Magic Johnson, Mateen Cleaves, Glen Rice, Shane Battier among NCAA’s top 75 players in March Madness history
December 11, 2012 in Division I
As part of its celebration of 75 years of March Madness this year, the NCAA released a list of its top 75 players in March Madness history today. Several players with Michigan ties were among the honorees:
- Lansing Everett and Michigan State great Magic Johnson, who led the Spartans to the NCAA title in 1979.
- Flint Northern and Michigan State great Mateen Cleaves, who led MSU to the NCAA title in 2000.
- Flint Northwestern and Michigan great Glen Rice, who led the Wolverines to the NCAA title in 1989.
- Detroit Country Day and Duke great Shane Battier, who led the Blue Devils to the NCAA title in 2001.
Johnson’s 1979 MSU title team was also among the top 25 teams in history as chosen by the NCAA. MSU’s win in that title game over Larry Bird’s Indiana State is among the NCAA’s top 35 March Madness moments in history:
Michigan State’s win against unbeaten Indiana State remains the highest-rated game in college basketball history — and it ushered in a new era in basketball.
Rumeal Robinson‘s free throws for Michigan in 1989 also made the list:
Robinson sure wasn’t automatic from the foul line during the regular season, but he hit a pair of free throws with no time left on the clock to give Michigan the national title.
Michigan State’s regional win over Kentucky in 2005 was also mentioned:
March 26-27: Louisville earned a trip to the Final Four by rallying from a 19-point deficit to beat West Virginia in overtime 93-85. But that comeback paled in comparison to what Illinois had in store later in the day. Arizona led the Illini by 15 points with four minutes left but remarkably Illinois rallied to force overtime, eventually winning 90-89 in one of the greatest games in tournament history. A day later, Michigan State and Kentucky played a classic of their own, with the Spartans prevailing 94-88 in double overtime.