As a part of its 75 years of March Madness celebration, the NCAA has released some lists pertaining to top moments, teams and players in the history of the event. A few Michigan State items were on the list.
Magic Johnson and Mateen Cleaves both were listed as being among the top 75 players in March Madness history. The 1978-79 team was listed among the top 25 teams in the history of the event, while Magic vs. Bird was considered one of the top 35 moments.
The 1978-79 team coached by Jud Heathcote finished 26-6 and defeated Indiana State 75-64 in the NCAA title game in Salt Lake City, Utah. Indiana State was unbeaten and the top seed.
Magic scored 24 points and had seven rebounds and five assists in that title game, while Bird had 19 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and five steals. Magic was named the Most Outstanding Player of that Final Four.
Magic also was named to the All-Region team. He had a triple-double in the opening round of the tournament against Lamar.
During its 1979 title run, the Spartans won each of their games by at least 11 points. They opened with the 95-64 win over Lamar, then beat LSU 87-71 and topped Notre Dame 80-68 (Greg Kelser scored an MSU NCAA Tournament record 34 points in the win over the Irish) to reach the Final Four. MSU defeated Pennsylvania 101-67 in the national semifinal.
Cleaves was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2000 Final Four after leading the Spartans to their second national championship. Cleaves, who injured his ankle during the title game, finished with 18 points and four assists in the clinching 89-76 win over Florida. He also was named to the All-Regional team after aiding MSU’s run to the Final Four.
As a junior, Cleaves also helped the Spartans reach the 1999 Final Four. He had 12 points and 10 assists in the 68-62 loss to Duke in the national semifinal. Cleaves made the All-Regional team after helping the Spartans reach the Final Four.
The complete list of March Madness moments can be found here - http://www.ncaa.com/news/ncaa/marchmadness75/2012-12-10/ncaa-honors-all-time-greats-part-75-years-march-madness-celebrat#TEAMS