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The '79 ISU Sycamores
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Erictelevision Offline
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The '79 ISU Sycamores
They were the last team to get to the title game undefeated. Were they that good or was the MVC just a really weak conference?
04-05-2021 08:26 PM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
MVC was a 2-bid league and ranked top-10. They were .09 behind 9th (SWC) and .19 behind behind 8th (Metro), and 3.20 ahead of 11th (Eastern-8 with Villanova/Pitt/WVU/etc).

Indiana St blew out #16 Oklahoma by 21 and beat #5 Arkansas and #6 DePaul.

Answer seems obvious.
04-05-2021 08:40 PM
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Erictelevision Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
IWULT: yup, that data makes it clear. In my defense: I was 1 at the time.
04-05-2021 08:49 PM
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VCE Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
Two top ten players of all time must have made for a great game. I remember the 80s NBA matchups, but not that game.
04-05-2021 09:21 PM
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TexanMark Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
ISU had two really good players and the rest were great complimentary players. The team was put on Larry's back. If they played in a major conference they would have surely lost several games.
04-05-2021 09:24 PM
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Renandpat Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-05-2021 09:21 PM)VCE Wrote:  Two top ten players of all time must have made for a great game. I remember the 80s NBA matchups, but not that game.
Greg Kelser was a tremendous collegiate player and had 19, 9, and 8 that night. But he was just a 10 PPG guy in the NBA. He was no slouch himself.
04-05-2021 09:26 PM
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Erictelevision Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
Yeah, if MSU had come into the game undefeated, I wouldn't need to ask.
04-05-2021 09:36 PM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-05-2021 09:24 PM)TexanMark Wrote:  ISU had two really good players and the rest were great complimentary players. The team was put on Larry's back. If they played in a major conference they would have surely lost several games.

They defeated 3 major conference champions, 2 blowouts by a combined 31 points.

They defeated 6th ranked Independent DePaul.

Their only loss was to a major conference champion.

Their performance against a handful of elite teams/major conference champions indicates Indiana St would’ve been the best team in every league but the Big Ten.

Larry Bird isn’t just “a really good player”. He’s a top-5 NCAA player of all-time. Changes the whole calculus with great complementary players behind Bird/Nicks, as Bird individually was the equivalent of 2 superstar players.
(This post was last modified: 04-05-2021 10:38 PM by IWokeUpLikeThis.)
04-05-2021 09:50 PM
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-05-2021 08:26 PM)Erictelevision Wrote:  They were the last team to get to the title game undefeated. Were they that good or was the MVC just a really weak conference?

Larry Bird. Nuff said.
04-05-2021 10:35 PM
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
IU was unbeaten in 1975, but lost in the ME regional to Kentucky 92-90 after beating them by 23 early in the season. UK lost in the finals to UCLA when John Wooden announced his retirement. Then IU went all the way in 1976 unbeaten. Those IU teams were really good.
04-05-2021 10:37 PM
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Renandpat Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-05-2021 10:37 PM)bullet Wrote:  IU was unbeaten in 1975, but lost in the ME regional to Kentucky 92-90 after beating them by 23 early in the season. UK lost in the finals to UCLA when John Wooden announced his retirement. Then IU went all the way in 1976 unbeaten. Those IU teams were really good.

Scott May broke his arm on February 22, 1975
04-05-2021 10:43 PM
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CardinalJim Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
Indiana State rode a former garbage man, that couldn’t make it in Bloomington, to an undefeated regular season. When Magic and Bird met in ‘79 it was the beginning of a rivalry that lasted through Johnson announcing being HIV positive in November 1991.

The NBA was never the same.

For years you could find Larry sitting on the bank of Patoka Lake drinking a 6 pack and fishing. Magic retiring bothered Larry more than most knew.
04-06-2021 03:47 AM
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Erictelevision Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
Jim: Bird left IU because he was homesick and overwhelmed by the size of the school. He would've been a great player at IU.
04-06-2021 03:55 AM
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CardinalJim Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-06-2021 03:55 AM)Erictelevision Wrote:  Jim: Bird left IU because he was homesick and overwhelmed by the size of the school. He would've been a great player at IU.

It might but the truth but that’s not the story IU fans tell locally.
04-06-2021 03:58 AM
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quo vadis Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-05-2021 08:26 PM)Erictelevision Wrote:  They were the last team to get to the title game undefeated. Were they that good or was the MVC just a really weak conference?

They were really good. I mean, what exposes a team that achieves a puffed-up record in a soft conference is the big dance, which makes you play good teams from other conferences. And they made it all the way to the final.

And they didn't get an easy ride, didn't benefit much from upsets, in making it to the title game they beat the AP #16 (Oklahoma), #6 (Arkansas) and #5 (Depaul) teams, then finally lost to #3 Michigan State.

