Ultimate March Madness Regional Final: 1976 Indiana Hoosiers vs. 2004 UCONN Huskies

The tournament continues

The undefeated Hoosiers are a 7-point favorite heading into this game, but the Huskies are an athletic, talented team that the Hoosiers can’t overlook.

Starting Lineups

1976 Indiana Hoosiers

G – Quinn Buckner

G – Bobby Wilkerson

F – Scott May

F – Tom Abernathy

C – Kent Benson

2004 UCONN Huskies

G – Ben Gordon

G – Rashad Anderson

F – Denham Brown

F – Charlie Villaneuva

C – Emeka Okafor

First Half

Tempo will be a decider. Upfront the Hoosiers are tough and Okafor will have to have a huge game against Indiana’s man to man defense to have a shot in this game.

The first ten minutes is fairly evenly played as the Hoosiers pound the ball inside to Benson and May and UCONN responds with Okafor. After ten minutes the game is tied at 18. Both teams want to play at a fast pace and the last ten minutes of the half the Hoosiers back-court of Wilkerson and Buckner really step it up on defense and make it hard for the Huskies to get the ball inside.

On the offensive side of the floor, Wilkerson starts to dominate. He hits a huge 3-point shot with a minute left in the half, putting Indiana 10 points up over the Huskies. The teams head to the locker room with Indiana holding a 40-30 lead. A looming problem for the UCONN is that the Hoosiers are known more as a second-half team. Can the Huskies stem the tide that is starting to envelop them?

Second Half

The Hoosiers front-court is staring to impose their will on the Huskies as May scores on back to back baskets to start the second half. Ben Gordon answers with a huge three-point shot to cut the Hoosiers lead back to 44-33. Tom Abernathy hits a short baseline jumper and Kent Benson gets a tip-in as the Hoosiers move to 15 ahead with just under 15 minutes left in the game. The Hoosiers dominance continues on as the Hoosiers play suffocating defense inside and out, and the Huskies can never really quite get going.

Indiana, over the last ten minutes of the game, show the Huskies why they had only lost one game over the last two years they played together. Scott May was unstoppable and he ends up leading the Hoosiers with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Kent Benson adds 14 points and 12 rebounds as the Hoosiers run away and hide on their way to a comfortable 85-68 win.

The Hoosiers will advance to the Ultimate March Madness Final Four and will be a tough team for anybody to beat. The Hoosiers will play the 1996 Kentucky Wildcats in the Final 4 on Wednesday, so make sure you check back in on the Ultimate March Madness Final Four!

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