Isiah led IU, Detroit to titles
March 30, 1981 - In what would be his last college game, Isiah Thomas broke out in the second half to lead Indiana to the NCAA title. After connecting on only 1-of-7 shots in the first half, the 6-foot-1 point guard scored 19 points in the final 20 minutes to key the Hoosiers' 63-50 victory over North Carolina in Philadelphia.
With the Hoosiers leading 27-26 to begin the second half, Thomas stole two consecutive passes and scored. "Those two steals were the turning point of the game," North Carolina coach Dean Smith said.
Thomas was hardly the biggest story in the nation this day. Earlier, President Ronald Reagan had been shot. An announcement before tipoff told the crowd of 18,276 that Reagan had come through surgery successfully.
"We were happy the President wasn't dead," Thomas said. "A lot of people get shot."
When the game ended, Thomas spotted his mother Mary rushing down to the court and the two embraced.
Odds 'n' Ends