Saturday, March 26, 2016

This Week in Indiana History -March 20, 1954 - Milan Miracle - Wins State Basketball Championship

A Day in Indiana History - March

March 20, 1954 - Milan Miracle - Wins State Basketball Championship
Capping of a series of strong basketball teams over a number of years,tiny Milan, Indiana defeated basketball giant Muncie Central in a true Hoosier Barn Burner with a last second, top of the key shot. Milan had defeated Muncie Central 32 - 30.
Strong Teams

Sports writers have written reams about the Milan Miracle of 1954 and the on court heroics have inspired a major Hollywood movie starring Gene Hackman. The Milan Miracle was not the anomaly suggested in the movie. Milan had a history of strong basketball teams and a tradition of beating teams from bigger schools. They had to; they were one of the smallest teams in the Ripley County Sectional and the second strongest team in the Ripley County Sectional in the early 1950's. Neighboring Batesville had advanced to the final game of the Semi-State in 1951 and Milan had gotten to the State Championship in 1953, losing in the semi-final contest. the 1954 team contained all the 1953 players, plus the previous year's experience in the state championships. Muncie Central was a basketball powerhouse, having won four state championships, the last one in 1952. Thus, when Bobby Plump lined up and took that shot from the top of the key, the swish of the net can still be heard decades later.
From the author's book:

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