On Sunday afternoon, ESPN aired Maryland men’s basketball’s matchup with then-No. 1 North Carolina from January 12, 1984. The game featured Michael Jordan leading the top-ranked Tar Heels and Len Bias starring for No. 5 Maryland.
North Carolina won the game 74-62, pulling away down the stretch after a back-and-forth contest. The Tar Heels’ lead was just 62-60 with two minutes remaining. Bias poured in 24 points, including 16 in the first half, to give the Terps a chance. Jordan had 21 and Sam Perkins had 26 for UNC.
Jordan eventually was the No. 3 pick in that summer’s NBA Draft and became arguably the greatest player in league history, while Bias stayed in school for two more years and won ACC Player of the Year both seasons. He was drafted second overall by the Boston Celtics in 1986, but died just two days later.
To take in the action and discuss Len Bias’ legacy, we were joined by Walt “The Wizard” Williams, Jerrod Mustaf and Jeff Baxter.
Williams, who played for Maryland from 1988-92 and still holds the program record for a season scoring average, wrote a book called “Lessons from Lenny” with Tony Massenburg on the impact Len Bias had. Mustaf played in College Park from 1988-90 before leaving two years early for the NBA. And Baxter played alongside Bias for four years from 1982-86.
Men’s basketball assistant coach Bino Ranson and Derrick Lewis, who played in College Park from 1984-88, also made appearances.
As we watched the action, we discussed everything from what it was like to play and watch Len Bias to comparisons between Bias and Jordan, to how college basketball and the NBA has changed, and much more. There are lots of inside stories on Len Bias and what it was like to play under head coach Lefty Driesell that you don’t want to miss.