1976 College Basketball Recap
“And the winners are...Indiana, 86–68.”
Actor and basketball fan Elliott Gould ripped open the envelope and made that announcement at the Academy Awards just as he was supposed to name the winner of the Oscar for Best Film Editing, Monday night, March 29.
Then the world knew what Bobby Knight and his unbeaten Hoosiers had wrought.
Indiana, 31–1 in 1975, came back a year later to go 32–0, routing Michigan in the first NCAA final between members of the same conference. Kent Benson was the tourney MVP, but the Hoosiers also had Player of the Year Scott May, Quinn Buckner and Bobby Wilkerson—all of whom would eventually be first round picks in the NBA draft.
Memphis State coach Gene Bartow replaced John Wooden at UCLA and led the Bruins to their 13th Final Four in the last 15 years. They lost to Indiana in the semifinals, but beat Rutgers in the consolation game.
Bobby Knight's college coach, Fred Taylor of Ohio State, retired at the end of the regular season after 18 years. Taylor, who was 35 when the Buckeyes won their only NCAA title in 1960, led OSU to seven Big Ten titles and three straight NCAA finals (1960–62).
By the way, the Best Film Editing Oscar went to Vera Fields for “Jaws”.