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You Tube Gold: Indiana’s 1976 National Championship

The last undefeated team in college basketball.

University of Indiana Hoosiers...
 UNDATED: University of Indiana Hoosiers’ basketball coach Bob Knight talks to his team during a circa 1970s game.
Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Sadly, when people think of Bob Knight now, we probably tend to think about his sad exit at Indiana and his long-lasting enmity towards everyone involved.

Knight though was a revolutionary coach. His offensive innovations, particularly the Motion Offense, allowed all the players to participate in the offense and to exploit their full skills. The game would likely have evolved as it has but if Kevin Garnett and LeBron James had been around in the early and mid ‘70s, they would have been slotted into particular roles. Look at Dean Smith’s UNC. Smith was a brilliant coach but at UNC, players were slotted into positions. There wasn't a ton of flexibility, even at the end of his run.

When he arrived at Indiana, Knight was young and full of ideas. He had a two-year run in 1975-76 that might have been back-to-back undefeated national champions had Scott May not been injured in 1975. As it was IU had a 63-1 record in those years.

Here’s the 1976 national championship game. You’ll note there was no phenomenal athlete on the roster. Tantalizing might-have-been: Larry Bird first signed with Indiana in 1974 but left after a month. It’s hard to improve on 63-1 but Bird would have changed everything.