Monday, March 9, 2015

Haugh: Undefeated 1976 Indiana Team Would Surpass Undefeated 2015 Kentucky Team

David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune says the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers would still surpass this season's Kentucky team even if the Wildcats finish a perfect 40-0.

Haugh argues that the Hoosiers played the game the way it was intended to be played and "defined what team play was supposed to look like."

Kentucky has better individual talent according to Haugh but Indiana was the better team.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The unbeaten Wildcats, so deep and dangerous, are athletic wonders. The 32-0 Hoosiers, equally skilled and smart, were aesthetic marvels. Whereas the Wildcats have established themselves as the class of a college basketball season, the Hoosiers set a standard of how the game should be played for a generation. Kentucky might boast better individual talent with at least four NBA first-round draft picks but Indiana defined what team play was supposed to look like "” with three players taken among the first 11 in the 1976 NBA draft running the patented motion offense. Individually, Kentucky likely gets the edge in overall depth. Collectively, it"™s Indiana.

The early migration of college players to the NBA cannot be overlooked when evaluating Kentucky"™s dominance now against Indiana"™s 39 years ago. The differences in the ages of the respective opponents matters, especially considering Indiana beat four top 10 teams on its way to the title. All four of those teams included contributing upperclassmen who simply aren"™t as easy to find these days on elite teams. Will Kentucky"™s path be as challenging? The question cannot be answered until April 6 but I doubt it.

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