Bird vs. Magic — the origins of the matchup began March 26, 1979, when Indiana State faced Michigan State in the Division I Men’s Basketball championship game. The second-seeded Spartans defeated the No. 1-seed Sycamores 75-64 — but it was the matchup between the “Hick from French Lick,” Larry Bird, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson — the tournament’s most outstanding player, that remains the indelible memory.
The 1979 tournament was the first in which all teams were seeded by the men’s basketball committee: The top six teams in each regional were awarded a bye into the second round; seeds 7-10 played first-round games.
The tournament also marked the last Final Four played in an on-campus arena, at the University of Utah’s Special Events Center in Salt Lake City.
NCAA.com is reliving that magical moment with the #MMVault Watch Party at 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday. Fans can watch the 1979 classic on NCAA.com and follow @marchmadness for tweets related to the game action.
|1978-79 Indiana State Roster||1978-79 Michigan State Roster|
|Head coach: Bill Hodges||Head coach: Jud Heathcote|
|5||Bob Ritter||21||Don Brkovich|
|10||Scott Turner||12||Mike Brkovich|
|15||Dave McNally||15||Ron Charles|
|20||Rich Nemcek||11||Terry Donnelly|
|22||Carl Nicks||43||Gerald Gilkie|
|23||Steve Reed||35||Rob Gonzales|
|24||Tom Crowder||24||Jaimie Huffman|
|30||Bob Heaton||@bobheaton||33||Magic Johnson||@MagicJohnson|
|32||Eric Curry||42||Rick Kaye|
|33||Larry Bird||32||Greg Kelser||@gkelser32|
|40||Brad Miley||10||Greg Lloyd|
|42||Alex Gilbert||23||Mike Longaker|
|44||Leroy Staley||31||Jay Vincent|