In 1998, I saw ESPNs website had a profile of great performances in the NCAA tournament. They had players like Bill Bradley (Who scored a record 56 points in a Final Four game), Bill Walton (21 of 22 shooting the NCAA Championship), Danny Manning (36 points, 19 rebounds in the 1988 championship), and such. Listed in these great performances was Michael Jordan in 1982. What was Jordans amazing performance? Well, he had a whopping 16 points. Wow. He hit the shot that put North Carolina ahead with 15 seconds left. Buzzer beater? Nope.
Who was the star of the 1982 tournament? James Worthy was. He was the first-team All-American. Jordan wasnt even all-conference. Worthy led the team in scoring for the season, the tournament, and even the championship game (28 points). Worthy was also the tournament MVP, and the East Region's Most Outstanding Player. After Jordans shot, Worthy stole the ball from Georgetown's Fred Brown to seal the victory. Where was Worthy on ESPNs site? He was nowhere to be found. Instead Jordan makes it for one shot. Where was Keith Smart? Where was Scottie Thurman? They were also one-shot wonders.
This was yet ANOTHER example of how the media hypes Jordan to no end. In every way possible, Worthy led that team to the title, yet the history revisionists have tried to credit it to Jordan.
Well, since Jordan supposedly "led" Carolina to the title, how did he do for his remaining two seasons, without Worthy? Lets look. In 1981, the year before Jordan supposedly led Carolina to the title, Sam Perkins, Al Wood and James Worthy led the Tar Heels to the National Championship game, where they lost to Isiah Thomas and the Indiana Hoosiers. That means they played in two consecutive championship games. Surely Jordan would "will his team to victory" and carry on this streak of championship game appearances, right? Wrong.
In 1982, after winning the title, James Worthy left for the NBA. Jordan would go on to win The Sporting News College Player of the Year during the next two seasons. His teams were very talented, as they boasted such players as Sam Perkins (#4 pick in the 1984 draft right behind Jordan), Brad Daugherty (#1 in the 1986 draft) and Kenny Smith (#6 in the 1987 draft). The players were there and Jordan was there with his mythical "will to win". How many more championships did Carolina win during Jordan's career? None. How many final four appearances? None. Jordan choked, and when I say choke, I mean his teams failed to live up to their seed. Despite having a #1 and a #2 seed, Jordan's teams were defeated in the sweet 16 and the Elite Eight.
Some would argue that the NCAA tournament is upset-prone, but do upsets really apply to a talented team starring Michael Jordan? Jordan simply "refuses to lose". He "wills his team to victory" and all of the other hyped-up slogans the media attribute to Jordan. Where was it? Jordan left it in his other suit, I guess. Wilt Chamberlain was called a "loser" for losing to an undefeated team in the finals in triple-overtime, yet Jordan couldn't even lead a team to the Finals, let alone the Final Four -- and he's supposed to be the "best ever?" I think not. Funny how short Jordan comes up when you level the playing field and use the same standards to measure him that are used to measure everybody else.
Did Jordan have a great college career? Yes. Was he a winner? No. Did he have one of the all-time great NCAA tournament performances? Not even close! Is he one of the all-time great college players? No. Sports Illustrated wisely left Jordan off of their all-time college team. But then again, SI and Jordan havent been on speaking terms since 1995so that makes them a little more truthful in their reporting.
This is just one of the many examples of how the media hype is exposed as a farce when the examined by the light of truth. Jordan was a good college player over-hyped by the revisionist media. He was an elite NBA player, falsely placed above all others by the same stupid media.