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Landon Turner's Tales from the 1980-81 Indiana Hoosiers
ISBN 1582611971 / 9781582611976 / 1-58261-197-1
Publisher Sports Pub
List price $19.95
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In 1981, Indiana basketball fans still were exaulting over the 1975-'76 team's march to the NCAA championship. After all, those Hoosiers were the last to go unbeaten throughout the regular season and postseason, a record that still stands today. The '81 Hoosiers won five NCAA Tournament games with a winning margin of 23 points, evoking comparisons with Bob Knight's earlier championship team. But the '81 Hoosiers were far from invincible, losing nine games before ending the year with a 10-game winning streak. During a two-week stretch Indiana lost to Kentucky, Notre Dame and North Carolina, and during a trip to Hawaii dropped games to Clemson and Pan American. En route home from Hawaii, Coach Knight ran into North Carolina's Dean Smith in an airport and they both lamented how poorly their teams were playing. Probably neither suspected that the Hoosiers and Tar Heels would play for the national championship three months later. Turner went from a terrific physical specimen riding the bench to an offensive and defensive leader, filling a void that had cost IU dearly earlier that year. Four months after his team won the championship, Turner was paralyzed from the chest down when his car skidded off a curving Indiana highway as he was driving with three friends to an Ohio amusement park. Indiana's reversal of form and Landon's battle back from tragedy is related not only by Turner, but by the teammates who battled through his recovery at his bedside. [via]