Honoring Knight’s 1992 Final Four team

Photo Courtesy of Indiana Athletics

The 1992 Hoosiers are taking the Assembly Hall court Monday in honor of their final four appearance under Coach Bob Knight. The team will make their appearance at halftime at the home game against Iowa. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s their story:

After an off-season of excitement and expectations in regards to the upcoming season, it didn’t start off the way Indiana and it’s fans had hoped it would when the Hoosiers lost against UCLA, 72-87 in the Hall of Fame Classic to kick of the season.

They would follow that loss up by beating Butler and then Notre Dame, only to turn around and be upset by their bitter rival Kentucky the next game. So just four games into the season, the preseason number two ranked team in the country sat with a 2-2 record.

Winning Streak

They followed up the Kentucky loss by reeling off 13 straight wins before once again being upset, this time by Michigan State on the road. Two more wins were then followed by another upset loss, by a Minnesota team they had beaten by 46 points earlier in the year.

They would then win five straight before being upset on the road at Michigan, and then beating Wisconsin, to set themselves up for a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament if they could beat in-state rival Purdue in West Lafayette in the final game of the Big 10 season.

But the same Purdue team that Indiana embarrassed 106-65 at Assembly Hall on January 28th, had their revenge against the Hoosiers and beat them 61-59, allowing the number one seed to be awarded to the Ohio State Buckeyes— a team Indiana had defeated twice that year.

Dancing In 1992

I remember it well because I had tickets to the NCAA games in Lexington, KY that year and ended up having to watch the Buckeyes since they got that regions number one seed. The Hoosiers, who ended up with a number two seed, were sent out west for the first two rounds.

Indiana would beat Eastern Illinois, LSU and Florida State relatively easily to set up a rematch from the first game of the year with UCLA. Coach Knight, as usual, had the Hoosiers ready and they basically ran UCLA off of the floor 106-79, securing a trip to the Final Four.

They would square off against Duke in the semifinals after Duke had beaten Kentucky in what is widely considered the greatest tournament game ever played. I was still in Lexington when Duke’s Christian Laettner hit that shot and I have never heard a place go so deafening quiet (except for me) in all my life.

Indiana’s run, and season would come to an end against Duke in that semifinal game when they lost to the eventual National Champions, 81-78. Duke would go on to beat Michigan’s “Fab Five” two nights later to win the title. It should be noted that in the once heralded “Fab Five’s” time in college, they were never able to beat the Indiana Hoosiers.

A Beloved piece of Hoosier history

Aside from the ‘75 team, I’m not sure that there is a more beloved team in Indiana’s storied history that was not able to hang a banner. There was something about this group that made them special. They played the game the way basketball purists think the game should be played.

Even with me having been alive, and a fan, for three of Indiana’s National Championships, this team will forever hold a special place in my heart and be remembered as a great team. It was an honor to watch them play, and they deserve the honor of being remembered on Monday night in Assembly Hall.

Some very wise words will more than likely be shared between that ‘92 team, and this years team. And if any of it sinks in, is taken to heart and becomes a part of how this team approaches the game, then the season will be trending up from here on out.

Thank you 1992 Indiana Hoosiers!

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