship game went back and forth in an epic battle that went down to the final whistle….as the Orangemen had a one point lead with 28 seconds left to play….when Coleman missed the front end of a one and one….as Indiana grabbed the rebound….and tournament MVP Keith Smart made a jumper from the corner with just seconds left on the clock to give the Hoosiers a one point lead and the National Championship….which makes this MUST SEE TV for any and all NCAA basketball fans.

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