Michigan State was just a very good team that peaked at the exact right time, the tournament. No shame in losing to them.
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2021 07:59 AM by quo vadis.)
04-06-2021 07:58 AM
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
Bird played in a MVC with Tulsa, Wichita St and Creighton in it. No Evansville.

More of an AAC type conference at that time where a Top 25 team was realistic for most members.
04-06-2021 08:07 AM
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-06-2021 08:07 AM)Kit-Cat Wrote:  Bird played in a MVC with Tulsa, Wichita St and Creighton in it. No Evansville.

More of an AAC type conference at that time where a Top 25 team was realistic for most members.

Yes, and its rating was a smidgen behind SWC (-0.09)/Metro (-0.19) and quite a bit ahead of the Eastern-8 with Villanova/Pitt/WVU (+3.20).

22-10 (11-5) got an at-large bid.

By no definition was it a soft conference.
04-06-2021 08:44 AM
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johnintx Offline
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-06-2021 08:44 AM)IWokeUpLikeThis Wrote:  
(04-06-2021 08:07 AM)Kit-Cat Wrote:  Bird played in a MVC with Tulsa, Wichita St and Creighton in it. No Evansville.

More of an AAC type conference at that time where a Top 25 team was realistic for most members.

Yes, and its rating was a smidgen behind SWC (-0.09)/Metro (-0.19) and quite a bit ahead of the Eastern-8 with Villanova/Pitt/WVU (+3.20).

22-10 (11-5) got an at-large bid.

By no definition was it a soft conference.

Incidentally, New Mexico State was the team with the at-large bid from the MVC in 1979. The MVC was not a bad conference at all.

Indiana State in 1979 was very good. I'm not sure if they would have gone undefeated in another conference, but they would have won most, if not all of them. As mentioned above, they defeated the champions of the Big 8 and SWC on the way to the Final Four.

I can't believe that was 42 years ago. I'm getting old.
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2021 09:14 AM by johnintx.)
04-06-2021 09:13 AM
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-06-2021 09:13 AM)johnintx Wrote:  
(04-06-2021 08:44 AM)IWokeUpLikeThis Wrote:  
(04-06-2021 08:07 AM)Kit-Cat Wrote:  Bird played in a MVC with Tulsa, Wichita St and Creighton in it. No Evansville.

More of an AAC type conference at that time where a Top 25 team was realistic for most members.

Yes, and its rating was a smidgen behind SWC (-0.09)/Metro (-0.19) and quite a bit ahead of the Eastern-8 with Villanova/Pitt/WVU (+3.20).

22-10 (11-5) got an at-large bid.

By no definition was it a soft conference.

Incidentally, New Mexico State was the team with the at-large bid from the MVC in 1979. The MVC was not a bad conference at all.

Indiana State in 1979 was very good. I'm not sure if they would have gone undefeated in another conference, but they would have won most, if not all of them. As mentioned above, they defeated the champions of the Big 8 and SWC on the way to the Final Four.

I can't believe that was 42 years ago. I'm getting old.

Yeah, it's really sad when something happened long ago and you vividly remember it, LOL. My family was traveling from Maryland to New Jersey for a relative's funeral, and we arrived out our hotel just in time for tip-off and watched the game on the hotel room TV. Not only do I remember watching, but feeling disappointed, as we were all big Larry Bird fans and were rooting for IST.

We were won over to Bird by the Final 4 game vs Depaul with Ray Meyer and Mark Aguirre. That was a fantastic Final 4 game, one of the best ever.
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2021 09:32 AM by quo vadis.)
04-06-2021 09:30 AM
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RE: The '79 ISU Sycamores
(04-06-2021 09:13 AM)johnintx Wrote:  
(04-06-2021 08:44 AM)IWokeUpLikeThis Wrote:  
(04-06-2021 08:07 AM)Kit-Cat Wrote:  Bird played in a MVC with Tulsa, Wichita St and Creighton in it. No Evansville.

More of an AAC type conference at that time where a Top 25 team was realistic for most members.

Yes, and its rating was a smidgen behind SWC (-0.09)/Metro (-0.19) and quite a bit ahead of the Eastern-8 with Villanova/Pitt/WVU (+3.20).

22-10 (11-5) got an at-large bid.

By no definition was it a soft conference.

Incidentally, New Mexico State was the team with the at-large bid from the MVC in 1979. The MVC was not a bad conference at all.

Indiana State in 1979 was very good. I'm not sure if they would have gone undefeated in another conference, but they would have won most, if not all of them. As mentioned above, they defeated the champions of the Big 8 and SWC on the way to the Final Four.

I can't believe that was 42 years ago. I'm getting old.

In the early 70s they talked of the MVC being the first superconference. Of course, Louisville, Memphis and Cincinnati all left by 79. But Drake and New Mexico St. had been in the finals in the 60s and were still in the MVC.
04-06-2021 01:58 PM
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